Hugh Grant Reveals the Biggest Regret He Has About His Acting Career

So many of us have sweet memories of Hugh Grant playing the handsome English nice-guy in our favorite romantic comedies. But Grant recently admitted he’s not the gentle guy you see on screen. His entire career has been defined by these type of roles, and Grant has some big regrets over that. You might be surprised just how many regrets Grant has about his career. Let us explain.

Hugh Grant thinks he’s a terrible actor

Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant | Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage

Unlike how you’d picture most Hollywood actors, Grant has plenty of humility when it comes to his career. In fact, he may have too much. “I’m a terrible actor,” he told Vanity Fair. “I’m still learning. When I first started, I wish I knew then to trust myself more, really.”

Grant continued by explaining how he used to over-rehearse every scene, and as a result, his performance seemed stiff and rehearsed instead of in-the-moment. “If I knew how to trust myself, I would have been much more relaxed,” he said.

For an actor that’s enjoyed a long and successful career, Grant has a lot of regrets. He seems to struggle with seeing himself as successful and says it was hard for him to let go of the mindset of an unemployed actor. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Grant admitted that mindset hindered his career. “I took everything,” he said of his film choices. “The worse it was, the quicker I took it.”

Hugh Grant’s biggest regret

His bad role choices led him into a hole with the characters he played. Grant starred in a large number of romantic comedies. And while we all love romantic comedies, he became an actor known for doing only that type of role. “I should have made interesting decisions and done different stuff,” he said. “Instead, I repeated myself almost identically about 17 times in a row.”

Grant’s biggest regret was not being more knowledgeable about “navigating fame and success” in his early career. “Every decision I ever made was probably wrong,” he said.

But it’s not all bad. “I was being paid tons of money,” Grant said of his romantic comedy career. “I was very lucky. And most of those romantic comedies I can look squarely in the face- one or two are shockers, but on the whole, I can look them in the face and people like them. I’m a big believer that our job is to entertain.”

Why Hugh Grant left Hollywood only to return later

After years of playing the handsome love interest, Grant decided it was time to take a step back from acting for a little while. He was busy doing other things in life — like concentrating on politics — and he lost interest in the show business.

Also, he was getting older. As such, the love interest in a romantic comedy is usually on the younger side. “I’ve gotten too old and ugly and fat to do them anymore,” he admitted, although we’re not sure we’d take it that far. For 58 years old, Grant still looks good.

So, Grant took some time off. You might say he had a mini-retirement. However, lately, he’s been able to jump back into the acting world. And now that he’s older, he’s enjoying the opportunity to play a different type of character.

“The scripts I was receiving were not satisfying,” he told Vanity Fair. But when a director gave him the script for Florence Foster Jenkins, he found that it was “moving and funny.” Grant loved the role. “It’s a complex and nuanced part for me,” he said. 

Grant admits he took the part even though he wasn’t really involved with Hollywood at that point in his life because he felt that he “would be no kind of a man” if he didn’t. And it’s a good thing that he did. The part, opposite Meryl Streep, earned him a Golden Globe nomination and marked a triumphant return to show business.