Hugh Grant Reveals The 'Excruciating' Thing He Hated About Love Actually: 'It Was Absolute Hell'

Think of a scene from Love Actually and most likely Hugh Grant’s dancing prime minister will spring to mind. 

However, the actor has revealed how “excruciating” he found the idea of prancing about to The Pointer Sisters’ Jump (For My Love), describing shooting it as “absolute hell”. 

Hugh made the admission in his new BBC Two documentary, Hugh Grant: A Life On Screen, telling of how he would make up excuses so he did not have to rehearse it. 

Hugh Grant in Love Actually (Photo: Universal)

He said: “There was this dance written and I thought, ‘That’s going to be excruciating’ and it has the power to be the most excruciating scene ever committed to celluloid.

“I certainly dreaded filming it and Richard kept saying, ‘Don’t you think we’d better rehearse the dancing scene’ and I’d say, ‘Uh yes I’ve just gotta learn some lines…my ankle hurts today’. So it was never rehearsed.”


Hugh continued: “Imagine, you’re a grumpy 40-year-old Englishman, it’s seven in the morning, you’re stone-cold sober and it’s like, ‘Okay Hugh if you’d just like to freak out now’.

“It was absolute hell.”

Hugh’s co-star Colin Firth, who played Jamie, also remembered Hugh “making a terrible fuss” about the scene, adding: “It did delight everybody and I think it’s the highlight of the film for a lot of people.” 

The film’s writer Richard Curtis recalled Hugh’s discomfort, adding: “He hated the dance scene ’Hugh’s the least musical person in the world. He’s only got two records in his record collection and they’re both Godspell.

“We left it to the final day but as always he’d actually really rehearsed and had three or four little jokes up his sleeve and it turned out, from his dirty behaviour in discos across London, to be quite good at dancing.”

Love Actually was released in 2003, receiving both critical and commercial success. 

In 2017, a Comic Relief special caught up with the characters to see where they were all at now, and saw Hugh shake his booty for a performance of Drake’s Hotline Bling. 

Hugh Grant: A Life On Screen airs on Monday 23 December at 9pm on BBC Two.

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