Jay: Please welcome the lovely Hugh Grant.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Jay: Hello, mate. Good to see you.Welcome back.
Hugh Grant: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Jay: How have you been? Things are well?
Hugh: Yeah, things are just lovely. Thank you very much.
Jay: Now, I have to ask you about something. I read something about you. You fired your agent.
What was this about?
Hugh: Oh, no, no, no, I didn't fire my American agent. I'm too frightened of them.[ Laughter ]
I did have to fire my English agent, but it was under very unusual circumstances.
Because -- well, I basically had to fire him because I saw his anus.
And it's a very unusual thing to happen with an agent.
Hugh: He came, we were at a film festival, and he wanted to have a bath where I was staying in the mountains.
And I said, "that's fine." And he went in and had a bath, and I forgot he was doing that.
And I went in about ten minutes later to have a pee, and my agent was bathing right in front of me on all fours.
I've never seen someone actually on all fours bathing before.
And the view I had of him, I could not possibly use him as an agent after that.
You can't take someone seriously when you've, you know, seen their fundament.[ Laughter ]
Jay: Now, was he in the tub at the time?
Hugh: Yeah, how can a person bath like that?
Jay: I never heard of that. Is that an English thing?
Hugh: It was such an odd sight. This was a small man, a tiny, little man on all fours, soapy.[ Laughter ]
So I said, "I'm sorry, you've got to go."
Jay: Well, that's as good a reason as any, certainly.
Hugh: I don't know. In this country, you can probably be sued for that.
Jay: So what are your Christmas plans? What are you doing?
Hugh: Well, I go and stay with my brother in New York. He lives there.
My dad will be there by now. He probably would have flown over on Kuwaiti Airlines. That's his favorite airline.
Jay: Kuwaiti Airlines?
Hugh: You know there's a certain age, they like to find a bargain.
And he's been searching for six years to find the cheapest way to get here.
Jay: With all that's going on, it doesn't seem like Kuwaiti Airlines would be your best choice.
Hugh: He adores Kuwaiti Airlines. In fact, a couple of months ago, I took him on the Concorde as a special treat.
Hugh: And infuriating me the whole way across. He was saying,
"Well, it's not bad, but it's not as good as Kuwaiti Airlines."
He has a little tape measure. He measures the knee distance you have and stuff like that.
He was an embarrassment on the whole flight. He loved the free gift.
You know, you get very boring little kind of notebooks on the Concorde. But he loved them.
In fact, he kept tapping people like Fergie and Paul Mcartney on the shoulder and saying,
"Well, if you're not using yours, I'd love it.
"So he's got quite a big collection of those. And he very much enjoyed the lunch. He had everything they offered.
And then he fell asleep and had his bear nightmare, which is a thing he's had all his life.
Jay: A bear nightmare?
Hugh: Yeah, it's very odd for a man who's lived all his life in a big city.
Once every three weeks in his dream, he is chased by a bear around and around the house.
[ Laughter ] And he --
Jay: Around the house?
Hugh: Yeah. Why? I mean, there are no bears in London.
There haven't been any for a long time. But it's obviously very alarming to him,
because he makes a little whimpering noise.
He's a big, butch man, but he goes --[ Whimpers ]
[ Laughter ] And I always, "Dad, dad, it's okay. There's no bear." "What? What?" And I don't know what that is.
Maybe it is something in the family, because my brother and I both have recurring nightmares.
There's a devil in my dream. It flings me around the room. It's actually a little girl.
I think it was watching "The Exorcist" too much when I was young.
Jay: Well, that might be it.
Hugh: Yeah, and she's powerful and slams me against walls.
And my brother has had a recurring nightmare about one particular episode of a man called "Ironside."
Jay: You mean this guy? [makes face]
Hugh: That guy. That guy.
Jay: Yeah, Raymond Burr.
Hugh: Raymond Burr. And there was, I think, one episode where he was in a haunted house,
and there was some painting that kept going --
[ In spooky voice ] "Ironside."
[ Laughter ] And it really freaked my brother out at the age of 11.
To the extent where you go into his room and go --
[ In spooky voice ] "Ironside," and he gets furious. And still to this day.
My brother is now virtually the managing director of a huge bank, Chase Morgan or whatever it's called.
And he's a very high powered sensible guy. But if you call him up on his phone and say --
[ In spooky voice ] "Ironside" --[ Laughter ] He doesn't like it at all.
Hugh: But I love it. I love the fact that no one changes.
However grand they get in their job, they just don't change. And he certainly hasn't changed.
The last time I went to stay with him, I was in his bathroom.
And I like to take my time with the newspaper and everything.
[ Laughter ] He was trying to get in there.
Jay: Not uncommon, really.
Hugh: Yeah, exactly. And he wanted to use it. And I couldn't believe my eyes or my ears.
There was this hissing noise. And I realized that he was squirting aerosol deodorant under the door into the thing.
He was trying to gas me out.
[ Laughter ] Which is a trick he's had since he was 8. He used to get my mom's deodorant and gas me out.
Jay: Head of the Chase Manhattan bank.
Hugh: Yeah, yeah.
Jay: Well, that's fascinating to know.
Hugh: Well, he was until I told that story.
Jay: Right, until you told the story.[ Laughter ] It's a fascinating family history.
This is kind of therapy for you to come here.
Hugh: I like to think of it that way.
Jay: Well, let's take a little break. More with Hugh right after this. Be right back.
Hugh: What's the top speed you can do?
Jay: About 175. Oh, talking cars. We're back. We're talking cars.
Now, you have that new, fancy Aston Martin? How fast can you take it up to?
Hugh: Well, I was very brave the other day, I went about 60.
Jay: Oh, stop.[ Laughter ]
Hugh: Actually, you can't really.
I mean, what's the point of having a car that does 207 miles an hour
when the average speed of traffic in London is now four miles an hour?
Jay: Well, you get out of London, and you put your foot --
Hugh: Yeah, and then the police get you. It's a nightmare.
I really am -- I don't know why I bought the thing. It's insane. It breaks down all the time.
I'm frightened of speed. I get to about 100, and I'm shaking.
Jay: Really? Well, I'm sorry to hear that.
Hugh: But you're more butch. You go --
Jay: I'm more butch. "Butch" is the term you use.[ Laughter ] Yeah, yeah, I'm more.
Hugh: So you've taken your F1 to 175?
Jay: No, 60 is the limit, so it'd be foolish to go higher.
Were we talking about your relatives? What were we talking about? You were talking about your family.
You were talking about your mother, your brother -- are your other relatives as quirky as --
your father sounds a bit quirky with the bear.
And your brother, of course, frightened of "Ironsides," which I've never heard.
Hugh: People have the most amazing phobias. I just worked with Billy Bob Thornton.
Did you know he has it in his contract that there can't be any antique furniture in his hotel room?
Jay: Yes, he's frightened of antiques.
Hugh: He's terrified of antiques. Of course, working in London was like his nightmare.
[ Laughter ] And he's particularly, particularly phobic about Benjamin Disraeli,
our prime minister of the 1890s he absolutely can't stand him.
And I assumed this was a joke, but it's not.
Jay: No, it's not.
Hugh: And I found a picture of Disraeli, and I kept waving it in front of him during a scene.
[ Laughter ] He couldn't be nice about it.
Jay: No, I know. He's been here. I never heard of an antique phobia.
It's the strangest thing. You go, "How old is that chair?" "Oh, 1940."
[ Jay screams ]It's very strange. Are your relatives --
Hugh: Yeah, there is a certain streak of lunacy. I think they're all right.
My grandmother, very nice.
She comes from that English tradition which is the care tremendously about doing good work,
and she's very well read, very well educated. But their absolute bottom priority is household hygiene.
You know, you go and stay for Christmas, and it was a great laugh and everything.
But if you put your hand down on the dining room table,
there is no way you can get it up again.
It was just stuck there. You know, that's how it was in the house. But very nice. Very nice.
For the priests, always. She's a very holy woman, lived in a cathedral town.
And Christmas was always hundreds and hundreds of priests all taking an enormous interest in me and my brother.
Hugh: Yeah, I'm sure they just wanted to look after our spiritual welfare.
Jay: Spiritual welfare, I'm sure. I'm surprised that's the only nightmare you and your brother have.
[ Laughter ] Now, tell us about "Two Weeks Notice." It's a lot of fun. A very sharp banter between you and --
Hugh: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it is bantery. And it's me and the girl I like to call Sandy Bollocks.
Jay: Sandy Bollocks?
Hugh: Yeah. And we're thrilled with it, you know.
And it's two people who work together and think that they're absolutely opposite,
but of course, [whispers] they kind of fall in love.
Jay: Well, show a clip. What is this?
Hugh: This is where I offer her a job in the first place. And she's --
Jay: And you're like a Donald Trump-type character.
Hugh: I'm a Donald Trump playboy. She is a sort of granola lawyer interested in good causes.
Jay: Broke lawyer tries to do good work.
Jay: Let's take a look. "Two Weeks Notice."
[cut to clip, scene in back seat of car]
Jay: Very funny. Now, she's also the producer?
Hugh: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, yeah. And a very, very good producer.
Very authoritative, particularly when she breaks out into German.
'Cause you know she was brought up in Germany.
She's really half German herself.
Jay: Oh, she speaks german?
Hugh: And I find that side of her both authoritative and strangely sexy.
Hugh: I've always had a thing about German girls.
Hugh: Yeah, when I was growing up, I used to go on a French exchange to stay with this French family outside Paris,
and they used to also have a German girl staying there --
and you know, she wasn't the most beautiful woman I've ever met in my life.
She was sort of blonde. She looked a bit like John Daly, the golfer.[ Laughter ]
Jay: Really? John Daly, the golfer?
Hugh: Yeah, but I found her curiously arousing.
Jay: Very authoritative?
Hugh: Yeah, yeah.
Jay: German, very Germanic?
Hugh: Just strict.
Jay: Just strict, march right in kind of thing?
Hugh: Little beady eyes.
Jay: Little eyes? Just the fact she looked like John Daly, the golfer, that would stop me right there.
[ Laughter ] She could be a Swedish bikini model, but if you look like John Daly, the golfer --
Hugh: Yeah, I see that. I see that.
Jay: Well, that's interesting. You know, we'll have to do more of these sessions. I think you're making progress.
Hugh: Thank you. Thanks, Jay.
Jay: Well, congratulations. The film opens on the 20th. It's you and Sandra Bullock.
Can you stay for the fruitcake lady?
Hugh: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.
Jay: Oh, wonderful. Hugh Grant. Be right back with Marie Rudisill right after this.
[ Cheers and applause ]