From rom-coms to murder: Hugh Grant is enjoying the darkness

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This image released by HBO shows Hugh Grant, from left, Noma Dumezweni and Nicole Kidman in a scene from "The Undoing." (HBO via AP).

When Hugh Grant accepted his Golden Globe in 1995 for “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” you could say he slayed the room — with the kind of boyishly befuddled, sweetly stammering speech he might have made to Andie MacDowell in that film or to Julia Roberts in “Notting Hill.”

Fast forward a few decades and Grant, now 60, is doing a different kind of slaying. He’s up for another Globe for HBO's “The Undoing,” in which he actually kills — like, with a mallet — as an affluent Manhattan pediatric oncologist who sidelines as a psychopath.

It’s not his first cinematic exploration of evil: In “A Very English Scandal,” for which he also earned a Globe nod, Grant got some career-best reviews as Jeremy Thorpe, the real-life British political leader who was tried on charges of conspiring to murder his former lover. And on a lighter (but still not very nice) note, he played a very theatrical villain in “Paddington 2.”

The metamorphosis has been unmistakable: As he's grown older, Grant has grown darker, at least in terms of his roles. As he tells it, he's “old and ugly” anyway — rom-com leads aren't an option. But what unites those three recent roles, he says, is not so much evil as narcissism. “It’s almost," he quips, "like the film and television world has worked out who I really am.”

Grant spoke to The Associated Press last week upon news of his sixth Globe nomination, this time for best actor in a limited series or TV movie. He spoke from his London home where he's busy perfecting the art of making paper snowflakes, via his kids and their remote learning.

Remarks have been edited for length and clarity.


AP: How are you feeling about this latest nomination?