This year, we saw Hugh Grant as an ambitious con artist, Forge Fitzwilliam, in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, which even received favorable reviews from critics. However, the 62-year-old actor has previously admitted that offers for lead roles have not always been forthcoming.
Hollywood is a place where we frequently wonder how much of an effect a single casting choice can have on a movie’s outcome. Every now and then, nonetheless, a startling tale comes to light that demonstrates the transformative potential of casting blunders.
A fascinating example of this is the case of the renowned English actor, Hugh Grant, who unintentionally stumbled upon the chance to play the legendary role that Tom Cruise immortalized in Jerry Maguire.
Grant, who was well known for his charm, wit, and endearing bumbling demeanor, established himself as a genre mainstay with a number of iconic performances. But he was always in for unexpected surprise from fate.
Hugh Grant Was ‘Mistakenly’ Offered Tom Cruise’s Role In Jerry Maguire
Hugh Grant has truly established himself as a major movie star after appearing in a number of well-acclaimed films. While he deserves a lot of credit for his accomplishments, no one would argue that he has attained the same level of celebrity as Tom Cruise.
Given how much Cruise’s career benefited from appearing in Jerry Maguire, it is interesting to learn that the movie’s script was initially sent to another important actor. Yes, the 1996 romantic sports comedy-drama film’s script was sent to Grant, who revealed this in a 2020 interview for NPR’s Fresh Air.
Early on in his career, The Dawning actor was critical of himself for accepting low-paying roles because he yearned to surround himself with attractive women. He mentioned:
“I managed to sell out and just do highly paid, terrible miniseries and very odd European, what I called ‘Euro puddings,’ where they’d be written by a Spaniard directed by a German, [with] English actors. They were awful and they never got really released properly. But, you know, it sounded like fun. There were pretty actresses in it that I wanted to spend time with and I did things for all the wrong motives.”
For the unversed, Cameron Crowe’s 1996 film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Tom Cruise. Also, Cuba Gooding Jr. took home the trophy for Best Supporting Actor.
Hugh Grant Was Shocked To Land A Role In This Film
Given that Hugh Grant had acted in so many underperformed movies in his early career, the actor was questioned on Fresh Air about how he got the part in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
The Big Man actor was quick to recall:
“Things were in pretty bad state in terms of proper acting for me and then the script came through and I remember calling my agent and saying, ‘I think there’s been a mistake, because you sent me a good script.’”
Although it may seem absurd that Grant did not believe he was sent a good script (Jerry Maguire) on purpose, he continued by explaining why he was concerned. He recalled receiving the wrong script for another well-known project during an interview with Fresh Air:
“Then the Four Weddings script came through and it was really funny and I went for the audition and Richard Curtis, who’d written it, hated me, and Duncan Kenworthy, who was producing it, hated me, but Mike Newell, who was directing it, thought I was promising, and I got the part and started a whole new thing in my career.”
Well, Grant’s acclaimed performance in Four Weddings and a Funeral earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Meanwhile, with a $50 million budget, Jerry Maguire was also a financial success, bringing in more than $273 million globally.
Jerry Maguire is streaming on Peacock Premium and you can watch Four Weddings and a Funeral on DIRECTV.
Source: Fresh Air