British actor Hugh Grant on Sunday insisted he was not a sex symbol but a mere “curiosity” for young film fans desperate to catch a glimpse of a movie star.
The actor who shot to fame in the 1994 box office smash Four Weddings and a Funeral was speaking at the San Sebastian film festival in northern Spain.
“I don’t think I am a sex symbol to these young girls, I think I am a curiosity,” said the 56-year-old Grant, who stars alongside Meryl Streep in his latest film Florence Foster Jenkins, which is being screened at the festival’s 64th edition.
Grant, who counts Notting Hill and Bridget Jones among his other major roles, meanwhile, said he couldn’t offer a succinct view on Britain’s recent vote to quit the European Union.
“That’s too exhausting, I’m sorry,” he told reporters.
But he had a ready answer when asked if he would prefer to be an unemployed actor or seduce an elderly but rich lady.
“The elderly rich lady, definitely!”
Questioned on the cultural differences between the French and the British, Grant added that he himself had a very “British attitude to life”.
“The French prioritise food and sex, the British have that as their lowest priorities, but we do prioritise jokes. I don’t know why that happened but it’s the way it is,” he said.
Asked for his views on authenticity he quipped: “Me personally, I am not a believer in the truth, I think it is very important to lie all the time.”
Florence Foster Jenkins tells the real-life story of a New York heiress, played by Streep, who obsessively pursued her dream of opera singing despite a decided lack of vocal ability.
On working with Streep, Grant said he found that “largely it was intimidating”, adding: “You have to remember she’s a genius.”