• Golden Globe Awards

1995: Hugh Grant Delivers the Funniest Globes Acceptance Speech

“It’s tragic how much I’m enjoying getting this. Really. Virtually uncool, too. You’re supposed to think that awards are invidious and things like that but I think they’re heaven, and this is right up my alley.”
Thus began Hugh Grant’s acceptance speech for winning Best Actor – Musical or Comedy for Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1995.
As presenters Patrick Swayze and Valeria Golino stood nearby laughing, as did the star-studded audience packed in the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom, Grant added, “So I can’t tell you, Foreign Press Association, how much I admire you. And it’s with tremendous ill grace that I grudgingly acknowledge the contributions of a few other people.

“I suppose Richard Curtis wrote quite a funny script. I suppose Mike Newell directed it quite well under difficult circumstances, though with tremendous bad temper, I might add.
“I suppose Andie (MacDowell) was very kind to me. She pretended she didn’t notice that I actually trembled in her presence…”
Then Grant capped it all with, “And my girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley, who put up with, easily, the nastiest, most ill-tempered prima donna-ish actor in English cinema for six weeks and then came back to me, which was really nice.”
It’s considered one of the funniest acceptance speeches in the history of the Globes, along with those of Ricky Gervais, Jim Carrey, Emma Thompson, Steve Carell, and Robin Williams (the latter of whom hilariously entertained the audience while waiting for Christine Lahti, who was famously in the bathroom when her name was called as the Best Actress – Television Drama Series winner for Chicago Hope in 1998).
Only 34 at the time, Grant was boyishly charming, looking serious as he drolly deadpanned bon mots. The video clip of that speech showed the ballroom erupting in chuckles, including reaction shots of Four Weddings and a Funeral screenwriter Curtis, Candice Bergen, and the aforementioned Hurley.

The London-born, Oxford-educated actor was reportedly considering quitting acting until he read the Four Weddings and a Funeral script. “If you read as many bad scripts as I did, you’d know how grateful you are when you come across one where the guy actually is funny,” he was quoted as saying to Variety.
In the British romantic comedy, directed by Mike Newell, Grant plays “serial monogamist” Charles. He and his circle of friends always seem to be attending weddings, but never as the groom or the bride. Things change when Charles meets an American, Carrie (MacDowell).
The film, made for $2.5 million, became the biggest-earning British movie at that time, grossing over $244 million globally. It also established Grant as an international star.
For a time, Grant was typecast in the Charlie mode, until he broke through with other roles. He would go on to earn six more Globe nominations, including Best Actor – Television Motion Picture for The Undoing, where his pediatric doctor/psychopath killer is a far cry from the foppish gents like Charles he played so winningly in the 1990s.