No matter what else we may and do say about Howard Stern, the man has a preternatural gift for getting people gabbing. Hugh Grant (he of the Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Butt) was on Stern’s show this week, and ended up telling a story he clearly regretted as soon as he started, about the biggest mistake of his career.
Apparently, Grant used to brag in interviews about his great gift for picking winners. At some point, he started telling people, “I may not be the greatest actor in the world, but I’m really good at choosing material. I have NEVER turned down something that went on to be a big success.”
And then, of course, as soon as he started saying that, he turned down a movie that ended up being “the biggest success and the biggest hit for the part that I turned down, for that actor.”
Grant says he’s still beating himself up over this decision, though as hard as Stern pressed, he wouldn’t reveal the role. So obviously we need to take it upon ourselves to deduce: WHAT ROLE DID GRANT TURN DOWN?
Our clues and ideas to consider:
—He said it’s not Titanic, that it’s actually “much worse than that.”
—My initial guesses were Pirates of the Caribbean or Iron Man. Those were both huge game changers for men about the same age as Hugh Grant.
—HOWEVER (and you can judge for yourself from the clip below), this may have been sometime between 1995ish and 1998ish. Earlier in the show, it sounds like he said something about turning down every script for three years, and “needing a hit” when Notting Hill came out (in 1999). So both of my guesses would have been too late. Although I’m not positive those two are linked.
If they are, though, what huge career-changing movies came out around then? The Matrix? Fight Club? The Big Lebowski? Sorry, I have to go rewatch The Big Lebowski now, superimposing Hugh Grant’s face over Jeff Bridges’.