Richard E Grant


  1. Colin Firth, Valmont, 1989.     Despite him refusing one of his commercials,  Richard Avedon recommended Richard to his friend, Czech director Milos Foreman. Between shooting Warlock, visiting Disneyland and impregnating his wife with daughter Olivia, Grant managed LA readings (one with Kim Basinger!) and   London tests..
  2. Tim Roth, Vincent and Theo, 1990.     “We’ll work together,” said director Robert Altman. “Not this time. but some time.” And sure enough, he called “Reg” for The Player, 1992, Pret-a-porter, 1994 and   Gosford Park, 2001
  3. Charles Dance, Alien³, 1991. Passed on Clemens; so did Gabriel Byrne. Director David Fincher offered Richard the role as he was a huge fan of Withnail & I, 1987, and aimed to reunite him   with his old co-stars Paul McGann and Ralph Brown.
  4. Kurtwood Smith, Fortress, 1991.  Change  of prison director for the  thriller behaving much like  like Sylvester Stallone’s Lock Up, 1988.  When Arnold Schwarzenegger and was substituted by Christophe(r) Lambert, the budget slid from aroundf $70m to… $15m.
  5. Tim Roth,  Rosencrantz &  Guildenstern Are Dead 1991.    Gary Oldman suggested Richard   for Guildenstern.  “He’d be bloody great!”  Grant was keen. “This is not the usual dross that passes for an excuse of a   script.” He got on well with   the playwright and debuting director Tom Stoppard but… “Sorry to have disappointed you.”
  6. Keith Carradine, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, 1991.     Simon Callow, the actor about to direct, sent Richard   the script.   “I don’t believe for a minute they will cast me as Vanessa Redgrave’s lover,” Grant told   his diary. He wuz right. Carradine   only got it when   Sam Shepard split.
  7. Sergio Castellitto, Rossini Rossini,Italy-France-Monaco-Spain, 1991.  During his Euro-period, Robert Altman worked on the project, scripted by the great adapter Andrew Davies, and selected Richard E Grant and Gassmann (from Altman’s A Weddin ,1977) as the younger and older opera composer Gioacchino Rossini. Altman moved on, letting Italian maestro Mario Monicelli make it his way. With Italy’s Castelitto and French star Philippe Noiret as the young and old Rossini… and Gassman having an uncredited stroll-on as Beethoven.
  8. Alan Rickman, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, 1991.    A three week break from Hudson Hawke was not time enough so Rickman kept passing the Sheriff of Nottingham… to Jon Finch, Michael Gambon, Richard E Grant, Ian McKellen, Sam Neill, Oliver Reed, Patrick Stewart – even John Cleese!  Then, Rickman won the right to play him his way  – stealing much more than Robin. (Like the entire movie!).  This had Robin, aka Kevin Costner, allegedly, ordering  the curtailing of the Sheriff’s scenes.  Grant missed the biggest success of the year while making the biggest flop.
  9. Matt McCoy, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, 1992.     Considered for Annabella Sciorra’s husband – “solid, white-collar, 9-to-5, family-man charm. With a beard. Can they be serious?” The other   Grant   – Hugh – also refused and McCoy’s 15 minutes proved to be two. He has never really been   heard of since.
  10. Steven Waddington, Last of the Mohicans, 1992.    “Have you ever been blonde?” asked director Michael Mann.  “I could be.”

  11. Charles Dance, Alien 3, 1992. Passed on Clemens; so did Gabriel Byrne. Director David Fincherr offered Richard the role as he was a huge fan of Withnail & I,  1987, and aimed to reunite him  with his old co-stars Ralph Brown andf Paul McGann..

  12. Alan Rickman, Bob Roberts, 1992.   While sharing a scene in director Bob Altman’s The Player, Robbins asked Richard to be in   his helming debut. 

  13. Nathaniel Parker, Wild Sargasso Sea, 1993.     After a fortnight of LA   casting calls (mainly for the same roles as Hugh Grant), he flew home.   “Never got any of the parts. Never minded. Not too much.”
  14. Tom Cruise, Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles,  1994.
  15. David Thewlis, Dragonheart, 1995. Change of King Einon from, Grant to Thewlis (because of his award-winning Naked performance). With Sean Connery voicing a dragon, one was never quite sure if this was a movie or a trailer for a new Universal Studios Tour ride.
  16. Hugh Grant, An Awfully Big Adventure,  1995.     The two Grants   were up for the same UK films, as well as in LA.
  17. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie),TV, 1996.
  18. David Thewlis, Dragonheart, 1996.    Approached for the villain.Naked star Thewlis did it becauseof “advice-stroke-pressure from my agent to do a studio film. Actually, I enjoyed doing it.”
  19. Hugh Grant, About A Boy, 2002.And again… more credible choice thanthan the other more hunky contenders: George Clooney, Russell Crowe, Ewan McGregor, Brad Pitt.
  20. Jason Isaacs, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002.     After reading for Gilderoy Lockhart, Isaacs was given Lucius Malfoy. He wasn’t keen, finding Malfoy way too close to his Captain Hok in the 2002 Peter Pan film. He rung some changes by adding long blonde hair and a swordstick to the character… for the rest of the franchise.  

  21. Bill Nighy, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, 2005.    The second one…  “I don’t do Dutch,” stated the ever-so-English Nighy on winning the (apparently Dutch) Davy Jones of Locker fame. Then, to the Sean Connery/Brian Cox manner born, he added: “I’ll try Scottish.” And he found an accent he could mess with in Alex Norton’s Still Game sitcom. “I had to find an accent no one else had.” Not even his rivals for the role: Jim Broadbent, Ian Glen (stuck on Game of Thrones) and Richard E Grant. Remaining aboard for #3: At The World’s  End, Nighy was well nigh perfect. As per always.
  22. Christopher Eccleston, Doctor Who, TV, 2005.





 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  22