‘I did The Undoing partly to get away from my exhausting young children’: Hugh Grant, 60, reflects on fatherhood and jokes that it has made him ‘muster emotion’ for the first time in his career
Hugh Grant joked he took his role in The Undoing because he wanted to ‘get away from [his] exhausting children’.
The actor, 60, spoke candidly about fatherhood during an appearance set to air on Friday’s Graham Norton Show, as he joked being away from them made him ‘muster emotion’ for the first time in his career.
Detailing why he originally wanted to take on the role of Jonathan Fraser, he began: ‘I did this job partly to get away from my young children as they are exhausting at my age.
‘I did The Undoing partly to get away from my exhausting young children’: Hugh Grant, 60, reflected on fatherhood on Friday’s Graham Norton Show
‘I thought it would be great to have a break but every time I arrived in New York I missed them so badly I was a mess, so every scene was suddenly a cue for tears for me. I’d even go into a cafe and ask for a cup of coffee and the tears would come!’
Detailing how he would often get overcome with emotion while away from his little ones, Hugh went on: ‘Having spent a career unable to muster a single emotion, I find in my old age I can’t stop them.
‘It’s something to do with children or love, or my wife, or something, but I can’t keep it at bay.’
Hugh and wife Anna Eberstein’s first child, John, was born in 2012. They have since gone on to have a second child in December 2015 and a third in March 2018.
Family: Hugh and wife Anna Eberstein’s first child, John, was born in 2012, and have since gone on to have a second child in December 2015 and a third in March 2018 (pictured in February)
The couple have not disclosed the gender or names of their youngest children.
As well as his three children with Anna, Hugh also shares two children with ex Tinglan Hong: daughter, Tabitha, nine, and son Felix, seven.
The actor spent lockdown with three of his five children amid the coronavirus crisis, which he got at the start of the pandemic.
‘I got it and I was very brave and manly about it! I got it right back at the beginning – I actually didn’t know what it was,’ he explained to presenter Graham.
Struggle: Hugh joked being away from his children made him ‘muster emotion’ for the first time in his career as he he ‘missed them so badly [he] was a mess’
‘It felt like mild flu and then a rather alarming complete loss of smell, which culminated in me sticking my head in dustbins sniffing, thinking, “There must be something here” and spraying myself in the face with my wife’s Chanel No.5 but smelt nothing.’
Fellow guest Nigella Lawson asked if his condition had put him off eating at the time, but he claimed he has ‘never been interested’ in food.
‘It was a little dull but then I was cooking because it was lockdown and it was never going to be delicious,’ he joked. ‘I cooked every single night for four months and it was a baked potato. That was it!’
The Undoing, which is based on the 2014 novel You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, follows Grace (Kidman) and Jonathan Fraser (Grant), who are living the only lives they ever wanted for themselves.
But their peaceful world comes crashing down with a violent death and a chain of terrible revelations.
Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and her family.
The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, Friday 20th November 10.45pm. Also available on BBC iPlayer.
Murder, mystery: The Undoing, based on the novel You Should Have Known, follows Grace (Nicole Kidman) and Jonathan Fraser (Grant), who become embroiled in a murder mystery plot
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