‘Did you have fun?’ ‘Almost’: a history of awkward red carpet interviews

Mar 13, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: The Guardian (by Stuart Heritage).

It says a lot about the state of the Oscars in general that, on a night when a bear on cocaine attacked the noted activist Malala Yousafzai in her seat on live television, last night’s ceremony went down as one of the most incident-free of recent years. Indeed, it seems like the only enduring non-award talking point of the night was Hugh Grant being a bit awkward on the red carpet.

You will have seen the clip by now. Grant stands on the carpet with his hands on his hips, looking more like an exasperated bank manager than a movie star, barely tolerating the volley of softball questions lobbed at him by host Ashley Graham. “What’s your favourite thing about coming to the Oscars?” she asks. Seven full seconds pass, full of silences and ums and wells, before Grant finally settles on a noncommittal “It’s fascinating”. But worse is to come.

Eventually Grant fumbles the description “It’s Vanity Fair,” meaning Vanity Fair in the sense of an event characterised by ostentatious frivolity. But Graham gets the wrong end of the stick, and starts talking about Vanity Fair (the magazine) and its post-show party. An easy mistake to make, given the context, but it didn’t stop Hugh Grant from staring daggers at her. The interview continues haltingly. Are you excited to see any winners? “No one in particular.” What are you wearing? “Just my suit.” Was it fun being in Glass Onion? “I was barely in it.” Yes, but did you have fun? “Almost.” And then finally, mercifully, the two part company.

Reaction to the clip seems to have split people right down the middle. There are those who have called Hugh Grant grumpy and rude, and have taken him to task for not entering into the spirit of proceedings. And then – and I’m aware that this might be an overgeneralisation – there are British people.

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