Five Minutes With - Richard E Grant

Richard E Grant.
Richard E Grant.

WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO WITH NEW SERIES, RICHARD E GRANT’S 7 DEADLY SINS?

An informative and hopefully entertaining examination of animal and human behaviour under the banner of the seven deadly sins. Combining extraordinary footage of animals intercut with expert scientific opinion and analysis.

ASIDE FROM YOURSELF, WHAT IS THE SHOW’S UNIQUE SELLING POINT?

By focussing on the seven deadly sins as ‘chapter headings’, it’s an opportunity to search out if there truly are parallels between what humans and animals do to survive, seduce, reproduce and compete with one another.

HOW SURREAL HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH SOME OF THE GREATEST FILMMAKERS OF THE PAST 30 YEARS?

Carrie Fisher once said to me, ‘You are no longer a tourist, you’re one of the attractions’. I know what she means, but at the same time, I have never stopped pinching myself when I have met or got to work with people whose talents I have long admired. Still seems surreal to me. Watching the Oscars the other night, I realised the sheer number of famous people I have met and it sometimes feel like a parallel reality.

I’M A BIG FAN OF YOUR BOOK WITH NAILS. CAN WE EXPECT ANY MORE MEMOIRS?

I last published my diaries about the struggle to get my autobiographical film Wah-Wah made, and have resisted publishing further on-set diaries as I think the arc of starting out as a complete unknown to ending up working with some of the Hollywood greats is the journey taken by a reader. I am not convinced more of the same is of interest.

IT’S 10 YEARS SINCE YOU DIRECTED WAH-WAH. ARE THERE ANY OTHER PET PROJECTS YOU’D LIKE TO HELM?

Am about to launch a second perfume under the JACK brand this spring and the expansion into other big name stores and countries has been challenging and very time consuming, but I would like to write and direct another film before I am boxed up! Ha ha.

CAREER-WISE, WHERE AND WHEN WERE YOU HAPPIEST AND WHY?

Writing and directing Wah-Wah in Swaziland as it was so all-encompassing and I liked being asked a thousand questions a day and having to find solutions to a multitude of problems. Revisiting my troubled family history from the safety and perspective of being middle-aged was revelatory and hugely enjoyable. An unforgettable experience, despite the horrendous obstruction and ineptitude of the French producer.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE NEW VERSION OF JEKYLL AND HYDE?

It’s been reimagined by Charlie Higson, in the same spirit that Sherlock Holmes was transposed into the 21st century. Though Jekyll and Hyde is set in the 1930s and is about the grandson of Jekyll.

WAS THERE A FILM THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME AN ACTOR?

I saw Donald Sutherland in Kelly’s Heroes when I was a teenager and he was tall, gangly, had an incredibly long, elongated face and grew up in a tiny town in rural Canada - so I reckoned that if he could crack making a career as an actor, I could at least have a go. So he really inspired and sustained me through all the doubts when people laughed in my face, when I said that I wanted to become an actor.

Richard E Grant’s Seven Deadly Sins started on the Discovery Channel on Friday, March 13.