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Richard E. Grant | A Life in Pictures

Richard E. Grant shares insights into some of the most notable films from his career, from Withnail and I to Can You Ever Forgive Me? Hear behind-the-scenes stories about all your favourite Richard E. Grant films, and find some highlights about his unique relationship with costar Melissa McCarthy, his biggest on-set pet peeves and his all-time favourite director below!

Refusing to watch one's own films

The first time I saw a semi-finished version of Withnail and I, I gouged blood out of my wife's wrist holding it so tight!

In a sentiment that many actors may find relatable, Grant says that he finds watching himself on the big screen almost unbearable. In fact, after seeing Withnail and I for the first time, he went right up to director Bruce Robinson and apologised for 'ruining' his film.

Do actors usually become friends after working together?

Grant pragmatically acknowledges that lots of friendships that blossom on set are more to do with working on the same project than actually having anything in common, with rare exceptions. One of those exceptions is Melissa McCarthy, who he now considers a lifelong friend after their work together on Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Having lasting friendships is fewer and farther between that I had hoped or expected, but the ones that I do have I value enormously, and she is one of those people.

How to be an actor's favourite director

My favourite director is Robert Altman, hands down, because I felt that his understanding of actors and his appreciation for what they did was enormous.

Unsurprisingly, Grant says that a great director to work with is one who makes the effort to respect and effectively communicate with actors. Robert Altman, who directed Grant in Gosford Park, seems to fit the bill.