Hugh Grant almost missed his breakthrough role in "Four Weddings and a Funeral," screenwriter Richard Curtis has revealed.
Curtis made the stunning revelation that he originally wanted to cast Alan Rickman in the lead role while being interviewed by his daughter Scarlett as part of the Cheltenham Literary Festival, The Independent reports.
The famed screenwriter is known for a string of acclaimed rom-coms, including "Bridget Jones’s Diary," "Notting Hill" and "Love Actually."
He revealed that initially, he found Grant “annoying, too good-looking and a bit posh” for the role, preferring Rickman who was 14 years Grant’s senior.
The film’s director Mike Newall eventually overruled Curtis, insisting on Grant for the part that would catapult the actor to international fame.
“We auditioned about 70 people for Hugh’s part,” Curtis said. “Eventually it was down to Hugh and Alan Rickman. I went for Alan but I was outvoted."
The film follows Charles who meets and falls for Carrie (Andie MacDowell), an American woman, eventually running into her at four separate weddings and, predictably, a funeral.
While he may have regretted the decision at the time, the screenwriter admitted that his misgivings were unfounded.
“I was right about all of those things,” he said. “But he was also very good.”
It was also revealed that two of the subplots of "Love Actually" were originally intended as feature films.
“The Hugh one I had an idea for a long time ago and you would have seen him coming into power and issues around that,” he admitted.
“And the Colin (Firth) one: he was going to go on holiday with his girlfriend then split up.”
Curtis conceded, however, they worked far better as subplots.
“Those two were intended to be very unsuccessful films so I am very glad I managed to squeeze all the good bits out of them — 12 minutes each — into 'Love Actually,'" he said.
Other topics touched upon were career regrets. Curtis said he wished he’d focused on marriage and love later in life.
“I wish I’d done more of that,” he said. “I was going to write a play about my parents. I didn’t write that.
“We all wish we’d had more time.”