Hugh Grant stopped to chat with Howard Stern to promote his film Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl Streep (which comes out tomorrow), where he ruminated on his life and career. Stern is always good at making people feel relaxed and comfortable to open up, and he may have made Grant a little too comfortable on Thursday morning’s show when he got him to drop a bombshell about how he apparently bungled what would have not just been the biggest movie of his career, but one of the biggest movies of all time.
Grant starts off by saying how he used to boast about — while he may not be the greatest actor in the world — he was great as choosing material and never turned down a film that went on to be a big success. Of course, for anyone who knows how jinxes work, obviously Grant totally jinxed himself, because once he started saying that, he says he turned down a role in a film that turned out to be “the biggest success, and the biggest hit for the part [he] turned down for that actor.”
Howard immediately starts goading and begging for Grant to tell him what movie it was, but he refuses, revealing only that it was a “really bad” move and that he’s still kicking himself over it. Jumping to a logical conclusion, Howard asks him if the movie was Titanic, to which Grant responds, “No, much worse than that.”
It’s clear that he’s still wrestling with the decision, as he went on: “The honest truth is that I probably wouldn’t have been as good as the guy who did it, he did it brilliantly, but, ah, yeah. It’s a source of great misery to me.”
Okay, so the question remains… WHAT MOVIE DID HUGH GRANT TURN DOWN? According to the list of the highest grossing box office hits of all time, the only movie bigger than Titanic is Avatar (unless you adjust for inflation, in which case it’s Gone with the Wind), which Sam Worthington ended up starring in. Was it Avatar? Grant would have been 49 when the film came out, 15 years older than Worthington.
It will probably forever remain a mystery. You can listen to the clip below and try to figure it out for yourself.
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