The epitome of Englishness to many, Hugh Grant has been made a Fellow of the BFI for his contribution to British film.
The award – the highest bestowed by the BFI – was presented to the star by one of the founders of Working Title, Eric Fellner, at a dinner hosted by the BFI chairman, Greg Dyke.
Hugh Grant, who’s 55, has made more than forty films during a thirty year career, securing his global stardom as a romantic comedy lead in the likes of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones, before turning to less cuddly roles in such films as About a Boy, American Dreamz and most recently, The Man from UNCLE.
“This is such a lovely surprise and a great honour,” said Grant, during the presentation. Describing Grant as a British icon, Dyke said, “With impeccable comic timing and huge doses of his unique, ironic self-deprecating and very British charm, Hugh always pulls off the hardest thing of all – a seemingly effortless performance. I can assure you it’s not. Hugh’s acting talents are prodigious and his contribution to cinema enormous.”
Fellner, who has produced many of Grant’s most successful films, said his onscreen charm had endeared him to generations of audiences worldwide. “His success has helped British film as a whole carve out a place in the world with a distinct quality that easily rivals the best to come out of Hollywood,” he argued.
Hugh Grant will next be seen on the big screen alongside Meryl Streep, in Stephen Frears’ Florence Foster Jenkins, in May.