Richard Curtis wanted Alan Rickman in Four Weddings because he thought Hugh Grant was 'annoying, too good-looking and a bit posh'

The writer and director spoke about his career and shared a few regrets during a talk at the Cheltenham Literary Festival

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 15 October 2018 10:43 BST
Four weddings and a funeral 1994 trailer

Richard Curtis has revealed that Alan Rickman was his first choice for the role of Charles in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

While speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, the Four Weddings screenwriter revealed that he was initially against casting Hugh Grant as the lead in the 1994 romantic comedy, as he found the actor “annoying, too good-looking, and a bit posh”.

However, Curtis was overruled by the film’s director Mike Newell, who wanted Grant for the role of a socially awkward man who falls for the American (Andie MacDowell) he keeps crossing paths with at four different weddings (and a funeral).

“We auditioned about 70 people for Hugh’s part. Eventually it was down to Hugh and Alan Rickman. I went for Alan but I was outvoted,” he said.“I just thought Hugh was a bit annoying, too good-looking and a bit posh. I was right about all of those things but he was also very good.”

The writer and director behind rom-coms such as Notting Hill, About Time, and Bridget Jones’s Diary, was interviewed by his daughter Scarlett Curtis at the ten-day festival, allowing him to reflect back on his career and share some of his own regrets. Namely, Curtis told the audience he wished he had written more about the later years of love, specifically about marriage.

“Things go up and down and they are very complicated. I wish I’d done more of that. We all wish we’d had more time,” he said. “I was going to write a play about my parents. I didn’t write that.”

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He also revealed that two Love Actually subplots were meant to be their own separate films. He said: “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. And [for] the Colin one, he was going to go on holiday with his girlfriend then split up.

“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 – it to Love Actually.”

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