The Undoing: Hugh Grant asked for script changes to ‘disappointing’ ending

British actor has broken his silence on show’s controversial ending

Adam White
Tuesday 01 December 2020 10:33
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Trailer for The Undoing

Hugh Grant asked for changes to the ending of his limited series The Undoing, after finding the script “disappointing”.

The mystery series came to a close this week (30 November) with an ending that fans have found polarising. Grant, who plays a married doctor suspected of murdering his younger lover, has now revealed that he was happy with the show’s conclusion, but only after he called for script changes.

*Spoilers follow for the show’s final episode*

In the finale, it was confirmed that Grant’s character Dr Jonathan Fraser was responsible all along for bludgeoning his lover Elena Alves to death. The scene is depicted in a gruesome flashback, but Grant has revealed it was originally played more ambiguously, with the episode’s script refusing to explicitly confirm whether or not Jonathan killed Elena.

“When the sixth [script] arrived, which was only slightly before shooting, [Jonathan] was kind of guilty, but it was left slightly ambiguous,” Grant told Vulture. “I thought that was disappointing, and I think [director] Susanne Bier thought it was disappointing, so it was changed to make it much clearer. In fact, it was Susanne Bier who decided to shoot the murder itself, because once you’ve shot that, there’s no going back.”

Grant added that he had only signed on to the show, which also stars Nicole Kidman, as he wanted to play a sociopathic murderer. The show’s initial refusal to confirm Jonathan’s guilt worried him.

“I sent it to some trusted people, and I said, ‘Who do you think is guilty at the end of this?’ They all said, ‘Well, it’s not really clear.’ And I got paranoid,” Grant recalled. “I thought, ‘Is this all about a second series? Because that’s not so much fun for me — I’m here to play a killer. That’s why I’m here.”

Grant, who has received universally strong reviews for his performance in the show, also revealed that he “very much” enjoyed killing someone on screen, adding: “I’d like to do a lot more.”

Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman in The Undoing

The British actor will soon appear in a Charlie Brooker comedy special being made for Netflix to celebrate the end of 2020.

In The Independent’s review of The Undoing finale, critic Eamon de Paor called the episode “a let down”.

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