Hugh Grant discusses 'The Pirates! Band of Misfits,' daughter
Hugh Grant was happy to make his first animated film, "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," which he said he hopes his baby daughter will see one day.
"This is pretty much the first time that I've done a cartoon and I couldn't say no," Grant told reporters at the film's New York premiere. "Aardman [Animations] have made nothing but films I've adored - 'Wallace & Gromit' and 'Chicken Run.' The script was peculiarly sort of 'Monty Python'-ish and hilarious to me... Like all Aardman films, they appeal to children and parents simultaneously. There's a lot of falling over, slapstick stuff for the kids and there's actually quite dry, sophisticated stuff for the adults."
The animated film follows a band of pirates, whose captain (Grant) is determined to defeat rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) for the Pirate of the year Award.
"I play Pirate Captain who is just the worst pirate in the world," Grant said of his character. "He's completely inept and his crew are equally useless but they never give up hope - their big ambition is to win the Pirate of the Year Award and this film is their quest to win that."
Grant is known for his roles in films like "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Notting Hill" and "About a Boy." The animation was a welcomed departure for the actor, who was happy to be off-camera for once.
"It was nice and relaxing. I'm too old now to be sitting in makeup at five in the morning," Grant said. "I'd like to just stand in front of a microphone after lunch and overact a little bit."
The film was produced by Aardman, a British animation studio known for films made using clay stop-motion animation techniques. Grant was excited to sign onto the project and is even happier now that he has a child to share it with.
"It's nice to think that one day my daughter may see it, may love it," Grant told People magazine.
The 51-year-old actor welcomed his daughter Tabitha in September with a 32-year-old Chinese woman named Tinglan Hong, with whom the actor had a "fleeting affair," the actor's spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com in a statement.
Though Tabitha's arrival was unplanned, Grant's rep told OnTheRedCarpet.com at the time of the birth that the actor and the baby's mother are on "very friendly terms."
Grant chose his daughter's English name, Tabitha, while her mother chose the Chinese name Jingxi, which means "Happy Surprise," Grant revealed on an April 27 episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
"I can't pretend it wasn't a little bit of a surprise, but it's a very nice surprise. In fact, the baby's name in Chinese, because the mother is Chinese, means 'Happy Surprise,'" Grant told Ellen DeGeneres. "It is life changing... I recommend it. Get some!"
Grant is slated to portray six different villains in his upcoming film "Cloud Atlas," which also stars Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon. He is also set to reprise his role as Daniel Cleaver in "Bridget Jone's Diary 3," opposite Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth.
Watch a trailer for "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" below.