Hugh & Drew

Music And Lyrics premieres in London...

Hugh & Drew

by Willow Green |
Published on

Wham! Tonight, London’s Leicester Square is no longer filled with the usual puddles of ambling tourists, bustling office workers and spilt lattes. It’s the premiere of the new Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore romantic comedy Music And Lyrics and the Odeon cinema has been transformed into an 80’s playground, complete with large-scale floor keyboard – just like the one Tom Hanks tunefully jumps around on in Big. Yes, it’s Club Tropicana and although there’s no sign of the fun and sunshine (Empire’s fingers have already fallen off), for the stars at the least, the drinks are decidedly free.

“Prince Charming, Prince Charming/Ridicule is nothing to be scared of”

Amazingly, it’s been thirteen years since Hugh Grant stepped onto the global stage and redefined the art of the romantic bumble. From Four Weddings And A Funeral’s opening salvo of expletives, through Notting Hill’s everyman fairy tale, to Bridget Jones’ conniving big-pant lover, Grant has become the face of the feel-good rom-com. Tonight, the actor’s latest shimmy into the world of fast-quipping, boy meets girl fun has brought the fans of the formerly-floppy-haired-one out in full force. Music And Lyrics sees Grant’s 80’s pop has-been, Alex Fletcher, joined by Drew Barrymore’s vocab-vixen Sophie Fisher. Their mission? To write a brand new, chart-topping smash.

“You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar/When I met you”

“I could not have been more nervous” explains Grant as he remembers all the singing and dancing that pepper the movie. “I’m not musically minded at all…in fact, I’m not really romantically minded, so yes, you could say it was a strange piece of casting. Although, by the end, I did quite enjoy playing the piano”. Grant has had his fair share of leading ladies in his time – Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson, Renee Zellweger and Rachel Weisz to name but a few. Now, with his latest screen outing, he adds Drew Barrymore to the list: “I felt extremely sorry for Drew”, he reveals dryly. “On set, she was full of laughter and sunshine and I was a cloud of misery that followed her around. It must have been hard for her.” “Hugh was super-funny, charming and a complete gentlemen”, offers the lovely Drew Barrymore as she shivered her way into the cinema. “I’ve always been told to shut my mouth, so to get to sing in a movie like this is great.”

“Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon/You come and go, you come and go”

It seems the singing and dancing weren’t the only things that proved a challenge for Grant: “For the 80’s scenes at the beginning of the film, they attempted to make me look in my mid-20s. In the end I think they managed to reduce me from forty-six to at least forty-five. They also managed to change my sex. Too much rouge, I think.”

The tabloid press and photographers begin going bonkers as Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty arrives on the red carpet, and Grant has one last tuneful romantic anecdote to impart: “I did once receive a love song. It was from a man in a high-security prison somewhere in East Anglia”.

With the cast heading inside for the introductions, Empire leaves the cinema, purposely treading on the giant red-carpet flanked keyboard…but nothing happens. Technology was so much better in the 80s.

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