Hugh Grant Thought 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' Would Be 'a Giant Turkey': 'I Was Clearly Wrong'

According to Sam Neill, Hugh Grant told him he thought the 1994 comedy would be a "piece of complete crap"

Hugh Grant The Undoing
Hugh Grant. Photo: Magnus Sundholm/Shutterstock

Hugh Grant initially thought Four Weddings and a Funeral would be a flop.

The British rom-com would go on to become a box-office hit in the U.S. and was nominated for multiple Oscars. The 1994 film ended up grossing $245.7 million on a budget of about $4.4 million.

But after filming had wrapped, Grant did not have high hopes for the project — according to Sam Neill in his new memoir Did I Ever Tell You This?

"I had dinner in London with Hugh Grant soon after Sirens," Neill wrote. "I asked him what he'd been up to. 'Oh,' he said, 'a piece of complete crap called Four Weddings and a Funeral. [Director] Mike Newell wouldn't know comedy if he tripped over it. Disaster. Absolute and utter rubbish.' "

"Well," wrote Neill, "that rubbish helped to make him exactly the kind of star I guess Universal meant back then."

SIRENS, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant, 1993, © Miramax/courtesy Everett Collection

Grant, 62, admitted that Neill's fairly accurate: He told IndieWire in a statement, "I love Sam and miss him, and it's true that we were all sure we'd made a giant turkey till the film had its first previews. I was clearly wrong and the film changed my life."

He added, "It was the beginning of a happy friendship with Richard Curtis, and I've always had the greatest respect for Mike Newell who taught me things I use to this day."

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Four Weddings and a Funeral truly did change Grant's career and he went on to collaborate with screenwriter Richard Curtis in a series of wildly successful romantic comedies that include Notting Hill (1999), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Love Actually (2003) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004).

Grant even attended this year's Oscars to present alongside Four Weddings and a Funeral costar Andie MacDowell for a mini reunion.

Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant speaks onstage during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty

Back in 2019, Grant, MacDowell and the rest of Four Weddings and a Funeral's cast reunited to film a 12-minute sequel to the classic rom-com that depicted a fifth wedding that takes place 25 years after the original movie to benefit that year's Comic Relief's Red Nose Day.

At the 67th Academy Awards back in 1995, Four Weddings and a Funeral received nominations for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, though Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction eclipsed the movie for the two awards, respectively.

Sam Neill's memoir Did I Ever Tell You This? is out now.

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