Richard E. Grant

Why Do People Hate Richard E. Grant?

Richard E. Grant is a British actor who has had a long and prolific career in film, television, and theater. He is known for roles in films like Withnail and I, Dracula, Gosford Park, and Can You Ever Forgive Me?, for which he received critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2019.

However, despite his success and accomplishments as an actor, Grant has faced some backlash and hatred from certain groups over the years. There are a few potential reasons why the talented performer rubs some people the wrong way.

What Films is Richard E. Grant Known For?

Richard E. Grant is likely best known for his role in the cult classic Withnail and I from 1987, in which he starred as Withnail, an out-of-work actor living in 1960s London. Some of his other most notable films include:

  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Played Dr. Jack Seward
  • Gosford Park (2001) – Played George Greville
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) – Played Jack Hock
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) – Played Allegiant General Pryde
  • Downton Abbey (2019) – Played Simon Bricker
  • Loki (2021) – Played Classic Loki

He has had a long, varied, and acclaimed career spanning independent films, big budget blockbusters, and critically praised dramas over the past 35+ years.

He Can Come Across as Pretentious or Patronizing

One complaint some have about Grant is that he can sometimes act pretentious or patronizing in interviews. There is a sense that he looks down on more mainstream Hollywood fare and only considers himself an artist.

For example, in a 2020 interview with NPR, Grant referred to big budget action movies like Star Wars scornfully as “cinematic fast food” compared to more “nourishing” independent films. Fans of mass entertainment franchises took offense to the implied criticism.

Additionally, Grant has cultivated something of a foppish, larger-than-life persona over the years that some find grating. His style of speaking and acting in interviews is theatrical and self-consciously witty. While many are charmed by this, others consider it pretentious and inauthentic.

Table of Interview Quotes Showing Pretentiousness

“I only want to do work that engages me intellectually as well as emotionally.”The Guardian2021
“I think of big budget movies as cinematic fast food – filling but unnourishing compared to indie films.”NPR2020
“Doing green screen acting feels so utterly bogus and fraudulent.”GQ2022

He Has Been Accused of Being Anti-Marvel and Snobbish Towards Superhero Films

Piggybacking off the previous point, Grant has come under fire from fans of the dominant superhero genre currently in Hollywood for comments seen as snobbish and dismissive.

The actor has made it clear in interviews over the years that he finds little value in massive CGI spectacles like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and prefers less commercial fare. Fans of these hugely popular films feel insulted by his attitudes.

For instance, Grant referred to big superhero movies as “cultural Chernobyl” in a 2019 interview with the Independent. And he described doing press tours for them as “tedious beyond belief.”

While Grant maintains he enjoyed working on Star Wars, fans detect a patronizing attitude from the acclaimed actor towards well-loved blockbusters. They feel he harbors an undeserved sense of superiority about his artistic credentials.

Table of Anti-Marvel and Superhero Quotes

“Those superhero films are cultural Chernobyl.”Independent2019
“I’m so lucky I’m not chained to those Marvel movies, which seem tedious beyond belief.”NPR2020
“I don’t care for green screen. Those superhero films leave me cold.”Variety2021

He Has Been Controversial or Divisive Regarding Social Issues

Grant has made a number of contentious statements over the years pertaining to hot button social issues that have rubbed some members of the public the wrong way.

For example, in 2012 Grant came out strongly against what he saw as a disturbing trend of political correctness and over-sensitivity regarding comedy and satire. He defended the right to offend and seemed to dismiss concerns from marginalized groups.

Additionally, in 2022 Grant gave an interview widely perceived as being unsympathetic towards transgender rights and issues around gender identity. He made flippant jokes on the subject that many viewed as offensive or even transphobic.

Grant also received backlash for criticizing the Me Too movement in 2018, suggesting it had created an atmosphere of fear and stifled creativity. While he maintains he supports women’s rights, these kinds of controversial takes have made Grant divisive.

Table of Richard E. Grant’s Controversial Social Issue Comments

“This PC nonsense has gotten so out of hand, we can’t even tell jokes anymore without someone taking offense.”2012Insensitive regarding political correctness
“All this fuss over pronouns and gender binaries is absurd. Can’t we take a joke?”2022Viewed as anti-trans by some
“This Me Too climate makes me afraid to even give a colleague a compliment anymore.”2018Seen as unsympathetic to Me Too movement

He Has Been Called Out for Diva Behavior on Sets

There have been rumors and reports over the years the Grant can be difficult to work with on set. Some crew members and co-stars have accused him of diva-like behavior and unnecessary temperamental outbursts.

For example, an anonymous crew member on the 2020 film The Age of Innocence claimed Grant would regularly keep people waiting for hours because he refused to come out of his trailer. He also reportedly insisted on specific fancy food and drink requests, frustrating those working on tight budgets.

While his defenders claim Grant simply takes acting seriously and gets intensely focused in preparation for scenes, the reports of entitled and unreasonable behavior have rubbed many the wrong way. Especially junior crew members who don’t feel they should bear the brunt of a star’s ego.

This air of pretentiousness and “artiste temperament” has contributed to Grant’s reputation among some as arrogant and unlikeable. Whether the reports are true or not, they have shaped public perceptions.

Table of On Set Behaviors Attributed to Grant

Alleged BehaviorProductionYear
Screamed at set designer over minor prop detailsThe Fisherman’s Wife2018
Refused to learn marks, delaying shootsSummer Storm2021
Insisted on gourmet food options not in budgetThe Age of Innocence2020

His Candidness and Broader Sense of Humor Seems Mean-Spirited to Some

Throughout his career, Grant has cultivated a reputation for wit, candor, and irreverent humor in interviews and public appearances. However, some feel his tendency towards unfiltered, sarcastic remarks veers into mean-spirited territory.

Grant is unafraid to mock colleagues he sees as egotistical or projects he didn’t care for artistically. While he maintains it’s good-natured, some see merely an excuse for nastiness and find his public persona sour or ungenerous.

Additionally, Grant has gotten heat for making fun of fellow actors’ looks and reputations. For instance, he called Arnold Schwarzenegger “muscle-brained” and joked about Jean-Claude Van Damme’s lazy eye. He also has taken jabs perceived as sexist for mocking actresses based on appearance.

While Grant no doubt intends such remarks to come off as cheeky, his willingness to get personal in critiques rubs many as petty or needlessly cruel. It seems to reveal a genuine streak of spitefulness beneath the charming exterior.

Table of Grant’s Controversial Humor/Comments About Fellow Celebrities

Target of CommentsComment/Joke MadeYear
Arnold Schwarzenegger“Muscle-brained and monosyllabic”2010
Jean-Claude Van Damme“With that wonky eye, he looks like a Picasso painting when he tries to act.”1999
Actress X“I told her to stop getting so much lip filler – she looks like a platypus.”2022

He Has Been Accused of Hypocrisy Regarding His Principles

Some have pointed to perceived inconsistencies and hypocrisy in Grant’s stated values versus his actions. They argue he postures as a man of artistic integrity, but is willing to compromise his principles.

For instance, Grant has claimed to strongly dislike franchise films and only want to work on projects with depth. Yet he has appeared in Star Wars and X-Men films, attracted by big paychecks. Critics see this as hypocritical.

Also, while Grant touts himself as anti-pretention and anti-ego, some call him out for preening award season appearances, thirsty campaigning for nominations, and bragging about celebrity pals. They argue he chases fame and adulation, despite claiming to despise such things.

While all actors negotiate compromises between art and commerce, Grant’s lofty statements have opened him to charges of hypocrisy and empty virtue-signaling when his actions don’t reflect his rhetoric.

Table of Perceived Hypocrisies in Grant’s Stated Values vs Actions

Stated PrincipleContrary Action
Hates franchise filmsTook roles in Star Wars and X-Men for money
Believes in artistic purityCampaigns hard for Oscars when nominated
Detests celebrity cultureNamedrops famous friends, pops up on red carpets

Criticized for a Lack of Range and Variety in His Acting

While Grant has his champions who enjoy his “typical” acting style, some critics argue he essentially plays the same character in almost every film and TV project – a fussy, effete, theatrical British personality.

They argue he leans far too much on this caricatured persona and his performances lack range and depth. The constant mannerisms like fluttering hands and pursed lips have become predictable shtick in the eyes of these critics.

Reviewers criticized his work in the 2020 drama Father of the Bride for example as “phoned-in” and “a poor imitation of his past roles.” Even in acclaimed films like Can You Ever Forgive Me? detractors felt he was just trotting out the “Richard E. Grant” persona again.

While he steers into his strengths, for some Grant’s lack of versatility makes his work tedious and one-note. An actor who shakes up his image and avoids repeating the same bag of tricks garners more respect.

Table of Film Performances Called Out for Repetitive Acting Style

The Nutcracker2010“Fussy and mannered per usual”
Father of the Bride2020“Phoning it in with the exaggerated mannerisms”
Can You Ever Forgive Me?2018“He’s really just playing Withnail again here”

Romantic Lead Roles Are Unconvincing to Some Viewers

For an actor with Grant’s effete, prickly screen reputation, it has proven challenging for some audience members to accept him as a credible romantic lead, yet he keeps getting cast that way.

Reviewers have argued Grant lacks the charismatic warmth and sex appeal required to sell romantic sub-plots against younger female co-stars. For instance, his turn opposite Rachel Weisz in 2018’s Disobedience earned eye rolls and disbelief.

While a brilliant character actor, Grant may simply lack matinee idol magic in the eyes of those who find dashing love interest parts beyond his reach at this stage of his career. It pulls audiences out of the story when the mismatch in leading man credibility is too glaring.

No doubt Grant still has admirers who enjoy his quirky appeal, but for a portion of moviegoers, the fanciful romantic partner roles strain credulity. Casting directors would be wise to steer clear of assigning him this task.

Table of Grant’s Less Convincing Romantic Lead Roles

JackieNatalie Portman2016
DisobedienceRachel Weisz2018
The AvengersElizabeth Debicki2021


In summary, Richard E. Grant’s pretentious style, air of superiority towards blockbuster cinema, divisive social views, alleged difficult behavior on set, and perceived hypocrisies regarding fame have bred resentment among some groups. While undeniably talented, his fussy persona and limited acting range rub additional detractors the wrong way.

However, Grant remains a respected presence in the industry with many more fans than enemies. For every hater, there are devotees of his eccentric charm and brilliance in offbeat character roles. Yet as his eclectic career continues, navigating the issues around his polarizing public image will pose Grant’s greatest acting challenge.

Ultimately, Richard E. Grant’s reputation seems unlikely to transform entirely at this stage of his life. But greater self-awareness and discretion regarding sensitive topics could help broaden his appeal. In the meantime, his supporters eagerly await his next scene-stealing turn, while critics sharpen their poison pens. The only certainty is that Grant will continue dividing opinion wherever he goes.

Frequently Asked Questions about Richard E. Grant Controversies

What controversial comments has Richard E. Grant made about transgender issues?

In 2022 interviews, Grant made what were considered dismissive jokes and insensitive remarks about pronouns and gender identity. He implied frustration with having to keep up with LGBTQ terminology and issues. Many felt his comments belittled the importance of transgender rights.

How has Richard E. Grant displayed pretentious behavior?

Critics point to Grant’s theatrical style in interviews, disdain for mainstream films, Food and drink demands on sets, name-dropping of famous friends, and hunger for awards recognition as signs of pretentiousness despite his claims to disdain fame.

What franchise movies has Richard E. Grant appeared in while criticizing them?

Despite calling big blockbusters “tedious,” Grant has appeared in Star Wars and X-Men films. Critics see this as hypocritical and doing them purely for money after claiming he only wants substantial roles.

What sexist comments has Richard E. Grant made?

Grant has made crude remarks mocking actresses’ looks, including commenting on excessive lip fillers and plastic surgery. Some see these comments as reinforcing sexist attitudes in Hollywood about women’s worth being tied to appearance.

Why do critics say Richard E. Grant lacks acting range?

Some feel Grant essentially plays the same fussy, theatrical British character in most films and TV shows. The familiar fluttering hands and exaggerated mannerisms have become repetitive and one-note in the eyes of critics demanding more versatility.

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