Hugh Grant claims his iconic 'Love Actually' dance routine is the 'most excruciating scene ever'

Hugh Grant as David in 'Love Actually' (Universal Pictures)
Hugh Grant says filming David's dance in 'Love Actually' was 'excruciating' (Universal Pictures)

Love Actually is one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time and one particular scene seems to stick with anyone who watches it more than the rest.

Not the one where Emma Thompson’s Karen realises that her husband Harry (Alan Rickman) has bought the gold necklace she found in his coat pocket for another woman, as she weeps to a Joni Mitchell CD. Nor the cute little kid - who grew up to star in The Maze Runner films - owning the drums at his school show in the hopes of impressing his crush.

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Nope, it’s Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister David throwing some shapes to Girls Aloud’s ‘Jump.’ So it’s pretty devastating to learn that the British actor absolutely hated filming it.

As reported by Variety, the Paddington 2 star recalls the moment during a one-off documentary about his career, saying: “There was this dance written and I thought, ‘That’s going to be excruciating’ and it has the power to be the most excruciating scene ever committed to celluloid.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Actor Hugh Grant attends the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards on November 6, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Grant looked back on the scene during a one-off BBC Two documentary (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

“I certainly dreaded filming it and [director] Richard [Curtis] kept saying, ‘Don’t you think we’d better rehearse the dancing scene’ and I’d say, ‘Uh yes I’ve just gotta learn some lines…my ankle hurts today’. So it was never rehearsed.”

Attempting to help people appreciate how embarrassing he found grooving to the pop cover, Grant, 59, adds: “Imagine, you’re a grumpy 40-year-old Englishman, it’s seven in the morning, you’re stone-cold sober and it’s like, ‘Okay Hugh if you’d just like to freak out now.’ It was absolute hell.”

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Grant’s co-star Colin Firth goes on to remember how he made “a terrible fuss” about having to act out the sequence, while Curtis echoes: “He hated the dance scene. Hugh’s the least musical person in the world. He’s only got two records in his record collection and they’re both ‘Godspell’.

“But he had three or four little jokes up his sleeve and it turned out, from his dirty behaviour in discos across London, to be quite good at dancing.”

Hugh Grant: A Life on Screen airs on Monday 23 December at 9pm on BBC Two.