It’s a busy time for Richard E Grant at the moment, with a trip to the Oscars to look forward to later this month, followed later in the year by his appearance in the next Star Wars film.
The Oscars first then. Grant has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role alongside Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which is based on the intriguing real life story of Lee Israel, a writer who tried to boost her career by forging letters from deceased authors.
“To be voted for by your own peers is the greatest approbation you could wish for, really,” says an understandably thrilled Grant, who is in with a chance of following in Peter Capaldi’s footsteps as a former Doctor with an Academy Award on his bookshelf (cue much drinks spluttering/teeth grinding/hair tearing out among Doctor Who fans appalled by that canon-defying sentence…).
Later in the year, Grant’s face will no doubt be everywhere as he takes his bow in the Star Wars universe with an as yet unnamed role in the (also as yet unnamed) Star Wars IX.
“I saw the first one when I was a 20-year-old drama student in 1977. So if you told me, 41 years later, I’d be in the final Star Wars, I would have said you were completely mad, it’s not possible. I was utterly astonished.”
The film will see Grant reunited with another former Doctor (there he goes again…) as Matt Smith has also been confirmed to appear. Grant had a recurring guest role opposite the Eleventh Doctor as Walter Simeon, revealed to be the Great Intelligence in 2012 Christmas special The Snowmen, with later appearances in The Bells of Saint John and The Name of the Doctor.
Famously, involvement in the Star Wars franchise carries with it levels of secrecy which will surely be familiar to any actor who has experience of Doctor Who. On the question of whether he and Smith will share screen time, Grant responds:
“I would be fired if I told you anything about that.”
Read the full interview with Richard E Grant over at Radio Times.