This weekend marks the debut of Paddington 2 in U.S. theaters, and while there's a lot to love about the little bear's return to the big screen, there's a very pleasant surprise when it comes to the sequel. The fact is, while this film is in fact filled top to bottom with fantastic performances, one of the best comes from Hugh Grant as the film's villain, Phoenix Buchanan. With his villainous nature being made of part foppish charm, part split personality menace and all evil intent, Grant wins massive points for his part in the world of Paddington Brown and his adventures. However, this wasn't overnight.
Over the past couple of years, Hugh Grant has put in some terrific performances, both in standout supporting roles and well-played leads. In fact, four films in particular come to mind when talking about how spectacular Grant has been, and they're all movies that deserve more talk attached to their end products. With that in mind, and in the spirit of Paddington 2 providing Hugh Grant the perfect meta-sendup of his own career, here's four performances of his that you may have missed in recent years.
While Florence Foster Jenkins was touted as a prestige player during last year's awards season race, most of the attention was focused on Meryl Streep's performance as the title character. That's not exactly a sin, as Streep is a power player who knows how to knock one out of the park, but there should have been a little more attention given to Hugh Grant's role as Florence's husband, St. Clair Bayfield. The actor's portrayal of Bayfield, as he cares for Florence in her final days, all the while encouraging her dream of becoming an opera singer, is both tender and absolutely hysterical. Much like their historical counterparts, both actors are a formidable team on screen, with Hugh Grant more than keeping up with Meryl Streep.