Hugh Grant Reveals the Real Reason He Turned Down 'Two and a Half Men': 'I Was Too Scared'
By John Boone
Hugh Grant was almost a sitcom star.
Following Charlie Sheen's now infamous exit from Two and a Half Men back in 2011, there were reports that the Love Actually actor was set to replace him on the CBS series. During an appearance on Howard Stern's SiriusXM show on Wednesday, Grant revealed that he was in the running at one point -- and why he turned it down.
"They talked to me about it, but the problem was they didn't have a script or a new character. They just said, 'Trust us. We'll create one,'" the 55-year-old actor explained. "I said, 'Well, it's very difficult for me to consider this without a script.' And they said, 'Trust us! Trust us!'"
"I said, 'Well, you're obviously brilliantly talented.' Because I like that show! And they make brilliant TV shows, really!" he recalled. "But I said, 'I'm too scared to sign up without a script.'"
Ultimately, Ashton Kutcher stepped in to fill the void and Grant said that he continued watching, even after he'd passed on the part. "It was still a very good show, but what they created for Ashton Kutcher was clearly something completely different than what they would have created for me," he weighed in on whether he regretted his decision.
There is one thing the Golden Globe winner may wish he hadn't missed out on: that Two and a Half Men paycheck. "It was stratospheric," Grant revealed. "I had no idea how much TV was worth here."
Deadline, who first reported that Grant was in the running for the role, claimed he had been offered $1 million per episode. Whether that's true or not, Kutcher and co-star Jon Cryer landed at the top of Forbes' list of the highest-paid TV actors in 2013, earning $24 million and $21 million, respectively.
Grant has learned how much TV is worth twice over now, as he also shared a hilarious anecdote about working with Howard from Big Bang Theory. "This guy Simon Helberg who's in Florence Foster Jenkins, I might have been vaguely patronizing to him because he hadn't done films before," he said. "Gradually, you realize, not only is the guy a much bigger star than me, he's maybe the richest man I've ever met."
Grant's former Bridget Jones's Diary co-star, Renee Zellweger, recently got candid about "humiliating" plastic surgery rumors and the challenges of public life. Find out what she had to say in the video below.