Richard E. Grant Is ‘Gobsmacked’ by Oscar Nomination for ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ (Exclusive)

Richard E Grant
Getty Images

The actor spoke to ET about being nominated alongside his co-star, Melissa McCarthy, at the 91st Academy Awards.

Acclaimed actor Richard E. Grant is now a 2019 Oscar nominee

After 30-plus years in the business, the 61-year-old -- famous for roles in everything from Game of Thrones to Robert Altman’s Gosford Park -- is being honored for his portrayal of Jack Hock, a close friend of author Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), who began forging letters by famous actors and writers when her writing career stalled, in Can You Ever Forgive Me?.

“I’m shaking as I speak to you,” Grant told ET’s Lauren Zima after learning of his nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The film earned three total Oscar nominations, including one for McCarthy for Best Actress and another for Best Adapted Screenplay. “I couldn’t be more thrilled if I tried. I’m absolutely gobsmacked.”

The actor then praised McCarthy and director Marielle Heller for bringing Israel's story to life onscreen. “All of this I share with them,” he added. “I feel like I’ve won just to have the privilege and the pleasure of working with Melissa.”

Both actors have earned immense praise for their chemistry in the film, collecting acting nominations at the BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes, where McCarthy secretly passed out sandwiches to those in attendance, including The Favourite winner Olivia Colman, who shouted out the snacks during her acceptance speech. 

Grant teased that he’ll come to the Oscars armed with a backpack in case McCarthy has any other surprises planned. 

For the actor, the nomination is a full-circle moment. “This feels like the topping of a wedding cake,” he said while calling from a luxury car in London, which was parked around the corner from his first apartment in the city, where he lived when he was just starting out. 

The recognition also comes after achieving another career goal: joining the Star Wars franchise, with an undisclosed role in Star Wars: Episode IX. “The first one blew my head off,” Grant previously told ET of seeing Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, which came out a decade before he made his film debut. “So that four decades later I would be actually in one seems as unlikely as it was to say that I wanted to be an actor in 1969, when I was 12 years old when they landed on the moon.”