Series 26, Episode 11 - Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Bublé, Coldplay
Judi Dench, talking about her new film Cats and playing Old Deuteronomy, traditionally a male role, she says, "It came as a surprise, but it's still a clapped-out old cat. I thought I knew the kind of cat I was, but when I saw the film, I realised I had turned into Carpet, a cat I once had, that was a huge orange bruiser!"
Reminiscing about being cast as Grizabella on stage 38 years ago, but never actually playing the part, she says, "It was coming up to the first night and I was rehearsing with Wayne Sleep and some cockroaches and I snapped my Achilles' tendon. They said it didn't matter that my character was hobbling around, but then we moved to the New London Theatre and I fell off the stage. I got up, got a taxi and went home!"
Asked if she took a shine to Idris Elba, one of her other co-stars in the film, Judi says, "Well, of course! Why ever not?" And speculating on whether Idris will be the next Bond, she says "I knew he was up for it and in Cats I had the line to him 'You'll never get to the Heaviside Layer' but, during rehearsals, I said, 'You'll never get to MI6.' But, I think he might."
Jennifer Hudson, who plays Grizabella in the film, says, "Singing Memory was challenging. It's so emotional. I could cry or sing but not both at the same time, so I had to find a balance." Asked if it differed from singing in Dreamgirls, she says, "That was pre-recorded, but in Cats I had to sing it live 30 times. I could sing the song over and over, but I was drained from the tears. The emotion gets to you."
Talking about life before her big break, she says, "I worked at Burger King and as soon as I was in front of the microphone in the drive through, I would sing the greeting and the order. As soon as there was a 'beep, beep' from a car, that was my opportunity!"
Matthew McConaughey, talking about his new film The Gentlemen, in which he stars with Hugh Grant, and asked if he picked up any Britishisms, he says, "Quite a few. If you work on a Guy Ritchie film, there is a whole new language and you Brits use swear words so eloquently, in so many forms. You throw them around in wonderful ways - at the beginning of sentences, in the middle, afterwards, later, everywhere - most are terms of endearment 95% of the time!"
Talking about becoming a Professor at the University of Texas, he says, "I actually profess! I started a class there called 'Script to Screen'. It's all about how when we make a movie and how the final product is so different from the first original script we all read." Matthew laughs at some of the reviews his students have given him online, which include, "Amazing professor, but I feel like he'd be great at acting."
Hugh, talking about his character in the film, says "I play a slime-ball working on a tabloid newspaper. I thought it rather witty casting, so I couldn't resist it."
Asked if this is his most transformative role to date, he jokes, "I think I am an extraordinary diverse actor anyway, but it is pretty much 180° from Four Weddings And A Funeral!"
Talking about his voice in the film and asked what the inspiration was, he says, "It's a bit estuary and creepy. During the Hacked Off campaign, I got to know the private detectives that worked for some of the tabloids and over the years they have come over to our side. I have a crazy friend in the campaign that keeps bringing them along to things. There I am having a nice birthday party and I am introduced to a guy who hacked my phone for a year and someone who burgled my flat. I said to him, 'Do come in, make yourself at home, I think you know where everything is.' They are now mates, so I could use them a bit for research."
Michael Bublé joins Graham for a chat. Talking about his annual festive album, he says, "I genuinely love Christmas. I don't like to push the album, but it means a lot to me that people invite me into their homes."
Revealing he loves Christmas at any time of year, he says, "I don't listen to my own stuff, but I love a bit of Bing Crosby and I start listening in October."
Michael leads Jennifer and the audience in a festive singalong, before coming face to face with a brand new version of himself, courtesy of Madame Tussauds.
Talking about 20 years on from their first festival in Leeds in 1999, he says, "We had dreamed of playing a festival and it didn't matter that we were on at 8.45am! And, when we had to go on at 11.30 in the morning, before the gates even opened, we got really irate but still went in and played to nobody. You have to do that to make you thankful to play Wembley, mainly because there are people there!"
Revealing that he is a lifelong fan of Hugh, Chris says, "After I saw A Very English Scandal and Paddington, I thought I'd write him a letter telling him how wonderful he is and that I love him, and he very graciously replied!"
- Friday 13th December 2019
- BBC One
- 50 minutes
Cast & crew
|Graham Norton||Host / Presenter|
|Chris Martin (as Coldplay)||Guest|
|Judi Dench (as Dame Judi Dench)||Guest|
|Jon Magnusson||Series Producer|
|Graham Stuart||Executive Producer|
|Chris Webster||Production Designer|
|Jonathan Whitehead (as Trellis)||Composer|
A story involving Hugh Grant.