Wednesday 20 March 2019

'What a heartbreak' - Chris O'Dowd lost out role to Oscar favourite Richard E. Grant due to 'creative differences'

Chris O'Dowd attends The Vulture Spot during Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for New York Magazine)
Chris O'Dowd attends The Vulture Spot during Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for New York Magazine)
Chris O'Dowd speaks onstage at Oscar Wilde Awards 2019 on February 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance)
Chris O'Dowd attends the US-Ireland Alliance 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards at Bad Robot on February 21, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
Richard E Grant was among the stars to appear at the Oscars luncheon (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant starred along side each other in Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Ian West/PA)
Second choice: Grant accepted the role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? after Chris O'Dowd pulled out. Photo: Gerry Mooney

BANG Showbiz

Chris O'Dowd admitted it was "a heartbreak" to lose his role in 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' to Richard E. Grant.

The 39-year-old actor and Julianne Moore, 58 were originally intended to star in the crime drama as celebrity biographer Lee Israel and pal Jack Hock, however, they were replaced at the last minute by Richard, 61, and Melissa McCarthy, 48, due to "creative differences" and he's upset he missed out on working on the film.

The critically-acclaimed film is up for three awards at this year's Academy Awards; including Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress and the prize for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.

Speaking to BBC News, the 'IT Crowd' star said: "What a heartbreak. We were ready to go, it was myself and Julianne Moore, and we had moved to New York, and maybe two days before we started filming, there was some creative differences that I wasn't really involved in.

Chris O'Dowd attends the US-Ireland Alliance 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards at Bad Robot on February 21, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
Chris O'Dowd attends the US-Ireland Alliance 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards at Bad Robot on February 21, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

The biopic, based on the confessional memoir of the same name by Israel, follows Lee as she makes her living profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead and Estee Lauder-  however when she is no longer able to get published she turns to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack.

The Irish actor went on to admit that although he was "surprised" not to be in the movie, Richard was so good in the film he feels it was "meant to be". "I was surprised, that the film wasn't going ahead at the last minute. But Richard's performance in it is so wonderful, that it feels like it was kind of meant to be."

The 'Bridesmaids' actor went on to insist that Richard's public excitement towards his nomination has been "intoxicating" while still confessing he would have preferred to be the one with the nod.

He said: "I know Richard a bit, we've worked together, and watching him go on this journey through the Oscars has been so intoxicating. But definitely I would've preferred if it was me!"

Second choice: Grant accepted the role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? after Chris O'Dowd pulled out. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Second choice: Grant accepted the role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? after Chris O'Dowd pulled out. Photo: Gerry Mooney

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