Hugh Grant Turned Down 'Black Mirror' Prime Minister Role, Avoiding Dark Twist to 'Love Actually' Legacy

Hugh Grant reveals he had a chance to play the prime minister role in that episode of Black Mirror but turned down the role -- which is fortuitous for Love, Actually fans since it had the potential to ruin the legacy of his role. Charlie Brooker, who created the dystopian anthology series, considered Grant for the part in 2011.

The role in question comes from an episode that involves the fictional UK prime minister (played by Rory Kinnear) who's forced to be filmed having sex with a pig while it's broadcast on national television to secure the safe release of fictional Princess Susannah, who had been kidnapped and held for ransom.

Grant spoke with Digital Spy after working with Brooker on the Netflix mockumentary Death to 2020 about the opportunity. "I've got this feeling I was offered a part in one ages ago. Was there one in which the Prime Minister has to have sex with a pig?" he said. "Yeah. I think I was offered a part in that. Maybe I was the Prime Minister. I can't remember. But I knew I couldn't do it at the time. I think I was busy doing something else. I was making some film. I really can't remember. It was a long time ago." When asked if he'd appear in another Netflix mockumentary should 2021 be as doom and gloom as 2020, the actor responded saying, "Yeah, yeah, I'm happy to. Yes."

"Above all, it's entertainment and satire, they're all quite dramatic, but there's humor in them as well, which often tends to be quite bleak," Brooker said in a 2011 interview with Channel 4 of the initial premiere of Black Mirror. "But they're not finger-wagging, saying 'all this technology is bad.' It's not that. It's exploring a lot of what-ifs with technology at their heart. I'm slightly wary of even mentioning the technological aspect to it, in case it makes it sound like someone reading out the instructions to a satellite box. They're very much rollicking tales."

The actor spoke about the recent recording he'd done for Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" for Audible. The role left the actor in tears, but "in a. good way," Digital Spy reports. "I found it incredibly moving. Maybe I'm just old and soft. It made me cry. And it sort of made me feel like a better person afterward," he said. "It was improving. I would say that it's an improving book, as well as a fun book."