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Hugh Grant almost played one of Jim Carrey’s funniest comedy roles

They're very different actors when it comes to approaching their best comedy movies, but Hugh Grant nearly beat Jim Carrey to one of his classic roles.

Hugh Grant nearly played one of Jim Carrey's funniest roles

It’s difficult to imagine Hugh Grant sharing many similar roles with Jim Carrey. There’s a huge gap between the mannered, bumbling Hugh Grant comedic persona and the raucous chaos of Jim Carrey in his best comedy movies. But, strange as it sounds, Grant almost played one of Carrey’s best roles.

In the 1990s, Grant was within a whisker of taking on the lead role of lawyer Fletcher Reede in Liar Liar. Co-writer Paul Guay told SYFY Wire that they wanted “somebody who can do physical comedy and who is at home with tugging at the heartstrings [and] has some a certain amount of dramatic heft” for the role.

Grant was discussed and, apparently, he was very interested until scandal broke out around his arrest as part of a vice operation in LA in 1995. At this point, the story came into the orbit of Carrey, who was waiting for The Truman Show – which would become one of his best movies – to get started.

“Because Jim is irritated that Truman Show isn’t ready, he says yes to our script,” said Guay. “That’s a pretty different actor than Hugh Grant and part of me thinks: ‘Wouldn’t it have been fun to be able to compare the two versions?’. You’ve got the kind of more sly, sophisticated British, very classy guy — or guy who seems really classy, because he’s British — versus the ‘I need to outdo Jerry Lewis’ that Jim Carrey brings to the table.”

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There certainly would have been a world of difference between the two versions and, ultimately, we’re very glad that it was Carrey who ended up in the right place at the right time. Liar Liar is one of the great Carrey performances, with the story providing a perfect backdrop for his unique shenanigans.

For more on Carrey, find out which Hollywood legend he considers to be an unreachable hero and why Bill Murray and a cat inspired his comedy performance style. We’ve also got a Sonic the Hedgehog 2 review for more on his villainous turn as Dr Robotnik.

Meanwhile, you can learn all about the new movies still to come this year, as well as checking out our detailed guides to the Wonka release date, the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie release date, and The Marvels release date.