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James Caan gave Hugh Grant some gross advice making this movie

Hugh Grant got some valuable life advice from James Caan while making gangster comedy movie Mickey Blue Eyes, and that may have not been all he absorbed.

James Caan and Hugh Grant

In the second half of the 1990s, Hugh Grant intercut his ‘bumbling, stumbling English gentlemen’ roles (Four Weddings, Notting Hill, Sense & Sensibility) with American comedy movies such as Nine Months and Mickey Blue Eyes. But neither of these were as successful as his Richard Curtis movies, which were enormous international hits.

Mickey Blue Eyes didn’t particularly help Grant to either shake his public persona as a posh bit of English totty, or to distract from the paparazzi and tabloid frenzy that surrounded him at the time. But, Grant did learn a useful bit of life advice from his co-star and Godfather legend James Caan.

As well as The Godfather, Caan had built up a reputation as a fine actor in the likes of The Gambler, Thief, and Misery. He’d even appeared in the first movie of now-acclaimed auteur Wes Anderson – 1996’s Bottle Rocket. But Caan’s advice for Grant wasn’t really forged from his experiences working with Francis Ford Coppola or Michael Mann.

Grant told Entertainment Weekly in 1999; “(Caan taught me) how to blow my nose without a handkerchief, which I’ve never come across before. We filmed in the dead of winter in New York, and you get very cold and get a runny nose. He had a wonderful Brooklyn technique for holding one nostril and just blowing, and these extraordinary cables come out. It’s something that English people don’t do much, but I can do it quite well now.”

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It seems as though Grant may have absorbed more than just an impressive nose-blowing technique from Caan, as he has turned to gangster roles himself of late. Albeit Cockney gangsters in Guy Ritchie movies, but still the essence is there. He’s had great fun playing villains in Paddington 2 and Dungeons & Dragons too. Grant will next be seen as an Oompa Loompa in Wonka, naturally.

Check out our guide to the best 90s movies.