Some people simply have a wicked sense of humor. According to Drew Barrymore, Hugh Grant is one of them. Barrymore defended Grant on her talk show The Drew Barrymore Show after the actor called her singing “horrendous” in their 2007 film Music and Lyrics: “He is a hilarious, good human being.”
In a Wired video interview posted to YouTube last week, Grant did not mince words when describing Barrymore’s vocal talent in Music and Lyrics. The film starred Grant as Alex Fletcher, an aging ex-boy band member who teams up with Sophie Fisher, Barrymore’s aspiring lyricist, in hopes of reinvigorating his waning career. “Drew Barrymore was in that film with me, and I don’t think she’d mind me saying her singing is just horrendous,” said Grant, laughing. “I’ve heard dogs bark better than she sings.” Grant also disparaged his own singing in the clip, saying that both he and Barrymore were “auto-tuned beyond belief” for the film.
While some might call that comment flat-out rude, Barrymore took the jab in stride in conversation with comedian Ross Matthews on her talk show. “If you know Hugh, like, that is his way of loving you,” said Barrymore Friday. She also discussed the awkward exchange between Grant and Ashley Graham at the Oscars. “There’s like this thing going around with, like, him and Ashley Graham on the red carpet, and people are like ‘Oh he’s such a curmudgeon and she’s so thrown,” said Barrymore. “I’m like, ‘No, that is Hugh Grant.’ You think you’re getting this charming movie star, and what you really get is grumpy Hugh. And then you fall in love with grumpy Hugh.”
Barrymore doubled down on defending Grant’s sardonic sense of humor. “When he says that, I’m telling you, he’s being absolutely funny, and he doesn’t mean one negative thing about it,” said Barrymore. “The person that Ashley Graham met on that carpet is the real Hugh.” Matthews pointed out that Drew’s “happy puppy”-like personality seems at odds with Grant’s grumpy old man demeanor, and asked Barrymore how the two were able to gel. “Well, it took me a second,” Barrymore admitted. “I was like, ‘Oh no. I love you. I want to love you. You’re not letting me love you.’ And then as I got to know him, I was like, ‘I do love you.’ I love you for the real you.”
Despite Barrymore’s vocals and mixed reviews, Music and Lyrics was a box-office hit, grossing raking in nearly $146 million worldwide. Grant and Barrymore have remained friendly as well, with Grant coming on The Drew Barrymore Show in 2021, and speaking fondly of the film. “I love to hate the films I’ve been in, and I do hate some of them,” Grant said on the talk show. “But Music and Lyrics, it’s impossible to hate. We’re so good in it, and so charming.”