Hugh Grant was called a "W***er by cruel kids.
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Hugh Grant may now be one of the UK's most beloved actors, starring in hit films such as Love Actually and About a Boy, but there was once a time when the 60-year-old wasn't quite so popular.
The Daily Star reports that the dad-of-three has revealed he was dubbed a "w**ker" by kids as he set about trying to make it in the film industry.
The Paddington star got taunted with abuse as he would fool around in a park in the 1980s in a bid to hone his craft.
"I was very insecure. I never meant to be an actor, but for some reason I ended up in the theatre in Nottingham. So I bought some books and they gave you exercises," Hugh said.
Hugh admits he was mocked as he tried to break into movies.
(Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Lac)
"I used to go into this park in Nottingham and pathetically try to do these acting exercises. I can remember one of them said you must run backwards over space feeling the air behind you while saying, 'Ha, ha, ha.'"
Recalling the time his practises had been spotted, he added: "I did that before I realised there were some local kids, saying, 'That w***er is doing it again.'"
The Golden Globe winner also confessed that at one point in his career, he pretended to be his own agent in a quest to save money.
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"I invented this man, James Hohealy," Hugh said.
"It worked pretty well for a year or two and saved me a fortune."
His hard work clearly paid off as in 2018, it was stated that his films have grossed a total of nearly US$3 billion worldwide from 29 theatrical releases.
In a recent interview with James Corden, the London-born actor discussed his new-found love of acting since his career took a different direction.
"I almost do enjoy acting now. It's been such a relief to not have to be [the] charming leading man. I gave that my best shot," he joked while appearing on The Late Late Show With James Corden.
The Love Actually star recently discussed his career with James Corden
He was quick to clarify that he has respect for his previous work, adding: "Some of those films I did like that are lovely, and I love them for being popular. I'm grateful for them — grateful, again, note."
Hugh's career has often seen him appear as a loveable but bumbling fool or romantic leading man but over the last few years, he has taken a different direction with his work.
Starring in productions like The Undoing, which has generated awards buzz, and A Very English Scandal, the 60-year-old actor is now gaining respect for taking on grittier roles.
When quizzed about how he feels about suddenly attracting critical acclaim, he had a humorous response.
"I think the correct answer here is, 'Oh, well, not really. I'm just honoured to be doing the project and to work with such wonderful people.' That's the correct answer," he joked, adding, "Of course, yeah, I mean, you love it."