Richard E. Grant, who made an acclaimed debut over 30 years ago in Withnail & I, is still busier than ever, and now he’s front and center during awards season with his work as author Lee Israel’s (Melissa McCarthy) good friend Jack Hock in Can You Ever Forgive Me?. Hock, along with being a drinking buddy of Israel’s, ended be her fence during her run as a literary forger.
Grant’s own knowledge of Israel’s writing career, though slim, was actually right before his eyes. “I had one book on my shelf of Lee Israel’s biography of the actress from the 1940s Tallulah Bankhead,” said Grant. “So that was the only vague bell that it rang and the book was about an actress so that is what I remembered. I just remember the name. But I didn’t know the story about the forgery that she pulled off at all and I think it’s one of the great scams of all time – and she didn’t kill anybody. It’s a white collar crime, really.”
Click on the media bar to hear Grant talk about shooting one of the movie’s more emotional scenes with McCarthy:
Can You Ever Forgive Me? is directed by Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl).