Richard E Grant has said he is just going along “for the ride” after being nominated for an Oscar, as he thinks Mahershala Ali is certain to win the award.
Grant received his first Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for his role in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and he is up against Green Book’s Ali, as well as Vice’s Sam Rockwell, BlacKkKlansman’s Adam Driver and A Star Is Born’s Sam Elliott.
Grant, 61, told ITV’s This Morning: “We all know that Mahershala Ali is going to win because he’s won everything already, so it’s easier for the other four nominees, because you go, ‘Mahershala’s already got the thing done.’
“So we’re there for the ride of it.”
The actor, whose career has spanned three decades, said he has “no idea” why his performance in this film has finally earned him an Oscar nomination.
He added: “I think it’s working with magical Melissa McCarthy and being directed by Marielle Heller and having a great script… you can’t predict these things.”
Biographical film Can You Ever Forgive Me? sees Grant play Jack Hock alongside McCarthy, who plays literary forger Lee Israel.
The role has seen Grant nominated for a Bafta, and he was also up against Ali at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, but lost out on both accolades to US actor Ali, who has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of jazz musician Don Shirley in Peter Farrelly’s comedy-drama film.
Withnail And I star Grant said he is “so grateful” to be recognised by the Oscars, and that it is “never too late”.
He joked that it was a surprise to be given the nod after starring in his own reality series on Sky called Hotel Secrets from 2012 until 2014.
This Morning host Eamonn Holmes told Grant that he thought he would be stepping back from acting because of the programme, to which Grant replied: “Yes, it’s a surprise isn’t it?
“You’d think one would cancel out the other.”