Hugh Grant’s played a lot of slick gents and dapper love interests in his day, so the idea of the British thespian tackling the role of a pirate captain may not be so obvious. Thankfully, for Pirates! A Band of Misfits, Grant was able to partner with the geniuses over at the legendary Aardman Animation (the crew behind gems like the Wallace and Gromit shorts and Chicken Run) to bring life to their latest creation…Pirate Captain. The literal name is only the first of many wry jokes peppered throughout Pirates!, along with a heap of physical comedy and breathtaking stop motion gags. But at the heart of it all is Grant, whose foray into animation couldn’t have been a more perfect choice.
I sat down with Grant to discuss what it takes to bring an animated character to life, how he discovered his Pirate voice and if starring in a movie aimed at young ones was an intentional career move. Luckily, I managed to make it to the end without walking the plank.