And the 2023 Oscar for the most awkward red carpet moment goes to … Hugh Grant.
The “Love Actually” actor divided viewers on Sunday night after he appeared unimpressed with model and TV presenter Ashley Graham’s line of questioning during their pre-show chat.
The interview for ABC’s “Countdown to the Oscars” immediately got off to a painful start when Graham asked the movie veteran his favorite thing about attending the Academy Awards. The 62-year-old paused before eventually replying: “It’s fascinating … the whole of humanity is here, it’s vanity fair.”
Trying her luck with another question, Graham asked Grant if he was excited by the prospect of any actors winning. He responded: “No one in particular.”
Grant’s blunt responses continued despite Graham changing the focus to fashion by asking what he was wearing. Grant, known for his dry wit, said, “Just my suit.”
In a bid to turn things around, Graham asked about the star’s cameo in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” but it wasn’t enough to save the cringeworthy exchange because Grant retorted, “Well, I’m barely in it. I’m in it for about three seconds.”
“Well yeah, but still you showed up and had fun right?” Graham implored. “Almost,” Grant admitted, before the interview was wrapped up.
The exchange divided viewers on social media. While some Twitter users claimed Grant was simply being authentic while being faced with run-of-the-mill questions, others commended Graham for being gracious and persistent through his obvious desire to not be there.
One person wrote: “Hugh Grant wasn’t rude like so many people have posted, I don’t think the interviewer or the people who think he was rude know Hugh Grant. Ask a stupid question get a stupid answer.”
Another commented: “Hugh, If you don’t want to be there go home. Worst Oscars interviews ever.”
Speaking to CNN at the Vanity Fair after-party, Graham said: “My mother always told me to kill ‘em with kindness.” She added that she felt “very supported” after her exchange with Grant started trending on Twitter.
Grant’s deadpan delivery went down a little better on stage when he likened his face to male genitalia as he presented the Oscar for production design alongside his “Four Weddings and a Funeral” co-star Andie MacDowell.
He started the joke by emphasizing “the vital importance of using a good moisturizer,” noting that MacDowell has been using one “for the last 29 years, I’ve never used one in my life.”
Grant then pointed at 64-year-old MacDowell and said: “Still stunning,” before pointing at himself and adding: “Basically, a scrotum.” The star-studded audience at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre erupted in laughter.
CNN’s Dan Heching contributed to this report.