Oompa, Loompa, Oompa Di Do

This Rom-Com Legend Hopes Wonka Will Redeem Him For His Paddington Crimes

Hugh Grant’s kids sound like a tough crowd.

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LONDON - DECEMBER 1986:  Hugh Grant poses while filming 'Maurice,' a film based on the novel by E.M....
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Veteran rom-com actor and British delight Hugh Grant is hoping that playing the role of the Oompa Loompas in the new movie Wonka will help redeem him from the crime of playing ultimate baddie Phoenix Buchanan in Paddington 2 — at least in the eyes of his kids.

In the world of romantic comedy movies, there are few actors that have had as much of an impact as Hugh Grant. He has embodied characters that leave us with feel-good feelings and a little more belief in one true love, even if he’s not the end-game character: including sleazebag Daniel Cleaver in Bridget Jones' Diary, lovable washed-up pop star Alex Fletcher in Music and Lyrics, nice guy William Thacker in Notting Hill, and nicest politician ever, The Prime Minister in Love Actually, just to name a few.

That’s why it’s so fun that Hugh has taken a different path over the past few years in his roles, including as Phoenix Buchanan in the Paddington sequel — but it’s a move that his kids hated.

The British actor is a dad to five kids, Tabitha, John, Felix, and a daughter and son whose name he’s not shared publicly. His kids all ranging between 5 and 12 years old. Who knows if they’re Notting Hill stans, but they definitely saw Paddington 2, and didn’t have great things to say.

Hugh Grant as Phoenix Buchanan in ‘Paddington 2’


In a recent interview with USA Today, Hugh said: “They were very upset by it. Traumatized, really. They just kept turning to me and saying, ‘Why are you in it so much?’ I think they were embarrassed.”

Kids will be kids. Grant is not the first actor dad out there to have kids who are hilariously unimpressed — nay, embarrassed — with or by the fame of their parents. And to be traumatized certainly makes sense. Phoenix Buchanan was a great bad guy — unbelievably mean, self-obsessed, in-it-for-himself, hilariously charming, and scary. But to his kids, that may just be dad, and dad may just be cringe.

Hugh Grant as an ‘Oompa Loompa’ in Warner Bros. ‘Wonka’

Wonka Official Trailer

No dad likes to be told their kid is embarrassed by them, but it sounds like Hugh might be able to redeem himself in the eyes of his kids now that he’s starring in the upcoming Wonka movie (which is the same director Hugh worked with for Paddington 2).

Now that his kids are a few years older than when Paddington 2 came out, his kids have a different view of their dad and his role in kid movies, he says. “They were nudging me all the way to school today, pointing to me (in Wonka ads) on the sides of buses,” he told USA Today.

But if they have the same Paddington reaction? “They will see it next week. But if they don’t like it and tell me how marvelous I am, I won’t feed them. They know the rules,” he quipped.

Wonka opened in theaters in IMAX on December 15, 2023.

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