Hugh Grant’s awkward red carpet Oscar interview with Ashley Graham divides opinion

(CNN) And the 2023 Oscar for Most Awkward Red Carpet Moment goes to … Hugh Grant.

The “Love Actually” actor divided viewers on Sunday night after he appeared unimpressed by model and TV host Ashley Graham’s quiz 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 about his favorite thing about attending the Oscars. The 62-year-old paused before finally replying: “It’s fascinating … all humanity is here, it’s vanity fair.”

Graham tried his luck with another question, asking Grant if he was excited at the prospect of any actors winning. He replied, “No one in particular.”

Grant’s blunt response continued despite Graham changing the focus to fashion by asking what he was wearing. Grant, known for his dry wit, said, “Just my suit.”

Trying to turn things around, Graham asked about the star’s cameo in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” but that wasn’t enough to salvage the awkward exchange, as Grant replied, “Well, I’m barely in it. I’m in it for about three seconds.”

“Well yeah, but you showed up anyway and had fun didn’t you?” pleaded Graham. “Almost,” Grant admitted before the interview ended.

The exchange divided viewers on social media. While some Twitter users argued that Grant was simply being authentic when confronted with run-of-the-mill questions, others praised Graham for being gracious and persistent through his obvious desire not to be there.

One person wrote: “Hugh Grant was not rude as so many people have written, 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 Oscar interviews ever.”

Speaking to CNN at the Vanity Fair afterparty, Graham said, “My mom always told me to kill them 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 onstage when he compared his face to male genitalia when he presented the production design Oscar with his “Four Weddings and a Funeral” co-star Andie MacDowell.

He started the joke by emphasizing “the critical importance of using a good moisturizer,” noting that MacDowell has used one “for the past 29 years, I’ve never used one in my life.”

Grant then pointed to the 64-year-old MacDowell and said: “Still amazing,” before pointing to himself and adding: “Basically a wallet.” The star-studded audience at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater erupted in laughter.

CNN’s Dan Heching contributed to this report.

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