Richard E. Grant Says Julianne Moore Was Fired From Can You Ever Forgive Me? For Wanting to Wear a Fat Suit

Illustration for article titled Richard E. Grant Says Julianne Moore Was Fired From Can You Ever Forgive Me? For Wanting to Wear a Fat Suit
Image: Getty

Richard E. Grant seems as delightfully loopy in person as his character Jack Hock in Can You Ever Forgive Me? because he keeps spilling dirt on previous iterations of the film’s cast.


The BBC reports that Grant told a live audience at an Advertising Week Europe event in London that Moore was fired from the movie because she wanted to wear a fat suit and fake nose to play Lee Israel, to which the writer and then-director Nicole Holofcener reportedly said, “You’re not going to do that,” Grant recalls. Moore has previously said she was fired from the movie for “creative differences” between her and Holofcener.

Now, I adore Julianne Moore (besides her movies, I think often of this Billy on the Street segment in which she has to recite tearful monologues to strangers in Times Square, which is perhaps too good for the show), but fat suits in films should be killed entirely, and wearing a fake nose to play a Jew screams of lite anti-Semitic caricature. Yikes, all around. Yikes.

This has nothing to do with this blog, but I’d be doing a disservice to readers if I didn’t mention it: Grant also reportedly told the audience that he still has some of the costumes he wore when he played Clifford in Spice World. What a fun little live talk, eh?

Richard E. Grant, please keep talking and never stop talking!

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel


Kat Marlowe

The initial casting for this was straight-up bad in the first place. I adore Julianne Moore (if only for making an appearance on As The World Turns before it shuffled off the mortal coil in 2010 but that’s neither here nor there).

But one could not look at Lee Israel and think, “Ooh, do you know who would be the perfect person to play her? Julianne Moore.” Her physicality is completely wrong. Once Julianne started talking wearing a fat suit, I think Nicole took a step back and realized her mistake with Julianne. Because this would have been Nicole’s highest profile directing gig to date, I think she likely cast the biggest name she could get without really thinking through how that would play out on screen.

Then this ended up getting messy really fast. Nicole fired Julianne. Then the studio pulled Nicole out of the directing spot. Chris O’Dowd left the project (or was fired? I don’t know which). And, then they had to go back to the beginning and rethink. But the final project ended up being better for the return to the drawing board.