Hugh Grant on Boris Johnson's 'Love Actually' Election Video: "Maybe That's Where the Rubles Went"

Hugh Grant-Getty-H 2018
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Grant has been campaigning to stop Johnson from winning the U.K.'s general election, joining other names from the world of entertainment, including Steve Coogan, Mark Rylance, Julie Christie and Rob Delaney.

The U.K.’s general election — taking place Dec. 12 and regarded as one of the most critical political moments for Britain in some time — has seen, like many elections before it, several figures from the world of entertainment come out to offer their two cents.

Many have voiced their support for the opposition Labour Party, but in the case of Hugh Grant, it’s simply anything but the Conservatives. The Paddington 2 star, a vocal advocate for the U.K. staying in the European Union, has been campaigning in various parts of the country for tactical voting in order to prevent ardent Leave backer Boris Johnson forming a government.

“I think it’s a national emergency and I think we’re staring into an abyss, and I thought, ‘What can I possibly do to make things better?'” he told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday morning.

Despite polls suggesting that a majority of the U.K. may now want to remain in the EU, Grant said that the U.K.’s first-past-the-post voting system (the same as in the U.S.) could lead to a Johnson government pushing through a “hard Brexit.” This, he said, was why he was urging tactical voting in the hope it resulted in a second European Referendum, something in the election manifesto of the main opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Grant also discussed a new election video from the Conservative Party parodying a famous scene from Love Actually — starring Grant as the prime minister — in which Andrew Lincoln’s character knocks on Keira Knightley’s front door with a series of messages written on cards. In the Conservative version, it’s Johnson at the door holding cards displaying messages urging a vote for his party.

Although Grant admitted that he thought the Love Actually spoof video had “high production values,” he joked that perhaps the video was where “all the rubles went,” referencing the millions of dollars reportedly given to the Conservatives from Russian donors.

He also said that he noticed the sign from the original saying, “And at Christmas you tell the truth,” wasn’t shown in the parody.

“And I just wonder if the spin doctors thought that card wouldn’t look too great in Boris Johnson’s hands,” he said. Johnson has been repeatedly dogged by accusations of misleading the public (the audience during a BBC interview laughed when he was asked about the importance of telling the truth.)

But Grant isn’t the most outspoken actor offering his or her opinion on the election. Arguably that accolade goes to Catastrophe co-creator and star Rob Delaney, who has used his position as an American living in the U.K. to argue passionately for Labour and for the National Health Service, which the Conservatives are accused of underfunding and wanting to sell off.

In a video posted on Twitter on Nov. 23, which has since been viewed 6.5 million times, the comedian asked British voters to imagine him as a “ghost of Christmas future” and someone who had experienced a private health-care system in the U.S., but also “the wonderful NHS here, which even in its underfunded state is still so vastly superior.”

Elsewhere, Steve Coogan, Mark Rylance, Julie Christie, Asif Kapadia and Noam Chomsky were signatories of a letter backing Corbyn’s Labour Party for prioritizing “people and planet over profit.”

The letter added: “We are shamed by extreme levels of inequality, neglect and environmental impoverishment resulting from decades of neoliberalism, in Britain and across the world.”