Richard E. Grant Ordered A Three-Foot Statue Of Barbra Streisand For His Garden
Christ, our second The Ten in as many weeks! Who’d have thought they’d ever let me write a second one after Daisy Ridley told me she was the reincarnation of Elizabeth I and we published it?!
That said, I imagine George Lucas never thought he’d make a second Star Wars, but here we are still talking about the ninth film in the saga, so it just goes to show you how far you can get with a bit of ambition and a love of robots made from pedal bins and tinfoil.
Anyway, now I’ve spoken to one of the good guys, I thought it’d be brilliant to talk to the villains of the piece. Unfortunately, Adam Driver said no (we’ll get you yet, Adam) and the bloke who plays The Emperor was busy, so I was delighted to chat to the generals of the First Order, Domhnall Gleeson and Richard E. Grant (they’re not real generals).
If you haven’t already, you can watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below:
And of course, despite having two of the most talented actors in the world in front of me, I wasted no time in wasting their time by asking them 10 ridiculous questions the UNILAD editorial team came up with while everyone else did some actual work.
This is The Ten…
UNILAD: You’ve got a time machine, where’s the first place you’re going?
Domhnall Gleeson: A time machine? And you want to know where the first place I’m going?
Richard E. Grant: [Interrupting] Ancient Egypt. I’m a big fan of Egypt and I would love to meet Cleopatra.
UNILAD: Wow that was incredibly fast. Domhnall, you can go anywhere.
Domhnall Gleeson: God, I know but there’s such a specific time I want to go to it sounds stupid. I’d have loved to have seen the Velvet Underground play so I’d just go back and do that… but that’s boring compared to him [points at Richard E. Grant] so… you know what? No it’s not. I’m going back to see the Velvet Underground!
UNILAD: I like that, be confident in your decisions!
Domhnall Gleeson: Well that’s not going to happen.
UNILAD: What’s the most famous-person thing you’ve ever done?
Domhnall Gleeson: Famous person thing?
UNILAD: Yeah you know. Drinks at a bar? Tickets to a play? Cut the queue at a club?
Richard E. Grant: No. Never.
Domhnall Gleeson: What are you talking about? You did an entire TV show with you staying in the fanciest hotels in the world.
Richard E. Grant: Yeah… but, that was…
Domhnall Gleeson: [Interrupting] No. You would not be able to do that if you weren’t Richard E. Grant.
Richard E. Grant: Oh I don’t know. I don’t think the people in the hotel knew me from a bar of soap… [Domhnall laughs]… I really don’t know? What else have you been told?
UNILAD: Well I can’t give away the secrets of the format Richard, but we’ve had [name redacted] tell us [info redacted].
Richard E. Grant: Oh well I think the thing is that English… or Anglo actors, Irish, English, Scots, we don’t have that type of clout.
UNILAD: You’re an Oscar nominee…
Richard E. Grant: I genuinely don’t think we do though.
Domhnall Gleeson: We should try, have you got a phone on you? Let’s try and get opera tickets.
Richard E. Grant: The only thing you’ll get is slapped.
Domhnall Gleeson: Let’s be honest, it’s the fear of failure that stops [us asking for free stuff].
UNILAD: If you weren’t an actor, what do you think you’d be doing with your life?
Domhnall Gleeson: I mean the honest answer is I think I was trying to be a writer and director, but I’m really not sure that would have worked out so I don’t know. Probably I would have tried to be a writer and director, but I don’t think I would have been very good at it.
UNILAD: You’re a great talent though, surely something in the future?
Domhnall Gleeson: Oh yeah, I mean I’ll definitely try but you know…
UNILAD: No I don’t, where’s the optimism?
Domhnall Gleeson: No, I don’t have any optimism, it’s the end of the day man! I’m on the down.
Richard E. Grant: He’s had some Red Bulls.
Domhnall Gleeson: [Laughs] I have, I have been Red Bulled.
UNILAD: Richard, how about you?
Richard E. Grant: A writer, no doubt.
UNILAD: See that Domnhall, he knew right off the bat and was confident. Why is that Richard?
Richard E. Grant: I’m a nosy Parker.
[Domhnall Gleeson holds his head in his hands]
UNILAD: Okay, we have to keep going. You have one wish and it has to be selfish, what do you wish for? No world peace.
[There was a long, awkward pause before Richard had what can only be described as a look of pure enlightenment]
Richard E. Grant: [Delighted] I’ve already done it! I’ve commissioned a three-foot sculpture of Barbra Streisand’s face…
[There are no words for Domhnall’s reaction so here’s a photo]
Richard E. Grant: …and I’m getting it on January 14.
Domhnall Gleeson: Are you fucking… [speechless]… a three-foot statue of Barbra Streisand? THREE-FOOT?
UNILAD: Don’t mock Dohmnall, where’s the statue going?
Richard E. Grant: [Super proudly] In my garden, and I have a smaller one for inside my house.
Domhnall Gleeson: I’m sorry, I’m just finding this out at the end of the day and I’m wondering if it’s a fever dream.
UNILAD: What would you do?
Domhnall Gleeson: [laughing] Can I have a four-foot statue of Barbra Streisand’s face made? Just to one-up Richard?
Richard E. Grant: [seriously] Don’t. Mock.
Domhnall Gleeson: I’m not mocking I just can’t believe…
UNILAD: Whose career are you secretly jealous of?
Richard E. Grant: Anyone who can sing. Anyone who can sing and really move people because it cuts through every language barrier.
[It later occurred to me he definitely meant he wished he was Barbra Streisand]
Domhnall Gleeson: Anyone who can make people laugh, I think that would be a good one.
UNILAD: So a comedian?
Domhnall Gleeson: Well, a lot of comedians are miserable so no. No, I want to be a happy comedian.
Richard E. Grant: No, look at Jerry Lewis films now, some comedians are as funny as cancer. I disagree with you. Music. Music is forever.
UNILAD: What is a hill you’re willing to die on?
Richard E. Grant: I’m not willing to die at all…
Domhnall Gleeson: Carrauntoohil. That’s a great hill and it’s in Ireland, I’ll die on that.
Richard E. Grant: …Pff, I’m not dying.
UNILAD: What’s something you’ve never admitted publicly but you’ll tell me now?
Domhnall Gleeson: Oh god… [the longest pause in the history of interviews]… do you actually expect me to answer this?
Domhnall Gleeson: You really expect me to admit something I’ve never told anyone before, really? You don’t know me?
UNILAD: But I do want you to tell me something.
Richard E. Grant: Well, I’ve already told you about Barbra Streisand.
Domhnall Gleeson: ALL YOUR ANSWERS COME BACK TO Barbra STREISAND!
UNILAD: Well, at least he’s got Barbra.
Richard E. Grant: If only.
UNILAD: You’re stuck living the same day over and over – what day would it be and why?
Domhnall Gleeson: Today.
UNILAD: [Hopefully] This interview?
Domhnall Gleeson: This day. No, it just feels like we’ve been doing this forever. Nah, in all seriousness it would be going to the zoo with my grandparents.
Richard E. Grant: Oh that sounds like a good day. A great day to relive would be my two-hour one-to-one with Barbra Streisand! I was this close to her [mimes a face a foot away]. A great day, this summer.
Domhnall Gleeson: Christ, there is a theme isn’t there.
UNILAD: Maybe that’s my headline, ‘Richard E. Grant Loves Barbra Streisand…’
Domhnall Gleeson: That’s already well known…
UNILAD: You didn’t let me finish… ‘And Domhnall Is Weirded Out By It’.
Richard E. Grant: Well, you fancy Jessica Rabbit!
Domhnall Gleeson: [defeated] Oh yeah…
UNILAD: You told me you had nothing to confess? But you fancy Jessica Rabbit!
Domhnall Gleeson: [annoyed] WHEN I WAS A KID… and also now!
UNILAD: Well I’m definitely going to put that in the ‘confession bit’.
Domhnall Gleeson: [Defeated] Damn it, fine…
UNILAD: I’d be a bad journalist if I didn’t probe a bit into the Jessica Rabbit thing, what is it you like?
Domhnall Gleeson: Everything. As a child I was just like, you’re the best woman in the world.
Richard E. Grant: [aside] It’s because she’s a redhead.
[Dohmnall was clearly delighted by this being revealed]
UNILAD: Have you ever been left convinced – or at least persuaded – by a fake news story about yourself?
Domhnall Gleeson: Myself no, but when I was a kid my parents went to the theatre and brought home a programme, and it had all these photos and articles that looked like they were from a newspaper. But there was this one and it was about gold spiders that had started eating people in Dublin, and this one had eaten the arse off this man.
[We had to pause the interview here while Richard E.Grant composed himself]
Domhnall Gleeson: And I was a kid and I was so confused and I thought they were real, and I started half-crying and went to my parents like: ‘These gold spiders, have they got to Malahide yet!’ And my mum was like: ‘No it’s a theatre programme, don’t worry darling.’
Richard E. Grant: I once had someone ring me and ask is it true that you’re dead because I read on Google that you were…
[We now had to pause the interview here while Domhnall Gleeson composed himself]
Richard E. Grant: [laughing] … but I was like, not yet at least.
Dohmnall Gleeson: WHY WOULD THEY CALL TO ASK YOU!?
Richard E. Grant: I have no idea.
UNILAD: You should have told them you were dead.
Richard E. Grant: Oh they sounded so hopeful and were so disappointed that I answered, I couldn’t.
UNILAD: If you had to remove one colour from the world forever, which would it be
Richard E. Grant: Orange.
UNILAD: … and why? I didn’t even get a chance to finish why so certain?
[Domhnall Gleeson in the moment realising what that means for him]
Domhnall Gleeson: AND WHAT THE HELL WOULD I DO?
Richard E. Grant: That’s not orange [pointing at hair] it’s spun gold.
Domhnall Gleeson: Don’t mention spun gold! It makes me think of the spiders!
Richard E. Grant: I’m talking Fanta Orange, that colour it looks like pizza vomit.
Domhnall Gleeson: Mine would be beige because it’s so dull and certain people like to make everything beige when they decorate a room – I just think it’s bullshit.
Richard E. Grant: I’m going to redress, orange is in, beige is out.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in cinemas now.