Grant relishing his campaigning role

Hugh Grant, the foppish English actor who turned into a tigerish campaigner against press intrusion, admitted he enjoyed the transformation.

Speaking to The Guardian, Grant confessed a certain relish in confounding impressions of him as a shallow luvvie. "At the ripe old age of 51, it's nice to be speaking my own lines, being my own person," he said, "rather than sitting there in make-up saying someone else's lines. You're dealing in real life rather than just synthetic life. Which is very refreshing. I love getting into a taxi and saying House of Lords instead of, you know, Soho – again."

His relentless pursuit of the tabloids was motivated by a righteousness that had little to do with protecting celebs, he said. "My ranting and raving is much more about corruption of the police, intimidation of government; all that kind of stuff. The trials and tribulations of so-called celebrities is the bottom of my list of concerns."

He expects the tabloids to take their revenge, but won’t let that put him off. After the stress and pressure of the campaign, it was something of a relief to bring his voiceover talents to the latest Aardman animation, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists!

"I've never seen an Aardman film I didn't admire," Grant said, "and the script above all was just incredibly funny and fresh. I actually have to act in this, because I saw the puppet and I'm not that person – a big barrel-chested, bearded pirate. My young cousins who've seen the trailer still don't believe it's me."

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