“Most actors have one role that truly sticks: that mine is to have played a cowardly, mendacious, arrogant, charming, drunken old darling is my eternal good fortune,” actor Richard E. Grant told the Sunday Times in a recent interview.
Grant was referring to his first film role, that of Withnail, in the cult classic “Withnail & I.” The film, written and directed by Bruce Robinson, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and will be celebrated in a special screening April 24 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Grant will host the event and participate in a post-film Q&A.
In phone conversation today with the Sun-Times, Grant chuckled when asked why the film attained cult status.
“I have no idea,” he said. “More than anything it deals with that cusp moment in people’s lives when you’ve gone from being an adolescent to becoming an adult and assuming responsibility. Somehow you’ve got to transition, and the friendships you have at that time in your life are so transitional as well. The film just nails all of that.
“The film was made 30 years ago and every single year teenagers and students in the U.K. continue to adopt it, and learn the dialogue. [Laughing] It’s bizarre to me. There’s not a single day when somebody on the subway or on the street [doesn’t quote] one sentence or paragraph from the film to me.”
For tickets, $12, visit musicboxtheatre.com.
Grant is also in Chicago for his starring role as Professor Henry Higgins in the Lyric Opera production of the stage musical “My Fair Lady,” opening April 28 at the Civic Opera House. For tickets to “My Fair Lady,” visit lyricopera.org.