Withnail & I - Richard E Grant

Richard E Grant as Withnail

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Richard E Grant finally secured the part of Withnail after four auditions and allegedly a 'weight-loss program' that included protein drinks, recommended to him by Gary Oldman. Although Grant swears that he was never fat, Bruce Robinson described him as a “chubby Dirk Bogarde” – telling him that “half of you has got to go” before he could play the part.

For more anecdotes from his Withnail filming days, check our Grant's brilliant book, With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E.Grant.

It was the line “Fork it!” that assured Robinson that Grant was the right man for the part.  The director later described the arrest scene as “the best drunk acting I’ve ever seen” – quite impressive when you consider that Grant was (and is) teetotal.

Other actors to audition for the part included:
• Daniel Day Lewis
• Bill Nighy
• Ed Tudor-Pole