HBO is adding another high-profile star to its upcoming limited series The Undoing, by casting Hugh Grant in the role of Nicole Kidman’s onscreen husband. The series, a thriller based on the novel You Should Have Known, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, is currently being adapted by David E. Kelley, who recently brought the premium channel one of its biggest non-Game of Thrones hits in a long time, with season 1 of Big Little Lies. As it turns out, Kelley, Kidman, and HBO are keen to see history repeat itself, and they’re adding Grant to help make that happen.
Grant is recently coming off his first foray into television in quite some time, with the historical dramedy, A Very English Scandal, which streamed in the U.S. on Amazon Prime Video. The three-part series co-starred Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott, opposite Grant’s Jeremy Thorpe. Written by Russel T. Davies (Doctor Who, Torchwood) and directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Queen), the series was a quasi-comedic, fictionalized retelling at the story of British Liberal Party leader Thorpe’s involvement in the conspiracy to murder his former lover, Scott. Though it didn’t make Big Little Lies-sized waves in the States, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Grant or Whishaw as Emmy contenders in 2019, since the series missed the nomination window this year.
More importantly, though, A Very English Scandal may have been a turning point for Grant’s career, as he’s now set to take on his second television role in as many years. As reported by TVLine, Grant will join The Undoing as the husband of Grace Sachs, a marriage counsellor whose life is upended when her husband disappears under mysterious circumstances. His disappearance is seemingly tied to another death, and a series of revelations about the man Grace thought she knew.
The material certainly sounds as though it will be up Kelley and Kidman’s alley, though it may be something of a welcome departure for Grant, who has built a career playing likable romantic leads in films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, About A Boy, and Notting Hill. Grant has played against type before, however, perhaps most conspicuously in the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer’s adaptation of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Others may also remember his turn in the 1996 medical thriller Extreme Measures opposite Gene Hackman.
Nevertheless, it sounds as though this new part may continue to define this second stage of Grant’s career, one where he takes on more dramatic roles in limited television series. With Big Little Lies season 2 expected in 2019, perhaps there’s a chance viewers will see Grant in The Undoing that same year, or, more likely, in 2020.
The Undoing does not currently have a premiere date.