Ignore the unexpected applicant at your peril

If your frontrunner for a job turns out not to be right once you bring him or her in to interview, despair ye not. As the career of Hugh Grant shows, even if the second, third, fourth candidates and so on until you’ve looked at 71 people don’t work out, you might still be on to a stellar hire.

Fri, 30 Aug 2013If your frontrunner for a job turns out not to be right once you bring him or her in to interview, despair ye not. As the career of Hugh Grant shows, even if the second, third, fourth candidates and so on until you’ve looked at 71 people don’t work out, you might still be on to a stellar hire.

The Radio Times this week carries an interview with the godfather of the British rom-com, Richard Curtis. He tells the TV and radio magazine that Grant “was, I think, the 72nd person we auditioned for the lead in Four Weddings”.

Written by Curtis, Four Weddings and a Funeral went on to be a surprise hit, bringing in an Oscar nomination.

This success all stemmed from what Grant has previously said would have been his last audition had he not got the gig, dissatisfied with his lack of thespian progress to date. And he’s not done badly since, eh?

Following up from the Radio Times interview, writing on the website of The Daily Telegraph, actor Michael Simkins says the profession “is riddled with stories of thesps who enjoyed such a career-defining role simply because they snaffled a part someone else had left on the side of their plate”.

He adds: “For instance, my youthful chance to play the title role in Harrogate Theatre’s production of Hans Andersen, which helped to launch my career (such as it is), wouldn’t have happened if Robert De Niro had fancied a crack at it. Luckily for me, he was filming The Deer Hunter at the time.”

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