Hugh Grant remains best known to many audience members for his appearance in the Christmas rom-com Love Actually where he plays the recently elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Apparently at one point he could have almost ruined that memory for almost everyone in the world, and we would have had none other than Charlie Brooker to blame. Brooker created the dystopic anthology series Black Mirror, and when the series was first getting off the ground back in 2011 there was a consideration by Brooker to have Grant play the Prime Minister in one of the episodes. As keen TV viewers may have guessed, yes, THAT episode of Black Mirror.
While speaking in an interview with Digital Spy about his participation in Brooker's new Netflix mockumentary Death to 2020, Grant was asked if he would ever appear in Black Mirror, revealing that he'd been asked to years before. "I've got this feeling I was offered a part in one ages ago," Grant said. "Was there one in which the Prime Minister has to have sex with a pig? Yeah. I think I was offered a part in that. Maybe I was the Prime Minister. I can't remember. But I knew I couldn't do it at the time. I think I was busy doing something else. I was making some film. I really can't remember. It was a long time ago."
Character actor Rory Kinnear took on the part for the episode, "The National Anthem," which was the first episode of the series to air. As Grant so eloquently put it, the episode does center on the UK Prime Minister being forced "to have sex with a pig," all as part of a giant ruse against the government and with a larger statement on technology, entertainment, and personal relationships.
"Above all it's entertainment and satire, they're all quite dramatic, but there's humour in them as well, which often tends to be quite bleak," Brooker said in a 2011 interivew of the initial premiere of Black Mirror. "But they're not finger-wagging, saying 'all this technology is bad'. It's not that. It's exploring a lot of what ifs with technology at their heart. I'm slightly wary of even mentioning the technological aspect to it, in case it makes it sound like someone reading out the instructions to a satellite box. They're very much rollicking tales."
Brooker's relationship with Netflix began with the third season of Black Mirror, which moved from Channel 4 to the streaming service in 2016. A fourth and fifth season would follow, with the interactive film "Bandersnatch" being released in 2018. It hasn't been revealed yet if the show will return for a sixth season.