Boris Johnson has parodied the classic British Christmas film Love Actually in his latest election video, prompting actor and anti-Brexit campaigner Hugh Grant to fire back on morning radio, questioning whether the short had been paid for with illegal “roubles”.
In the latest social media video released by the Conservatives, who have pursued a near-aggressively internet-friendly, viral-seeking campaign of humorous shorts and ironic clips in the election campaign to date, the Prime Minister acts out an iconic scene from the 2003 film Love Actually with a Brexit twist.
While in the original, the lovelorn Mark uses a series of cue-cards to profess his love for Keira Knightley’s Juliet, in the reimagined version the Prime Minister pays a call on a voter to tell them about the importance of getting Brexit done — the key election message of the Conservative’s 2019 campaign.
While the festive parody makes sense in the context of Britain’s unusual December election, the video may also appear to be a dig at Hugh Grant, the Hollywood actor turned anti-Brexit and anti-press freedom campaigner who has been calling on fans to not vote Conservative in this election. Mr Grant both narrated and played a lovestruck British Prime Minister in Love Actually, and when asked about the video on BBC radio Tuesday morning praised the production qualities while attacking the Conservatives.
Questioning how the Conservatives could afford to pay for a well-shot campaign video apeing one of his most famous films, Mr Grant raised the trope that the British right is actually funded by Russia, and told the British state broadcaster: “I thought it was quite well done, very high production values but clearly, the Conservative Party have an awful lot of money, maybe that’s where all the rubles went.”
The actor turned activist continued that in the original scene, the character held up cards saying he wanted to profess his love because at Christmas time, it is important to be honest. Noting that the pro-Brexit parody didn’t make time for an appeal for honesty, Grant reflected: “I just wonder if the spin doctors in the Tory party thought that was a card that wouldn’t look too great in Boris Johnson’s hands?”
Hugh Grant has been taking an active role in the present general election campaign, supporting anti-Brexit candidates including Dominic Grieve and Luciana Berger in their efforts to be re-elected to the house.
Urging people to vote tactically against the Conservatives to prevent a Tory victory, Grant said in early December: “If Boris Johnson gets a majority it’s kind of the end of the United Kingdom both literally and figuratively, and I think there will be an inevitable no-deal Brexit with the catastrophe with the economy and jobs.
“I’m just trying to do any modest thing I can to help prevent that, and so I’m going to a series of marginal seats where the contender has a very good chance of unseating a Tory.”
The actor even claimed he’d never been involved in politics before and decided to get stuck in during this election campaign because of the importance to him of keeping Britain in the European Union — despite his long history of public involvement in politics including opposing Brexit, Boris Johnson, and press freedom.