Richard E Grant said organizers of the Baftas know he won’t be roasting fellow actors over the weekend.
The 65-year-old actor – known for roles in Gosford Park, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Downton Abbey – will host the 76th annual film awards ceremony at the Southbank Center’s Royal Festival Hall on Sunday.
Grant said he was “amazed” to be in the company of comedians Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Rebel Wilson, who were hosts.
Last year, Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids actress Wilson made risqué jokes about the royal family, Vladimir Putin, the gender pay gap, her flop film Cats and her recent weight loss.
Grant added: “So I was surprised… and I thought because I was so unapologetically excited on the awards circuit four years ago when I got nominated for (a Bafta).
“(Bafta organizers) need to know that I’m going to be a celebratory person rather than someone who’s there to toast other actors, so hopefully that will work out, I don’t know yet.”
He first rose to prominence playing a hapless drunken actor in Withnail And I in 1987 and was nominated for a Bafta and an Oscar for his role in the crime biography Can You Ever Forgive Me? in 2019.
After his award, he released a video of him jumping on a trampoline on social media.
Based on the true story of Lee Israel’s biography of the same name about forging writers’ letters, the comedy drama film stars Melissa McCarthy as Israel and Grant as Jack Hock, her accidental boyfriend and accomplice.
At the Baftas next weekend, Grant said he was “such a fanboy” of fellow Thespians that he considered it an “incredible privilege” to meet Bafta nominees.
This year, Netflix’s anti-war epic All Quiet On The Western Front gets 14 nominations – while The Banshees Of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell, and Everything Everywhere All At Once, starring Michelle Yeoh, follow closely with 10 nominations each.
Grant added that this time when he’s at an awards show, he won’t be thinking “are you going to win?” the history of Baftas.
Last year, Will Smith apologized after storming the stage at the Oscars and punching Chris Rock. He was banned from all Academy events for the next 10 years.
Grant’s boyfriend of more than 30 years, Steve Martin — whom he met when they were filming LA Story and previously hosting the Oscars — told him to be the “best of you.”
When asked what kind of host he would be, Grant added: “I’m going to sing like Billy Crystal, dance like Fred Astaire, funnier than Bob Hope, prettier than Joanna Lumley…I have no idea. It is very difficult to see yourself on the outside.”
TV personality Alison Hammond, who presents ITV’s This Morning with Dermot O’Leary, presents Bafta Studio – an immersive and accessible experience.
She said her “dream job” has come true as her part of the BBC One show is about “the glitz and glamour” behind the scenes and gossip.
Hammond added, “So it’s literally everything you want to see at an awards show that you never get to see. It’s a new concept, which I think everyone will absolutely love.”
She also said: “My challenge is to watch all the movies before the big night on the 19th. So that’s a big challenge, but I enjoy it.
“I try not to fall asleep in any of the movies, but it’s hard, you know, when you’ve been working all day.”
EE Bafta Film Awards will be broadcast on BBC One and iPlayer on February 19 at 7pm.