LONDON – Infamous street artist and director and subject of Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy has finally revealed his true identity to be none other than Four Weddings and a Funeral star Hugh Grant.
The Mickey Blue Eyes star told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:
It started off as something of a joke, a way of relaxing. I was coming home from a late night with Alan Rickman one night and I said, ‘Here’s larks Alan. Lets paint two policemen snogging!’ Well, Alan thought the idea ripping. The next morning I woke up and the clothes I was sleeping in were specked with paint and I had a vague memory of doing something naughty. It was only when I was on my way to get the paper that I saw the mural and realised what I’d done.
So it was initially an act of light hearted vandalism?
Quite right. A jape if you will. But it soon became more serious. I started thinking in images and I do like and admire street artists so I began to emulate them and I became much more ambitious and as I did my image became progressively more political and even revolutionary.
Did you ever fear you’d be found out?
Not after I got caught with the prostitute. I knew that was the perfect ruse. You see the media had me pegged as a floppy haired fop with a taste for the rough. A perfect cover for what I was becoming: a latter day William Blake, a visionary visual artist with a thirst for overcoming social injustice and thumbing my nose at the authorities. I would sit on the set of About a Boy and doodle new ideas. Once Renee Zellwegger spotted my notebook, but luckily she was squiffy and couldn’t make much sense of it. Bless.
What inspired you to reveal yourself now?
I want to start getting some more credit. I know I’m not the best actor in the world, but my street art has really gained recognition. There’s a deleted scene of Exit through the Gift Shop where I reveal who I am but we cut it out because we knew that everyone would think it was a joke and I’m tired of being one of those.
Hugh Grant’s new one man show Banksy and Me will be showing at the Old Vic in 2015.