As a dad-of-five, he enjoys fatherhood and has finally realized that all the people who recommended it to him earlier were not wrong.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 24, 2020. It has since been updated.
We like to think that there is a right time for getting married and having children. We worry about having it all before a certain age but there are some people who are just not ready in their 20s, 30, or even 40s. There are many celebrity dads who have become fathers after the age of 50 and they have embraced this phase of their life with enthusiasm. Many of them have even wondered why they didn't do it sooner.
British actor Hugh Grant, 59, was known for being a modern-day lothario once upon a time but he has come a long way since fatherhood happened to him and his ex-flame and friend Elizabeth Hurley vouches for him. Grant has been famously linked to many beautiful actresses throughout his career but Hurley said that "having these kids has transformed him from a very miserable person into a fairly miserable person. It's improved him. He's gone up the scale." She joked on Watch What Happens Live, "He has five. He was over 50 when he spawned them all," as per Hello! magazine.
The first time the Notting Hill actor became a father was at the age of 51, a time when people usually wait for their kids to be graduating college. But, he never followed the usual route to family life. His first child was with partner Tinglan Hong in 2011, but things in his life get a little messy after this. His second child was with his long-time partner girlfriend, Swedish television producer Anna Eberstein, in 2012. They went on to have three kids together and married only after the birth of the third one in 2018.
But, it took having five kids for him to realize that he loved all of them to bits. After the birth of his first child, Tabitha, he told the Guardian, "I like my daughter very much. Fantastic. Has she changed my life? I'm not sure. Not yet. Not massively, no. But I'm absolutely thrilled to have had her, I really am. And I feel a better person."
The Love Actually actor had been averse to both marriage and fatherhood but he changed his stance eventually. "Well, I was wrong, I was just plain wrong," he said of his time as a bachelor. "And children, you know. I used to roll my eyes. People would say, 'Oh Hugh you don’t understand it', but they were right," he told Virgin Radio, as per Hello! magazine.
The usually private star told PEOPLE, "It was the nicest thing that's ever happened to me - he said sounding clichéd - but it happens to be true." He continued, "It's just lovely to have all that love around. Suddenly you love someone more than yourself. It's unheard of in my case and they love you and it's all enchanting."
With five kids at the age of 59, he just can't stop gushing and is catching up for the missed time. "It's surprising that everyone was right all these years, saying, 'Hugh, why don't you have some children? It really changes your life,'" Grant said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "And you're thinking, 'Oh, shut up.' And now that I have, it is quite life-changing. I recommend it. Get some!"
He also regrets not getting married earlier. He revealed he and Eberstein think of marriage as "nonsense" but "it just seemed like a nice cozy thing to do," he said on TODAY. "It's really nice," he said, "I can't pretend it isn't. I should have done it before." He married his then-39-year-old girlfriend in May 2018 in a low-key civil ceremony in London.
He's turned into a devoted father and revealed that he loves playing with his children to PEOPLE. "It's always amusing to put your underpants on your head," he said. "My little girl at two likes her nappies on my head." He also revealed that he once showed his son his backside for fun but "then he got the habit and taught every single child in West London to do the same!"
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Frazer Harrison