by Gina Serpe | Mon., Mar. 19, 2012 10:14 AM
So he could be forgiven for taking his sweet time with not only opening up about his newfound fatherhood, but in even saying so much as his baby girl's name. Luckily, his days of time-buying hemming and hawing are over, as the British charmer finally thought it time to reveal his daughter's moniker.
So, what's she called?
While chatting with the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper about his new film Pirates! Band of Misfits, Grant tentatively waded into more personal waters, speaking publicly for the first time about his baby daughter—starting from the controversial beginning, in which he was accused (by the tabloids, of course) of missing her birth.
"I was at one of the party conferences, about to give a speech and was pacing about on the end of the phone," he said. "I shouldn't have gone to the hospital at all, because it brought all this attention down on the mother's head. But I couldn't really resist it, so I went on the second day."
And at that point, his stiff upper lip didn't quite hold up.
"I did feel a little lumpy when I first met my daughter, yeah."
He says that the press invasion was so intense in the immediate aftermath of the birth last October, when the rush was on to identify baby-mama Tinglang Hong and get the first shot of their daughter, that Grant needed a court injunction to protect the duo.
"Had we not got the injunction, I'm sure she'd be in China by now. She is a good person, a nice person; funny, clever, great mother. And she's been very badly treated by the media."
As for how he's taken to fatherhood, surprisingly well.
"Um, lots of people warned me about that. They said, never let anyone know, but the baby period is not that exciting. But I am excited, actually. I thought, Well, I'll bluff through—but very little bluffing has been required. 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.
"There probably is some truth that one of our main functions on the planet is to reproduce, because it feels like more of an achievement than it should do. Which is nonsense, really. But yesterday I took my daughter to see my father, who's in [the] hospital, and all the nurses were cooing over her. And I felt, well, pride."
But don't expect him to log any time buried in parenting books to brush up on his expected fatherly duties.
"There's a lot of overparenting, to my eye, anyway," he said. Though he does plan on being an "incredibly strict" father.
"Well, it would all be total hypocrisy, of course, but things like good manners and not being selfish. It's just unattractive in a child—I don't like it. And discipline—I do think discipline's important. I'm very glad that I had quite a strict mother who was big on discipline, because you really cannot get anything done in life if there's too much, 'Oh, well, if you don't feel like it, don't do it, just express yourself.' I'm not really very big on that."
And from the sounds of it, Tabitha's going to have to be a real go-getter later on if she wants to keep herself in the lifestyle to which she's been accustomed.
"But also my other worry is about—and as I say, there are few things in life I believe in 100 percent—but another one is not giving your children money. I see nothing but f--k-ups among my trust-fund friends. It's like 99 percent f--k-ups. So I would not want to do that to my children, no."
On second thought, it doesn't sound like Hugh needs to read any parenting books, after all. Write them, on the other hand…
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