Hugh Grant Likes Daughter Tabitha ‘Very Much’

03/19/2012 at 01:00 PM ET
Tristan Gregory/Camera Press/Retna

When Hugh Grant welcomed a daughter last September, he thought he would have to put his skills as an actor to good use — but has found that there’s no need to.

“Lots of people warned me … [that] 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,” the actor, 51, tells The Guardian of Tabitha, his baby girl with Tinglan Hong.

“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.”

Although the two are not together, Grant remains protective of Hong. “She is a good person, a nice person; funny, clever, great mother,” he says. “And she’s been very badly treated by the media.”

They worked together to come up with a name for their daughter — Grant chose her English first name while Hong picked her Chinese middle name. That seems to be the extent of his foray into the language, although “I do know some disgusting Chinese words,” Grant says. “They’re not entirely appropriate for baby rearing.”

He did get his first experience with being a proud papa, however, when he took Tabitha to visit his elderly, ill father.

“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,” he notes. “Which is nonsense, really. But yesterday I took my daughter to see my father, who’s in hospital, and all the nurses were cooing over her. And I felt, well, pride.”

When it comes to teaching his little girl, Grant has a few specific lessons in mind, three of which he plans to be “incredibly strict” on.

“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,” he says. “I’m very glad that I had quite a strict mother who was big on discipline.”

It seems as though Tabitha will be expected to earn her own way as well, as Grant pinpoints entitled children as a problem he’s experienced first-hand.

“My other worry … is not giving your children money. I see nothing but f—ups among my trust-fund friends. It’s like 99 percent f—ups. So I would not want to do that to my children.”

— Sarah Michaud

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 86 comments

valerie on

I adore Hugh Grant, but this photo makes him look a lot older than 51… I do wish him every happiness as he enters this new season in his life.

Oliviana on

He sounds…charming.

Amanda on

He LIKES her very much? Oye.

Becky on

I love him. I think he is very straightforward and his ideas i agree with. But he will be a creampuff as soon as she says Daddy.

lisa on

He ‘likes’ his daughter very much? Not really sure how he meant that. Is that the extent of his feelings towards her or that she is just an easy baby to be around? Hmmm… He never struck me as the most paternal person on earth.

Becky on

@Oliviana, he is British, Brits are much more reserved than us crazy americans.

Shelley on

My interpretation of his comments, for what it’s worth, is that a lot of times dads aren’t sure how to connect with the babies as well as the moms are when they are newborns, which is what “lots of people warned” him about. (And there is no prejudice against dads there–in general, moms often have a lot more interaction in those very early weeks, especially if they’re breastfeeding, and as the babies begin to be more alert and interactive, the dads “get into it” more.) But, I think he’s saying that he hasn’t really found that to be so much the case.

Alanna on

Congratulations on the baby

Y on

He is weird…

Dee on

congrads to him!! He made me laugh with this article!!

Anonymous on

He’s an ass!

Cindy on

Well, if the baby hasn’t changed his life then that’s a pretty good indication that he isn’t very involved in her life!

Shannon on

He “likes” his daughter? Lucky child. Perhaps he was trying to be funny.

But of course his daughter hasn’t changed his life. He doesn’t have to take care of her, just cut a check every month. What a loser.

Halley on

He “likes her very much”?? I like turkey sandwiches very much. I like pedicures very much. I like playing basketball very much. I love my children with every fiber of my soul. I hope his daughter doesn’t ever read this article.

shalay on

I adore him. I know people will overreact to the word “like”, but I think it’s obvious he is already a great dad. I like that he’s already thought very much about the way he wants to raise his daughter. He understands that the most important thing is raising an individual who will grow up to thrive and contribute positively to society. Love it.

grace on

I think he is just kidding when he says he likes her very much. From past interviews, he seems says things rather “tongue in cheek.” He is so utterly charming though.

me on

From interviews, you can tell he has a very dry sense of humor and I think that’s what comes into play here with the word “like.” Anyway, instead of jumping to the worst conclusion possible (unfortunately something people love to do), let’s give the man the benefit of the doubt.

Carol on

Hugh just more reasons to love you…..

joule on

Now now people he’s British I hear they have a hard time expressing emotions. I also have to agree with him about raising his child to earn things not just to have them handed to her. Makes all the difference in ones moral fiber.

Mom Of Twins on

his wrinkles are beautiful! don’t know the last day i saw a botox-free face or NOT-that-obvious-botox-free face.

cm on

My mom used to say “it’s easy to LOVE your children, but I actually LIKE my kids”, as in who we are as people, our personalities, etc… So, that’s how I interpreted this comment in this article. If that’s what he meant, I think it’s a much bigger statement than the expected “love my daughter”…

Hea on

I bet he absolutely adores her but this is the way he expresses himself.

lou on

So what is the middle name???

Tee on

I’m not altogether sure what to make of this interview. He likes his daughter? That just sounds odd. And I’m sorry, but if you’re life hasn’t changed after you’ve had a child, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you probably aren’t very involved with that child. That just makes me sad.

ruby on

He’s starting to look like Bill Clinton. I love my children, but I “like them very much,” too! I know what he means. You can love your kids, but not be able to stand them. My boys are 6 and 3, and though they can push my buttons better than anyone else on the earth, I truly enjoy my time with them. They’re clever, funny, creative, sweet and we have a good time being silly together. I’m sure THAT’S what Hugh means.

Anna on

“I don’t particularly like babies. I don’t mind them for about four minutes. That’s my max. After that I can’t quite see what everyone’s fussing about.”

I took this quote off of his imdb page. To be fair, it didn’t say when he said this, and people do change. Also in this article you can’t tell the tone of his voice when he says he “quite likes her”.

Shannon on

My mom used to say “it’s easy to LOVE your children, but I actually LIKE my kids”, as in who we are as people, our personalities, etc… So, that’s how I interpreted this comment in this article. If that’s what he meant, I think it’s a much bigger statement than the expected “love my daughter”…
– cm on March 19th, 2012

^^^That might make sense if the child was older, like a teenager. 🙂 What’s NOT to like about a newborn?

Erin on

If people don’t “get” Hugh’s sense of humor, and unwillingness to play the press’ game, then the joke’s on them. Jeeze Louise, some people need to chill out. Do you think he’d take his six month old daughter to see his sick father in the hospital if he didn’t love and adore her and appreciate the circle of life? I’m married to an English man, and he talks the same way. There are other cultures and mores out there, people.

Tess on

I think saying he ‘likes” her is saying a lot. I have four teenaged daughters, I love them….but there are days I don’t like any of them…..

Emily on

Have you ladies never seen a Hugh Grant movie? Even in his movies his SUPER DRY personality and sense of humor shines through. He was being cheeky.

Anne Marie on

His ‘like’ comment would sound weird to Americans because they are used to the competing, fake gushing of their celebrities about their kids. They want to hear ‘he changed my world’, ‘I’m over the moon’, ‘my life before was nothing’, and ‘it is so transcendental’.

Oh, please.

The baby is very small and probably attached much of the time to her mother. If you want gushing, read one of Julia Robert’s or the new moms’ saccharine diatribes about the transformative power of children.

JR on

His comments are quite funny, and spot-on! Love the part about selfish children, and not letting them grown up entitled. Truly, the best thing he can give this child is a good head on her shoulders.

People need to keep in mind that this is a man who repeatedly stated on the record that he has NO paternal instincts, and no desire to ever have children. Given that, the comment that he likes Tabitha very much is saying a lot in his case. He also followed it up by saying he didn’t have to bluff any affection for her thus far, it’s not like he’s being a jerk at all. He’s just Hugh Grant.

mary on

I agree Erin, if you had seen this as an interview, I think people would get it more, it is his humor style and very british.

He obviously is very enthralled with being a dad and loves his child- he just has a different sense of humor that doesn’t translate to the written word very well.

amber on

….well, you have to love your children, but you dont have to like them….so i get it…

JM on

i read the whole interview he gave in the guardian. it was very honest and it is clear that hugh does not play a massive role in his daughter’s life but that he is IN her life. the ‘like’ comment is in relation to what he says in the article about babies. that he never envisioned having them and that he never really saw why people fussed over them so much. he admits that he finds it difficult to connect with babies (he is not the first person i have heard admit this, many parents, especailly dads say that it gets really interesting when they start to talk and have their own opinions etc.) he used the word ‘like’ because that was how he was talking about babies in general in the article. as in, ‘he didn’t really LIKE babies before but he definitely LIKES his daughter’.

i really think it is refreshingly honest. and i also think he was being very guarded about giving away too much information about her given what he is currently going through with the press.

so please, everyone, stop jumping to conclusions.

and to whomever said it, it has nothing to do with him being british. it is a largely american and hugely outdated notion that british parents are somehow more emotionally distant with their kids. can we stop making sweeping cultural generalisations please?

Alexandra on

Haha, most of you Americans just don’t get the British humor, do you?

Ami on

Love him!

Kimberly on

People, get real. That is Hugh Grant’s humor. You either get it or you don’t and apparently half of you don’t.

I agree with him on today’s youth being entitled. Parents need to get with the program and realize their kids aren’t entitled to anything but loving parents and a roof over their head. The rest they have to earn.

Anonymous on

“His ‘like’ comment would sound weird to Americans because they are used to the competing, fake gushing of their celebrities about their kids. They want to hear ‘he changed my world’, ‘I’m over the moon’, ‘my life before was nothing’, and ‘it is so transcendental’.

Oh, please.

The baby is very small and probably attached much of the time to her mother. If you want gushing, read one of Julia Robert’s or the new moms’ saccharine diatribes about the transformative power of children.”

– Anne Marie on March 19th, 2012

^This. The only thing I’d change in the post is to include non-celeb moms in there too, as evidenced by the cringe-inducing posts on every single one of these comment pages.

Lexasmom on

He’s not weird and his comments are not strange. He is British. They have a completely different sense of humor. Additionally, he was saying that people warned him about babies being boring but instead he finds he likes his daughter and feels pride. Nothing untoward about his comments. Think outside of your own small worlds. Geez.

Vivian on

Hugh grant used to be so handsome. Why doesn’t he get a facelift? Female actresses do it, and I can’t see why he shouldn’t do it

Eliza on

I admit, when I first read the quote, I found it odd that he says that he “likes” her, but then I thought about Hugh Grant interviews that I’d seen and it makes much more sense in the context of his personality and his sense of humor. As others have said, given his background and such, gushing just wouldn’t be him. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t adore his little girl, though.

Anon on

>>What’s not to like about a newborn?

OMG Are you kidding? Being woken up with piercing wails every 2 hours 24/7 for months does it for me, not to mention the puking and pooping, and the umbilical stump falling off… I love babies, of course, especially mine, but they could be cleaner and quieter 😉

Anonymous on

Oh Jesus, he’s being sarcastic! Everyone just calm down and have a sense of humor.

larsen on

He likes her very much? he likes his baby? shouldn’t he say “I love my daughter very much? and what’s with the she hasn’t changed his life? he just couldn’t be more dissmisive.

rifkaz on

We are the same age and he looks 20 years older than me in that photo and I have been very ill for several years…WTF happened to his face? As for the comment about “liking his daughter very much” just remember that he probably never considered having kids and is just being a reserved Brit. I think he is happier than he thought he would be about it and is being protective of his ex, the baby’s mom, so that is good.

B.J. on

I’ll bet she’s a little cutie. I love the name Tabitha!

silver9391 on

I like the fact that he likes his daughter. There are people in my life that I love with every fiber in my body, but I don’t like them. I hope that one day his daughter will be able to read this article and know that her father liked her right off the bat.

bd on

I hope his daughter never reads this article.

Jaci on

Glad he has a child………now I wish he could marry Tabitha’s mother. Raising a child when you have happy parents makes a lot of difference in all their lives.

Anne on

He probably was one who said he didn’t like kids, so he’s just saying he likes this one, and already has a change of heart. And remember he is British, who are not so mushy, gushy as some Americans. I happen to be one who is more like the British, more shy at expressing my feelings, but know I have just as much love as the one who has to express it all the time. Not saying there’s anything wrong with expressing it, but seems to be just a habit, sometimes, if you overdo it.

suzy diamond on

He LIKES his daughter! How nice. Just leaves me all warm and fuzzy inside just like him I imagine.

Emily on

He’s got a dry sense of humour, tongue-in-cheek. That’s how this guy rolls. I really like him – I think he’s honest, a bit cheeky and quite charming. Being a bachelor for 51 years and having a child by an ex-partner would be quite a new situation – so the fact that he is so involved in her life, is planning to be a part of her upbringing, taking her to meet his elderly father and acknowledging her proudly as his daughter is quite lovely and almost a little unusual in some celebrity (or even real-life!) circles.

@Jaci – marriage does not happy parents make. Take it from the child of a miserable marriage but containing two individual loving parents. Mine were far better off separated, as are many in the world. Marriage can be a wonderful thing for two people who work well together and love each other, but it’s not the automatic ticket for “happy parents” or “perfect” child-rearing.

Emily on

I should clarify my last comment – marriage does not AUTOMATICALLY happy parents make…

Hea on

Americans… Settle down now.

Jeanne on

Jaci, marriage =/= happiness. Forced shotgun weddings have been responsible for a lot of misery in the world. Kids are better off if their parents are not together but happy rather than together and miserable.

littlelump on

He should be absolutely ashamed of admitting that this child, who is now 6 months old, has not changed his life. It is a poor father…a poor human being…who would live life in a such a way that he can say this truthfully. Shallow, ego-centric, and, from past media reports, twisted. Why any woman would sleep with this man is beyond me.

sally on

Well it’s a good think he likes her, I would hate for him not too!

ELC on

Is he the father or grandfather?I always liked the work that Hugh Grant has done. I’m sure he will admit this is his best production…too bad that his face actually ages him. I believe that he’s 51, but he looks soooo much older. I think he could use botox and an eye job-refresher!!

acorr on

My goodness, he looks like something out of the Lorax movie.

marina on

my baby changed my life, i feel more human

Crystal on

He’s still so handsome & clearly a loving dad!! as for Brits vs. americans – Brits all the way!! They have tact – class & manners!

Joan on

I used to like him and had always enjoyed his movies but Ive seen other interviews where he was just an ass and his comments regarding his daughter just left me thinking he’s an even bigger ass. It has NOTHING to do with being a reserved Englishman either,I have many English friends and none speak of their children like a newly acquired “thing”. Poor little girl,hope she feels more wanted by her mother. And a side note…..Hugh looks like crap now. Gone is is cute little boyish face,so no more leading man roles….maybe he can play a grandfather!

wIn on

I am not even going to read the article. The title says it all “hugh grant ‘LIKES” his child, how swell of him to ‘like’ the child. duhh… sad, sad, sad, and just plain dumb.

Hannah on

I thought he sounded very sweet and positive. Then I scrolled down the the comments and there was a lot of vitriol being thrown around regarding the “like” comment. I think it was a nice interview and it is a shame some people need to have humour pointed out to them.

Jen on

Yeah, the mom is some asian chick that set her sights on Hugh and was basically a one night stand, they were never even in a relationship, hope he had a DNA done! Hugh obviously foolishly forgot the condom and this girl wanted a payday for life and she got it! Oldest trick in the book and Hugh stupuidly fell for it. Of course he is going to say he likes the child, what else is he going to do? Guy’s learn what condoms are and don’t get played like Hugh here.

alicejane on

Some people just take things waaaay too seriously. I thought this interview, and this quote, was actually really sweet.

I remember when my sister had her son and shortly after he was born she made a comment about how much she “liked” her baby. I couldn’t believe how people misinterpreted it, just because she didn’t say “love” – sometimes, when people downplay their affection, it implies endless affection. I’m not sure how to put it into better words than that, but that is how my sister and I both are. I can say often how much I love my nephew (and I do) but it’s the times when someone mentions him being cute, and I say, “Yeah, I like him” with a smile that really shows how crazy I am about him. That’s how I take Hugh’s quote.

Also, I love what he said about his little girl’s mom.

Marky on

Boy, the people posting on this site are so hateful and rude, it becomes exhausting! If any of you would stop being so judgmental and hostile, you would notice he is speaking with his typical odd-ball sense of humor.

My DIL is British, and there is no mother on the planet who loves her children more, or does a better job raising them, then she does. She also doesn’t shriek from the rooftops, “I love my kids, I LOVE my kids!” every hour.

Hugh is saying he likes his daughter, not that he doesn’t LOVE his daughter. I have kids in my family I love, but they are hard to “like” because they have the personality of a shrew.

Get a freaking grip and stop thinking you read minds and have the right to judge every single person on this site! Holy cow, it’s hard to read these posts sometimes!

cara on

Didn’t he just have a mega tantrum about press intrusion into his private life ????? And now he is blabbing to newspapers about his …emmm….. PRIVATE LIFE !! and discussing his feelings about his daughter.

What double standards, I hope the Leveson Inquiry into press intrusion, takes this article into account, after his “woe is me, I have no privacy ” testimony just a few months back.

Idiot immature 51yo.

me on

jeeze people, there’s nothing wrong with saying he ‘likes her very much’… he’s clearly saying it in a cute funny way… like when people say about their kids ‘I think I’ll keep them’. Get over your damn selves

Debbe on

If you teach and show your child from your teachings and from your actions nothing but love and kindness, then everything else will fall into place.

rafiki on

You guys are idiots. It’s in a manner of speaking… he’s being sarcastic & dry. LORD!!

Americans are plain stupid!

Chi on

I have to agree with Cindy: if she hasn’t changed his life, then he can’t be too involved. If there’s one thing having kids does, it changes your life drastically, even the fathers, even if the relationship with the child’s mother has ended, your life still changes a lot!

kathy on

This is why some people should procreate. Sounds like he would have been just as contented with a new puppy to show off. And in the end, the child was brought into this world by two people who won’t both be in this child’s life. Welcome to the world little one.

Jenn on

Jenn you hit the nail on the head…

“Yeah, the mom is some asian chick that set her sights on Hugh and was basically a one night stand, they were never even in a relationship, hope he had a DNA done! Hugh obviously foolishly forgot the condom and this girl wanted a payday for life and she got it! Oldest trick in the book and Hugh stupuidly fell for it. Of course he is going to say he likes the child, what else is he going to do? Guy’s learn what condoms are and don’t get played like Hugh here.

– Jen”

Linda on

That sounds like a line from a movie, ” I like her very much thank you” But he’s talking about his daughter, who’s probably got his heart right now melting all over the floor. He’s British, they don’t talk feelings, but she’s his child, and she will have him wrapped around her little finger, and we’ll be here to read about it.

Sunny on

“I like her very much”?! What about “I Love her very much”?? Sound like he is not much involved in hus daughter’s life and that’s sad. Sounds like he is not really excited about being father and yet not ready to be a father. I feel sorry for the mother and daughter

marlowe on

i’d love to see this baby.. i bet she’s totally cute. he is so stiff, it’s true, but it’s a english thing and a virgo man thing. i think, for hugh, this is pretty gushy, actually 🙂

brannon on

Adore him. People ask my British husband all the time how he likes being a father and he always says “I like her very much.” It’s a joke people. Lighten up.

Cath on

He doesn’t want to bring up a “trust fund” baby, but unfortunately I think the mother of his child may think differently on that.

SAR on

Brits are known for their dry sense of humor and their knack for understatement. And they tend not to be sentimental or gushy about anything, including their kids. That can be jarring to Americans.

denise on

I’m neither British nor American so I am rather surprised that I get Hugh’s sense of humour while some people seem to have no sense of humour here. first oft all it’s always a question of context but while reading the sentence I could almost hear his voice and the way he’d say that. Some people… btw I LIKE my kid. of course I love him but I also do like him as a person.

Amber on

I’m an Aussie and we tend to have a fairly similar sense of humour to the Brits (or at the very least, we tend to find one another quite easily funny and understand the jokes). While reading this I could immediately sense and even hear his tone and voice in my head as he said it. That’s who Hugh Grant is, notwithstanding that he’s British which entails a very different, dry, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Hugh Grant is just like that – watch any of his movies and you’ll see. I thought it was cute and charming and quite funny. Just because he used the word ‘like’ here doesn’t mean he doesn’t ‘love’ her. He’s just choosing either to be funny, not express too much about his personal life, or quite likely both. Calm down people!

Lily on

I’ve never liked this man. This interview just intensified my feelings. Charming…NOT!

Parand on

I always adored Hugh on his films and photos. He looks so damn hot and attractive to me. Specially now that I found out we both were born on September 09th !
I love his chemistry, his look, his eyes, smile and well….almost everything including his lovely looking hair.
Hugh I love ya ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

lee on

I would like to see hugh grand’s daughter tabitha Xaio Xi age 6 photo,
and son felix hang photo thank you.