Elizabeth Hurley is bringing some holiday cheer to the big screen this week with her new movie, Christmas in Paradise. The 57-year-old actress plays Kelsey Grammer's daughter, something she can't help but chuckle at given he's only 10 years her senior.
"I don't quite know how Kelsey feels about me playing his daughter — I'm certainly older than his wife!" Hurley jokes to Yahoo Entertainment. But for Hurley, who catapulted to fame in the '90s, this shows the type of progress that's been made for women in the entertainment industry.
"I think I've been really fortunate because, bizarrely, I sort of feel that in the last couple of years I've been offered more and I've been getting better roles than I've had for years," she continues. "I feel that it could be different. You know, you often think when you are a younger actress, 'Oh my God, it's gonna come to a stage where I never work, or I'm only gonna be offered really frumpy, dull, [mom] parts.' And I was really not looking forward to that at all. I don't know whether it's a change in the world, or whether I've just been very lucky, but I really feel that right now, there's just a lot of opportunity to still have a lot of fun and to really play some great parts with great heart. Sometimes comedy, sometimes tragedy, but I feel really blessed and lucky for that. Fortunate every day, in fact."
Hurley is anything but frumpy in Christmas in Paradise. The movie was shot on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean, which means the actress essentially lives in swimsuits during filming. Hurley says she's always prepared for a bikini moment.
"Because I, in a moment of madness started my own beachwear company, Elizabeth Hurley Beach, 15 years ago... I sort of had an obligation to be relatively beach ready at all times, which is an insane pressure to put on oneself," Hurley shares. "And I don't know why I did it! I could have made candles or soap or something, but instead I decided to make very small bikinis. So I do have to shoot all year round."
Hurley explains it's "never that bad having to get back into shape" — she even dodged the dreaded COVID 15.
"Lockdown could have been a problem. But in fact, because I live in the country and I've got a huge yard, which always needs a lot doing to it... during lockdown, I manage to spend 10 hours every day outside doing manual labor. So even though I ate like a pig, I did so much work outside in the yard I didn't put on an ounce," Hurley quips. "I ate everything all day long, which, you know, we should all basically do more manual labor, I guess!"
With the holiday season upon us, Hurley has her Christmas classics lined up to watch: Last Christmas, Bad Santa, Home Alone and, of course, Love Actually, starring her pal Hugh Grant.
"He's fantastic in that. I'm, of course, a huge fan of all of his films, but that's a goodie," Hurley says of her friend and ex-boyfriend.
Hurley and Grant starred opposite each other in 1988's Rowing with the Wind, but haven't appeared on-screen together since. When asked if she'd like to change that, Hurley replies: "I don't know."
"I mean we met on [that] movie 100 years ago and we were cast to play love interests against each other," she explains. "I produced two movies he was in, but again, that was a very long time ago. I don't know if we could work together."
Hurley laughs, "We're best friends but a) we'd make ourselves laugh and b) we shout at each other! So I'm not sure how nice that would be for everybody else around us."
One person Hurley will work with is her 20-year-old son, Damian. The actress is currently on location as she's starring in his first movie, Strictly Confidential, which he's directing and writing.
"I'm possibly the most stressed I've ever been in my life as I'm all over the place trying to make this the best experience for him possible," the actress, who is also a producer on the film, shares. "We wrap just before Christmas and then we'll be going home to the country."
Christmas will be all about "dogs, family, friends, food" and, hopefully, "not so much manual labor" in the Hurley household this year.
Christmas in Paradise is out in select theaters, on demand and digital on Friday, Nov. 11