In one of the most random interviews we’ve ever carried out, Ocelot columnist Gina Akers talks to Richard E Grant about his latest fragrance.

I’m here at Jovoy (Mayfair) and I’m joined by the fabulous Richard E. Grant. So what brings us here today Richard?

They are very generously stocking my Jack perfume brand. So I’m here for a launch for that. 

Now we may not have put you and fragrance together, could you tell us anything else that we might be surprised about you? Maybe something we’ve never heard before?

(Grinning and smiling) You’ve never heard before. I’m 5,000 years old and I’ve been reincarnated from Egyptian peasants, I have no idea, I can’t tell you, I can’t think of anything that I haven’t said to somebody before. 

But we could believe you about that story though, from anyone else absolutely not but definitely from you. So with regard to fragrance do you use fragrance around the home as well as fragrance obviously for yourself? 

Yes, I use all my scented candles in my brand. I have different perfumes in my house and I think that it y’know, it does make you feel good. I love and I’m obsessed with scent, so having scented rooms or a scented garden is, well, it makes you feel good about life as there’s a lot of stress and stuff to deal with. I find it helps. 

In your acting career have you ever used fragrance to set a scene? Have you actually used it on set at all? 

Every character that I’ve played I’ve had a different scent for, that would represent what that character would wear. 

So do you think fragrance can be used for confidence and overcoming nerves? You probably never get nervous. 

Yeah I think it does, yeah I do get nervous.  It’s the invisible clothing that gives you a sense of your own signature and who you are, and how you remember other people, because even if you may not remember what they look like, you can remember what they smell like if they smell good. 

It can bring back a memory as well can’t it? 

(Answers knowingly). Yes. It’s the shortest synaptic leap to the brain. Smell to memory.

So here’s the questions that every 90’s teenager wants to know the answer to, if there was ever another Spice Girls movie would you be involved?

(Answered so enthusiastically before I’d even finished asking the question). Would I do it? YES! YES I would. (Followed by laughter). 

Now we know that you’re involved in the upcoming Star Wars movie, is there anything you can tell me about that? 

Yes. My character is called (opens  mouth and pretends to speak but makes no sound) and the plot is (again opens mouth and pretends to speak but makes no sound) and it comes out next December. 

Right we’ll keep that under wraps then for a little bit longer. 

Now you’ve played a lot of different roles. You’ve probably already played your perfect role time and time over. But if there was another perfect role that you haven’t yet done, what would that role be? 

I’ve just done a film with Melissa McCarthy which came out in the States this last weekend and it’s out here in February, called Can You Ever Forgive Me. Which is an amazing true story about a writer called Lee Israel and her involvement with a fellow crook called Jack Hock who I play, and that has been…that was an amazingly positive life enhancing job to do. So I’d like to work with Melissa McCarthy again. 

And was it always acting for you, or was there anything else that you ever wanted to do? 

Oh I’ve always written so I thought if I couldn’t succeed as an actor I might have a career as a writer, so I’ve managed to do both so I’m very grateful.  

Jack perfume by Richard E. Grant is available at Jovoy Mayfair London or