By Lisa Stanley

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Hugh Grant on the big screen and now we know why.

Grant is revealing for the first time he suffers panic attacks when he acts. His new movie, Florence Foster Jenkins hits theaters today and with the exception of a few small roles in films, this is his first big role in a long time.  That’s because he says he’s afraid to act because of the anxiety that arises when he’s in front of the camera.

Grant says, “I have this absurd syndrome where I get these out-of-the blue pathetic panic attacks.  It will be in a very easy, simple scene when everything is going swimmingly, and suddenly, bang I’m shvitizing and can’t remember my lines.”

He tells EW that it began during 1999’s Notting Hill. He’s tried therapy, herbal pills and running in the morning, but nothing seems to work. At one point he said the panic attacks got so bad he had to ask directors not to say ‘Action’ because that word would terrorize him.

“Life is long, I think to do the same job for 50 years is slightly odd.” Grant says he has other priorities and other interests.


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