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Grant: 'Dreamz' character not Cowell

April 16, 2006 at 11:53 AM

NEW YORK, April 16 (UPI) -- Hugh Grant insists the mean-spirited TV host he plays in the new film "American Dreamz" is not based on "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell.

Paul Weitz's new comedy is about an out-of-touch president (Dennis Quaid) who decides to reconnect with the American public by making a guest appearance on a show where contestants compete to be pop stars.

When a group of terrorists hears this, they send one of their own (Sam Golzari) to compete on the show with the intention of blowing up the commander-in-chief in front of a huge TV audience.

Grant plays the host who will do anything to boost his ratings.

"I have met Simon Cowell at a couple of parties, but I don't know him at all," the British actor told reporters in New York recently. "This part is not particularly based on him, aside from the fact that I am a judge on a talent show that is massively popular and I'm very cruel. There the resemblance stops. The part really is a creation of Paul Weitz and actually, in part, his warped vision of me."

Co-starring Mandy Moore, Willem Dafoe, Marcia Gay Harden and Chris Klein, "American Dreamz" opens Friday.

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