Richard E Grant is playing down his Oscar chances by claiming that he's going to the Academy Awards "for the ride" despite getting nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

It's the 61-year-old's first-ever Oscar nod, but he is up against Vice's Sam Rockwell, BlacKkKlansman's Adam Driver, A Star Is Born's Sam Elliott, as well as his own favourite, Green Book's Mahershala Ali.

Grant told ITV's This Morning: "We all know that Mahershala Ali is going to win because he's won everything already, so it's easier for the other four nominees, because you go, 'Mahershala's already got the thing done.' So we're there for the ride of it."

The Swazi-English actor, whose career has spanned three decades and is probably best known for his breakthrough role in Withnail and I, said he has "no idea" why his performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? has finally earned him an Oscar nomination.

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He was quick to praise others involved in the film, though. "I think it's working with magical Melissa McCarthy and being directed by Marielle Heller and having a great script . . . you can't predict these things," he insisted.

The film - based on a true story - sees Grant play Jack Hock alongside McCarthy, who stars as literary forger Lee Israel.

The role has seen Grant nominated for a Bafta, and aGolden Globe, but lost out on both  to US actor Ali, who has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of jazz musician Don Shirley in Peter Farrelly's dramedy, Green Book.