- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Darren Staples)
Hugh Grant has opened up about becoming a father, and has finally publicly announced his baby daughter's name - Tabitha.
The British actor shares his infant daughter with ex-girlfriend Chinese actress Tinglan Hong, who remains very involved in the child's life.
Grant, 51, admitted that in the past he could be around babies for "about four minutes," but now, having a child is "fantastic," according to the U.K.'s The Guardian.
"I like my daughter very much," said the "Bridget Jones's Diary" star. "I'm absolutely thrilled to have had her, I really am. And I feel a better person."
Ahead of becoming a father, Grant admitted he had doubts he would be as excited as other fathers.
"Lots of people warned me about that- they said never let anyone know, but the baby period is not that exciting," explained the actor. "But I am excited, actually. I thought, well, I'll bluff through- but very little bluffing has been required."
The new father acknowledged his instinctive pride over his first-born.
"There probably is some truth that one of our main functions on the planet is to reproduce, because it feels like more of an achievement than it should do - which is nonsense, really," said Grant. "But yesterday I took my daughter to see my father, who's in the hospital, and all the nurses were cooing over her. And I felt, well, pride."
Following a phone-hacking scandal of which Grant was a victim, the actor has avoided the media's spotlight, and even needed a court injunction to protect Hong and their new-born daughter against the press following the birth.
"Had we not got the injunction, I'm sure she'd be in China by now," said Grant, according to The Guardian. "She is a good person, a nice person' funny, clever, great mother. And she's been very badly treated by the media."
While he is a proud father, Grant stated that he will not be an "incredibly strict" father.
"I do think discipline is important," explained the actor. "I'm very glad that I had quite a strict mother who was big on discipline, because you really cannot get anything done in life if there's too much, 'Oh, well, if you don't feel like it, don't do it, just express yourself.' I'm not really very big on that."
Grant stars in the upcoming film, "Pirates! Band of Misfits," in theaters April 27. The film also sees Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven.