As usual, The Graham Norton show is hilarious - and this clip is no exception. Also typical, but oft overlooked - the body language examples showcased here. In this recent appearance of Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, Ms. Streep shows off her improv skills as she answers an otherwise rhetorical and slightly sarcastic question of Mr. Grant's.
Hugh Grant (beginning at 1:19): "... Who was the third one?"
Graham Norton: "Ah, Drew Barrymore."
Grant: "She made the mistake of giving me notes. Which a, how would you take that?" [shifting his eye contact to Meryl Streep]
Streep: [Laughing] Well
Grant: "You're acting with someone and they?"
Streep: [over-talking] "I took ..."
Grant: [over-talking] "they, they ..." [inaudible]
Steep: "... them very well, didn't I?" [laughing while shifting her gaze at Hugh Grant]
Psychological research shows that laughing is primarily a bonding phenomenon much more than a pure reaction to humor. This is well exemplified during the viewing of films and TV - for we laugh and cry more frequently and more deeply during comedy when we're with other people (and more specifically when we're part of a larger audience) versus when we are viewing the same material alone.
Moreover, leaning toward another person (only after a sufficient degree of baseline rapport has been established - which is a crucial point which cannot be emphasized enough), in the presence of underlying sincere laughter, will act as a rapport-building amplifier. However note that Hugh Grant does not lean in and also doesn't return much laughter either. This lack of reciprocal action is a form distancing and dissing behavior (serving to destroy rapport). Thus afterward, Meryl Streep may very well be left with a feeling of emotional distance and dislike for Grant - particularly because this occurred in such a public venue.
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