Chris O'Dowd admitted it was ''a heartbreak'' to lose his role in 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' to Richard E. Grant.

The 39-year-old actor and Julianne Moore, 58 were originally intended to star in the crime drama as celebrity biographer Lee Israel and pal Jack Hock, however, they were replaced at the last minute by Richard, 61, and Melissa McCarthy, 48, due to ''creative differences'' and he's upset he missed out on working on the film.

The critically-acclaimed film is up for three awards at this year's Academy Awards; including Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress and the prize for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.

Speaking to BBC News, the 'IT Crowd' star said: ''What a heartbreak. We were ready to go, it was myself and Julianne Moore, and we had moved to New York, and maybe two days before we started filming, there was some creative differences that I wasn't really involved in.

The biopic, based on the confessional memoir of the same name by Israel, follows Lee as she makes her living profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead and Estee Lauder- however when she is no longer able to get published she turns to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack.

The Irish actor went on to admit that although he was ''surprised'' not to be in the movie Richard was so good in the film he feels it was ''meant to be''.

He said: ''I was surprised, that the film wasn't going ahead at the last minute. But Richard's performance in it is so wonderful, that it feels like it was kind of meant to be.''

The 'Bridesmaids' actor went on to insist that Richard's public excitement towards his nomination has been ''intoxicating'' while still confessing he would have preferred to be the one with the nod.

He said: ''I know Richard a bit, we've worked together, and watching him go on this journey through the Oscars has been so intoxicating.

''But definitely I would've preferred if it was me!''