Rupert Grint Press Archives

Harry Potter’s Phoenix flies at last

John Hiscock joins the launch of the latest film and talks with Rupert Grint about his cool new wheels

Written by John Hiscock


They have been pupils at Hogwarts for seven years and audiences have seen them grow from children to older teenagers, but the young stars of the Harry Potter series are happy to be wearing school uniforms for at least another two years.

Daniel Radcliffe, 17, and Rupert Grint, 18, may be showing signs of five o’clock shadow and Emma Watson, 16, has grown into a confident and attractive young woman, but on screen they are still the young heroes and heroine of J K Rowling’s epic series of adventures.

The fifth of her seven-story oeuvre, the £200 million Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is due to be released on July 12 and, as always, Warner Brothers executives are keeping a tight lid on details about it. However, they have been unable to stop the internet from buzzing with rumours, reports and details leaking out from early screenings in Chicago, Los Angeles and London.

According to these reports, screenwriter Michael Goldenberg (Contact, Peter Pan) has cut large chunks from the 870-page book but retained the basic plot, which sees Harry Potter becoming a resistance fighter against the repressive Ministry of Magic, with the support of Dumbledore’s Army, a group of rebellious Hogwarts teens.

This time, as well as the evil Lord Voldemort, Death Eaters and the sinister Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), the young wizard has new villains to battle, notably the demented witch Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) and Dolores Umbridge (the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher), played by Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton.

Dressed in pink from head to toe and wearing a permanent smile, Umbridge reportedly features in one of the creepier scenes, as she makes a defiant Harry write out lines that appear scratched in blood on his hands.

It might seem tame after he has sworn, simulated sex and blinded make-believe horses on stage eight times a week in Equus, but Daniel Radcliffe gets his first screen kiss from actress Katie Leung, playing the Scottish student Cho Chang who has a crush on Harry, although she is still coping with the murder of her last boyfriend by Voldemort.

The director’s mantle has this time fallen on David Yates, after Mike Newell (who directed the last Potter film) and Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) opted to take other offers.

Yates, who directed the mini-series State of Play and the two-part Sex Traffic, was popular with the stars after the energetic direction of Newell.

“David was really relaxed and laid-back,” said Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, talking at Claridges yesterday during one of the first of a hectic round of promotional interviews lined up for the next two weeks.

“We had a good atmosphere on the set. Mike Newell wasn’t afraid to shout. David Yates was really cool and open to ideas.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix features flashbacks of the characters’ lives, which the actors found strange to see.

“I’m much taller now and my voice is deeper,” said Grint. “I’m 19 this year and I was 11 when I started, so it’s been a long time.”

Grint, who passed his driving test five months ago, has used some of his Harry Potter wealth to buy an ice-cream van.

“It’s really cool and it’s got a freezer in the back and I drive it around,” he said.

“So if things don’t work out I’ve still got the van. I’ve always got that back-up.”

He confessed that he had not been to see Daniel Radcliffe in Equus.

“I tried,” he said, “but it was really hard to get tickets.”

Original article found at The Telegraph I June 26, 2007

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