Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint: Playing a rock star in CBGB was refreshing

Harry Potter star Rupert Grint talks to Metro about the Olympics, faking playing the guitar for CBGB and having his own ice-cream van.

How did you end up being an Olympic torch-bearer?
It was through Lloyds. They nominated me. I’ve always loved the Olympics and it’s exciting it’s in London. It was a complete surprise but a great honour. I’ve kept the torch. I might put it on display. I’ll find a use for it. I’m not the most athletic person so it’s probably the only time I’m going to run this year. I’ve got tickets for the swimming and some athletics – I can’t remember what the events are.

Some people say spending £15billion on it is a waste of money – have you got any thoughts?
It’s a lot of money, isn’t it? But I’m a big supporter. It’s worth it.

What do you get up to in your forthcoming film CBGB?
It’s about the New York club CBGB and the punk scene of the time. I play a guitarist called Cheetah Chrome who was in a band called The Dead Boys. I had to be a rock star. It was refreshing.
He’s a snotty-nosed punk rebelling against everything and quite morose – he’s the complete opposite of Ron. I’m still finding it strange breaking out of the whole Harry Potter thing because it was such a huge part of my life.

You’ve also recently worked with Shia LaBeouf – what was that like?
That was the film before CBGB – The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. That’s quite a strange one. Shia LaBeouf plays a character who travels around the world. It’s quite a drug-fuelled journey and he meets various crazy characters along the way.
I play a character he meets in a youth hostel. I can’t give away what he does but it was quite a transition for me.

Have you been actively looking for stuff that’s dissimilar to Ron?
The roles have just come up but it’s always quite an attractive thing to move away from things connected to the wizard world.
They’re quite low-budget films, which I enjoy. It’s a very different process to the huge machines of the Potter films. They’re more rough and ready and I feel part of the team. They don’t have the same weird hierarchy, which I found uncomfortable.

What sort of hierarchy?
Just getting a chair with your name on and having a trailer. Stuff like that. On smaller films, you’re all in it together. It’s weird how actors are put on a pedestal – we’re part of the crew like anyone else and everyone has their job to do on a film set.

What was playing a real person like for CBGB?
Cheetah Chrome was actually on set. It’s the first time I’ve played a real person and there’s a pressure to get it right. I also have to play the guitar, which I can’t do – I was faking it. I learned the chords and rough shapes but you won’t see my hands too much in the film. It’s amazing he’s still alive, given the amount of drugs he did. He’s got a young son who was a big Harry Potter fan, so it was nice to meet him.
Cheetah had some advice about my performance and I had to get his voice right – he had quite a distinctive drug-affected mumbling voice and I had to do an American accent. We’re both ginger so look similar. Hopefully people will buy it.

Do you miss Harry Potter or is it a relief its over?
I go through different feelings. It was ten years of my life and it could get a bit suffocating – everything was Harry Potter. It’s nice to step away but part of me will always miss it because it was great fun and I miss working with the same crew.

Do you watch your own performances?
Yes but not out of choice. I’ll watch things once. I only ever watched the Potter films at the premieres. I’ll watch short bits if they’re on TV. When I see clips from the first one I think I look ridiculously small. It doesn’t feel that long ago in some ways. I’m proud to be part of it but watching it is a different story.

Who have you learnt the most from working with?
Harry Potter was like going to film school. We worked with a different director for each film so got to learn their different approaches. The cast was amazing, too – Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Julie Walters – they’re all great people. You learn just from watching them work.

Did they give you any specific advice?
I had a problem with laughing during serious scenes. For some reason, I found Dumbledore’s death absolutely hilarious. Alan taught me if you completely relax your face, it’s difficult to laugh so that was good tip.

You’ve got some unusual pets – which are your favourites?
The miniature donkeys are quite cool – Shakespeare and Pandora. You can’t ride them, they’re too small but they make a cool noise.

What’s been your most extravagant purchase?
An ice cream van. I’ve had it for a while now. It’s pretty special. It’s a 1970s one and I did it up – a new paint job and it’s got all the ice cream stuff in it.
I can’t park it anywhere because people start queuing up so I keep it at home in the garage.


Original article found here: metro.co.uk | July 29, 2012

View The Next Article