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In Step With…Rupert Grint

Written by James Brady

He was about to celebrate his 18th birthday at home with his parents in Hertfordshire, England, when I called Rupert Grint, the young actor who portrays Harry Potter’s red-haired and often bumbling chum Ron Weasley.

“Not much planned for tomorrow,” the actual birthday, Rupert told me, “I’ll be working. We’re still on Order of the Phoenix,” which is the next Harry Potter film, he explained. “Because of all the special effects, each movie takes from eight to 12 months. This one we’ll finish in October, but it doesn’t come out until July of 2007.” I wondered if he and Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry, were friends or just two guys on the same job. “We’re good friends for five or six years now, spending nearly every day together,” he said. “On the job, we’re all getting on.”

The new excitement for Rupert is a coming-of-age film with absolutely no special effects titled Driving Lessons. In it, he stars with two big-name actresses: Laura Linney and Julie Walters—who coincidentally also is his mother, Mrs. Weasley, in the Harry Potter flicks. Laura plays the boy’s strict, bible-thumping mother, and Julie is an eccentric former actress who prevails on the shy, bookish Rupert to drive her to the Edinburgh Festival—without even a driver’s license. What follows are their topsy-turvy adventures along the high road to Scotland.

Can Rupert himself drive yet? “Well, it turns out,” he told me in his richly-accented Hertfordshire English, “I failed me driving test two weeks ago, so they told me to take some more lessons and try again. I own a car already, a Mini Cooper. But I’m thinking about buying an American car when I get the license. One of those hot rods or maybe a Chevy pickup.”

Until then, he’s looking forward to yet another trip to the U.S. for the new Potter. “I like New York and Los Angeles,” he said, but then admitted that since they don’t send him to Texas, the Midwest or anywhere else, he has no basis for comparison.

Memo to the producers: Next time, turn Rupert loose on the rest of the states. Just don’t let him drive ’till he passes that road test.

Brady’s Bits

Rupert Grint is the eldest of five children and admitted he’ll “have to think about” moving out soon to make a place of his own. As for a rumored story that his father was an amateur hypnotist who planted his son in the audience, young Grint reacted in amazement. “I don’t know where they got that,” said Grint. “Me father was never a hypnotist. He sold Formula One racecar memorabilia!” It’s also been said that Rupert is “perhaps the most famous young redhead in the world.” So I had to ask, is his hair really red? “Yeah, it’s real red,” the actor confirmed. “In another film, Thunderpants, I had me hair permed and such, but it’s still red.”l l

Personal

Born Aug. 24, 1988, in Harlow, England. Single.

Why You Know Him

He plays the clumsy but kind young wizard Ron Weasley (Harry’s best friend) in the popular Harry Potter movie series.

What You Don’t Know

You might have his cell: “I am famous for losing things, especially my mobile phone—which I seem particularly good at losing on the golf course.”

PARADE.COM EXCLUSIVE

Attention Harry Potter and Rupert Grint fans! What’s Rupert’s favorite food? What kind of music does he like? If he weren’t an actor, what would he do? Rupert answers all these questions—and more—below:

Did you have a childhood nickname?
Some people called me Ginge, but it didn’t really stay. My great-grandfather used to call me “Copper Knob.”

What is your secret claim to fame?
I am famous for losing things—especially my mobile phone, which I seem particularly good at losing on the golf course at the moment.

What is your favorite song?
I don’t really have one favorite because I enjoy a lot of stuff. I like Artic Monkeys, Parklife and Blur.

What’s your favorite food?

Probably Hawaiian pizza, because it really fills you up and it’s easy to cook or heat up. Or, if I’m feeling really lazy, I can just order one in.

Do you have a favorite gadget?
I really like my iPod Nano, which I have rigged up in my car. I also just got a great new gadget to help find lost golf balls on the course!

What’s your pet’s name and why?
I have a black Labrador called Ruby.

If you weren’t in films, what career would you choose?
Probably something to do with cartoons or animation. Art was a subject I excelled in, and I really like drawing caricatures.

Describe your perfect day.
Probably a day with lots of golf…and pizza!


Original article found at Parade I September 26, 2006


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