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Rupert Grint meets Broadway In It’s Only A Play

Rupert_Grint-1-300x225Rupert Grint, is best known for playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise. On October 19th, the highly recognizable actor is making his Broadway debut in Terrence McNally’s high profile comedy It’s Only a Play. Grint joins A-list cast Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, Megan Mullally, F. Murrary Abraham and newcomer Micah Stock, as Jack O’Brien directs this limited 17-week engagement, at Broadway’s Schoenfeld Theatre.

The British star will play Frank Finger, the wunderkind director of a new play by an anxious writer (Broderick) whose career is on the line as he eagerly awaits the reviews on opening night. As the show roars onward, the playwright passes the time with his TV star best friend (Lane), his producer (Mullally), the show’s leading lady (Channing), an infamous critic (Abraham), and a fresh-faced coat check attendant (Stock). The play first premiered in New York in 1986 at the Manhattan Theatre Club; the 2014 production is a newly revised adaptation by McNally, the four-time Tony-winning scribe whose recent premiere Mothers and Sons marked his 50th year on Broadway.

Grint followed up the smashing success of the Potter films with his West End stage debut in the revival of Jez Butterworth’s Mojo (alongside Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw and Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle). Grint’s Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe recently returned to Broadway in The Cripple of Inishmaan. When asked about his co-stars Broadway debut, Radcliff, had this to say; ”I am very excited to see it. I will not be there on opening night. But, I definitely want to come and see it. I saw his work in London and the effect that doing stage work had him. He was so excited. For all of us Harry Potter was such a unique and intense experience that we are actually re-learning about ourselves as actors. The theater has been very valuable to us who have done it. Everyone is trying different stuff and the reason is clear. It is that we all learn from it and grow.”

T2C had a chance to talk to the down-to-earth unaffected amusing redhead.

T2C: Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, Cheetah Chrome, A shady wannabe porn star and now a wunderkind director. You take on roles that are completed and challenging. What do you look for in a role?

Rupert-Grint-Sweets-in-Mojo-at-the-Harold-Pinter-Theatre.-Photo-credit-Simon-Annand-300x205Rupert Grint: I just wanted to just try it; it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Just the thought of it scared me. I’ve kind of put it off for a long time, and I just thought it was a good time to do it. It was a great play and a really great cast with a great director. By making my stage debut in a play about rival gangs in 50s Soho, it was a risk. But as the drug-dealer Sweets, I could finally distance myself from Ron. I owe everything to Ron but I wanted to play other roles. I loved the fact that Mojo was not a play for the theatre elite. Young people camped out for the £10 day tickets.

T2C: When working on Jez Butterworth’s play Mojo did you know you were taking on one of the hottest playwrights?

RG: That was different because it was my first ever taste of theater in any form, really. Before that it was just school plays and pantomimes, so it was a big learning experience. [Mojo and It’s Only a Play] are very different shows. But I find keeping the concentration quite hard, just being in character for so long. I’m used to dipping in and out. On a film set you’re in character just for a few seconds, then you walk away. So with this, you have to be in the moment for the whole two hours, so it’s hard, but it’s great fun.

T2C: Now with It’s Only a Play you have the prolific dialogue of Terrence McNally. You seem to have a strong hold on who is a playwright to watch. Has theatre always been your love?

RG: I’ve kind of spent a lot of time with a lot of different directors. Working on Potter, I had this wealth of very various different directors—Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell,but my character Frank is much more complicated, he’s deeply troubled, so it’s been interesting playing a character with issues. It’s fun. The first few weeks, I just felt quite out of my depth, cause it is quite an overwhelming cast. I just feel so lucky that the whole company is just so experienced, and Jack O’Biren is an amazing director—and Terrence. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by these people. Theatre has opened my eyes; I’ve learned so much.
www.t2conline.comRupert and Callum Wilson

normal_CROPPED_Starlight_wish_child_Callum_Wilson_with_Rupert_Grint-copy-282x300T2C: What is your guilty pleasure?

RG: My guilty pleasure is offensive T-shirts.

T2C: When you were on the set of Harry Potter did you study at all with the stable of actors you had the chance to work with?

RG: There were so many. All of them. I loved working with them. I’ve worked again with Alan Rickman. I’ve worked with Julie Walters before as well, she’s great. I like Michael Gambon. He’s so cool, he’s a remarkable guy.

T2C: You are the ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which grants wishes to terminally ill children. What was your favorite wish to grant?

RG: Making 9-year-old Callum Wilson, dream come true. Callum, suffers from neurofibromatosis, which causes tumours to grow along his nerves. He is a huge Harry potter fan. I brought him chocolate frogs, a broomstick, Gryffindor robes and mounds of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. It is what made me become a part of the Starlight Foundation. People like Callum are an inspiration.

T2C: You drive and own an ice-cream van. What is your favorite ice cream flavor or kind?

RG: Before I started Harry Potter, my main career ambition was to be an ice cream man. I bought an ice cream van as my first car! I don’t drive it much because real ice cream men get pretty territorial. Purple soft whippy machine. Plain and simple, I love chocolate.

T2C: You sing. Do you see yourself doing a musical?

RG: I can kind of sing, but not like that. A song I recently recorded for an animation feature called Postman Pat: The Movie is on an album now. Doing a musical is on a totally different level. I just saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch and that was amazing. I couldn’t do a musical, but it looks fun!

T2C: What is the one thing you would like our readers to know about you?

RG: I love to play golf.

Original article found | September, 1st 2014

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