Unlike his famous screen alter-ego Ron Weasley, Rupert Grint is the epitome of laid-back cool.
Dressed in a rumpled T-shirt printed with Mozart’s face, Acne jeans and Converses, he grins as he shakes my hand, then ruffles his fingers through his tousled red hair.
“I do get recognised quite often – it’s pretty much every day,” he reveals. “I think my hair colour stands out. People kinda look at me anyway.”
The 21-year-old adds: “It’s quite a strange thing, it’s built up gradually. I’m not completely used to it yet, but people are always really nice so it’s never a problem.”
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We’re meeting today not to talk about his Harry Potter exploits, but rather his new film Wild Target.
“It is nice not to be talking about Potter. Definitely,” he says, smiling.
That doesn’t mean he’s not willing to speak of his wizarding days, which have propelled him and co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson to superstardom since the blockbuster film franchise began in 2001.
While the trio are reported to be among Hollywood’s highest earners under the age of 25, any discussion of this is firmly off the table, with his publicist quickly stepping in to declare the topic off-limits.
Grint – known as Harry Potter’s trusty sidekick Ron – has recently finished filming the final scenes for the two-part finale, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.
“We’ve been at this one since February 2009 so it’s been a really long shoot. I wished it was quicker but then we didn’t want the last few months to end,” he says.
“It’s going to be a very different Harry Potter film. I think it’s going to be a great way to end.”
The Essex-born actor – who now lives in Hertfordshire – filmed Wild Target in London and the Isle of Man in 2008 during a “rare break” after the sixth film in the series, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. He had also just completed British drama Cherrybomb.
He is amazed at the speed Wild Target came together, in comparison to his previous movies.
“It was about six weeks. It’s such a different world to work in,” he says.
“I learnt a lot doing both these films. Everything matters a lot more because of the lower budget.
“We didn’t have the benefit of what Potter has to keep going and going – we had a time limit that put more pressure on you but also made you more into it.”
In the action comedy caper, which also stars Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Martin Freeman, Grint gets to swap his magic wand for a gun, as apprentice hitman Tony. He shadows uptight assassin Victor (Nighy) after they save the life of hapless victim Rose (Blunt).
Now that’s one way of breaking out of the Weasley mould.
“The guns appealed to me quite a bit – it was refreshing, and very unlike Ron. All the action stuff – the car chase too – was really fun,” he says.
Not only does he get to fire a gun (minus real bullets), he also had to learn how to dismantle one.
“I remember really looking forward to it but they are really intimidating. I wasn’t prepared for how powerful and loud they are,” he admits.
“There’s a scene where I also had to assemble a gun blind-folded so I had to learn how the gun comes apart and put it together again. That’s quite useful, I suppose – if I need to do it again, I could,” he adds, grinning.
Grint underwent some gun training in preparation for the role.
“We went to a shooting range to fire real bullets at targets. It was really quite cool to do, but so difficult. I don’t know how people do it,” he says.
In his two non-Potter films, Grint has proved his desire to shake off Ron’s goody-two-shoes image, by taking off his clothes. The actor, who is currently single, bares all in a love scene in Cherrybomb, and reveals himself to Nighy in Wild Target.
“In Harry Potter it was just a kiss, really. It was suggestive more than anything. This was a lot more intimate,” he says of the Cherrybomb episode. “It was quite nerve-wracking.”
He admits he was red-faced at being naked in front of Nighy: “It’s quite embarrassing. Thankfully there weren’t many people on set – just me and Bill. He didn’t really say very much, but yes, it did feel just a bit uncomfortable for the both of us.”
Grint later had to come face-to-face with the legendary actor on the set of Harry Potter, when Nighy played Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour.
“He’s brilliant. You pick up a lot, just from working with him. He’s very calm, gentle and hilarious as well, so we had a lot of fun,” he says.
As the famous wizarding films come to a conclusion, with the first of the two-part finale hitting the big screen this November, it’s no surprise that Grint is considering his post-Potter future.
“As we’re closing to an end now, we’re about to step out into the real world, which is quite a scary thought,” he reveals.
“We’re looking to keep going and find different roles and a way to escape getting typecast. But with Ron, I think I’ll be OK.”
He has already signed on to play record-breaking ski jumper Eddie ’The Eagle’ Edwards in a biopic about his life, although filming hasn’t begun yet.
“I’m quite looking forward to that. He’s a big character and quite funny. It’s still early stages though, it’s not completely final yet,” he says.
“The whole story is inspiring because he’s the classic underdog and he actually did amazing things. He set the British record at the time. He’s just got so much guts.”
Grint, who never thought of acting as a career before Harry Potter changed his life, is open to offers.
“I’d do literally anything. Anything that’s quite different with big characters would be good. Someone dark and insane would be quite cool,” he adds.
He could see himself treading the theatre boards like Harry Potter co-star Daniel, but has some hesitations.
“I’d like to do some stage in the future, definitely, because it seems like you get a lot of satisfaction – probably not naked or singing though,” he says.
“It just seems like a massive step and it’s a different craft because you only get one chance.
“At the moment, I’m just looking at other stuff. I’ll probably take some time off, catch up with friends and have some freedom. Then see what happens and take it as it comes.”
Wild Target will be released in cinemas on Friday June 18
EXTRA TIME – RUPERT GRINT
Rupert Alexander Lloyd Grint was born in Harlow, Essex, on August 24, 1988, but raised in Watton-at-Stone in Hertfordshire.
He acted in school plays and joined the after-school drama club, before applying for the role of Ron Weasley through Newsround: “I didn’t even realise it could be a job. It was all a bit of a fluke.”
Grint is the proud owner of a fully-functioning 1970s ice-cream van: “I got it on eBay. I don’t drive it anymore because you get a lot of people queueing up for ice-cream and I don’t have it always stocked up.”
He would like to play an instrument: “I’ve been trying to learn the banjo for a long time now, and the guitar, but it’s really hard.”
He also draws in his spare time: “I’ve always been into art. I’ve done a few paintings which are auctioned off for charity.”
Original article found here: Telegraph
| June 8, 2010
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