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Rupert Grint: Harry Potter Insight

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Rupert Grint finally gets the girl. That girl is Hermione (Emma Watson) and for fans of the iconic literary series, that moment could not come soon enough. The only problem is that the ultimate moment for Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger comes in what will serve as the last audiences will ever see of the world of Harry Potter.

Rupert Grint was rather candid about the closing chapter that is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 when we caught up with him. Grint is engrossed on what the rest of the world is currently feeling as Deathly Hallows premieres and a part of our pop cultural collective lives… and ends.
For the kid who bought an ice cream truck with his Harry Potter earnings, it was fitting that he drove it on the set for the final day of filming, stocked with frozen treats. Rupert Grint’s portrayal of Ron is nothing less than perfect. He provides a power that is both sweet innocence coupled with an unwavering belief in his roommate, best friend and Dumbledore Army leader Harry Potter.

Rupert Grint kisses and tells

SheKnows: Was the kissing Hermione (Emma Watson) scene as epic as it is for fans?

Rupert Grint: It was a tricky one to do. Obviously I’ve known Emma so long, she’s like my sister. We were mutually both dreading the scene. We just wanted to make it believable. With the romance of it, because it’s been built up for so many years, we wanted people to think that we actually wanted to kiss each other. In reality we didn’t!

SheKnows: Did they make you do it over and over? Or was it just a couple of takes?

Rupert Grint: We did about four takes. I find it hard to recall anything about that day. It’s been erased from my mind!

SheKnows: What was your favorite scene in the entire series?

Rupert Grint: There are so many really, I find it hard to pick out one, but I think the chess scene in the first one was quite good. It was a huge set and things were being blown up. It was just the coolest place to be.

Ron is Rupert?

SheKnows: Having grown up portraying Ron, how like him are you?

Rupert Grint: After 10 years playing the same guy every day, I think you do naturally morph into him. We have become Ronpert which I think will stay with me for a while. I have always felt this close connection to Ron throughout all the films. There will always be a bit of Ron in me for the rest of my life.

SheKnows: How did personal time with J.K. Rowling aid your effort to capture Ron Weasley over eight films?

Rupert Grint: Whenever J.K. Rowling came to the set and we would chat, we rarely ever spoke about the story, we just kind of chatted generally. She filled us in with the epilogue, where the characters go and what they do for a living, she had written kind of the rest of their lives really, so that was quite interesting to hear what we all became. I worked in the ministry doing something and I forgot what Emma’s character was doing.

SheKnows: How did you deal with the immense spotlight these films have brought you?

Rupert Grint: The attention is quite strange and never being invisible completely. It took me a while to adjust to it, because I was always quite a shy kid. It’s something you actually take for granted. I remember the first time I was recognized was at a shopping center where I live which was near a school and the first film had just come out. It was really weird but I enjoyed it. It was quite cool actually, as it’s something I’ve never really hid from. It’s just become a part of my life now.

SheKnows: What prompted you to buy an ice cream truck?

Rupert Grint: The ice cream truck was something I’ve always wanted. That’s what I wanted to be was to be an ice cream man. So as soon as I passed my driving test, I got an ice cream van.

SheKnows: Are you a role model for redheads?

Rupert Grint: I’ve always been quite a proud ginger. Having ginger hair is not the coolest thing really. It’s nice that Ron is quite a respected ginger and Prince Harry as well. Yeah, I get a lot of support from the ginger community.

Grint on aging

SheKnows: How does filming Deathly Hallows Part 2 compare to the other seven films?

Rupert Grint: This was the most depressing one actually I have ever done. It was deathly. I think it helps you get into the mood when you’re on the set and hearing Maggie Smith sobbing, it brought the mood down.

SheKnows: How did you like seeing yourself as an older man?

Rupert Grint: The first attempt for my character in particular was quite terrifying. I looked like a monster really — a bit like a Donald Trump — I had no hair and I was obese [laughs]. I think it was a bit too much. Then they found the balance finally. It was a very strange thing to film really, just sitting in the makeup chair and watching them gradually age me. It was quite terrifying.

SheKnows: With the second version that you shot, do you feel like you’ve seen yourself 20 years from now?

Rupert Grint: It would be interesting to compare it in 19 years to see how accurate it is. I hope not [laughs]!

SheKnows: How do you feel about the ending of the Harry Potter movies?

Rupert Grint: It’s been a very weird time really of accepting the end. We finished filming a year ago and I now have this quite empty feeling. It’s taken me quite a while to accept. We had the London premiere two days ago and I got really emotional! I’m not usually that emotional. This experience has really been my childhood. I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

SheKnows: Did one particular scene while filming the final film get you?

Rupert Grint: Where it’s the three of us after the battle and we are walking on the bridge and the castle is destroyed behind us — it felt kind of parallel with our own lives really. It has been quite emotional and seeing the film as well, I did get quite choked up at the end. It’s quite sad because I’m going to really miss it.


Original article found here: sheknows.com| July 13th, 2011

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Rupert Grint: ‘It’s Going to Be Hard to Shake Ron Weasley Out of Me’


Rupert Grint has played Harry Potter’s faithful sidekick, Ron Weasley, for more than half his life. And with each film, he’s come into his own — both on and off screen.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, the young star transforms into a romantic hero, as Ron and Hermione Granger [Emma Watson] finally share their first kiss.

Grint, 22, talked to Parade.com about saying farewell to his beloved character as the series reaches its end.

It hasn’t sunk in that it’s over.
“Not entirely, no. It’s still quite a strange thing to come to terms with, just the fact that we won’t be coming back next year. It really is the end. I’m not usually sentimental with stuff like that, but it has been a huge part of our lives, and it just feels really sudden that it’s all coming to an end. This feeling of freedom is quite overwhelming.”

On letting go of Ron Weasley.
“It’s been a decade of playing the same person and a character I already felt quite close to anyway because of the books. We really have become the same person. I think it’s going to be hard to shake him out of me.”

See photos of Daniel, Emma, and Rupert through the years

On the most emotional scene he filmed.
“The scene after the battle, with the three of us on the bridge. It’s the moment that kind of chokes me up the most. It is just that power between me, Dan, and Emma. Every day, every week, every month, every year, we’ve come together and made these films quite intensely. It is a really intimate process, making a film. You do form this tight bond, especially this being such a unique way of growing up, we’ve all shared that. We’ll always stay in touch.”

Support for his friend and co-star, Daniel Radcliffe.
“I saw Dan’s play last night. It was awesome, really great. He looks so happy. He’s just alive. It’s really great to see.”

On his highly-anticipated kiss with Emma Watson.
“We felt the pressure a little bit, because this is a moment that’s been built up for so long now, and it had to come down to this one moment. It’s a scene that wasn’t in the book, it was written for the film. And it’s not just a kiss—it’s this big, romantic moment, and it had to be believable, which I hope it is. It was a challenge. We had a laugh about it.”

On seeing the lip-lock on the big screen.
“I didn’t enjoy watching it, especially in 3-D! It’s harder watching it than doing it.”

Would you be sorted into Gryffindor or Slytherin? Take the quiz and find out!

Rupert Grint, the action star?
“I’m not the most physical person; I don’t go to the gym or anything like that. And running is something I rarely ever do. But the stunts are good fun, and this film was just full of that, just being chased by things, chasing things, running in between rubble. It was really cool.”

On getting a glimpse into the future while filming the epilogue.
“It was quite satisfying at the end of the day, ripping all the makeup and stuff off and instantly becoming younger. I suppose in 20 years time I’m not going to be able to do that! It was good fun, but it’s a weird thing to get your head around.”

Take the ultimate Harry Potter quiz!

On his struggle with fame.
“I don’t think you ever really get used to it. I do miss just being able to go to the shops or have a meal without people taking pictures and stuff. It’s not the best, but it’s just part of it. It’s never really been something I’ve hid from, either.”

His family has kept him grounded, especially his four younger siblings.
“It’s a big adjustment for them as well, I guess. It’s a sudden change of life, really. It’s been vital for me to have them around me, and the support has been key.”

On his favorite Potter memory.
“My first-ever scene on the set was really cool. It was actually the last scene on the first film, when we were leaving Hogwarts on the train. It was just such a change. One week I was literally at school and reading the Potter books, and suddenly I was on the set. It was just a really overwhelming, exciting thing. I felt quite out of my depth, because I did feel like the most inexperienced person there. But it was just great to be there.”

On what he’ll miss the most.
“The people, the friendships, the memories, and the place—just going to the same place everyday. It became a second home. I remember packing everything up in the last few weeks and finding toys and birthday cards from when I was 13 and 14. I never imagined I’d be here 10 years later talking about the eighth film. It just seems so surreal. It’s been so much fun. I really am truly going to miss it.”


Original article found here: Parade | July 11th, 2011

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Rupert Grint bids farewell to Ron


NEW YORK – Nobody seems to enjoy the Harry Potter experience more than Rupert Grint, these days.

Previously, the reluctant conversationalist would endure interviews, but the 22-year-old seems genuinely at ease as he enters a fancy Manhattan hotel suite.

He flashes his sheepish grin while looking positively pleased with life as he knows it, even though the end is near.

Opening worldwide on Friday, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 completes the record-setting run of eight movies based on the seven bestselling J. K. Rowling fantasy novels.

In the final David Yates-directed chapter, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Grint) continue their quest to destroy the magical Horcrux objects, which will stop the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) from becoming immortal.

When the trio’s mission leads them back to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a showdown looms between Harry and Voldemort.

But Part 2 isn’t all about battles and special effects; the film also features the long-awaited smooch between Hermione (Watson) and Ron (Grint), as their relationship heats up.

Grint seems just as bewildered by the interest in the kiss and the romance between Ron and Hermione as his character is.

“It was a tricky one to do,” he said of the lip-lock with Watson, who had become like a sister to Grint. “We were both mutually dreading the scene.”
Four takes later, they nailed it, and Grint hopes the kiss will be believable to Potter fans.

“It’s been built up for so many years,” said the actor. “But I’m trying to erase it from my mind.”

He would rather recall the Gringotts Wizarding Bank heist, in which Harry, Ron and Hermione get trapped inside the Lestrange vault. “We’re drowning in all this gold,” he said. “It’s a great scene to be a part of.”

Then there was the emotion associated with the harrowing moments of loss during the Battle of Hogwarts and the parallel feelings of sadness about the franchise concluding.

It made acting sullen easier.

“The Hogwarts Great Hall looked like the hospital wing in a Second World War movie,” said Grint of the confrontation’s aftermath. “And hearing Maggie Smith (as Professor Minerva McGonagall) sobbing brought everything down.”

On another front, he’s more relieved than pleased with the fact that director Yates did re-shoots of the epilogue depicting Harry, Ron and Hermione as parents 19 years later. Originally, Yates decided to age the actors with heavy makeup and hair pieces, but the adornments turned out to be too much, especially Ron’s.

“In the first attempt, my character was particularly terrifying,” he recalled. “The image still haunts me. I looked like a monster, really, a sort of Donald Trump mixture.”

Eventually, Yates and crew “really did find the right balance” of makeup and computer effects to age all three seamlessly.

Meanwhile, Grint said he’s become more Ron-like over the past 10 years.

“I’ve always felt this close connection to Ron,” said Grint, who won a Ron look-alike contest before auditioning for the film part.

“And after a decade of playing the same person, you do naturally morph into this guy. A bit of Ron will be in me for the rest of my life.”

A bit of red-headed activism will be a part of his life, too

“I get a lot of people from the ginger community shaking my hand,” he said. “In England, not so much in America, it’s not the coolest thing (being red-headed), really, and they get hassled.

“It’s nice I can get some respect for the gingers,” he said, adding with a smile, “and Prince Harry is really cool, too.”

Radcliffe might be the intense one, and Watson, the self-assured over-achiever, but Grint is the most casually glib of the three headliners.

Certainly, he has enjoyed his Potter rewards more conspicuously. He owns two country mansions in Hertfordshire, England, including an 18th-century quasi-castle with six bedrooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and two cottages in 22-acre grounds.

He also has a fancy farmhouse with a lake, lots of farm animals and a staff to take care of the hobbyist spread.

Besides Grint’s much-discussed Mr. Whippy ice-cream truck, he’s often photographed driving a beat-up pickup truck. He also owns a Range Rover, a VW camper van, and – because he wanted one – a hovercraft.

The ice-cream truck seems to get the most press, however. “It’s something I’ve always wanted, a childhood dream. As soon as I passed my driver’s test, I got one.”

He’ll have a lot more time to entertain friends and family with the vehicle, as he considers the next steps after his obligations to promote Part 2 soon come to an end.

“We finished filming a year ago, and I was left with an empty feeling,” Grint said. “It’s been weird accepting that it’s done. It’s going to take a while to let go, but I am slowly getting used to it.”


Original article found here: The Vancouver Sun | July 11th, 2011

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Interview: Harry Potter Cast and Crew Say Goodbye at Final Red Carpet

It all ends here. And here, this week, was New York City, where Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the cast of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 walked their last red carpet for the final Potter premiere … ever. FilmCritic.com was lucky enough to be on the carpet where we tossed questions at the Potter creative team as they posed for pictures, signed autographs for fans, and prepared to say farewell to this beloved film franchise after 10 magical years.

Q: Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy scored a Best Picture Oscar on its final try. Would it matter to you if the Harry Potter franchise managed to do the same?
Rupert Grint: It’s never been something that really mattered to us. This [gesturing at the screaming fans] is a good enough kind of award, just seeing the enthusiasm from our fans. It’s just as pleasing to us as it is to them.

Harry Potter producer David Heyman: Yes, this is our Academy. We are making films for an audience, and this is as rewarding as it gets. Academy recognition would be wonderful, but that’s not what it’s about for us. It’s about these people out here, some of who have been camping out for 6 days. At the London premiere, people traveled from as far away as Brazil and Japan, camping out in the rain to show their support. They are amazing.

Q: Rupert, do you remember the very first scene you filmed as Ron Weasley?

RG: Oh yeah, I remember it clearly. It actually was the very last scene of the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And I remember it being so sudden. One week, I was in school reading the Harry Potter books, and the next week, I’m on a film set. It was just crazy, and such a high for me.

Q: David, you had such a key role in the casting of these iconic roles.

DH: Well, Emma Watson was always much more beautiful than the way Hermione was described in the books. [Laughs] But you know, [Deathly Hallows director] David Yates said something beautiful the other day, and it’s true. He said that in some ways, we are all standing on the shoulders of [original director] Chris Columbus, because it was he who cast Dan, Rupert and Emma. He cast Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith. I helped and I supported, but it was mostly Chris at the time.

Q: For parents introducing their kids to the Harry Potter franchise for the first time, should they use the movies or J.K. Rowling’s books?

Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves: Start with the books. Well, OK, it depends on how old your kids are. But I would sit every night and read one or two chapters with your kids. That was a great joy that I had with my daughter. And then one of the little deaths of my life occurred when my daughter could read on her own, and she started reading the books without me. But I loved that time, reading Jo’s books with her.

Q: Can you recommend a similar literary series Potter fans can use to fill the void now that the franchise is ending?
SK: Well, actually, the thing that’s different about Potter is that in a way it wasn’t a franchise. We had one long tale written by Jo Rowling. We didn’t end up with Harry fighting Nazis on the moon. [Laughs] I think there will be other decent series out there, but there’s not going to be another Potter because there’ll never be another Jo Rowling.

Q: Any parting words to Harry Potter fans?

Tom Felton: Just a thank you. Every year, they have surprised us with their support and passion, so thank you so much.
DH: Yes, thank you, thank you, thank you. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you very much, Potter fans.


Original article found here: filmcritics.com | July 11th, 2011

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Emma Watson’s double trouble

Emma Watson needed a “lot of doubles” on ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ because of her education commitments.

The British actress – who has played Hermione in all of the seven films based on the books by J.K. Rowling – was doing college work at Brown University in the US while shooting was ongoing, and Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, reveals special techniques had to be employed because she wasn’t always available.

He said: “She wasn’t here a lot, really. We had to shoot around her, really, because she had commitments for her university. She had a lot of doubles. They made a mask of Emma’s face, a prosthetic for wide shots.

“She was there for big days and really important scenes and stuff. But I don’t know how she did it, really. It’d be so weird to be in that school environment and then be on set. I couldn’t do it.”

In the final part of the last movie, the cast – including Daniel Radcliffe, who has played the titular boy wizard for 10 years – are aged to put themselves in their mid-30s, and Rupert admits it was strange watching himself “deteriorate” while getting made up.

He told the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex Blog: “It was really quite terrifying, sitting in the makeup chair and gradually watching your face kind of deteriorate. Initially, we had to reshoot the end. I had a massive fat suit. We had to learn how to move like an older person. We had kids as well. I had this weird Donald Trump kind of hairstyle.”


Original article found here: | July 11th, 2011

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Rupert Grint: I decided against getting a tattoo when Harry Potter finished

Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the rest of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows cast reveal what it’s like saying goodbye to a magical life at Hogwarts and what’s next for the gang.

‘I’m comparing it to leaving school,’ says Matthew Lewis, aka mild-mannered Neville Longbottom, the unlikely hero of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. ‘Only when we left school, we didn’t leave in front of 10,000 people in the middle of London. It’s an odd prospect.’ And an emotional one.

Tears were shed off – and on – the red carpet at Thursday’s British premiere of the final Harry Potter movie because it’s not just fans who are saying goodbye to Hogwarts. Metro went to meet its young cast, who are finally graduating from the cosy confines of the highest-grossing film franchise of all time and wondering: what next?

‘It’s been a real mixture of feelings since we finished,’ admits Rupert Grint, aka Harry’s best friend, Ron Weasley, the only cast member to look younger (and no cooler) in real life. ‘I remember looking forward to it. It’s been such a huge commitment and the thought of some freedom seemed really needed.

‘But actually, the last day was really sad,’ Grint adds, his big, blue eyes and white eyelashes making him look like a downcast pet gerbil in need of a cuddle. ‘I kind of underestimated how important these ten years have really been. And since we’ve finished, I’ve kind of felt lost without it. I had all these plans, like getting tattoos and changing my hairstyle, stuff we weren’t allowed to do during production. Then, as soon as I had that freedom, I thought: “Nah, I don’t want to do that.”’

Other cast members were not so conservative. ‘Skiing, bungee jumping, sky-diving – I’ve ticked all those off,’ laughs Tom Felton, unrecognisable as Harry’s rival, Draco Malfoy, thanks to his low-cut Jude Law-style T-shirt and new tan, gained while shooting upcoming Hollywood blockbuster Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. ‘It is a bit like leaving school,’ he says. ‘At first I was terrified of being thrust into the big, bad world but it’s something that excites me now.’

And despite losing out to Daniel Radcliffe in the original auditions, Felton has nothing but praise for his on-screen nemesis. ‘People ask if I’m jealous I didn’t get to play Harry but God knows I could never have done what Dan’s done,’ says Felton. ‘He’s exceptionally polite, he’s always kind and I’ve never seen him lose his temper or raise his voice.’

‘I think it really goes to show that you can be an actor with that amount of fame and be followed everywhere, and you don’t have to be a knobhead,’ chimes in Lewis, who, with his Leeds lad stubble, Ray-Bans and styled quiff, is similarly unrecognisable as Neville.

Head boy Radcliffe is absent today ‘due to his Broadway schedule’ (he’s starring in a musical in New York despite never having sung or danced on stage before). Unofficial head girl Emma Watson, now studying at Brown University in between fashion shoots for the likes of Vogue, is here, though, and is similarly respected by cast and crew alike.

‘She’s not only a hugely talented actress, she is super bright,’ says David Heyman, who first happened upon an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript in 1997 and has since produced every movie. ‘Emma supposedly got the highest grade in her English A level in the entire country. She got into Oxbridge and she could have gone to Harvard.’

That’s an achievement Watson herself credits to her Potter character, super swot Hermione. ‘I think Hermione made me work harder just as a result of comparing myself to her every day,’ she enthuses.

‘In a way, I guess I’m headmaster,’ Heyman muses. Of course, he acknowledges, teenagers will be teenagers. ‘There was an article in GQ magazine recently about how Dan said he’d “stopped drinking” after he was drinking a lot on the film. But at 18 years old, what do you do? I was partying like a demon.

‘Yes, they party, they drink, they have a good time, they sleep with people, all the natural things you do at that age. But if you consider the pressure that’s been on them, I feel really proud that they have turned out as well as they have.’

And, Heyman admits, school really is out. ‘There won’t be another Harry Potter book,’ confirms this close confidante of JK Rowling. ‘I mean, what’s it going to be? Harry Goes To Business School?’

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is in cinemas this week and it will be reviewed in MetroLife on Friday.


Original article found here: metro.co.uk | July 11th, 2011

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For ‘Potter’ kids, a magical journey

As the decade-long saga comes to a close, and after all manner of magical exploits dazzle Muggle moviegoers, the final image on screen in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” is low-key. The trio of young wizards stand silently side-by-side, their expressions revealing exhaustion, relief, triumph and anticipation.

This seems a fitting visual for the actors who have brought J.K. Rowling’s characters of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley to vivid life.

On Friday, the final movie in the eight-film series opens amid much fanfare and some nostalgia.

Daniel Radcliffe, 21, Emma Watson, 21, and Rupert Grint, 22, embarked on the Potter series as children not knowing what magical mystery tour awaited them. They have come out the other end as experienced adult actors with intriguing futures beckoning — though, with the millions each earned for the eight films, they could afford to take a very long sabbatical.

“Emma was 10 and Daniel and Rupert were 11 when I started writing for them,” says “Potter” screenwriter Steve Kloves. “I wrote appropriately for their age group. But by the end, I wrote as challenging material for them as I did for Michael Gambon (who plays Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore) or anybody else. In fact, I think I gave them the most challenging material.”

The series may be named after the bespectacled boy wizard, but his two best buddies have been just as instrumental in keeping record-breaking numbers of fans bewitched by the Potter films, the most financially successful film franchise of all time, having earned $6.4 billion worldwide to date.

“Casting the three was the single most important decision in the history of these movies,” Kloves says. “At the end of the day, the series will live and die on the strength of those three children. It won’t live and die on how cool a dragon looks. I think Jo Rowling would admit the plot is quite secondary to the characters and what they embody and represent.”

Where to from here?

Now that the final film is about to hit theaters, and the globally famous trio of young actors has walked the red carpet in London for the eighth and final time, their adult careers loom. They have morphed from wide-eyed, slightly gawky kids to full-fledged, graceful actors.

When half of your life has been spent making the most popular films in history, where do you go from there?

For Watson, spending a decade on the “Potter” set has been what she’s known best. “I’ve grown up doing this so it doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like part of my identity.”

All three have taken roles while on breaks from shooting Potter, but now the next phase of their lives begins in earnest. “Little did I know when I started that I would be watching the last film while starring in a play on Broadway,” says Radcliffe, who is playing the lead role in the revival of the 1952 musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

“There are so many things I will miss about Harry and playing the part. There are some things I won’t miss, but I will miss playing an action hero. It’s bittersweet, absolutely.”

Grint was struck by sadness on the final day of filming, particularly after Radcliffe made an emotional speech about his production “family.”

“The last day of filming was unexpectedly more emotional than I thought it would be,” he says. “It was a weird feeling when we finished. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt kind of lost, really, without it. But it was a relief, too. I was exhausted and looking forward to having a bit of freedom. I was also quite sad because a huge part of my life had ended.”

Her years spent in the company of her two pals, Ron and Harry, left a deep imprint on Watson. “I’m going to miss it so much,” she says. “There’s a big hole to fill. Dan, Rupert and I have this amazing chemistry because we have years and years of history. David (Yates, the director) kept saying, “Use this bond you really have and bring it to the movie.’ And we really did try.”

Yates says Radcliffe relished being the series emissary.

“He is older than his years,” says Yates. “He would readily enjoy the role, especially when we had guests, because he is Harry Potter, basically.”

But Radcliffe also longs to be other characters.

In order to attempt something far removed from the magical world of Hogwarts, he took the role of ambitious young J. Pierrepont Finch in the musical.

During a break in “Potter” filming in 2007, Radcliffe also played the lead role in “Equus” on London’s West End and later on Broadway.

But “How to Succeed” called upon entirely different skills from riding a broomstick or acting with giant puppet creatures.

“I took a lot of dance lessons,” he says. “It’s not something I had a natural ability for. I just had to take a lot of time and learn it. The musical is a huge amount of fun. It’s not like Equus where it was a physical and mental effort.”

But Radcliffe has always been one for a challenge, according to those who have watched him grow up on set. Still, he recently owned up to drinking rather heavily in his late teens, during the filming of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” in 2007 and 2008.

“I became reliant on (alcohol) to enjoy stuff,” he said in the latest issue of British GQ. “There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me.”

He says he hasn’t had a drink since August 2010. Indeed, at the November premiere of the last film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” in London, he told USA TODAY that he signed autographs for fans gathering for days in Leicester Square, then skipped the premiere after-party.

“I came straight home,” he said the day after the London premiere. “I had a bowl of Sugar Puffs. I treated myself. I actually had some Ben & Jerry’s as well. I did not wake up with even a remotely sore head.”

Chris Columbus, who cast the trio and directed the first two “Potter” films (“The Sorcerer’s Stone” and “The Chamber of Secrets”), says he saw his job as “making those kids feel like they were in a really welcoming, warm, comfortable environment. They didn’t have a lot of experience, and they needed that to be able to perform.”

Columbus adds: “If we could have looked ahead 10 years and known it would be as successful as it has been, I think we all would have been a little more relaxed.”

But in those early films, Columbus says, he spent a lot of time standing beside the camera, encouraging the kids to focus on their lines.

“On that first film, at any one point any one of those kids would be distracted, so we had three, sometimes four, cameras running all the time,” he says. “The first film was shot a bit like a documentary because the kids were in such awe of being on a set that they’d say a line and then look at each other and smile or look up at the lights and start to laugh.”

Mature films beckon

Those days are long gone. All three are seasoned pros, and their upcoming projects don’t have a whiff of magic about them:

Radcliffe has “Woman in Black,” a horror thriller coming out in January.

Watson made a film called “My Week With Marilyn,” out in November. A young style icon, she recently took a leave from Brown University to create her own fashion line for People Tree and her eco-friendly Pure Threads. She also has modeled in Lancome ads.

Grint just finished shooting the World War II drama “Comrade,” which comes out next year. It’s based on the true story of a pair of British RAF pilots who shoot down a plane with Nazi fighters and then crash on a mountainside in Norway.

After playing a cheeky character known for comic relief, Grint was happy to undertake something weightier.

“To film in a different country where it was minus-25 and snow up to your knees was a real experience,” says Grint. “It was a lot more comfortable working on “Harry Potter’ when you have this big dressing room and there’s a bit more luxury. But it was nice to see a different side.”

Grint can’t imagine what next year might be like, with no Potter to return to. “I think it’ll really hit me next year after the DVD has come out and it’s all kind of faded away and become quiet.”
Watson also felt mixed emotions at the end of the Potter era.

“I felt very privileged to have played Hermione,” Watson says. “She’s someone young girls can look up to because she’s true to herself. She’s smart and an incredibly courageous and loyal friend who keeps a cool head in extremely difficult situations.”

The three on-screen pals have remained in touch since filming their final scene, just as their characters do after leaving Hogwarts. But will they still be friends 20 years down the road, as their characters are?

“Oh, yeah,” says Grint. “We’ll always be in touch because we’ve all shared this unique experience together. That will always keep us friends.”


Original article found here: courierpostonline.com | July 11th, 2011

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Harry Potter ready to cast his final spell


With the massive impact the Harry Potter movies have had over the last decade, it’s difficult to conjure up the image of an anxious David Heyman.

But the Potter producer admits he was “incredibly nervous” about the future of the franchise just before the inaugural movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, opened in 2001.

“I couldn’t even get a two-picture deal before the release of that first one,” he recalled while promoting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 in London.

He has no worries now as the much anticipated Deathly Hallows — Part 2 opens on July 15. The blockbuster is poised to set box-office records, which will likely include surpassing the North American opening weekend of The Dark Knight, a staggering US$158.4-million.

Still, Heyman confesses that he has mixed emotions just like the films’ fans — a combination of sadness, celebration and frenzy befitting the dramatic conclusion to an iconic string of movies.

The great news for all concerned is that the series seems to be going out with a bang. In the finale, wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) confronts the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in a momentous showdown. “Part 2 is like a big opera with huge battles,” director David Yates says.

Of course, this last instalment in the series also features the long-awaited kiss between Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), while their burgeoning relationship offers much needed comic relief from the unrelenting tension.

“We go off on this little adventure together,” Watson says. “It’s kind of like a comedy act because it’s the first time that you see them in tune.

“I really enjoyed the experience. Rupert is a great comedic actor, and so we had a really good time bringing the humour out of everything that we could.”

There’s also a graduation at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which includes “lump-in-the-throat” nostalgic sequences.

Some ghostly apparitions recall family and friends from the past. And, an ethereal Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) presents himself to expose mind-boggling secrets from his younger days.

Still, the epic wand duel between Harry and Voldemort is the climactic set piece. It’s rejigged from the book to include a chase through the halls of Hogwarts and a mind-boggling brawl in which the “apparating” combatants appear and disappear.

Most pundits predict that Part 2 will be the best Potter picture yet. “It’s the perfect way to sign off,” says Heyman, a former studio executive who first saw film potential in J.K. Rowling’s books. Indeed, he was the optimistic filmmaker who persuaded a skeptical Rowling to do movie versions of her novels before they became a global phenomenon. He was also the stubborn movie maven who resisted studio demands to Americanize Potter, and backed Rowling when she insisted on the English setting and an English cast.

All the fretting seems moot now. Rowling has set worldwide publishing records, selling more than 450 million copies of the seven-book series. The eight films, based on the novels, will likely hit a box-office total of US$7.5-billion by the time Deathly Hallows — Part 2 runs its theatrical course this summer.

Even more amazing is the fact that multiple directors have nurtured the film versions of the books, which became darker and more threatening as they progressed.

American director Chris Columbus, who made his mark with the Home Alone movies, introduced Potter to the film world with Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets.

Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón brought a furious flair to The Prisoner of Azkaban. Brit Mike Newell took on the fourth, The Goblet of Fire, and added foreboding to the narrative.

Former British TV director David Yates arrived to heighten the tautness, in the fifth Potter movie, The Order of the Phoenix, then The Half-Blood Prince and the two-part finale.

Radcliffe credits Yates for refining the performances in the pictures by quietly expecting more from his three lead actors.

“He was always telling us that we could do better,” says Radcliffe, currently receiving raves for his headlining role in the Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

By the time they approached the acting demands of both Deathly Hallows pictures, Yates had them ready for great challenges. “It really was a natural progression,” Radcliffe says. “It didn’t feel like we were being asked to make a massive leap. It felt like we were being allowed to do what we had been preparing to do for the last two or three years.”

Watson agrees that the director raised the acting bar from The Order of the Phoenix onward. “The thing about working with David Yates is that you always hear this word truth, and finding the truth, and being honest and real,” she says. “He wants it to be from the heart. Because of that, I think that made us better.”


Original article found here: arts.nationalpost.com| July 10th, 2011

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‘Harry Potter’ class graduates without child-actor woes

LOS ANGELES — If the young cast of the “Harry Potter” films received report cards for their school days at Hogwarts, they’d all probably earn the notation, “plays well with others.”

Cast as impressionable children in Hollywood’s biggest fantasy franchise, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and their many young co-stars have maneuvered through 11 years of fame — and the temptations it brings — without any whispers of Lindsay Lohan-style meltdowns that can derail child actors.

They’ve grown up smart, humble, polite and professional, eager to balance modest private lives with productive acting careers rather than leap into the party-till-dawn celebrity lifestyle.

The actors and the headmasters of the Warner Bros. franchise say it wasn’t magic that kept the kids on their best behavior. It was the luck of the draw when the youngsters were first cast, good parenting, mindful shepherding that resembled the rigors and care of the finest boarding schools, and a sheltered workplace outside of London, far from Hollywood’s madding crowds.

“It’s very different doing it in England,” said Radcliffe, who was 11 when cast in the title role as the boy wizard for 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and turns 22 the week after the mid-July debut of the final film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

“In America, you’re treated as an actor first and a kid second. Here, you’re very much treated as a kid first and an actor second. In fact, you’re not really treated as an actor. You’re treated as a kid on a film set, which is how it should be, because that’s all you are at that point. No one’s an actor at 12.”

And with the performers so young, their parents were instrumental in steering the children through busy working lives and the madness of instant celebrity.

“We couldn’t have done it without the family support that’s kept all three of them and the supporting cast all lovely, lovely people,” said David Barron, a producer on most of the “Harry Potter” films. “They’ve got very strong families who kept them really strongly grounded.”

With tens of millions of “Harry Potter” fans to please and billions of dollars at stake, Warner Bros. went to great lengths to protect and nurture the stars through eight films and a decade of hard work.

Sets to create author J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and other Potter locations were built at Leavesden Studios northwest of London, giving the filmmakers a controlled environment where they could work and essentially help raise their young charges.

“It’s been a bit of a bubble, and it’s been very self-contained, and I think we just have good people around us,” said Watson, who was 10 when cast as Hermione Granger and now is 21. “We’ve just been lucky that we haven’t been exploited in any way.”

Radcliffe, Watson, Grint and such co-stars as Tom Felton, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch and Matthew Lewis had tutors on set, along with armies of studio publicists to help coach them through the media circus of almost-annual premieres and press junkets to promote each film.

The filmmakers say Leavesden became a kind of Hogwarts boarding school for the cast.

“It was a place that was just us, nobody else,” said David Heyman, a producer on all of the “Harry Potter” films. “That has enabled us to sort of cocoon ourselves in an environment, in a way, that I think is a supportive and a safe one.”

The actors developed strong work ethics, and the filmmakers saw traits in their stars that mirrored those of the characters.

Like Harry, Radcliffe assumed a solicitous leadership role, sort of a goodwill ambassador on set. Like Hermione, Watson was studious, hurling herself into her education. Like Ron Weasley, Grint had a playful humor and the support of a large family.

“You felt people are just kind of waiting for us to fall into that stereotype of, I suppose, child actors,” said Grint, who started on “Potter” at age 11 and turns 23 a month after the final film opens. “But I’ve always been quite busy. Never really had much time to go too crazy. I come from a big family, as well, and that always helps you to know who you are.”

Director David Yates, who made the final four “Harry Potter” films, said he wondered a few years back whether some of his stars might turn into a handful as they reached the rebellious late-teen years.

“Because, they have every right to kind of get angry or frustrated,” Yates said. “They carry a lot of responsibility. They’re under tremendous pressure. They have enormous temptations. The world is at their feet. They get paid enormous amounts of money. But they haven’t gone over the edge, and I think it’s the people around them. I think there’s something ingrained with them. It’s their family.”

Many child actors have trouble landing more adult roles once they outgrow their cute and cuddly phase and can get sidetracked into drugs or alcohol, such as Lohan and others before her, including Danny Bonaduce, Corey Feldman and Macauley Culkin.

So far, the key “Potter” stars have remained focused. Radcliffe has done Broadway with “Equus” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and stars in the upcoming big-screen thriller “The Woman in Black.” Watson is studying at Brown University and has a role in the upcoming Marilyn Monroe drama “My Week With Marilyn.” Grint did a couple of independent movies in between “Potter” films and stars in the upcoming war saga “Comrade.”


Original article found here: htrnews.com| July 10th, 2011

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Rupert Grint

Character: Ron Weasley

Date of Birth: August 14, 1988

First appeared in Harry Potter: aged 12

Estimated fortune: €23m

If Radcliffe plays the flamboyant actor, and Watson the clever clogs, Rupert Grint is without a doubt the laid-back one.

While the other two are more focused and precise, Grint has been more inclined to ride the rollercoaster that is the Harry Potter experience.

He owns a working ice cream van, a hovercraft, a bright orange Range Rover and a Mini fitted with special Lamborghini doors. He once bought a coin-operated fortune-telling machine from a fairground, learnt to ride a unicycle and recently bought two miniature donkeys to go with his miniature pigs.

“I do, kind of, spend a lot,” he says. “And just on stupid things, because I don’t really know what to do. What are you supposed to do? It just seems like way too much. We don’t deserve it, at all, for what we do.”

However, not all his spending has been as frivolous. He has a flat in east London and also owns an estate near his parents Hertfordshire home, said to be worth around £5m.

Grint has the children’s news programme Newsround to thank for his fame.

His dad Nigel, a memorabilia dealer, and his mother Jo filmed him rapping about why he’d be perfect for the role as Potter’s red-headed sidekick after the show aired a casting call in 1999.

He took to life in front of the cameras with ease.

“At that age you’re fearless,” he says. “Nothing bothers you.”

However, as his teenage years progressed, his confidence began to retreat. “There comes an awkward stage when you’re growing up,” he says, “when you’re just really aware of yourself, and quite self-conscious. And I did kind of pull back a little bit.”

“He lived his teenage years under a spotlight,” said Potter producer David Heyman, “but one of the many things I love about Rupert is that he just gets on with it. He enjoys life.”

Nonetheless, of the three lead actors, he has constantly won the praise of critics and co-stars, and was described by John Hurt as the “born actor” of the bunch.

Of the three Potter stars, Grint has the more accomplished acting CV after taking on several leading film roles, including the 2002 British comedy Thunderpants, the 2006 coming-of-age story Driving Lessons and the 2008 thriller Cherrybomb, where he plays a bad boy who stops at nothing to get the girl he covets.

So while Grint may not have matched the earning power of his co-stars so far, his future acting career seems far more bankable.


Original article found here: independent.ie July 9th, 2011

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