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Rupert Grint Press Archives

Interview with Rupert Grint

From the set in London, we chat with Harry Potter’s Ron Weasley on keeping it fresh, David Yates, the Harry Potter game, and more.

Rupert Grint is among a trio, including Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, who have portrayed the main characters in J.K. Rowling’s seven volume masterwork entitled Harry Potter. He is often portrayed as the comic relief and rather than shirk away or get tired of that reality, Grint seems happy and exactly where he wants to be. In October 2006, IGN.com was among a group who went to the set of the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to chat with Grint and others about their work on the film.

Q: This is the fifth film. How do you keep it fresh and are you still having fun doing it?

Rupert Grint: Definitely, yeah. I quite missed it when we weren’t doing it cause there are really good friends doing this. There’s a really good atmosphere on the set and that’s really why. There’s been a lot of changes on this one, new director, new writer, and that helped a lot to keep it fresh. It’s been a really good one, this one.

Q: How has David Yates’ directing felt different from previous directors?

Grint: Compared to Mike Newell, who did the fourth one, he’s completely different. Mike Newell is really loud and not afraid to swear at you, but he was really cool. David Yates is much more laid back, more quiet, he’s just really good.

Q: You had a scene here where Emma’s character smashes you up against the wall. How did you shoot that? Were you on a rig or something?

Grint: Yeah (laughs), that was really good to do, funny enough. Whenever we get to do stunts, it’s really good. They harnessed me up and basically, what they do, is they get a fat bloke to climb a ladder with a rope attached to a pulley and that sends you back. I didn’t realize that’s how they did it. That was really cool.

Q: Have you done a lot of stunts?

Grint: Yeah, there’s quite a few stunts in that scene but there’s more to come really. We’ve got the thestral stuff. They’re to do a plaster cast of my legs to make this special seat thing for riding the thestrals.

Q: Do you like to do your own stunts?

Grint: Depends on what it is really. If it’s really dodgey, I’ll probably just leave it to the professionals. Whenever we get to do a little thing, it’s really great fun.

Q: How many times did they slam you up against the wall?

Grint: Quite a few takes. Once you’ve done it once, you kind of get used to it.

Q: Did you get black and blue?

Grint: It does give you a bit of a wedgie when you go back, but apart from that it was fine.

Q: We hear that you guys got modeled for the [Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?] game. What’s that going to be like for you?

Grint: Really cool. It’s really weird, sort of seeing yourself on the game. I play him a lot.

Q: You guys did the voice work for that one too?

Grint: No, we didn’t, which is a bit of a shame really, but it should be good.

Q: We hear that your dressing room is the one everyone hangs out in.

Grint: It’s really cool. I’ve got table tennis, darts, pool, and a really massive TV.

Q: What are your thoughts about Quidditch and Ron’s part being cut out of it?

Grint: It’s a bit of a shame. I was looking forward to doing the Quidditch, but that will come up later. There’s some really other good stuff in this one, I mean you can’t get it all in.

Q: What is your favorite scene so far or what are you looking forward to doing next?

Grint: I am looking forward to doing the thestral stuff. All of the Room of Requirement stuff is really cool.

Q: In the Hall of Prophecies, in the Ministry of Magic, it’s a fully digital set, so you’re acting in a big green warehouse? Are you apprehensive about that because there is actually not going to be anything there?

Grint: It’s going to be quite a new thing really. We’ve worked on blue screen before … so we all kind of got used to that part of it. It’s going to be quite cool. Today we’ve been doing some fighting lessons so that was quite interesting.

Q: Have you done any scenes at Grimmauld Place?

Grint: Yeah, they were really good scenes to do. All the Weasleys were together, so it was good.

Q: Have you had any scenes with Evanna?

Grint: Yeah, quite a lot. She’s really cool. There’s quite a lot of new characters in this one, actually.

Q: This is her first job so how has she been with everyone on the set?

Grint: Good really, yeah. She’s perfect for it.

Q: We talked to the twins a little and they both have ambitions behind the camera. Have you thought about that?

Grint: I haven’t really thought about that really. I want to finish the Harry Potter films definitely and I don’t know really. I did a film after the fourth one called Driving Lessons, just a new low budget thing with no special effects and that was quite interesting. I would like to do some other stuff like that so we’ll wait and see.

Q: In this film, we see you and Harry Potter make the transition into adulthood. Now that you’re older is that something you can relate to a little bit better with your character?

Grint: Yeah, definitely. It sort of makes it easier, I guess. In the last one, that played a big part as we were growing up and had all of the awkward moments in teenage life I suppose. There’s a lot more of that now.


Original article found here: IGN | June 26th, 2007

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Harry Potter Casting Call Could Help Ron Weasley Find Perfect Shade Of Lavender

Written by Jennifer Vineyard

Get ready to pucker up, Rupert Grint — the upcoming open casting call for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is about to become your own personal casting coach (albeit in a PG-13 world).

In the next installment of the series, due in November 2008, Grint’s Ron Weasley gets a girlfriend — or, more accurately, a make-out partner — in the form of Lavender Brown. So to make sure Ron gets just the right shade of Lavender, director David Yates has a little test in mind.

“You know what I’m going to do?” Yates said. “I never did this before, but I’m going to get Rupert together with the top five Lavenders, get him to come and read with them and snog with them. It’s a chemical thing, and you want to feel that chemistry between them. That will help me decide.”

“Really?” Grint asked — since this was news to him. “Oh, wow, I didn’t realize that. That’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be embarrassing.”

Grint already had his first on-screen kiss in the indie film Driving Lessons. Still, even with that notch in his belt, the actor isn’t any more at ease with the idea of being instructed at how to tilt his head at just the right angle for the cameras to get the most of his mouth. “It is a bit clinical and they do so many takes,” Grint said. “I’m not really looking forward to it.”

Even though Yates has already seen a lot of Lavenders, he’s eager to test the waters with an open call July 1 in London because of the success they had last time around with finding Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is in theaters July 11. Though they had a few potential Lunas who were “very, very close” the last time around, as they do with the Lavenders now, the filmmakers decided to throw the auditions open just to be sure.

“We had the biggest, maddest auditions you’ve ever seen,” Yates said. “Something like 18,000 kids turned up, and when I pulled up in the car and looked out the window, the queue went around and around the block. But we found Evanna in that mix, so it was worth it.”

There will also be an open casting call in London on July 8 for the role of Tom Riddle. Though the teenage form of Lord Voldemort was seen before in 2002′s Chamber of Secrets, the actor who played him then, the nearly 30-year-old Christian Coulson, has aged out of the part. “I think Christian’s a brilliant actor, and I thought it was a terrific piece of casting, but he’s too old now,” Yates said.

Like Lavender, the filmmakers have seen a few candidates so far over the past few weeks but want to find just the perfect person for the part — even if he doesn’t look exactly like his predecessor.

“What I want is that equality of spirit,” Yates said. “Someone who is odd, charismatic, cool, has a quite cold spirit which Voldemort embodies. If I find that, that’s the most important thing.”


Original article found at MTV Asia I June 26, 2007

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Harry Potter 5 set visit – Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint has made a name for himself by playing Ron Weasley, the best friend of the most famous teenage wizard in the wildly popular “Harry Potter” movies. ComingSoon.net talked to Grint about what his character will do in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

ComingSoon.net: This is the fifth film. How do you keep it fresh and are you still having fun doing it?
Rupert Grint:
Definitely, yeah. I quite missed it when we weren’t doing it cause there are really good friends doing this. There’s a really good atmosphere on the set and that’s really why. There’s been a lot of changes on this one, new director, new writer, and that helped a lot to keep it fresh. It’s been a really good one, this one.

CS: How has David Yates’ directing felt different from previous directors?
Grint:
Compared to Mike Newell, who did the fourth one, he’s completely different. Mike Newell is really loud and not afraid to swear at you, but he was really cool. David Yates is much more laid back, more quiet, he’s just really good.

CS: You had a scene here where Emma’s character smashes you up against the wall. How did you shoot that? Were you on a rig or something?
Grint:
Yeah (laughs), that was really good to do, funny enough. Whenever we get to do stunts, it’s really good. They harnessed me up and basically, what they do, is they get a fat bloke to climb a ladder with a rope attached to a pulley and that sends you back. I didn’t realize that’s how they did it. That was really good?

CS: Have you done a lot of stunts?
Grint:
Yeah, there’s quite a few stunts in that scene but there’s more to come really. We’ve got the Thestral stuff. They’re to do a plaster cast of my legs to make this special seat thing for riding the Thestrals.

CS: Do you like to do your own stunts?
Grint:
Depends on what it is really. If it’s really dodgy, I’ll probably just leave it to the professionals. Whenever we get to do a little thing, it’s really great fun.

CS: How many times did they slam you up against the wall?
Grint:
Quite a few takes. Once you’ve done it once, you kind of get used to it.

CS: Did you get black and blue?
Grint:
It does give you a bit of a wedgie when you go back, but apart from that it was fine.

CS: You’re into videogaming we hear.
Grint:
I do, yeah.

CS: We hear that you guys got modeled for the game. What’s that going to be like for you?
Grint:
Really cool. It’s really weird, sort of seeing yourself on the game. I play him a lot.

CS: You guys did the voice work for that one too?
Grint:
No, we didn’t, which is a bit of a shame really, but it should be good.

CS: We hear that your dressing room is the one everyone hangs out in.
Grint:
It’s really cool. I’ve got table tennis, darts, pool, and a really massive TV.

CS: What are your thoughts about Quidditch and Ron’s part being cut out of it?
Grint:
It’s a bit of a shame. I was looking forward to doing the Quidditch, but that will come up later. There’s some really other good stuff in this one, I mean you can’t get it all in.

CS: What is your favorite scene so far or what are you looking forward to doing next?
Grint:
I am looking forward to doing the Thestral stuff. All of the Room of Requirement stuff is really cool.

CS: In the Hall of Prophecy, in the Ministry of Magic, it’s a fully digital set, so you’re acting in a big green warehouse? Are you apprehensive about that because there is actually not going to be anything there?
Grint:
It’s going to be quite a new thing really. We’ve worked on blue screen before… so we all kind of got used to that part of it. It’s going to be quite cool. Today we’ve been doing some fighting lessons so that was quite interesting.

CS: Last time we spoke, you were really into metal. What kind of music do you listen to now?
Grint:
Same stuff really. I saw the Foo Fighters a couple of months ago at Wembley arena. I like The Strokes.

CS: Have you done any scenes at Grimmauld Place?
Grint:
Yeah, they were really good scenes to do. All the Weasleys were together, so it was good.

CS: Have you had any scenes with Evanna?
Grint:
Yeah, quite a lot. She’s really cool. There’s quite a lot of new characters in this one, actually.

CS: This is her first job so how has she been with everyone on the set?
Grint:
Good really, yeah. She’s perfect for it.

CS: Did it take her a while to get into the swing of things?
Grint:
Sure, it must have been really scary because everyone knows each other. She’s fit in really well.

CS: We talked to the twins a little and they both have ambitions behind the camera. Have you thought about that?
Grint:
I haven’t really thought about that really. I want to finish the “Harry Potter” films definitely and I don’t know really. I did a film after the fourth one called “Driving Lessons,” just a new low budget thing with no special effects and that was quite interesting. I would like to do some other stuff like that so we’ll wait and see.

CS: Do you have any other non-“Harry Potter” projects that are coming up in the future?
Grint:
There’s quite a big gap now. Usually you just kind of have to try and fit it in between the films, but [after] this one we’ve got quite a big break because Dan has got a theater run. I don’t know, we’ll sort of see what comes up.

CS: Have you read the sixth book?
Grint:
Yeah, I have, yeah.

CS: What do you think about Ron’s relationship with Lavender?
Grint:
Pretty intense! It’s going to be a pretty fun, pretty interesting thing to do.

CS: When J.K. Rowling came to the set, did you get to meet her?
Grint:
Yeah, we did. She’s come out a couple times now. She’s really nice, really down to earth. There’s always a bit of excitement when she’s down.

CS: Has she ever told you things to help you understand your character?
Grint:
No, not really. Just good to sort of see her. She’s really nice and good to talk to.

CS: Has she commented on your portrayal of the character?
Grint:
No, not really, but I think she’s pleased though.

CS: In this film, we see you and Harry Potter make the transition into adulthood. Now that you’re older is that something you can relate to a little bit better with your character?
Grint:
Yeah, definitely. It sort of makes it easier, I guess. In the last one, that played a big part as we were growing up and had all of the awkward moments in teenage life I suppose. There’s a lot more of that now.


Original article found here: ComingSoon.net | June 25th, 2007


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Quint interviews Rupert Grint about Ron Weasely, ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, and HALF-BLOOD PRINCE!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a short interview I conducted with Rupert Grint.

Now, this was probably the strangest interview I’ve ever done. It went well… he wasn’t a chatty Cathy, but he was definitely engaged in the conversation. It wasn’t that at all. The interview doesn’t even go into weird areas.

But Rupert Grint looks like my little brother’s twin. I look nothing like Grint myself, but my little brother looked exactly like Grint when the first movie came out and has somehow oddly grown in time with Grint’s appearances in the movie.

So, the crazy thing was that when I was talking to Grint I kept thinking I was talking to my brother. Not literally, of course. I’m not that insane yet, but I it was kind of distracting me a bit.

I didn’t have a photographer with me, but I asked if I could get a quick photo to include in the article, so here it is. Enjoy the interview!

Quint: I don’t know how you do it. If I were in your shoes these junkets would kill me.

Rupert Grint: It’s alright once you get into it. Yeah.

Quint: What’s the worst part? The repetitive questions or just the grind of doing these all day?

Rupert Grint: Mainly it’s just the junkets, the TV junkets, where you’re just sitting in a room and they come one after another. It gets a little bit boring.

Quint: I also imagine with TV it’s a bit different than this. I mean, here you could just be lounging, it’s just your voice.

Rupert Grint: Yeah, yeah.

Quint: But with TV you also have to worry about how you look, how you’re coming across.

Rupert Grint: Yeah, exactly. It’s alright, though.

Quint: One thing that I really liked about what David Yates did with this, what really struck me when I saw the movie, was that he made a real effort to keep the friendship natural. Previous directors did a great job, of course, but here there’s an extra bit where you really do come off as mates hanging out.

Rupert Grint: Yeah.

Quint: Was there a difference in how you were directed by Yates to achieve that?

Rupert Grint: I dunno, really. Probably sort of subtle little things. I think, just on the whole, ‘cause we’ve been doing it so long, got to know each other more we’re probably more relaxed with each other.

I think, also, that he used contemporary music he used (during filming) of some of the Common Room scenes. Like a band called The Ordinary Boys, he’d play that in the Common Room and that gives it a sort of more casual feel.

It’s a really good atmosphere as well because he’s a really nice guy, really laid back and calm.

Quint: So, there wasn’t as much pressure for you…

Rupert Grint: Definitely. Well, there’s always a little bit of pressure, but it was just a really good atmosphere, yeah.

Quint: I noticed that in the film they took a lot of the big Ron Weasely scenes out, so you’re left with being the driving force of Harry’s story…. Was there any difference in how you approached this film?

Rupert Grint: Not really. I read the book before we do it, just to get it fresh in my head, then the script usually comes out and I got a few light rehearsals with the director. That does sort of help. I don’t know. Because we’ve been doin’ it so long, it’s quite easy to slip back into it, really, because we know the characters pretty well.

Quint: When a new Potter book comes out, I know in my case I can’t help envisioning the movie world when reading it. So, when you read it is it like reading a rough draft of a script?

Rupert Grint: (laughs) Yeah. It is sorta like that, yeah. It’s weird… just finding out what you’re doing as well. It’s quite strange. I know the 7th book is gonna be quite interesting. A lot of things are going to happen, we’re going to know who’s gonna die…

Quint: Well, everything’s at stake now. I think HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is one of the best books of the series…

Rupert Grint: Yeah.

Quint: … and I was really happy with it, but there’s just something about this being the final book that means all bets are off. There’s a different kind of feeling, especially coming off of HALF-BLOOD PRINCE.

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it’s gonna be massive. It’s gonna be really cool.

Quint: Now, when you read the scripts and you find, like in this movie, a lot of the juicier stuff didn’t make it through is there any level of disappointment you feel?

Rupert Grint: I was a bit disappointed when Quidditch didn’t make it, but I mean… it’s such a big book, there’s so much to fit in I can understand why they pared it down.

But I’m kinda hoping it’ll be in the next one.

Quint: I think it’s kinda fascinating what they do with your character in the next one. I mean, I’m sure all the focus right now is on the Lavender Brown relationship…

[Grint laughs]

Quint: … And that is good stuff and I’m sure you’re going to have a lot of fun, but the interesting stuff to me is how your relationship with Hermione develops. That kind of true budding romance versus the more lustful thing with Lavender. I think I like it so much because it’s really kind of been set up for a while now…

Rupert Grint: Yeah, gradually. And in this one you see him being a bit more protective as well when she gets picked up by Grawp. He wants to sort of be the hero. But, yeah. In these films there’s always been a sort of hint of that and maybe that’ll kind of feature in the 7th book as well. We’ll see.

Quint: In ORDER OF THE PHOENIX we get to meet Luna and Umbridge. I met Evanna Lynch on my set visit and she was so Luna Lovegood.

Rupert Grint: She’s like that in real life. It’s great.

Quint: It translated so well into the movie, too. She’s great in it. How was she to work with, being that she’s such a huge geek for the books? I heard she was kind of going around and correcting everybody.

Rupert Grint: She knew everything! She knew the book inside out. Everyone would go to her and ask her (when they had questions). And she’s got her own theories. She’s really into it.

Quint: When a new cast member shows up, is there an automatic “welcome to the family” feel?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, definitely. In each film has new people coming in. It’s very exciting really, seeing new people. They always feel quite welcome. It’s such a sort of cozy atmosphere because it’s been the same crew and the same cast for long.

This has got a few new ones. Tonks as well, Nat Tena… who else?

Quint: And Katanga from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK as Kingsley…

Rupert Grint: Yeah!


Original article found here: Ain’t It Cool | June 22nd, 2007


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Pottering About

As fans await the latest Harry Potter film which opens next month, Steve Pratt visits the Hogwarts set to talks to Daniel Radcliffe about working with JK Rowling and Harry’s first screen kiss

‘IT’S like a little city,” says David Heyman, sitting in the heart of the magical place where he’s spent most of his last six working years. We’re at Leavesden Film Studios in Watford, 20 miles outside London, in the former Rolls Royce factory that’s become home to the Harry Potter movies taken from JK Rowling’s bestselling books.

The news that Harry Potter Land is being built in Universal Studios in Florida seems unnecessary as the campus where the films are shot has everything the most avid Potter fan could want, Hogwarts and all.

Millions will be spent on the US theme park, due to be open in 2009, but it won’t be the real thing. No visitor will be able to say they’ve sat in Dumbledore’s real chair as I did while visiting the set of the fifth film, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, last summer.

The makers of the Potter franchise have made Leavesden their home, leaving sets standing between films. “It’s been a real gift this place, because we can keep the sets up. Some have improved with time. In the Great Hall, the gargoyles that hold the flames have got blacker and grimier and dirtier with each film. It’s an organic thing, it makes it more lived in.”

We’ve watched, too, as the young cast get older and more lived in. The three leads – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – have grown up on screen. The fresh-faced youngsters have developed into teenagers, with Harry getting his first screen kiss in the fifth Potter film, released in mid-July.

Radcliffe is even contemplating life after Harry. “It’ll be strange, won’t it?,” he says. “Very liberating in a way, but I love being here and have learnt an enormous amount. Knowing there’re seven books, that’s a definite goal to hit.”

Unlike other child actors, Radcliffe hasn’t succumbed to pressures of early fame and fortune, despite his pay cheques making him one of the richest young men in the country. He’s kept a level head, although he’s not beyond having fun. “I love playing games with people,” he says.

“There was one day where JK Rowling came on set and I had half an hour talking to her, then I went back and made out to the extras that she’d told me the ending.”

Radcliffe fields questions like a pro, more efficiently and intelligently than many who’ve been doing it a lot longer. Some young actors might get embarrassed or shirty when asked, by a girl from a teen magazine, if tongues were used in his first screen kiss.

“No,” he says. “It was a lot more clinical. It’s like being in any scene really. If anything, it was disappointing about how unsexy it was.”

Since we spoke, he’s carried out his plan to strip off and appear totally nude on stage in the play Equus. All very surprising for someone who admits he’s only just becoming more confident with girls. “I was never shy but not particularly self-assured, and found it very hard to keep eye contact. But I’m getting better,” he says.

His co-stars have reason to celebrate too. Emma had heard that morning she’d bagged eight As in her exams and talks of wanting to go to university. For the moment, she’s signed up for the final two Potter films.

The balloons and neatly-packaged parcels on the table in the canteen at lunchtime are a clue to Grint’s reason to celebrate. It was his 18th birthday. He’s already left school and, like Radcliffe, is eager to do other work, having already starred with Julie Walters (his Weasley mother in Potter) in the film, Driving Lessons.

Still the laidback lad I remember from the first Potter film junket, he owns up to a problem with giggling on set, worried that laughing will ruin the take.

All three have learnt much over the five films, especially having different directors on the last three. Goblet Of Fire director Mike Newell was “not afraid to be rude or swear if you got it wrong”, says Grint. David Yates, who’s helming Order Of The Phoenix following TV success with Sex Traffic and State Of Play, is “really good at telling what you want to do”, he adds.

The scene he’s directing today is set at Grimmauld Place, where Harry meets Siris (Gary Oldman), the Weasleys and the rest of the Order of the Phoenix. It’s a small kitchen setting, tiny and enclosed compared to the Great Hall at Hogwarts. The detail is amazing, although it doesn’t have a ceiling, which is added digitally at a later stage.

Heyman believes that new directors are one of the things helping to make each one fresh. “One thing that’s very important is the producer has to be guardian of Jo’s vision but give the director freedom to make the film he wants. You have to allow them to bring their own vision to it,” he says.

In the Order of The Phoenix, 15-year-old Harry goes from apprentice wizard to a leader of men, assembling an army to fight the dark forces. “There’s an edge, and we’ll continue to get edgier. You’re dealing with a kid who is 15 and all the turmoil that brings. Dan has got better and better with each film. His experience away from Potter informs his work,” says Heyman.

A lot of people have come to the books from the films, and vice versa. Each is helping the other, he says. “Jo, in her mind, keeps them very separate. I call her up to make sure we don’t do anything to mess with her fiction. There was something we were going to cut and she said ‘I’m not sure you should do that’. She gave me a hint it might be relevant later on.”

In another part of the studio, Bafta-winning set designer Stuart Craig is overseeing the construction of the Ministry of Magic. The tiled exterior looks magnificent, although he reveals it’s only MDF with a good lacquer finish.

“Even though it’s a magical place, you try and give some kind of authenticity and credibility to it, so we went looking at some of the more interesting parts of London Underground. One thing a lot of them have are fantastic ceramic tiles. So I thought ‘we’ll nick that and run with that’.”

Inspiration comes from the most unlikely sources, such as a Burger King in London’s Tottenham Court Road. Craig has borrowed designs from this Victorian building for the ministry offices.

He created the world of Hogwarts for the first film. “We looked at the oldest buildings and they are, of course, in Europe, the great cathedrals and the Oxford and Cambridge colleges. We used them as locations and also stole from them,” he says.

Heyman made Rowling a promise on the first Potter film to respect the spirit and intention of the books. There was always one expert to ask if they got stuck creating the world of Hogwarts – the author herself. Craig recalls a meeting before the first film. “I was asking questions of geography, ‘where is this is relation to that?’ and she literally drew a map of Hogwarts,” he recalls.

“A map of the world showing the lake, the castle, Hogsmead village, Hagrid’s hut and the railway station. All of that is very specific and so that was spelled out. I have a print of that map upstairs and we still refer to it.”

Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix opens in cinemas on July 13.

The final book, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, is published on July 21.


Original article found here: Northern Echo | June 2, 2007

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Rupert Grint – Driving Lessons

With only a few school plays to his credit, Rupert Grint infamously won the role of Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film series with an audition tape featuring a rap that extolled his suitability and desire for the part. Grint filmed a role in kid’s movie Thunderpants thereafter, but the new Driving Lessons offers him a chance to step into more adult roles. I spoke with Grint during his stop at San Francisco’s Ritz Carlton.

Groucho: Do you remember first catching the acting bug, as they say?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, I always sort of—I’d done a few school plays, at school. And I’d always sort of been involved in the drama there. But yes, I’ve always had sort of an interest in it.

G: You don’t know what drew you to it?

RG: I don’t know. Not really. I mean, no one in my family ever really—my dad was once on the shopping channel, QVC, selling stuff. (Laughs.) Yeah, right.

G: In your own school plays, I take it you played a more interesting role than the eucalyptus tree.

RG: (Chuckles.) Yeah, definitely, yeah. It was really good to get into something different—even from Ron, really. It was a lot more, sort of—harder, I suppose. ‘Cause Ron’s mainly just—just looks scared all the time, and this was something really—some really good, different things to go through.

G: How would you describe the character of Ben?

RG: He’s quite sheltered. I mean, he’s from a religious family, and he’s got no friends. He’s a bit of a loner. He goes through quite a journey through the thing. And he sort of comes out of his shells, as it goes on. As he meets Julie Walters, her character, he sort of changes slightly, sort of becomes more independent and grows up a bit.

G: How is it that the Julie Walters character draws him out, do you think? What is he responding to there?

RG: I think—I dunno. I mean, I suppose the first time they met, he’s like—she’s someone he’s never sort of—the sort of character he’s never seen before: she swears, she drinks, she steals things. And she’s just—just I dunno. They just somehow really get on, have this strange friendship. Yeah. Yeah.

G: What’s the status on your own driving? I understand that you passed your test.

RG: Yeah—last week.

G: It took you a while to do that, though, right?

RG: (Laughs.) Yeah—it was my second test. And I’d been learning for too long. It was like—oh, I don’t know how many lessons I had. Just too many—I’ll enjoy driving—it’s good.

G: And it’s not a publicity stunt to delay your driving?

RG: (Laughs.) No, yeah.

G: It would suit the film, wouldn’t it?

RG: Yeah, definitely, yeah.

G: How is driving changing your life? I guess you haven’t had much of a chance to figure that out yet, huh?

RG: Sure, well, yeah, ’cause I only just passed. But yeah, I mean it is completely sort of freedom now. You can sort of go where you want. I’ve got a car, as well. I’ve got a little Mini—Mini Cooper, so, yeah.

G: I heard that you nearly wiped out the crew at one point with the car in the film.

RG: Oh, yeah. We were doing this scene. And I didn’t really get to do too much driving on it. But I mean, I did a few sort of private roads. And we were doing this scene where I had to drive down this sort of hill, park it up, and get out of the car and do something. And this hill—there’s the crew about sort of five foot away from where I’m supposed to be stopping. And, yeah, I drive up there and get out of the car, and suddenly the car starts to roll. Roll towards the crew. And I had to dive in there and pull the handbrake. It was quite close, actually.

G: How did you prepare to play this role? I know it was in part based on Jeremy Brock’s own life. Did you ply him for more details about his own experience?

RG: Uh, yeah, we had a few—the whole cast had a few rehearsals where we did read-throughs. And I went to Jeremy’s house, as well, and we did a few sort of like sessions with him. And he used to talk about stuff, and show me pictures of his—when he was a kid. No, it was really useful, that. And then on the set, as well, he was really good for like—really clear at giving advice on that. Because he wrote it as well. And he sort of, um—it was sort of his story. So he was really good at sort of giving advice on that.

G: One of the themes of the film is how Ben’s faith affects his development, really. How did you see that: in what ways does it help him? In what was does it hinder him?

RG: Yeah, erm. I’m trying to think—it does sort of keep him in this shell, really. And his mum doesn’t let him do anything. She’s really sort of overprotective and quite scary. (Laughs.) Yes, I suppose it doesn’t really help him much, really. Yeah.

G: Do you have a strategy for embarking on a career as an adult actor?

RG: Uh, not really. I mean, I’m just—I want to do the next two Harry Potter films. And just see what goes from there, really. And maybe do some other stuff like this, in between, because it was a really good experience.

G: It’s probably hard to imagine life after Harry Potter, I guess.

RG: I know, it’s going to be weird when it all ends, ’cause it has been a big part of my life, really.

G: When you travel around for films and do press like this, do you get to do touristy stuff?

RG: Yeah, a little bit. But I usually don’t get much time. I mean, this—I’ve never been here before, and I got here last night. And we’re leaving later today, for Dallas or something. So, yeah, it’s a shame we don’t get much more time.

G: I understand you didn’t get on in school. Why is that, do you think?

FG: I dunno! It was—I mean, I liked the sort of social side of it, and my mates, and that. But, um, it was just the learning thing; it was just—I just didn’t find a subject I could really—except for art. I really got on there, but—. And if I could do anything—’cause I can always go back. I mean, I did my final exams, and left when I was sixteen. I can always go back and do a course in something, but I can’t really see it. I mean, ’cause—I dunno, it just didn’t really, didn’t really—

G: And you’re pretty determined to keep at the film, right?

RG: Definitely, yeah, I mean, I really enjoy it. It is good fun. Yeah, it’s good.

G: Do you have aspirations to branch out into ever writing or directing?

RG: Erm, I haven’t thought about it, really. It’s always sort of an option, I suppose, in the future, but I can’t really see it. (Chuckles.) Right at the moment.

G: I know you can’t talk about specifics, but could you describe what your latest director, David Yates, is bringing to the series?

RG: Yeah, he’s really different, actually, to the other ones. He’s much more sort of laid-back, and much more calm—than the other ones we’ve had. I think, he’s really good at sort of giving us—he’s given us a lot more freedom this time around. And sort of lets us do a bit of our own thing—which is quite good. No, it’s really good, actually. We’ve got a new writer, as well [Ed. Michael Goldenberg], who gives it sort of a different feel. So, no, it’s going to be interesting, this one.

G: I’m very curious what the culture is like on a Harry Potter set. I know it might change based on the director. Do the actors set the mood? Does it chnage with each director?

RG: Yeah, it’s quite amazing how each director brings their own atmosphere to the set. Mike Newell was quite funny, because he’s crazy. He did the fourth one, and he didn’t care what he said; he was really—would swear at us if we got it wrong, sort of shout at us. He was really funny. And obviously Chris Columbus was great for the first two, and Alfonso’s crazy—we’ve had some really good ones, actually. Yeah, so it was good.

G: When the cameras aren’t rolling, do you have much time to hang out with the other actors, or do you find yourself retreating to your trailer? What’s that like?

RG: Yeah, well, I’ve got, um—yeah, but, um…now I’ve finished school, I’ve got much more time off-set. And I’ve got a really good dressing room up there. I’ve got table tennis, pool, and TV and—yes, they know where I am, in my room, so it’s good.

G: What’s the greatest length you’ve gone to to avoid being recognized in public?

RG: (Chuckles.) I dunno, it’s um—it’s quite hard, really, having so much hair, in this color. It sort of does stand out. So it’s quite hard to—no, I mean, I try caps and that. I mean, they’re always really nice. And it never gets crazy, so. It’s never really been sort of too much of a problem.

G: The film is about lessons, and you learn your lessons from Julie Walters, who plays your mother in the Harry Potter films. What sort of acting lessons have you learned from working with folks like Julie Walters or Robbie Coltrane or the great British actors you’ve worked with?

RG: Yeah, yeah. I don’t know really. I mean, you don’t really—they don’t teach you anything particularly. It’s just really good just to sort of work with them, really. It’s pretty amazing, the sort of people who worked on the Harry Potter films. Erm. But no, it’s just really good to work with them. Working with Julie again is wicked ’cause she’s so funny. She’s really cool.

G: Do you ever observe methods that they’re using, or do you work with an acting coach? What’s your kind of acting method?

RG: I dunno, really. I suppose you do in a way, yeah. You’re always sort of watching what they’re doing, and that. No, it’s quite interesting. No, but in the early ones, we had, like, a voice coach, on One and Two and Three. Yeah, so that sort of helped us a little bit then…

G: And do you plan to ever trod the boards again?

RG: Erm, I dunno. I mean, I only ever experienced it on a really small scale, so it’d be a whole different experience, I think, on a big sort of stage. But I dunno. Yeah, I mean, definitely—it is quite a sort of a thrill about doing it; it does give you quite a buzz. But, yeah, maybe that’s something in the future. I know Dan [Radcliffe] is just about to do a big play in London, yeah.

G: Equus.

RG: Yeah.

G: Alright, well, thank you very much.

RG: Cool, yeah.


Original article found here: Groucho Reviews | October 18th, 2006


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Driving Lessons Interview – Julie Walters and Rupert Grint bring out the L-plates

By Helen Ohara

It’s not often we put our money where our mouth is, cause it’s not very hygienic, but we’re prepared to do so now – Julie Walters is a shoo-in for a BAFTA nomination next year for her role in Driving Lessons, her new comedy-drama with Harry Potter alumnus Rupert Grint. She plays the eccentric elderly actress who brings Grint’s shy vicar’s son out of his shell, and it’s one of the best performances you’ll see all year. We caught up with both the film’s stars in London this week, to get the lowdown on their characters, the new Harry Potter film and what they’re planning next… So last time you two played together you were playing mother and son. Now you’re playing someone old enough to be his granny, Julie, someone a lot older than you are. Julie Walters: Well that’s kind of you to say. I don’t know how much older than me she really is – I think the drink has taken its toll. And her tragedy, of course.

Was it fun to play a completely different relationship that way? Rupert Grint: Yes, it was good.

Julie Walters: It’s exciting to work with the same actor in a different way. It’s new. And it’s a completely different relationship, although there is a bit of maternal stuff in it. It’s not the same as Mrs Weasley, who’s very maternal. She’s the maternal instinct personified, in many ways. Evie is the opposite, but she’s able to let Ben realise a part of himself that he can’t possibly do at home.

Did you have any models for your characters? Julie Walters: Well, the script is the main thing. It’s based on a relationship that the director, Jeremy Brock, had with Dame Peggy Ashcroft. I mean, this character is not Dame Peggy Ashcroft, I hasten to say; she’s based on an aunt of Jeremy’s. So it’s different. But it’s difficult to say that anything is based on any one person, because actors are always watching other people and bits go in. So there are probably bits of all sorts of people in the past, from teachers at school onwards, that have influenced that character.

Rupert, I guess this is sort of your first adult role – was it scary? Rupert Grint: Yeah, it was a bit scary, because all I’m used to is Harry Potter and the same people and the same sort of routine. So I was quite nervous coming on, but it really helped having Julie there because obviously we’ve worked together before, and there were lots of friendly people on the set, which made it much easier. And Jeremy was great as well.

Given that the story is semi-autobiographical, did you have a few good chats with him about your character? Rupert Grint: Yeah, yeah. We went out a few times and talked about it. Obviously he was really good because he wrote it as well. He knew exactly what he wanted, he was really cool.

And as a first-time director, how was he? Julie Walters: He was fantastic.

Rupert Grint: He was really cool.

Julie Walters: You’d never know that he’d never directed anything before; he was really, really good.

So how is Harry Potter 5 going? Rupert Grint: It’s going really well. We’ve been filming for about – we’re more than halfway through. David Yates is settling in really well, he’s really good.

Julie Walters: Yes, it’s going very well.

So what’s next? Julie Walters: Ruby in the Smoke – it’s a TV film. It’s about 90 minutes, and it’s an adaptation of a Philip Pullman novel. I play a very, very nasty lady with false teeth, very dramatic.

Rupert Grint: I want to do something other than Potter, because there’s quite a bit gap between films, but I don’t know what yet.


Original article found here: Empire Online | September 10, 2006



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