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Famous Freshmen: Rupert Grint, Keke Palmer and Ben Platt Open Up About Stardom in Their Twenties

It’s Only a Play Gerald Schoenfeld TheatreOn Aug. 24, Rupert Grint turned 26 — he celebrated at the Bathtub Gin, a Victorian-inspired speakeasy in Chelsea. Two days later, Keke Palmer turned 21 — her mother threw her a surprise birthday party at a beach house. The next month, on Sept. 24, Ben Platt also turned 21 — he rang in the milestone with friends at a “big party” in downtown NYC.

Their birthday celebrations are standard for twentysomethings in the Big Apple. However, unlike most young adults their age, the three also celebrate film success, superstardom and their first time on Broadway.

“I’m getting very spoiled,” admitted Platt, who rose to fame as nerdy illusionist Benji Applebaum in the 2012 musical film “Pitch Perfect,” and who currently stars as Elder Cunningham in the megahit musical The Book of Mormon. “A quiet audience for us is like a great audience for every other show. It’s a blessing to be a part of something that’s so strong.”

Since “Pitch Perfect,” Platt’s career has skyrocketed. He was cast in the Chicago production of Mormon (before transferring to Broadway, making his debut), asked back for the “Perfect” sequel and tapped for “Ricki and the Flash,” a new film starring Meryl Streep. When he steps outside the Eugene O’Neill stage door, he confessed, “Sometimes I’m overwhelmed.”

Singer, actress and television host Palmer, a former Nickelodeon kid, was overcome with emotion as she bowed for the first time in the title role of Cinderella —making her the first African-American Ella to grace the Great White Way.

“I felt the true magic of Broadway,” she said from her dressing room at the Broadway Theatre. With only a half-hour to places, she talked into the mirror as her hair was pinned to become a princess — but her smile could be seen from anywhere within her royal quarters.

She explained, “When you’re in it, and when you’re living things, a lot of times it’s hard for you to realize what you’ve done. I’ve been in the industry for 11 or 12 years, and it’s just so crazy because I’m only 21. When I go out [of the stage door], people say, ‘I watched you grow up.’ It’s kind of unbelievable to me, but it’s a good feeling to have them out there because I feel like they’re all my family.”

Wunderkind “Harry Potter” star Grint, who happens to play a “wunderkind director” in It’s Only a Play, said the same.

“The fans have grown up with all of us,” he explained. “There’s a real loyalty with them, and they support us in whatever we do, and I see a lot of familiar faces at the stage door, which is really nice to know that they’re still on our side. It’s quite scary doing these things outside the ten years of ‘Potter.'”

He confessed that when “Harry Potter” had come to an end, “It was quite a life-changing moment. It dawned on me that this was all over, and it had been such a huge constant part of my life.” Suddenly, he said, it made him think, “What am I going to do now?”

Finding fame at such a young age put pressure on each.

“I feel a lot of pressure, but I feel a lot of my pressure is on myself — wanting to make sure that I do my best,” said Palmer.

Expectations are high. In Platt’s case, his father is a well-known producer — and a force behind Broadway’s long-running Wicked.

“There’s definitely pros and cons,” said Platt of his father Marc Platt (If/Then, “Into the Woods”). “It’s mostly a wonderful thing because my dad has a lot of experience and can be a great guy in terms of vision making. Because I grew up with him always working, I have been around the entertainment business, so I kind of know how it works… The tough part is a lot of people will assume things. That’s part of the reason that my dad and I have tried really hard to not work on the same things. We kept our careers very separate, and I’ve always earned everything that I’ve gotten. This is the first time that we’ll be on the same project.”

The new project for the Platts is “Ricki and Flash,” in which Ben will play a local bartender who worships Streep’s character. The elder Platt serves as a producer. Ben was cast after director Jonathan Demme saw him in Mormon. “I feel very confident going in, but of course I’m going to be shaking in my boots next to Meryl Streep,” he admitted.

Although they’ve conquered the worlds of film, fame and (now) Broadway, they each look ahead to their future. Grint is determined to step outside of his comfort zone; Palmer is focusing on her music and a book; and Platt has the option to attend Columbia University (he deferred enrollment when performing took off).

“We’re the generation that made all these things that once weren’t possible possible,” said Palmer. “There’s a revolution that’s going to happen. That’s who our generation is… We question everything, and that’s the beautiful thing about us — we question so much that we’re able to really figure out the answers to everything. I’m happy to be alive right now — to be my age.”


Original article found here:playbill.com | November, 4th 2014

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Rupert Grint on Charlie Countryman: ‘It’s me running around with a strap-on’

The Harry Potter alumnus on playing a wannabe porn star called Boris Pecker, working with Shia LaBeouf and why he’d like to destroy Goblet of Fire

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Hi, Rupert. How’s New York?

Yeah, it’s fun. I miss home sometimes because I’ve been here since July, rehearsing and previewing It’s Only a Play. It opened this month on Broadway and we don’t finish until January.

Are you staying somewhere swanky?

They’ve put me in a pretty nice apartment downtown. I’ve made myself quite at home here. I got a pet tortoise.

What’s its name?

He’s called Madeline. I named him before I found out his gender. The best thing is that you don’t really need to do anything with him. He doesn’t even need water that often. Doesn’t like to be touched either.

Your first play was Mojo with Ben Whishaw and Daniel Mays. Now you’re in a show with Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and Stockard Channing. Didn’t you ever think about starting off small? Maybe a bit of am-dram?

Ha! I know, it’s pretty amazing working with all these geniuses. After Mojo ended, I didn’t want to do another play for a long time. It was fun but so exhausting. Then this came up and it was such an incredible cast, I had to do it. (1)

So you’re playing a theatre director?

Yeah, he’s a real nightmare, a completely ridiculous lord who is celebrated for his work but hates all the acclaim. He’s desperate for a bad review. On top of that, he’s a kleptomaniac and in therapy. An absolute mess.

Which aspects of that can you relate to?

Not too many, actually. I’m really the polar opposite. I can’t even relate to his look – the eye makeup and the mad hair. I dunno how ladies put up with makeup. I wear a lot of guyliner in the show. It’s really heavy duty and hard to get off.

Talking of mad hair, you once said that you weren’t allowed control of your own hair during the Harry Potter series. Did you make up for it afterwards?

Not really, no. Hang on – actually, yeah! One time. I let my mum cut my hair after the last Harry Potter film. She kind of dabbles in hairdressing. And it ended up being a total nightmare. She just kept trying to make it even and symmetrical but, in doing that, she kind of cut all my hair into a really weird shape. Ever since then, I’ve had a fear of scissors.

Does the Broadway audience have that strange habit of applauding when their favourite actor comes on stage?

Oh God, yeah! They do that all the time. It’s really weird.

Do you get applauded too?

[Sheepishly] Yeah. Though it’s more hesitant. It’s not instant like with Nathan or Stockard. There’s a bit of a delay. A ripple effect.

Oh well, better than nothing. How are the stage-door autograph hounds?

Oh, you know, they’re the usual suspects. It depends on how many Harry Potter fans come to the show that day. Usually, quite a lot.

Do you know what proportion of stuff you autograph ends up on eBay?

Um, I’m not sure. When I was doing Mojo, I signed some photos for this guy and then when I walked down the street a few minutes later, he was selling them on the street corner. He’d got them framed up really quickly first. I did think about going up to him and buying one but I chickened out.

If you were forced to destroy one of the Harry Potter movies for ever, which one would it be?

Actually, that’s quite easy: number four, Goblet of Fire. Nothing to do with the film, really. It’s a hair thing again – it’s just because of how my hair looks in it. It’s terrible. I’ve got no recollection of my hair ever looking like that.

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Tell me about your new film, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.

This is the craziest film I’ve ever seen or been a part of. It was just ridiculous. You’ll have to be patient with me ’cos it was two years ago and I’m still trying to erase it from my mind – no, I mean piece it all together. So James Buckley from The Inbetweeners is in it and we’re best friends living in Bucharest. Shia LaBeouf comes there after his mother … no, after the ghost of his mother appears to him and tells him to find himself in Bucharest. He gets in trouble with gangsters and someone dies on his flight over – literally on his lap! This isn’t making much sense, is it?

You’re making it up as you go along, aren’t you?

It does sounds like it, doesn’t it? So Shia meets me and James in this youth hostel. I’m a wannabe porn star called Boris Pecker. My main plot is I take too much Viagra and require medical assistance. So it’s me running around with a strap-on.

What research and preparation did that entail?

I didn’t really do that much. I thought, let’s just go for it.

Did Shia LaBeouf do lots of mad things on set?

Er, yeah. Yeah, he did. I guess you’d call him a method actor. He kind of lived that part. It was … interesting. I think he’s talked about it a bit himself. Things happened which I probably shouldn’t go into.

As long as no tortoises were harmed in the making of the film.

God, no. It was a tortoise-free incident.


Original article found here:theguardian.com | October, 23rd 2014

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Harry Potter star Rupert Grint: The ‘ridiculous’ money I was paid tested my friendships

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Swapping higher education for Hogwarts, pocket money for pay packets and school corridors for red carpets, Rupert Grint’s childhood was anything but regular.

And after 10 years in the hit Harry Potter movies, the young star earned enough money never to have to work again.

Exactly how much money, though, is a good question – Rupert says he doesn’t have a clue.

While he and his co-star Emma Watson are estimated to each have been paid around £25million for the eight films, he still, to this day, reckons he does not know the full amount.

“It was kind of ridiculous what we got,” he says.

“And I must admit I don’t actually know how much I earned – the exact number.

“I’ve always known it was kinda ‘there’, and I’ve got quite an active involvement in stuff like that now, but I don’t really know the exact figures. And I’ve never really wanted to.

“I’m quite a laid-back person and not overly ambitious, really.”

He may have no burning desire to top the annual Forbes rich list but Rupert has not done too shabbily for a man of 26.

With two multi-million pound companies to his name – Clay 10 and Eevil Plan Properties – he probably won’t be claiming benefits any time soon.

But with overnight childhood celebrity, came teenage angst.

He struggled to weed out genuine friends from hangers-on and, similarly, he got stung by girls who only wanted to date him for his fame and wealth.

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He says with a sigh: “It was a tricky thing. You’d always worry whether it was a genuine thing – and I think that goes with any kind of relationship, even friendships.

“It took me a while to figure out whether someone was genuine or they had ulterior motives.

“I’ve had a few bad experiences and it was tricky because I left school at quite a pivotal time, in Year 7, when you’re just making friends and stuff.

“So whenever I came back, bonds I had made before had all got a little bit weird.

“I did lose a few friends but on the whole it’s all been pretty good.”

With three homes and a bank balance most of us can only dream of, the down-to-earth star reluctantly admits he need never work again.

So why does he? And why choose the stage which, as every actor knows, invariably pays the Equity equivalent of minimum wage?

“I just love what I do, trying new things and scaring myself once in a while,” he explains.

“I loved doing the Potter films but it’s so nice to try different characters and explore different things. It’s been weird since Potter finished, adapting to life now. It was such a huge part of us.

“For now I am just enjoying being free. It was a bubble world, and quite suffocating. A bit like a school, really. Now I’m out I still feel there are things I want to do.”

One of these things, of course, is make his debut on Broadway.

On Thursday, the Essex-born star, incredibly polite and gentle-mannered in real life, takes to the stage in Terrence McNally’s farce It’s Only a Play.

Starring alongside such Tony and Oscar-winning luminaries as Matthew Broderick (Mr Sarah Jessica Parker), Homeland star F Murray Abraham and The West Wing’s Stockard Channing, he is, understandably, a little nervous.

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Living out his formative years on the big screen, and becoming a household name in the process, Rupert also feels burdened by the weight of expectation.

“It’s very scary,” he admits. “Broadway does feel like a much bigger event and I know there’s a lot of expectation.

“I do feel under pressure. I feel like I’ve got quite a bit to prove. I am out of my comfort zone here and am the least ­experienced out of everyone on stage.

“During the first few days in rehearsals I was really intimidated because it’s quite a group of people. But there are no big egos. Being on stage is a real team thing, and everyone has been great, really cool. I
just feel really lucky to be a part of it.”

Playing Frank Finger, a barnstorming wunderkind theatre director, his latest role is a world away from amiable, bumbling Ron Weasley. “I basically play a psychopath,” he says. No doubt Professor Snape would have had a field day.

Rupert had no formal acting training but was cast in Harry Potter: The Philosopher’s Stone at 11 after sending in a video of himself rapping to children’s show Newsround. He made the final movie, The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, when he was 22.

In 2002 he won his first leading role in British comedy Thunderpants, four years ago he co-starred with Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in Wild Target, then his first major post-Hogwarts project was a 2012 anti-war film, Into the White.

Last year he made his West End debut in Jez Butterworth’s play Mojo and his latest movie, Charlie Countryman, is out at the end of this month.

Despite the obvious lure of Hollywood – and he is chatting from a rented apartment in Manhattan – Rupert has no plans to up sticks and leave the UK for good.

“I like England – it’s my home,” he says.

Helping him feel at home in the Big Apple is a new addition to the Grint household – a tortoise called Madeleine. She’s not named after anyone in particular (no money-grabbing ex-girlfriend?) – she “just looked like a Maddie”.

When I ask him about a current girlfriend, there is an awkward pause.

Refusing to crack, I stay silent until poor Rupert fills the silence with a giggle and “Erm, no… well, not really, er, yeah…”.

When I suggest it’s early days, he laughs, and confirms, “Yes, early days maybe”. Rupert is not your typical former child star. With no stint in rehab or quarter-life crisis, he is by all accounts incredibly popular with anyone he has ever worked with.

In the words of his co-star Broderick: “He is really sweet… so hardworking and diligent, and to see a young fellow get his first Broadway shot is just a pleasure to watch.”

But now that he is all grown-up, the actor is busy getting serious. Despite attending a Catholic primary school, St Joseph’s in Hertford, he has recently been toying with different religious ideas.

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He’s read evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins’s bestseller The God Delusion and says: “Religion is something which has always fascinated me. I went to a Catholic primary school but I’m not a Catholic.

“But I was quite a god-fearing little boy. They instilled it in me. I mean, the stories were always so terrifying.

“And then when I grew up a bit I kind of realised there are other things out there, and other theories.

“What I believe now changes all the time but I’d never say I was a complete atheist, or unaccepting of anything.

“I’m kind of struggling with that. I don’t know, it just fascinates me, the universe in general.”

Speaking of exploring the planet, Rupert is keen to take some time off next year and head off on holiday.

“I’m exhausted,” he admits. “But at the moment, I can’t really think much beyond this time next week.”

So how does he switch off?

“Drawing,” he smiles. “I’d like to go into animation one day. I draw a lot, a lot of disturbing cartoons – it helps me unwind.

“I also have a couple of weird, pre-show rituals which I’ve only recently noticed. I blow bubbles.

“You know – those little pots of bubbles you got as a kid. Blowing bubbles is just the most relaxing thing before a show.

“My character also wears a lot of make-up so putting my eyeliner – or guyliner – on has become a bit of a ritual too. I’m getting quite good at it.”

As he is at this whole acting lark, it seems…


Original article found here:mirror.co.uk | October, 3rd 2014

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The Play Is the Thing

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A Broadway opening night party can be glamorous, as guests ogle celebrities at the bar and buffet line. But for the show’s producers, stars, and director, anxiety runs beneath the revelry as they wait for the judgment of those unpredictable critics.

Four-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally has turned this unique rite of theatrical passage into the uproarious and oh-so-timely comedy It’s Only a Play, now at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Set on opening night of a drama with the unpromising title The Golden Egg, It’s Only a Play boasts a cast of Broadway superstars: Matthew Broderick as the nervous playwright; Nathan Lane as his best friend, an actor who left Broadway for TV fame; Stockard Channing as the play’s drug-addled leading lady; Megan Mullally as the neophyte producer; and F. Murray Abraham as a fearsome theater critic who crashes the party. Representing the younger generation are Harry Potter film star Rupert Grint as the play’s bratty British director, and newcomer Micah Stock as a starry-eyed coat-check attendant.

The moment Lane enters the sumptuous master bedroom suite in Mullally’s townhouse, the name-dropping begins, with one-liners referencing everyone from Kelly Ripa and Catherine Zeta-Jones to Daniel Radcliffe and Lady Gaga. The words Harvey Fierstein elicit laughs no less than three times, and McNally mines humor from Dancing With the Stars, selfies, and even the Ebola virus. Amazingly, the actors deliver these comic nuggets and dozens more without losing their composure.

“Every person we sent the play to said yes,” McNally says of his A-list cast, adding with a laugh, “It’s the first time that’s happened!” Of course, the stars knew what they’d be getting into, since an earlier version of It’s Only a Play opened Off-Broadway in 1986 to a rave from the ultimate fearsome critic Frank Rich of The New York Times. An even earlier version, which closed out of town in 1978, had been inspired by the disastrous reception given to a Broadway comedy called Legend starring none other than F. Murray Abraham. McNally notes that his own first play, And Things That Go Bump in the Night, was panned by critics almost 50 years ago.

IOAP“We’re calling this production a revival,” the 75-year-old playwright explains, “but I’m working on it as if it were a new play. Well over 90 percent of the text is new, and I’ve removed one character [a taxi driver]. Theater has changed so much in the past 20 years, and I didn’t want to do this as a period piece. There are so many more revivals and long-running musicals now. On opening night, you used to have to go to The New York Times to get the review at 1 a.m. Now all the reviews are on the internet by 10.”

McNally is particularly delighted that his longtime collaborator Nathan Lane and the other veteran actors are joined by two cast members making their Broadway debuts. “This is an ensemble piece,” he points out, “and I’m proud to introduce Micah Stock and Rupert Grint, who is a big deal because of the Harry Potter movies. When you see all the young people in the audience, he is the reason.”

The British-born Grint admits with a laugh that he has never attended an opening night party in real life. The 26-year-old’s only previous stage credit was a 2013 West End production of Jez Butterworth’s drama Mojo, but you’d never know that from his assured and hilarious performance as director Frank Finger in It’s Only a Play. Clad in an eye-popping print suit, his red hair gelled like a rock star’s, Grint makes a vivid comic impression as an arrogant critics’ darling, lamenting with a pout, “I can’t help it — I was born charismatic.”

“When I read the script, I loved the character immediately,” says Grint, who is much more low-key in conversation than “Sir” Frank. “He’s already been knighted and is on top of his game, but he’s sick of being glorified. He’s also a borderline kleptomaniac, bold and ridiculous and kind of crazy, which is really, really fun for me. The play has such a rich variety of characters, all wanting different things from the reviews.”

Soon after accepting the part during a Skype interview with director Jack O’Brien, Grint found himself in rehearsal with five legendary American stage stars. “On the first day, I thought, What have I gotten myself into?” he recalls with a laugh. “I was terrified, but everyone was really welcoming, and the audience response has been amazing.” Recalling a backstage visit with his Harry Potter costar Daniel Radcliffe during Radcliffe’s Broadway run of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Grint says, “Dan was just shaking with excitement, and I felt that I definitely wanted to have a go” at Broadway.

McNally and his young costar agree that it’s not necessary to be a Broadway expert to appreciate the humor in It’s Only a Play. “I’m certainly not trying to make this a snob play for people ‘in the know,’” the playwright says. “Master Class is the most performed of my plays, and it’s about Maria Callas teaching people to sing obscure 19th century music. If you write characters honestly and truthfully, audiences will identify with them. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve made the arts more visible.”

A half century after debuting on Broadway with a flop, McNally is enjoying success in multiple artistic arenas. In addition to the Broadway premiere of It’s Only a Play, his 1991 comedy Lips Together, Teeth Apart is being revived at Second Stage in October, his libretto for the original opera Great Scott will debut in Dallas in 2015, and director Mike Nichols is prepping a movie adaptation of Master Class starring Meryl Streep.

“I’m on top of the world right now,” says McNally, marveling over the many “six degrees of separation” reunions in It’s Only a Play. There’s Lane and Broderick, costars of The Producers and The Odd Couple; Broderick and Mullally, sweethearts in the 1995 How to Succeed revival; McNally and Lane, who worked together on Love! Valour! Compassion! and other plays in the 1990s; and McNally and Abraham, whose flop inspired the entire evening. “It’s a small community of talented people,” McNally says of Broadway, “and we’re having the time of our lives.”


Original article found here:broadwaydirect.com | September, 23rd 2014

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Rupert Grint talks about his splashy Broadway debut and looking back (or not) on his Harry Potter years

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It’s been a dramatic year for Rupert Grint. The man who will forever be Ron Weasley to legions of Harry Potter devotees made his professional stage debut last fall in a London revival of Jez Butterworth’s thriller Mojo. (Notices were mostly positive for his jittery portrayal of a thuggish speed freak named Sweets.) Now Grint is on Broadway, in an updated version of Terrence McNally’s 1986 showbiz comedy It’s Only a Play, set at the chaotic opening-night party of a new Broadway show. Of course, Grint isn’t the only Harry Potter alum to have tested his talent onstage. Daniel Radcliffe has starred in three Broadway shows in the past six years. Grint’s Great White Way debut, however, places him in the middle of a seasoned ensemble that includes Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing and F. Murray Abraham. The morning after his 26th birthday, a friendly but low-key Grint talked about his Broadway debut, a prospect he deemed “quite scary.”

How did you end up in this production? Were you looking to come to Broadway?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, ever since my first taste of theater last year in the West End, when I did Mojo. This just kind of came up. I was quite hesitant at first, but it’s such a fun play and a great cast that I had to do it.

You were hesitant?
Yeah, just because of the scale of it. I thought I might be a little bit out of my depth. Everyone in this cast is so experienced—people I’ve watched while I was growing up—it was quite overwhelming. I remember on the first day just looking around the table, thinking, Oh, my God, this is real. But it’s been a really good rehearsal process, and I feel comfortable. They all know comedy so well.

Your character, Frank Finger, is this wunderkind director who feels like his work is a sham. It’s nothing you relate to, I hope?
[Laughs] No, not quite. He’s not like other characters I’ve played before. He’s quite over-the-top and angry. He’s been praised since leaving RADA for everything he’s done, and he’s a bit sick of all the attention and the rave reviews. He’s already been knighted. He wants a bad review to kind of get him back on track. And he’s a kleptomaniac. It’s a fun character.

He’s also British. That’s new from the original.
The script has had a lot of updates to include social media and the way people view reviews now. It’s interesting to see people read reviews about themselves. I don’t think audiences think about that when they read reviews: about the person that it’s about. Watching a group of actors and directors reading reviews is quite an interesting thing.

Do you read your reviews?
I avoid it whenever I can. It’s scary.

Is this your first time in New York for an extended period?
Yeah, it is. I used to come over almost every year for Harry Potter promotional things, one week here and there, but this is the longest I’ve been here. Sometimes I do feel quite far away from home, but it’s a great city, it’s got such energy. I’m really enjoying it.

Is it hard to be out and about here, or do you just blend in?
It depends on where you go. I have managed to kind of blend in. People want pictures, but nothing too crazy. It’s quite manageable. I wear a hat to cover my hair as much as I can.

I guess that is your most identifiable feature.
Or people think I’m Ed Sheeran.

Yes! I read that you play along when people think you’re him.
I do play along.

Did you catch Daniel when he was in The Cripple of Inishmaan?
When it was in England. He was great. My other friend was in that as well, Conor MacNeill. It’s quite inspiring. Whenever I’ve watched Dan, he’s just completely alive. It’s great to see him up there.

Daniel said recently that he didn’t like looking at his work in the Harry Potter films. Do you have a similar response?
I don’t really look back on them. I don’t really watch them. Occasionally I catch glimpses when they’re playing on TV. It’s like watching high-quality home videos, watching me grow up. It’s quite strange. I’m really quite proud to be a part of them. They were a huge part of our lives.


Original article found here:timeout.com | September, 2nd 2014

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Megan Mullally on Rupert Grint’s Theater Jitters: “He Was an Absolute Basket Case”

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Rupert Grint, best known as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, is making his Broadway stage debut this fall in Terrence McNally’s farce, It’s Only a Play. The production is currently in rehearsals, and his co-stars include luminaries Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, Megan Mullally, and Broadway’s golden boys, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

“The first few weeks, I just felt quite out of my depth, ’cause it is quite an overwhelming cast,” Grint told VF Daily, at a Tuesday-morning press conference at theater-district hangout Joe Allen. “I just feel so lucky that the whole company is just so experienced, and director Jack [O’Brien] is amazing—and Terrence. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by these people,” he said.

Grint had done one play previously, in London’s West End, and producer Tom Kirdahy was so impressed with the 25-year-old’s performance that he offered him the role of an angst-filled wunderkind director. “I’ve kind of spent a lot of time [with] a lot of different directors. Working on Potter, I had this wealth of very various different directors—Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell,” Grint explained. “But my character Frank is much more complicated, he’s deeply troubled, so it’s been interesting playing a character with issues. It’s fun.”

At the press conference, some of the big stars shared their impressions of Grint’s stage chops.

Megan Mullally actually hadn’t seen the Potter films, and didn’t know of Grint until now. “I didn’t read the books, and I’m old, so no, I didn’t really know who he was,” she told VF Daily. “But he’s adorable and lovely, and he was an absolute basket case for the first week or so. The first night when I met him, there was a little dinner, and he was standing outside, smoking a cigarette, and I was, like, ‘Are you Rupert?’ And he said he was, and he just instantly announced that he was terrified. I said, ‘Oh, you’re going to be great.’ He said, ‘I’m so intimidated.’ I said, ‘No, no. We should be intimidated with you.’” Mullally is pretty impressed with his work, so far. “I think he’s fantastic. I think he’s going to be great in this; he’s really good. Those goddamn Brits!”

“I have children, so I certainly know Rupert Grint,” said Matthew Broderick. “I always liked him in those movies. And then I remember meeting him at a premiere in New York—he does not remember, but I do—introducing him to my son, and he was really sweet,” the Tony Award–winner added. “And he’s lovely to watch. He’s such a good actor, and he’s so hardworking and diligent, and to see a young fellow get his first Broadway shot is just kind of a pleasure to watch.”

Nathan Lane says Grint is a natural stage actor. “And it’s wonderful, his part is a particularly showy role; he has a lot of funny stuff,” Lane told us. “What’s great for Rupert is it’s so the opposite of what he has played, what we know him best for in the Harry Potter films. He’s such a disagreeable character. He’s very unhappy, he’s angry about everything,” the Tony Award–winner said, laughing. “It’s pretty spectacular.”

Grint said that his Potter castmate Daniel Radcliffe’s turns on the Broadway stage have been inspiring. “It’s quite inspiring to see him just, alive, onstage. He absolutely loves it. I mean, he doesn’t really give me any, like, advice, but just watching him have so much fun has always kind of made me think about it.”


Original article found here:vanityfair.com | August, 20th 2014

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It’s Only a Play’s Rupert Grint on His ‘Intimidating’ Co-Stars, Rooting For the Yankees & Why Wizards Want to Be on Broadway

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This fall, Rupert Grint is moving from Hogwarts to the Great White Way. The Harry Potter favorite will make his Broadway debut in It’s Only a Play, a revamped revival of Terrence McNally’s 1986 off-Broadway comedy. Grint will play Frank Finger, the angsty young director of a play by a nervous playwright (played by Matthew Broderick) who is worried his new project will make or break his career. But Grint and Broderick aren’t the only heavy hitters in this new mounting—the comedy also stars Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham and newcomer Micah Stock. Broadway.com caught up with Grint to chat about the Yankees, wizards, and of course, musicals.

You’re in a cast with Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and all of these hilarious Broadway pros. Is that intimidating?
It’s really intimidating, yeah. Just to keep up with them has become my main objective. They’re just so funny and they’re so experienced. They really know what they’re doing. It’s amazing to me to watch that. I’ve learned so much just being in the room with them.

Who cracks you up the most in rehearsal?
Oh, Nathan is quite a force. He’s hilarious, and Murray as well. I’m just so lucky to be surrounded by these people.

Tell me about this guy you’re playing, Frank Finger.
It’s a type of character that I’ve never had the chance to play before—he’s someone very complicated and deeply troubled. That’s really what attracted me to him. The play is amazing, it’s so funny and such an interesting insight into the theater world from behind the scenes.

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

Is this your first time living in New York?
Yes, and I love New York. I’ve only ever been here for like two weeks at a time, so I never really got to know the place, but I’m loving it. It’s such a great place. I went to a Yankee game the other day.

Were you rooting for the home team?
Yeah, definitely!

Did they win?

No, they didn’t, they lost quite heavily. [Laughs.] But yeah, it’s great. We’re quite busy rehearsing, but it’s great to be here.

Can you sing at all? Would you ever want to do a musical?
Hmm, I don’t think I could do that. I released a song recently, I did an animation [Postman Pat: The Movie] and it’s on an album now, so I can kind of sing, but not like that. That’s on a totally different level. I just saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch and that was amazing. I couldn’t do a musical, but it looks fun!

The Harry Potter wizards are all getting on the Broadway train—you, Daniel Radcliffe, and now Tom Felton wants to. Why do you think that is?
New York just feels like the place to be. I’ve seen some amazing shows here, and there’s such an incredible energy to the city. It’s so exciting, even just walking down the streets. The West End is great as well, I love that, but New York City a really special place.

See Grint in It’s Only a Play beginning August 28 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.


Original article found here:broadway.com | August, 19th 2014

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Rupert Grint to make Broadway debut in ‘It’s Only a Play’ — EXCLUSIVE

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Another Harry Potter star is coming to Broadway.

Rupert Grint, best known for playing Ron Weasley in the blockbuster Harry Potter film franchise, will make his Broadway debut this fall in Terrence McNally’s starry comedy It’s Only a Play.

Grint joins an A-list cast that includes Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, Megan Mullally, F. Murrary Abraham and newcomer Micah Stock. Jack O’Brien will direct the limited 17-week engagement, which opens at Broadway’s Schoenfeld Theatre on October 9.

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

On the theater acting front, Grint followed up the smashing success of the Potter films with his West End stage debut in the revival of Jez Butterworth’s Mojo (alongside Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw and Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle).

Grint’s Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe recently returned to Broadway in The Cripple of Inishmaan, but their stints on the New York stage won’t overlap (Radcliffe’s engagement ends this July).


Original article found here:ew.com | June, 17th 2014

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Rupert Grint meets Broadway In It’s Only A Play

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RG: My guilty pleasure is offensive T-shirts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RG: I love to play golf.


Original article found here:t2conline.com | September, 1st 2014

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