Rupert Grint Press Archives

VisitEngland hopes stars will encourage domestic hols

VisitEngland’s new £5m campaign in partnership with commercial operators and fellow tourist boards is designed to shore up the domestic market during Olympic year.

The campaign aims to inspire UK residents to take a holiday at home during a year when England is hosting both the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to help mitigate “against a potential Olympic sag”.

In recognition of the importance of 2012, commercial partners are offering a 20.12% discount on accommodation, dining, attractions, transport and more and include leisure group Merlin Entertainment, Travelodge, Bourne Leisure and Hoseasons Group.

The campaign, which breaks today (7 March), is supported by the tourist boards for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and features stars such as Stephen Fry, Rupert Grint and Julie Walters at various locations

For instance, it depicts Walters at Tate Liverpool, Grint on an Anglesey beach and Michelle Dockery on Giant’s Causeway.

It will be accompanied by a series of 10 second destinations adverts showcasing destinations such as Blackpool, Skegness, Yorkshire and Liverpool.

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford says: “This is the largest domestic tourism campaign ever undertaken and aims to inspire UK residents to take advantage of the fantastic events taking place in the country this year.”

Original article found here: MarketingWeek | March 7, 2012

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Famous British actors to front campaign to boost UK tourism

VisitEngland, the national tourist board has recruited four top actors to front a national advertising campaign, ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’, aimed at boosting domestic tourism throughout the UK. Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Rupert Grint and Michelle Dockery start shooting a television ad this week due to air on 8 March, kicking off the country’s biggest ever domestic tourism campaign.

The campaign, led by VisitEngland, and supported by the home nation tourist boards of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland; and London, will showcase the country and highlight the key events taking place including the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, the Torch Relay, the Cultural Festival and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt said: “”This will be an incredibly exciting year, and the UK will be the very best place in the whole world to holiday. It’s thrilling that four of our best-loved actors are joining the campaign to get even more of us holidaying at home.”

Aimed at inspiring more UK residents to take a holiday in the UK this year, the campaign will feature a website offering thousands of special deals worth at least 20.12% off. Special offers will include hotel stays, meals, tickets to attractions and other goods and services.

James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said: “I am honoured that four national treasures such as Stephen, Julie, Michelle and Rupert are helping us to inspire UK residents to take a break at home in this momentous year! Their involvement is key in creating the highest profile campaign this country has seen in terms of boosting domestic tourism.”

The actors will take part in an advertisement spanning the whole country, and shooting is currently taking place at iconic locations across the UK, coordinated by VisitEngland’s advertising agency M&CSAATCHI.

In addition to the main advertisement, a series of additional 10 second adverts will be shot in a number of destinations. In return for £100,000, to be match funded by VisitEngland, Blackpool, Skegness, Yorkshire, Merseyside and Birmingham will be showcased as part of the campaign.

Original article found here: | February 13, 2012

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Rupert Grint takes Driving Lessons

It’s about time that Ron Weasley got some wheels other than that bizarre, magical family car! Actually, when we spoke with Rupert Grint in Beverly Hills last week, he had just gotten his license in the U.K. and was driving a new Mini-Cooper!

The 18-year-old star of the “Harry Potter” film series was in town to chat about his film Driving Lessons in which he plays a shy teen with an ultra-controlling mom who finds freedom and identity when he becomes the assistant to an eccentric semi-retired actress played by none other than Ron’s mom (great actress Julie Walters)! News flash: Rupert has his first big screen make-out scene! The popular, ginger-haired actor let us know that doing a “love” scene really made him nervous but was worth it. Now if poor Ron can just catch up.

We got some pix of adorable Rupert in his purple tee with the green letters “Roswell” and “Area 51” on it. I told him that I was born 30 miles from there. He was fascinated but didn’t really know where Roswell was.. Somebody had given him the shirt. He’d never been there. I told him he wasn’t missing much. Let’s get down to talking about Rupert’s new role and, of course, what is up with “Harry” and friends…

AGW: Was it interesting to do another picture with Julie Walters, but playing totally different roles?

Rupert: It’s quite different, obviously they’re completely different characters. It was actually really good having Julie there, because I obviously knew her before in the ‘Harry Potter’ films, especially because we were only filming for like six weeks, it was good to have someone there you sort of knew. She was really fine, really easy to get on with, so she’s cool.

AGW: Was it strange acting with her and playing such a different role and seeing her in such a different role?

Rupert: Yeah it was, yeah, especially with all the swearing! Some of it was quite shocking. The first scene we rehearsed was the camping scene when she swallows the [car] key. She’s very funny and she’s really cool.

AGW: What was it about this movie that made you want to choose it as one of your detours from Harry Potter series?

Rupert: I wasn’t really looking out for anything. I was doing the fourth ‘Harry Potter’ film and it came up after that, and I just really liked the script and it was something really different, because I’d been filming the fourth one for about eleven months and I just wanted to do something different. I love being Ron, it’s just sort of good to do something different. So that’s why.

AGW: Both Ron and your Driving Lessons character Ben are going through life changes and maturing but are you sure you didn’t take this movie because Ben at least gets a girl! Was that a big draw for you?

Rupert: [laughs] Actually no. I was really dreading that scene. I was really nervous, because obviously, you’re in a tiny set and the whole crew is watching you, and it is a bit nerve-wracking. But, no, it was alright in the end. The worst part is watching it back with your family, that’s the embarrassing part. It’s not too bad.

AGW: So what did you do to get over your nerves before shooting that scene?

Rupert: I don’t know really, I mean once we’d – the first time was pretty awkward, but once we got into I suppose, it was alright – it was quite an awkward moment, yeah.

AGW: Did you have to have a drink beforehand? [Hey, Rupert is 18 now.. legal in London]

Rupert: [he laughs] No I didn’t, unfortunately.

AGW: Did you get a break before doing the next movie, or was it like you shot this and then boom, you went onto the next “Harry” right away?

Ron: Yeah, actually it was about three months or something spread over Christmas and it’s usually quite a quick sort of turnaround, and we’re doing the fifth one at the moment. We’re just about to finish it.

AGW: We hear that you just got your own driver’s license and are driving a Mini-Cooper. You didn’t want to get anything more ostentatious or bigger?

Rupert: No, a mini suits me.

AGW: So what were your own driving lessons like?

Rupert: Oh I had so many, an embarrassing amount actually. My test, I was really nervous, I failed my first one, but I passed my second attempt. It was quite scary.

AGW: What did you fail on your first one?

Rupert: I was doing a three-point-turn, and I didn’t look over my shoulder or something, something stupid like that.

AGW: Did the driving instructor recognize you? Actually, what is your day to day life like out and about?

Rupert: No. He didn’t say anything. It’s not too bad actually. It’s only been in the last few years where’s it’s got [crazy]. I get recognized a little bit more. The hair does sort of stand out, but they’re always really nice, so it’s not really a problem. It is something really weird and I’ve not really gotten used to it because it is quite strange, but as I say, it’s not really a problem.

AGW: What do you have planned between the two Potter films?

Rupert: I don’t know really, I’ll probably have a bit of a break, because we’ve been filming this fifth one for about 10 months or something like that, so it’s been pretty busy. I definitely want to try to get something else in, say something like Driving Lessons because it was a really good experience and I had a really good time doing it, so I’d love to do more stuff like that.

AGW: For the last three Potter films you’ve had three different directors. Do you like that?

Rupert: Yeah, I do, it makes it different. I mean, the first time it happened, losing Chris [Columbus] was quite a big thing, because he was my first ever director in my first ever film, so it was quite different not having him in there, but we’ve had some really good ones, Alfonso, Mike Newell and this one’s been really good, David Yates. He’s quite laid back and much more calm, calmer than the other ones we’ve had, so it’s been good.

AGW: A lot of people think that this is your first movie outside of ‘Harry Potter’ and it’s not. How different was the acting experience from Thunderpants?

Rupert: Much different, I mean, this is my first grown up film I suppose and it’s a bit more of a bigger part than Ron and my character in Thunderpants. It has been a real new experience. It’s been really fun.

AGW: Driving Lessons is a much smaller film. Did you have to adjust to a smaller trailer on set? Were there other differences?

Rupert: [laughs] Yeah, there’s new stuff like that. Obviously because it’s a smaller budget, you notice the few differences like that. I’m used to like having a dressing room and being based in a studio. That was one of the most different things, because on this we weren’t in a studio, we were just sort of going all around London, and it was really good fun though.

AGW: Were you shooting when the terror attacks happened last year in London?

Rupert: Yeah, yeah.

AGW: Did you have to shut down, what happened? Were you scared?

Rupert: Yeah, it was quite scary because on the actual day it happened we cancelled filming and didn’t go in and then we filmed throughout the next day and it was all about the aftermath, and there were a few like rumors and threats. We had to evacuate a building. It was quite scary.

AGW: Do you notice difference in fans from country to country?

Rupert: Yeah, definitely, yeah. They’re much louder and sort of crazier here than in England and I went to Japan on the third film and that was – they’re crazy out there as well. It’s quite funny. They send origami stuff, little swans and stuff, it’s quite strange.

AGW: Laura Linney is super strict in this film. Is your own mom anything like that?

Rupert: [looks frightened] Oh no, definitely not, no! I know, she [Laura] was scary in [this movie].

AGW: Who would your ideal leading lady be?

Rupert: [big smile..he’s not gonna tell us] Um, I don’t know really, I’m not all that fussy really, anyone will do.

AGW: Who’s more like the real you? Ben or Ron?

Rupert: Um, I’ve always felt like I could relate to Ron. I can’t really see much in common with Ben. I suppose I have a sort of teenage side, his awkwardness, around girls and that, I can sort of relate to that. No, I’m most definitely – I’m sort of more Ron I think.

AGW: Are you, Daniel and Emma very close, because you’ve grown up together? Between films do you see each other?

Rupert: We see each other ever day for most of the year, so we don’t really need to see each other outside. We get on really well, and that’s with all the other cast as well, because we’ve known them for six years, you get to know each other so it’s good.

AGW: Emma has said that she may not want to continue making the movies. How weird would it be to work with a new Hermione if they brought someone in?

Rupert: Yeah it would be – yeah, I heard that as well, it’s quite a shock. She hadn’t really talked about it, I don’t know, it would be really weird. I think she will stick it out I think, because I definitely am and I think Dan is as well, so we’ll just have to see really.

AGW: Have you been star struck by anyone since you’ve been here in Hollywood?

Rupert: Yeah. I’ve met quite a few people, especially at the premieres, which we do quite a few, like we met Robin Williams and it was really embarrassing because my grandpa kept doing Mrs. Doubtfire impressions. [laughs] Yeah, it was quite embarrassing.

AGW: What did Robin do?

Rupert: He was sort of humoring him, so it was alright.

AGW: Do you write poems like your character Ben?

Rupert: No, I don’t actually. I did at school a little bit but nothing like that. I think one of the poems, [the director] Jeremy actually wrote that when he was my age.

AGW: But, you do write rap lyrics?

Rupert: [laughing] Yeah, I did, that was my audition tape for the ‘Harry Potter’ films, I wrote a rap song.

AGW: Well, that evidently impress someone. Who’s your favorite musician now?

Rupert: I’m more into sort of rock, a lot of bands in England, Arctic Monkeys and people like that really.

AGW: What do you miss about London when you’re away?

Rupert: Not much really. (The weather) is pretty depressing out there at the moment. I quite like coming out to a place like this.

AGW: Have you moved out into your own flat yet?

Rupert: No, not yet. I’ll probably wait on it another year. I’m more [staying] at home at the moment.

AGW: Do you think that you’ll ever move here to L.A.?

Rupert: It’s definitely a possibility. I do like it over here, it is pretty cool, but I don’t know. I think I’d miss all the people at home, so I don’t know, I’ll have to see.

AGW: Then you would have to drive on the other side of the road and re-learn to drive!

Rupert: Yeah, I know. I’ve never done it, no. I don’t think I’m looking forward to it.

AGW: Were there any funny stories behind the scenes when you and Julie were stuck in the car in this film?

Rupert: I had to drive down this road and then park it on this hill, and down the hill just about five feet away was our camera crew and they were filming the front of the car, and in the scene, we had to get out of the car and do something. I drive up and we all get out of the car and I forgot to put the handbrake on, the parking brake, and this car started to go down towards the crew, that was quite a close call. I had to dive into the car and put the brake on, that was kind of scary.

AGW: You were younger making this film. So, were you driving in the movie without a license?

Rupert: [grins] Ah, yeah, but only on private roads. They didn’t trust me on major roads. There’s a load of ways to get around it, like I had a driving double. We had this guy over there wearing a ginger wig who just sort of drove around all these roads, so that was quite strange.

AGW: When you think about your future, do you think about a certain genre of movie like an action hero movie, or a heavy drama? What would you love to be in?

Rupert: I’m pretty open. I haven’t really given it that much thought. I have always sort of liked comedy films, I don’t know, anything really.

AGW: I remember you saying before you worked on the last ‘Potter’ movie how you were looking forward to the Dementors. Is there something in the next movie that you’re looking forward to seeing how they do it?

Rupert: Yeah, there’s a lot of really cool scenes in this one actually. We’re just doing all the major fight scenes and little death eaters and Lord Voldemort comes back. It’s a lot darker this one, so it should be good.

AGW: But is there no “Weasley is Our King” in the new movie? [Note: In the book, Ron gets to play Quidditch and he’s not very good and the other houses make fun of him with a mean song but his own Gryffindor house turns the song into “Weasley is Our King”]

Rupert: No. That whole Quidditch thing it didn’t sort of come about. But it’s such a big book they can’t get everything in. I was a little bit disappointed, next year probably.

AGW: Ron is afraid of spiders, what are you afraid of?

Rupert: Yeah, I’m the same, I’m afraid of spiders, yeah. I hate spiders.

AGW: You’re not afraid of girls?

Rupert: Girls? Yeah… No, not really.

AGW: Are you worried who’s going to die in book seven?

Rupert: Yeah, there’s a lot of rumors going ‘round but I don’t know, I wouldn’t mind, it’s alright, because you can always come back as a ghost so it’s not too bad.

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Dramatic license

By Dixie Reid

In ‘Driving Lessons,’ Rupert Grint steers clear of his ‘Harry Potter’ persona.

SAN FRANCISCO — Jeremy Brock had a father who was a mild-mannered church vicar and a mother who was a tyrant. At 21, he got a job cleaning house for British actress Peggy Ashcroft, who won an Oscar for her supporting role in “A Passage to India” (1984). And when he could no longer stand to live at home, he took up residence in Ashcroft’s basement.

From those true-life experiences comes the British coming-of-age saga “Driving Lessons” (opening Friday in Sacramento), written and directed by Brock, who also co-wrote “The Last King of Scotland.”

Portraying the fictionalized version of Brock is redheaded Rupert Grint, best known as the perpetually astonished Ron Weasley in the “Harry Potter” movies. He’s in town for the day, decked out in T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, and lounging on a sofa at the Ritz-Carlton before returning to London to finish up “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” due out next year.

“It’s going to be good, good fun,” Grint says of the upcoming Potter film.

In “Driving Lessons,” he plays 17-year-old Ben Marshall, an awkward, shy lad whose father (Nicholas Farrell) is a mild-mannered vicar and whose mother (American actress Laura Linney, with an English accent) is a tyrant.

Brock recently told the Los Angeles Times that he made Ben younger than he was at the time “for the simple reason that I was very, very naive. I wanted to capture an age where it was acceptable to be that naive.”

And he made “Driving Lessons” while his parents are still living.

“My mother has Alzheimer’s now,” Brock said. “I couldn’t have written the movie until my mother was outside a place she would know. Some might say I am ruthless. All I would say is the film is obviously taken from my family experience, but it’s fiction, too. The fights that (Ben) has to break free from his home are a universal story.”

The movie takes place during Ben’s summer break from school.

His evangelical mother has him attending Bible classes, wearing a eucalyptus-tree costume for the church play and helping out at an old folks home. Under the pretext of giving Ben driving lessons, she is having an affair with the church’s youth minister (Oliver Milburn).

Things also are quite strange at home, where Mrs. Marshall has invited the elderly cross-dresser Mr. Fincham (Jim Norton) to move in with the family.

Life becomes even more bizarre — but certainly more fun — when Ben takes a job assisting Evie Walton, an eccentric retired actress (Julie Walters, with a prosthetic osteoporosis hump), who has awarded herself the title “dame,” drinks entirely too much and gardens like a demented Edward Scissorhands. She is zany and unpredictable and kidnaps young Ben for the adventure of his life.

Walters also plays Grint’s mother in four Harry Potter movies, including “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” (She did not appear in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” 2005.)

“She’s so easy to get on with,” says Grint. “She’s really nice and fun. It was good having someone I knew, because this was my first thing outside the Harry Potter films.”

Apparently he’s forgetting “Thunderpants,” the 2002 comedy about a boy whose gas-passing abilities help him to become an astronaut.

“Driving Lessons” did offer Grint his first onscreen kiss, with Scottish actress Michelle Duncan, who is 10 years his senior.

“I was quite nervous,” he says, laughing. “She was older, so that helped make me feel more comfortable, but it was actually quite awkward because all the crew was watching. And then it was worse watching it with my family. That was embarrassing.”

And this leads to some quick, and only slightly embarrassing, questions for young Mr. Grint:

Have you ever kissed a girl offscreen?

He laughs. “Yeah.”

Do you have a girlfriend?

“No, I don’t. I’m just really busy at the moment. We have another month of filming on the next ‘Harry Potter.’ ”

What’s on your iPod?

“Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes. I mainly listen to rock.”

What’s your favorite English football (soccer) team?

Tottenham Hotspur.

How did you get your name?

“Actually, my name was the one that my parents pulled out of the hat. Really. There were other names they put in this hat, and they pulled out ‘Rupert’ first.”

Do you still live at home?

“Yes. I can see doing it for another few years. I’ve got it pretty good.”

What do your parents do?

“My mom sort of looks after us. It’s a big family, five of us kids, so it’s quite the full-time job. My dad sells Formula One (racing) memorabilia, liked signed photos.”

You’ve been in all four “Harry Potter” movies, with three to go in the series. Have you bought yourself anything extravagant with your earnings?

“I treat myself here and there. I got myself a car, because I passed my driving test last week. I got a Mini Cooper, a black one.”

Did you know how to drive before getting behind the wheel in “Driving Lessons”?

“No, I was only 16, and I didn’t start learning until I was 17. They let me drive on proper roads and mainly in Scotland. On major roads, they wouldn’t let me drive.”

Did you pass your driving test on first try?

“I passed the second test, failed the first one. It was only one thing: I was doing a three-point turn, and I didn’t look over my shoulder.”

Ben Marshall vs. Ron Weasley?

“They’re very different. Ben has got real problems with his mom and dad. He’s got a really strict mom, and he’s pretty shy and doesn’t say much. A bit of a geek, not very confident. Ron has a good family and is pretty confident.”

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Original article found here: Sacramento Bee | November 12, 2006

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Celluloid Dreams Interview

Celluloid Dreams Interview

with Tim Sika 90.5 FM, KSJS-San Jose CA.


Rupert conducted this interview during his Driving Lessons promotion in L.A.

Transcribed by Andrea Helmer

TS: Ben is a shy teenager living in London who is trying to escape from the clutches from his stern and religious mother. He finally gets his chance when he meets a retired actress who whisks him off to Edinburgh, where he learns to drive, camp, perform Shakespeare in a garden, dance, pick up a girl and connect to his poet within. Driving Lessons is the name of the movie, its the directorial debut for Jeremy Brock who penned the screenplays for Mrs. Brown and Charlotte Grey. It stars, Julie Walters, Laura Linney and Rupert Grint, his first starring role after completing 4 Harry Potter films as Harry’s best chum, Ron Weasley. His film credits include of course, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire and the upcoming Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He’s also appeared in Thunderpants which I have to talk to him about and he joins us now on behalf of Driving Lessons. Thanks Rupert.

RG: Oh yeah no its good.

TS: Its just saying that title makes me feel silly. Though this is a smaller kind of quieter film than what you are accustomed to because obviously you have to carry it to some extent, was there any trepidation  on your part? About acting away the safety and familiarity of Harry Potter?

RG: Yeah definitely I mean its quite a big step for one thing, its so much more sort of grown up film as well which is something sort of most different.

TS: Yeah yes it is. Yeah grown up from what we’ve seen you do before.

RG: Yeah definitely yeah and its a much bigger part as well I mean so um, no its a lot of new sort of things that uh, experiences I was um, going through and it was just a really good, good fun thing and a really sort of refreshing thing to do cause it was just so different and um no I really enjoyed it.

TS: A coming-of-age-tale, um, I would think that would disconerting um, I mean when you made the film you were close in age to the character you were playing, so having to actually like to do that, you know in the context of a movie would be I would think a little disconcerting um, and I want to talk to you about that but  I liked how the title of this movie is sort of a metaphor for life lessons which…

RG: Sure yeah

TS: … kind of neat and um, I understood that they were based loosely on director uh, Jeremy Brock’s experience with working one summer when he was your age for uh, for actress um, Dame Peggy Ashkrof did he, did he ever talk to you about those experiences when he was directing you?

RG: Yeah he did um I mean we had a few sort of rehersals before we um, before we started filming. I mean I went to his house and he sort of showed me like pictures and sort of talked about it and um, yeah I think that really helped I mean he was really good on set as well sort of giving advice and sort of telling me what to do, he was really sort of clear of what he wanted.

TS: Were a lot of these things depicted in the movie were they, were they similar to what he had gone through?

RG: I think so, I mean it is sort of loosely based.

TS: Romanticized a little bit

RG: Yeah definitely but um, yeah I mean he was really nice, nice guy Jeremy yeah.

TS: Yeah, as a Julie Walters and Jeremy Brock tell it and this seems so easy you seem like a very modest and shy guy in real life.
RG: (laughs)

TS: And in this movie you’re playing a very modest and shy character, um which I would think would make it easier to tap into the character, but also  a challenge because you know, like I was saying earlier in the scenes where you’re required to take big steps outside of yourself, like I’m thinking of the big kissing scene in the 12 takes that the director took of it.

RG: Yeah (laughs) Yeah there are a lot of new things like that um, that scene in particular I was quite nervous about but um, cause your like on this tiny set and all the crew watching and it is quite embarassing but um…..

TS: Was it a closed set?

RG: Ehh…sort of yeah, um, but I mean once we did it, I mean we did it as you said it, we did do it a lot of times, it was a lot of takes, but the worst part is watching it back with your family, that’s when it gets a little weird.

TS: I suppose (laughs)  Well at least they kind of make it look, you know probably all the awkwardness that you felt you don’t obviously don’t see that in the movie, unless its in context of the screenshow.

RG: Sure yeah

TS: Casting someone with the experience of Julie Walters uh, opposite an up-and-coming actor like yourself, uh, I think it worked really well, did you glean anything from that experience of working so closely with her? She’s just amazing in this film.

RG: Hmm, she’s wicked yeah I mean, I’ve worked with her before in, cause she was my mom in a…

TS: Of course

RG: Harry Potter films so it was nice sort of having someone you knew as well and uh, I mean she’s always so funny and really easy to get on with, so um, no she was wicked yeah.

TS: The frustrating thing about seeing her in HP is we didn’t really get to see her…

RG: No yeah

TS: …very long its like ‘oh there she is’ and…

RG: Sure yeah

TS: …but waiting then she’s gone (laughs)

RG: Yeah well actually in this 5th one she’s got a much bigger part and uh…

TS: Oh she does!

RG: Yeah , we see that the Weasley’s all get together in this one so its good.

TS: Um, I understand that he shooting schedule of this coinsided with the quadruple bombings in London on Jly 7, 2005 and the aborded bombings on July 21st and did that siginificantly affect the film at all?

RG: Um, yeah it was quite scary actually, I mean we cancelled filming that day obviously and um, we caught a bit of the aftermath as well I think the day, it must have been the day after a couple days after, we had to evacuate this building, cuz there was some sort of threats on the sort of over-bombing, but nothing really came of it, bt it was quite scary, but um yeah.

TS: Was it liberating for you to use the f-word in this movie?

RG: Yeah (laughs) it was actually yeah, I mean I was goanna say its a much more grown-up film and its sort of swearing and all these new things so um, so no yeah, it was quite good actually yeah.
CD: And the other thing, I…I don’t know if I was suprised about this with the piece with the just the film, but it was, I know that it seems to sort of um, indirectly sort of saturize um, strict religious upbringing, but its a it was a very spiritual film. And that was refreshing and it was really nice, I mean not just about life lessons but there’s that wonderful speech that the Vicar gives about uh…

RG: Yeah
CD: Freedom and what it means to be a good Christian he says you know, if you strive to do good, if you don’t seek to hurt or betray others, if you’re true to yourself, treat others as you’d be treated and um..

RG: Yeah

TS: That’s something that I think doesn’t hurt the know that political landscape to prescenese that ever now and then because I think sometimes people get lose sight of that.

RG: Yeah oh yeah definitely.

TS: Were you raised in any particular religious belief?

RG: I mean no not religious family at all really, but um I did go to a Catholic uh..pre-school sort of primary school and uh…yeah so yeah we saw a few characters like Laura Linney, Laura Linnye’s character in that there was a few of them out but um..I mean its not really I mean sort of the evangetlism isn’t really that sort of big in England as it is in here.

TS: Were there, were there nun’s and priests about?

RG: No no actually there wasn’t actually
TS: Really?

RG: No it was pretty new age sort of stuff but um, no it was Cath….

TS: And it was Catholic! That’s interesting.

RG: Yeah it was different.

TS: What were some of the things they were like…

RG: Well we were always sort of praying like sort of 4 times a day and like after every, after every meal and I mean it was quite and we sort of had like school mass and we sung hymns and it was it was alright.

TS: And they incorporate church into the curriculum

RG: Yeah

TS: Yeah I remember cause I, I did that to. I remember we would go to mass…

RG: Yeah

TS: …as part of the

RG: Sort of yeah definitely

TS: Yeah

RG: Bible studies and stuff like that.

TS: Exactly um we’re talking to Rupert Grint uh, an ensemble cast member from Jeremy Brock’s Driving Lessons um….I’m sure you’ve been asked this before but um, you prepared a rap song in your audition for Harry Potter, do you remember it?

RG: No (laughs) I can’t, everyone asked me that.

TS: Oh really, you don’t remember any of it?

RG: No, I’ve still got the tape actually.

TS: Oh really?

RG: I haven’t seen it in ages yeah but its….

TS: What did you have like a musical background?

RG: Oh no!

TS: Or was it just sort….

RG: Oh no it was just like something I sent, there’s like a news program in England called Newsround and its like a news show for kids and they were sort of advertising sort of kids to sort of um, audition for the parts cuz they were looking, looking for kids and um, yeah I sent in an, an application forum with a picture and my height and details like that so um, I didn’t get anything back for a few months so I sent in, I made this video tape, my mom filmed it and it was just, it was just like a little rap song of how much I wanted to be and little stuff like that.

TS: You just did it on the lar

RG: Yeah definitely cuz just, sort of had nothing to lose really, so might as well. And uh..yeah, I did that and there was about 6 auditions after that and…

TS: Yeah

RG: That was it really.

TS: Five or six, you were yeah it was, you were what 11?

RG: Eleven yeah
TS: Eleven, does it seem like what 7 years?

RG: Yeah I know it is weird, I mean especially when you look back on the early ones its sort of how much you’ve changed.

TS: Yeah, yeah you were…..all you guys were really tiny in the 1st movie.

RG: Yeah yeah

TS: And then you went through a sort of all went through a physical change around the same time.

RG: Yeah yeah

TS: That that would have been weirder if like say one of the boys voices would have still been way up there.

RG: Yeah

TS: The other one would have..but you guys all pretty much were changing…..

RG: Yeah

TS: …at the same time.

RG: We were quite lucky yeah

TS: Which is kind of serendipidess

RG: Yeah

TS: Uh when you landed the role of Ron Weasley in the 1st Harry Potter film, did you know at least intellectually that your life would be y’know forever altered? I’ve always wondered to what degree…

RG: Yeah

TS: ….y’know how when could reasonbly prepare for something like that.

RG: Well I mean I was quite young at the time, I didn’t really sort of realize how big, big these films were going to be, I mean I knew that books were quite popular all over the world.
TS: Yeah

RG: (laughs) I think it was the 1st premiere, there was um, so many people there and it was quite amazing and it is quite weird now getting recognized in the street and sort of people coming up to you it is quite weird and sort of hard to get used to , but um…
TS: Do you watch the films very much? The early Potter films?

RG: Umm…I haven’t seen ’em in a long time no uh..but I mean you sort of flick through these on TV sometimes and its quite sort of strange but its good in a  way cause it sort of brings back sort of memories in the 1st one cuase we had a good time doing them.

TS: You’ve uh…appeared to deal with all the attention of the last what 7 years as we said pretty well um…does your family keep you grounded, I would assume huh?

RG: Yeah definitely, I mean I come from quite a big family, I’ve got uh…

TS:  Your the oldest right?

RG: Oldest of 5 yeah

TS: Five yeah

RG: So um…yeah it is quite uh…

TS: Do they ever sort of deflate you when your ego’s running or anything?

RG: (laughs) Uh….idk, they’re all pretty they’re uh…no they’re all good and sort of supportive and that so its good.

TS: Um..has the success for the Potter films has it made it easier to aquire or create other projects which interest you like this film Driving Lessons ?

RG: Um yeah in a way I suppose but I mean its always been quite hard to fit things in a round the Potter schedule, cuz when we’re filming for like 9 months of the year and its pretty full on  so its quite hard to get things in, Driving Lessons was good cuz it was only 6 weeks so um…

TS: An indie movie

RG: Yeah

TS: Yeah shooting quickly and cheaply
RG: Yeah

TS: We’re talking about Julie Walters just before and about her experience and stuff and what it was like working with her and everything, I imagine the Harry Potter films afforded you also, the valuable experience of working alongside uh…an incredible aray of seasoned actors. Can you talk about the ways that you’ve y’konw grown personally and as an actor by interacting with these people?

RG: Um..not they don’t really sort of teach you anything particularly, but just sort of being around them, is really, pretty cool I mean there’s so many…

TS: It raises the bar huh?

RG: Yeah definitely yeah and you got people like Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman and Gary Oldman, there’s a load of new ones in this one actually so its been uh…yeah its been pretty amazing yeah.

TS: Are you familiar with uh..a lot of those actors’ work I mean like, like if you’ve seen any of Julie Walter’s films?

RG: Yeah definitely like sort of, Educating Rita and stuff like that and um…I mean in the early days I really wasn’t really, I didn’t really know too many people and um…I mean it was quite scary sort of meeting them for the 1st time, especially people like Alan Rickman, he’s quite, quite scary but um…

TS: (laughs)  Yeah

RG: No they’re really nice people and really sort of easy to get on with and so no they’ve made it really good for us yeah.

TS: Each Harry Potter installment has been helmed by a different director, except for the first 2 which of course were directed by Chris Columbus, um…considering the basis for these stories, that their authoured by one person, J.K. Rowling, how do the directors individual styles imprint on the characters that everybody knows so well and how they do those approaches or how have these approaches affected the characters continuity in your own minds, you know when you shifted over to somebody new was there ever like an adjustment period that you, that everybody had to go through or did the director just kind of sort of know what was already there and then just culitvated that?

RG: Yeah I think, I don’t know I mean we’ve had some really good ones and its all been quite, quite different and um, this new one we got now um..David Yates he’s really cool, I mean he’s really nice, much calmer than the other ones we’ve had before and he’s….
TS: Much calmer?

RG: Yeah much sort of laid-back, he’s really sort of open to you sort of putting your own thing into it and um, I mean we’ve had ones who were really really good fun and crazy and Mike Newell as well, he did the 4th one, he was really crazy and didn’t really care what he said he was really cool.

TS: You said calmer and then what occured to me was that its such an intimidating franchise really…

RG: Yeah

TS: …I mean y’know I’m sure all the directors are thinking ‘god I don’t want to screw this up!’ And yet they still probably want to put..

RG: Yeah

TS: …their own input on it.

RG: Yeah definitely I mean I suppose it is quite a responsibility especially cuz its, sort of the other ones have been quite successful and I suppose it is quite an impression but they’re really, the scripts are are so good and then the stories are sort of strong so can’t really go wrong.

TS: Its funny because um…twice you’ve brought up this 5th one, I didn’t have to…

RG: No (laughs)

TS: Um and as we speak its Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix it waits release its coming out when, summer right, of 2007?

RG: Yeah

TS: Can you tell us anything about it?

RG: Um, yeah I mean..

TS: We know that Julie Walters has a bigger role.

RG: Yeah definitely yeah

TS: Right? (laughs)

RG: Its um…its a lot darker this one, and um..we’ve had a really good time doing it actually its um..we got a new writer and the same, a new director and no its, its been really fun yeah.

TS: Now every time that um…the three of you, the three principles are asked if uh…your game to see the series through to its conclusion, um 7 films for the 7 books, it seems your the first to answer the affirmative.

RG: Yeah I mean I definitely want to sort of stick ’em out because I really do enjoy ’em its a really good atmosphere there and just had a really good time doing them and can’t see why not.
TS: But you guys will probably be like 20 or something no!

RG: Yeah

TS: Twenty or twenty one if you do all of them.

RG: Definitely

TS: Yeah

RG: Its goanna be yeah…

TS: Watching yourself grow up before your eyes on screen.

RG: (laughs)

TS: That’s a sort of like the ultimate home movie.

RG: Yeah

TS: Um…Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson and yourself, the three Harry Potter principles um..comparitively have other credits to your names then the people you’ve been working with or certainly at this point, have you guys ever had discussions amongst yourselves regarding other work or other directions your taking um..professionally?

RG: Um…I don’t know, I mean I’m just sort of um..sort of seeing what happens, I mean I want to do these next 2 ones and doing Driving Lessons makes me want to do more stuff like it cuz I did have a really good time doing it and um..I think they’re really good fun so um..yeah. I’m just going to see what happens really.

TS: You’re you’re very goo…..

RG: (laughs)

TS: … the film um…getting good notices all over the place.

RG: (laughs) Cool thanks.

TS: Yeah um, we mentioned in the intro a film you did uh..after I think you had done the first Harry Potter in between, maybe it was one another one of those in-between films called, Thunderpants.

RG: (laughs)

TS: You played a juvenile, mad scientists mentor with no sense of smell…

RG: (laughs)

TS: …who harnesses your friends exceptional gift for flatulense.

RG: (laughs)
TS: See not a lot of people know about this movie.

RG: I know yeah.

TS: I wonder why? (laughs)

RG:  Yeah exactly (laughs) yeah

TS: Its just uh..what is a lot of fun to do?

RG: It was actually yeah, I mean I did it after the first, first film I suppose the first thing outside the series so um….no it was a good experience, it was good fun yeah.

TS: Has there been anything particularly enjoyable about you know, going round the world talking about Driving Lessons I mean you’re doing it all the time for Harry Potter, that any significantly different?

RG: Yeah, I mean its just sort of nice to just to talk about something different really.

TS: Something different

RG: Yeah so um..its good like I’ve been to a load of new places, I’ve never been here before.

TS: San Francisco really?

RG: I really like it yeah, but no its good I definitely want to come back.

TS: I would think that would be one of the most frustrating aspects of being able to visit like all these like Venice and San Francisco, Paris or whatever..

RG: Yeah just seeing the hotel rooms

TS: You’re in the hotel rooms yeah.

RG: But its good thought, its quite good.

TS: Now in general how do they treat you? When you visit places around the planet?

RG: Yeah no really well

TS: Pretty good

RG: I’ve had a really good time yeah

TS: Um…I want to ask you about the rabid fan base that the Harry Potter films have, on our website we always print ahead our guests and I think and you were on there I guess last week or whatever and we got the most amazing response.
RG: (laughs)

TS: More than we usually get. Uh…and I just thought, ‘Well wow!’ You know there’s a rabid fan base here, so how do you um…deal with that, you seem so unphased by all the world wide attention.

RG:  Yeah I mean it is, I don’t know it is quite quite strange and people coming up to you in the street and that is quite strange and um..quite surreal sort of thing but I mean they’re always really nice.

TS: What’s the weirdest thing somebody that you didn’t know came up to you, recognized you form the films said to you?

RG: Yeah, there’s quite a few strange sort of strange things, like get sent presents and stuff like that is quite strange.

TS: What do you do with all that stuff, do you keep it or….

RG: Yeah sort of keep it and try and sort of reply but um…no its good when you get sort of like, they send werid stuff like uhh…pajamas and these sort of T-shirts that they make..

TS: Like pajamas for you?

RG: Yeah like, Spongebob Squarepants pajamas

TS: Oh ok..well you like that show don’t you?

RG: Yeah (laughs) I do

TS: I read that somewhere, anyway so uh…Driving Lessons, you want to say anything here in conclusion about the movie. Why should people come see it?

RG: Um..I don’t know cause it just uh….its a really sort of um..its about um..its quite different u..its a strange sort of friendship that two people have and uh…its quite a good sort of road road trip.

TS: Agreed, we’ve been in conversation with Rupert Grint, the film is Driving Lessons  where the two contemplate and its also very entertaining. Rupert Grint what did she say in the movie, “For your aid in sucker we thank you.”

RG: Yeah (laughs)

CD: So thank you

RG: Oh cheers thanks

TS: You bet, I’m Tim Sika for Celluloid Dreams 90.5 FM KS?? And online at

Originally Aired on CelluloidDreams.netI October 24th, 2006

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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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Rupert Grint Talks About “Driving Lessons”

Rupert Grint Takes a Break from “Harry Potter” to Star in an Independent Film

Rupert Grint stars as Ben, the straitlaced 17-year-old son of an overly religious mother and a vicar, in Driving Lessons written and directed by Jeremy Brock. Instead of being out having fun like the other kids in his class, Ben has to spend his summer vacation taking driving lessons from his mom and attending bible class. Fortunately for Ben, his life’s turned upside down when he takes a job assisting an eccentric retired actress (played by Julie Walters).

The Appeal of Driving Lessons: “I wasn’t really looking out for anything, it just sort of came. I was doing the fourth Harry Potter film and it came up after that. I just really liked the script and it was just something really different. I’d been filming the fourth one for about eleven months and I just wanted to do something different. I love sort of being Ron, it’s just sort of good to do something different so that’s why.”

Reuniting with Julie Walters: Working with Walters on Driving Lessons was a much different experience than working with Walters on the Harry Potter movies. “It’s quite different,” said Grint. “Obviously they’re completely different characters. It was actually really good having Julia there because I knew her before in the Harry Potter films. We were only filming for like six weeks [and] it was good to have someone there you sort of knew. She was really fine, really easy to get on with, so she’s cool.”

Grint says it was a bit strange seeing Walters take on a character so unlike Harry Potter’s Molly Weasley. “It was, yeah, especially with all the swearing and that. Some of it was quite shocking. The first scene we rehearsed was the camping scene when she swallows the key. She’s very funny, and she’s really cool.”

Adventures in Driving: “I had to drive down this road and then park it on this hill. Down the hill, just about five feet away, was our camera crew and they were just filming the front of the car. And in the scene, you had to get out of the car and do something, I can’t remember now, but I drive up and we all get out of the car and I forgot to put the handbrake on, the parking brake on and the car started to go down towards the crew. That was quite a close call. I had to dive into the car and put the brake on. That was kind of scary.”

Grint didn’t get his driver’s license until after he’d finished the film, which meant he was driving around without a license. “Yeah, only on private roads,” joked Grint. “They didn’t trust me on major roads. There’s a load of ways to get around it, like I had a driving double. We had this guy over there with a ginger wig who just drove around all these roads. That was quite strange.”

On Real Life Driving Lessons: Grint now has his license and instead of tooling around in something expensive and fancy, he prefers his Mini Cooper. After what he calls an ‘embarrassing amount’ of driving lessons, he managed to pass the driving test – but not without a few hitches. “My test, I was really nervous. I failed my first one, but I passed my second attempt. It was quite scary.”

What portion of the test did he fail? “I was doing a three-point-turn, and I didn’t look over my shoulder or something. Something stupid like that.”

Rupert Grint Gets the Girl in Driving Lessons: “Actually I was really dreading that scene,” confessed Grint. “I was really nervous because, obviously, you’re in a tiny set and the whole crew is watching you. It is a bit nerve-wracking. But, no, it was alright in the end. The worst part is watching it back with your family. That’s the embarrassing part. It’s not too bad.”

Ben from Driving Lessons vs Harry Potter’s Ron: Which character is more like the real Rupert Grint? “I’ve always felt like I could relate to Ron. I can’t really see much in common with Ben. I suppose I have a sort of teenage side, his awkwardness around girls and that. I can sort of relate to that. No, I’m most definitely…I’m sort of more Ron, I think.”

Going From a Huge Production to an Independent Film: The difference between working on a Harry Potter movie and Driving Lessons is like night and day. Even the trailers are smaller on an independent film. “Obviously because it’s a smaller budget, you notice the few differences like that. I’m used to like having a dressing room and stuff like that, and being based in a studio. That was one of the most different things, because on this we weren’t in a studio. We were just going around London, and it was really good fun though.”

Original article found here: | October 18th, 2006

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An Interview with Director Jeremy Brock and Rupert Grint

By Krista Vitola

After appearing in numerous Harry Potter films and having fans worldwide, Rupert Grint is the first of the three to step out of his character and do another film for a change, “Driving Lessons”, where he’s paired his other Harrp Potter co-star Julie Walters and Laura Linney. Grint plays Ben, a young lad who spends weeks attending bible classes and having driving lessons with his mom until he meets an eccentric actress who challenges his beliefs. In speaking with Rupert as well as Director Jeremy Brock talked working on the film and doing something other than Harry Potter.

After working on the big budgeted Harry Potter films, how do you adjust to working on something smaller like “Driving Lessons”?

Rupert Grint: It was quite nerve wracking going into it. It was a lot different doing Driving Lessons because we shot on location.

In casting Rupert, did you have any concerns?

Jeremy Brock: No, not at all. We had discussed when I sent him the script. He read it and we discussed what it would entail. I actually knew that he wanted the balance of shooting a film in six weeks. That generates an energy that feeds off itself.

How difficult was it to go from this back to Harry Potter movie?

RG: Well, one scene took about a week to shoot or maybe even longer, whereas with this film, we were filming 2-3 scenes a day. It’s a completely different movie.

How did the two of you get together for this film?

JB: I had seen him in all of the Harry Potter and I just thought that he’s an incredibly gifted, natural actor and I wanted that particular quality because the character then has to carry and convey feelings of inadequacies and frustrations all on his face and that’s what he’s so good at.

RG: I was actually quite scared about that because you got the whole crew watching and that was a bit scary and the Michelle Duncan, girl was really good because she’s helped us all.

What was it like working with Julie Walters outside of the Harry Potter films?

RG: It was good having someone I sort of knew because I was a bit nervous about coming in to a new filming environment because I’m used to the ‘Harry Potter’ way of doing things

Do you have an appetite for many independent films?

RG: Yeah, definitely.

In the film, Julie Walters’ character challenges you. Did she do that to off-screen as well?

RG: Yeah, I suppose. She would ad-lib some scenes and challenge me to do the same.

What did you like about the role?

RG: I liked that he was socially different

How was working with Laura Linney?

RG: The great thing about her is that she’s a tremendous actor. She made it comfortable when you’re in an uncomfortable situation. It felt fin with her playing my mom.

How did you feel about directing the film?

JB: I love the process of directing. I love the way it’s like 3-D writing and I found that enormous rewarding. I love the idea of writing about something that I can relate to. I wanted to write about my life in suburbia and I wanted to stick to the story about this amazing relationship I had with (Dame) Peggy Ashcroft.

Can you talk about your driving skills and how’s it going?

RG: I passed my test Saturday. It was second attempt. I’m embarrassed on the amount of time it took me to do it. I took 60 driving lessons.

How were you able to drive in the film without a license?

RG: Well, I was 16 at the time and I wasn’t allowed to because you have to be 17. We had some private roads and it was done quickly. We found a road in Scotland that was on a farm.

Where are you now with your career? Is this what you want to do for a living?

RG: I’m having a real good time doing movies. After the Harry Potter films, we’ll see what happens from then.

Do you think you will stay friends with Daniel and Emma once it’s over?

RG: I think so. We’ve been friends for six years now and have gotten to know each other quite well.

Was your real mother as religious as the character and how did that affect you once you moved out of the house?

JB: To the extent that this is a movie about friendship as well as being a movie about faith and the father articulated one particular point of view, which is the one I find more comfortable. Mom was even more angelical and evangelism has tended to be in my experience to be very constrained and that’s how I experienced it because it’s driven by what they tell you rather than what you think. The father’s son is the key in the movie for the son to make up his mind.

DRIVING LESSONS opens on October 13, 2006

Original article found here: blackfilm | October 12, 2006

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In Step With…Rupert Grint

Written by James Brady

He was about to celebrate his 18th birthday at home with his parents in Hertfordshire, England, when I called Rupert Grint, the young actor who portrays Harry Potter’s red-haired and often bumbling chum Ron Weasley.

“Not much planned for tomorrow,” the actual birthday, Rupert told me, “I’ll be working. We’re still on Order of the Phoenix,” which is the next Harry Potter film, he explained. “Because of all the special effects, each movie takes from eight to 12 months. This one we’ll finish in October, but it doesn’t come out until July of 2007.” I wondered if he and Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry, were friends or just two guys on the same job. “We’re good friends for five or six years now, spending nearly every day together,” he said. “On the job, we’re all getting on.”

The new excitement for Rupert is a coming-of-age film with absolutely no special effects titled Driving Lessons. In it, he stars with two big-name actresses: Laura Linney and Julie Walters—who coincidentally also is his mother, Mrs. Weasley, in the Harry Potter flicks. Laura plays the boy’s strict, bible-thumping mother, and Julie is an eccentric former actress who prevails on the shy, bookish Rupert to drive her to the Edinburgh Festival—without even a driver’s license. What follows are their topsy-turvy adventures along the high road to Scotland.

Can Rupert himself drive yet? “Well, it turns out,” he told me in his richly-accented Hertfordshire English, “I failed me driving test two weeks ago, so they told me to take some more lessons and try again. I own a car already, a Mini Cooper. But I’m thinking about buying an American car when I get the license. One of those hot rods or maybe a Chevy pickup.”

Until then, he’s looking forward to yet another trip to the U.S. for the new Potter. “I like New York and Los Angeles,” he said, but then admitted that since they don’t send him to Texas, the Midwest or anywhere else, he has no basis for comparison.

Memo to the producers: Next time, turn Rupert loose on the rest of the states. Just don’t let him drive ’till he passes that road test.

Brady’s Bits

Rupert Grint is the eldest of five children and admitted he’ll “have to think about” moving out soon to make a place of his own. As for a rumored story that his father was an amateur hypnotist who planted his son in the audience, young Grint reacted in amazement. “I don’t know where they got that,” said Grint. “Me father was never a hypnotist. He sold Formula One racecar memorabilia!” It’s also been said that Rupert is “perhaps the most famous young redhead in the world.” So I had to ask, is his hair really red? “Yeah, it’s real red,” the actor confirmed. “In another film, Thunderpants, I had me hair permed and such, but it’s still red.”l l


Born Aug. 24, 1988, in Harlow, England. Single.

Why You Know Him

He plays the clumsy but kind young wizard Ron Weasley (Harry’s best friend) in the popular Harry Potter movie series.

What You Don’t Know

You might have his cell: “I am famous for losing things, especially my mobile phone—which I seem particularly good at losing on the golf course.”


Attention Harry Potter and Rupert Grint fans! What’s Rupert’s favorite food? What kind of music does he like? If he weren’t an actor, what would he do? Rupert answers all these questions—and more—below:

Did you have a childhood nickname?
Some people called me Ginge, but it didn’t really stay. My great-grandfather used to call me “Copper Knob.”

What is your secret claim to fame?
I am famous for losing things—especially my mobile phone, which I seem particularly good at losing on the golf course at the moment.

What is your favorite song?
I don’t really have one favorite because I enjoy a lot of stuff. I like Artic Monkeys, Parklife and Blur.

What’s your favorite food?

Probably Hawaiian pizza, because it really fills you up and it’s easy to cook or heat up. Or, if I’m feeling really lazy, I can just order one in.

Do you have a favorite gadget?
I really like my iPod Nano, which I have rigged up in my car. I also just got a great new gadget to help find lost golf balls on the course!

What’s your pet’s name and why?
I have a black Labrador called Ruby.

If you weren’t in films, what career would you choose?
Probably something to do with cartoons or animation. Art was a subject I excelled in, and I really like drawing caricatures.

Describe your perfect day.
Probably a day with lots of golf…and pizza!

Original article found at Parade I September 26, 2006

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