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Exclusive Interview with Rupert Grint and Julie Walters – Driving Lessons

By Joe Utichi.

We’ve been sat down barely a second with Rupert Grint, who turned 18 just a week prior, when Julie Walters joins us, beams a smile at her co-star and friend and gives us the evil eye, asking him if we’ve been treating him alright. Reassured that we’ve only just arrived, we’re let off the hook, for now, and enjoy a chat with two of Britain’s finest actors.

FF: How’s everything going today?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it’s cool.

Julie Walters: It’s alright, isn’t it? Knackered, but then… that’s ‘cos I’m old!

FF: Good to be reunited?

RG: Yeah.

FF: You seem to be spending all of your time together these days…

JW: Yes, we’re getting engaged! Didn’t you know?!

FF: Onto Driving Lessons, then; did you know you were both involved when you signed up?

JW: I knew Rupert was.

RG: I’d heard rumours they wanted her and that quite appealed. It’s quite scary going onto a new set. I’m used to the same crew and the same people over six years on the Harry Potter films. This is the first thing I’ve done outside of it, really, and it was good have a friendly face on set.

FF: Were you the protective mum on set?

JW: Yes; so don’t you go messing with him!

You do feel a bit like that. It’s strange but you do feel that Rupert and the others – the twins and little Ginny and everything – they do feel a bit like your children. A little bit!

FF: Was it a hindrance switching from Mrs. Weasley to Dame Edie on this film?

JW: Not really; Mrs. Weasley’s quite small. And the script was different, so you wouldn’t go there.

FF: Rupert, having grown up on Potter, this film seems like quite a brave choice because it’s not at all on that scale. Was that part of the attraction?

RG: Definitely, yeah. It was just so different to the Harry Potter films. It’s much lower budget, it’s a much smaller crew and there’s no blue-screen, special effects or creatures or anything like that! That was definitely one of the reasons I wanted to do it and it was just nice to be someone who’s sort-of a bit different. Being Ron – as much as I love it – for six years does get a bit repetitive. It was nice just to be someone else.

FF: There must be more opportunity to explore the character, as well…

RG: Yeah, it’s a much bigger part, I suppose. That makes it a bit more scary because there’s more responsibility, I guess, but it was just a good experience and I’d love to do more stuff like this.

FF: Did you get to know each other better than you would do on the Harry Potter films? Is there more bonding?

JW: There is, because it’s an intimate film. It’s mainly the two of them, and then Rupert and his family. We spend more time together and the parts are more emotionally explored than they are in Potter.

FF: You seem to have a whale of a time playing Dame Edie.

JW: It was great fun. Edible, really. I love the swearing! It’s very liberating; the whole thing. It was a liberating part, really, because she is so liberated and liberal!

FF: Do you know people like Edie?

JW: Apart from myself? *laughs* Bits of her in people, yeah, but not a whole. She’s not based on anyone in particular. You don’t think, “Oh I’m going to use that from so-and-so,” or, “I’m going to use that from someone else,” you just read it and say, “She thinks like this.” It’s a feeling rather than anything scientifically laid out. It’s hard to say where she comes from in that sense.

FF: Is it fun to play an actor?

JW: It’s fabulous playing an actor. It’s lovely playing an actor. Because you’re not going through her actors’ hell so it’s quite nice to play it and look at it and have a laugh at it, you know.

FF: Have you ever been struck by stage fright?

JW: Everybody has. I don’t know an actor – especially of my age – who hasn’t been through a, “Oh shit, I’m going to forget my lines!” It’s very common.

FF: No forgetting your lines here, though?

JW: No, but film is different. It’s not standing on a stage with an audience where you can’t stop. That’s where Edie’s fear comes from. You do get it sometimes on film when you’re delivering big speeches, but generally speaking it’s never as terrifying as it would be on stage.

FF: Which is your favourite media?

JW: Stage, really. Stage is the most exciting. Film is lovely, because it’s like a family.

FF: Rupert; have you learned a lot from this wonderful actress here?

JW: *laughs* Oh, don’t ask him that!

RG: I think so, yeah!

JW: You’ll know for sure later, won’t you! Rupert’s great. That’s obvious. He’s fantastic and he’s really good in it. I think it’s great he’s done it.

RG: Again, that was one of the reasons I wanted to do the film as well, because obviously I’d worked with Julie before and that just makes it much better.

FF: Has she tempted you to try some stage work?

RG: I don’t know really. I know Dan [Radcliffe] is off to something quite major there, but I don’t know. I’ve not really had much experience with stage, aside from a couple of school plays, but maybe later.

FF: You seem to be keen, at least, to keep acting beyond the end of the Potter films…

RG: Yeah, I suppose. I definitely want to follow the Harry Potter films through and do the last two. I want to continue doing them because I really do enjoy them. Now I’ve finished school I’ve got nothing really else to do so I’m hoping I’ll be able to continue acting!

FF: Silly but sensible question now; Julie, why aren’t you a Dame yet?

JW: *laughs* What, like in a panto?! How could I answer that! I don’t know! It’s unanswerable!

FF: You seem to be trying it on for size in this film!

JW: No, no! I’m not bothered about that sort of thing; I didn’t come into the business to get awards or titles. I just love acting. But… I’m too young! For heaven’s sake!

FF: By virtue of the fact you’re always playing older characters we’re always wondering why we’re not addressing letters to Dame Julie!

JW: I’ve been playing older characters since I was in my twenties, that’s true! They appeal to me greatly, older characters, and Victoria Wood is responsible for that! That’s where it started; I loved playing old women so she wrote loads of old-woman parts for me. I find them much more interesting. My grandmother lived with us for a short time while I was a child and I think that’s probably why. The incontinence, the madness, they were all there!

And old people tend to be slightly more eccentric, too. They can behave the way they want; it seems that when you get to a certain age you almost give yourself permission to misbehave and say what you think. People allow it; especially with very old people. It’s like when Spike Milligan got a lifetime achievement award off Prince Charles. Charles gave this terribly gushing speech saying how marvellous Spike Milligan was, and when he came up to collect it he said, “Snivelling bastard!” There’s no way anyone’s going to take offence to him saying that.

FF: Is there more in store with Victoria?

JW: No, not at the moment. She’s busy directing Acorn Antiques up north at the moment. It was really good fun doing that when it was in London so I hope there’s more on the horizon.

FF: I have to ask about a certain film that’s coming up very soon for both of you – Order of the Phoenix. Julie, have you done your part on that now?

JW: It’s all finished. It was only about ten days.

FF: We’re desperate to know if the boggart scene with Mrs. Weasley made it to the shooting schedule!

JW: I can’t say! They won’t let us!

FF: Was it good to be back anyway having skipped film four?

JW: I know, I wasn’t there. The Weasley boys sent me a postcard, do you remember?

RG: Yeah! *laughs*

JW: It said, “We miss you; Dad can’t control us!” *laughs*

FF: Ron steps up to the plate a bit in this film…

RG: Yeah, it’s going really well actually. We’ve nearly finished; we’ve only got a few months left. We’ve got a new director this time and it’s been really fun. He’s wicked and really different to the other ones we’ve had as well. I definitely want to do the next two, but nothing’s official yet; I really want to find out what happens in the seventh book.

FF: What have you got coming up in addition to Potter, Julie?

JW: Coming out I’ve got a Philip Pullman adaptation of The Ruby and The Smoke with Billie Piper. It’s a BBC ninety-minute film for Christmas.

And then in the early part of next year there’s Becoming Jane which is a film about Jane Austen and I play her mother. It’s really very interesting and she was an extraordinary woman; to actually be able to survive as a novelist in those days – unmarried – was just unheard of.

We found out a lot about her mother. She was a bit of a writer, too, and they had loads of children; eight kids. They were obviously very keen for her to marry, interestingly, and not to bloody be writing. It’s about that and how she manages to make a success of herself. It’s a bit like Pride & Prejudice in a sense; you can see where the novels came from.

FF: From what I know of her there seems to be a lot of herself in all of her books.

JW: Oh yeah, absolutely.

FF: Who’s Jane Austen?

JW: Anne Hathaway. I know! She’s actually amazing in this film. People think it’s an odd choice but she’s actually brilliant. I haven’t seen Devil Wears Prada yet, but I’ve heard it’s wonderful. She’s a really, really good actress and I hope she does very well.

FF: So you’ve shot those? What’s coming up production-wise?

JW: Well I’ve got a novel coming out in October. I’ve got to do a book tour! It’s called Maggie’s Tree and it’s about a couple of actresses who go to New York to visit another actress who happens to be working there. One of them is in the throes of a breakdown and within a few hours of their arriving in New York she disappears. She’s lost touch with reality, really. She’s eventually picked up by a man in a bar in the middle of the night and it’s about what happens between them; he takes her back to his apartment and it’s about what goes on and what his agenda is. It’s character-led so it’s about what happens with the other people looking for her too.

I’ve been writing for a very long time and I wrote something years ago that was supposed to go into paperback but my daughter was ill and I didn’t want to do the publicity. So they asked if I’d consider writing something else instead and the suggested doing a novel so I said I’d give it a go.

It’s a bit daunting in that I find it very exposing in strange ways. I didn’t think it was at all while I was writing it but it’s very intimate.

FF: A lot of writers say they put themselves in their work without noticing.

JW: It’s like acting in that way. Creating them was just like acting and making up their lives and I loved it; it was like being God! It’s revealing and exposing in some way and I’m not sure why. And I don’t know how a lot of it came about, either. The characters do have a life of their own and I can’t believe they’re not out there; it’s weird.


Original article found here: FilmFocus | September 2006


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Don’t Tell the Kids: Ron Weasley From the Harry Potter Films is Growing Up

By Maureen Paton

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My street-cred with teenage girls will go sky-high now that the copper-haired Rupert Grint has landed, as if by magic, in the back of my cab. Instantly recognisable all over the world as Harry Potter’s best friend Ron Weasley, the Hertfordshire-based Rupert is on a flying visit to London with his dad Nigel and wants to revisit one of the panoramic locations where his latest film was shot. So off we head to Primrose Hill where our driver, David from Barking, even lets Rupert sit in the front of his parked cab as a consolation prize for having just failed his first driving test (for not looking behind him while performing a three-point turn don’t tell Professor Dumbledore).

Rupert whose father sells Formula One memorabilia can’t wait to get behind the wheel, not only as a homage to the flying Ford Anglia in the Harry Potter films but also to what he calls ‘my first grownup film quite scary and more of a responsibility’.

For Rupert, who has just turned 18, is about to surprise and even shock his fans with the road movie Driving Lessons, a comedy written and directed by Jeremy Brock, the screenwriter of Mrs Brown. Not only is its language decidedly adult (surpassing Ron Weasley’s favourite expression, ‘Bloody brilliant’, so much so that Rupert bashfully admits, ‘My nan didn’t really approve of it when I took her to a screening’), but Rupes also gets his first bedroom scene.

So already he has managed to upstage Harry Potter himself, the actor Daniel Radcliffe (whose own first grownup role will involve appearing naked on a horse in a stage revival next April of the play Equus). But don’t panic and immediately lock up your Rupert-mad daughters: all we see in Driving Lessons is a lingering pre-coital kiss, followed by Rupert’s bare shoulders and chest above the sheets afterwards. Bless! Still, going to bed with the girl who recently played Princess Diana on TV (Michelle Duncan in Whatever Love Means) does add a certain kudos to a chap’s CV. ‘It’s pretty tastefully done,’ says a relieved-sounding Rupert, ‘although that snog was quite scary. But Michelle was really good; and it helped that she was a lot older [21].’

Driving Lessons is as much a rite of passage for Rupert as for his character Ben, a sensitive teenage poet who hits the road with a flamboyantly misbehaving Julie Walters. All the onscreen drinking and cussing made for a pretty lively reunion with Julie, who also, of course, plays Ron Weasley’s mum in the Potter movies. ‘Mrs Weasley would have a fit at all the swearing and I wasn’t expecting it, either,’ he admits. ‘I was a bit shocked. But Julie was a real giggler like me. I got told off really badly for “corpsing” by the director of the first Harry Potter film, but I’ve sort of got over it now.’

He has grown up in other ways too, for Rupert, who left school after taking his GCSEs two years ago, has started shaving every other day and has even taken up golf the ultimate showbiz sport. His debut in the first Harry Potter film was smartly followed up with the role of a geeky genius in the family comedy Thunderpants when he was 12 (‘they permed my hair for that, which was a bit embarrassing’), but he’s not allowed to touch his considerable earnings until he’s 21.

‘I’ve stayed in touch with all my mates, and the only thing that has changed is getting recognised.

Sometimes it’s hard to maintain a normal life when you’re filming for most of the year and when you get pursued up the street by screaming fans. It’s a bit weird, and hard to get used to.

But they are always very nice about the films, so it’s not really a problem,’ says Rupert, who doesn’t have a girlfriend at the moment. He is currently finishing filming on the fifth Harry Potter, The Order of the Phoenix, and will then start work on the penultimate instalment, The Half-Blood Prince.

Even though Rupert finds co-star Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) ‘quite intimidating, but cool’, he says, ‘the films have been so much fun to do’.

The franchise has taken him all over the world, as well as to the royal box at the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations.

‘She was sitting right behind us!’ he marvels with the wide-eyed look of awe that has become his trademark.

As Ron would say, bloody brilliant.

Driving Lessons is on general release.


Original article found here: INS News | September 12, 2006

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

By Helen Ohara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rupert Grint: He was really cool.

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

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

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

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

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


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



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LESSONS IN LOVE

RUPERT GRINT ON HIS NEW FILM, SHOT BETWEEN HARRY POTTER MOVIES.

IT’S the steamy encounter set to break the hearts of Harry Potter fans the world over. After a raunchy salsa dance with a shapely brunette, Rupert Grint returns to her flat for a passionate one-night stand. Ron Weasley, it seems, is growing up fast.

“I must admit, I was quite nervous about doing my first on-screen kiss – actually I was really worried,” admits the 18-year-old redhead, “but it wasn’t all that bad in the end. The girl I had to snog, Michelle Duncan, was older than me, which somehow made it easier.

“I just made sure I kissed her properly because I didn’t want to go for lots and lots of takes. Mind you, watching it on the big screen for the first time was a bit painful because my dad was sitting next to me. I don’t have a girlfriend at the moment and am quite happy being single, but who knows what’s around the corner? I’d like to meet a woman with a sense of humour and I wouldn’t mind at all if they were a Potter fan.”

Rupert’s close encounter is featured in the new film, Driving Lessons – released today – in which he stars as an awkward teenager called Ben who befriends boozy, eccentric retired actress Evie, played by Julie Walters. She, coincidentally, also played Ron Weasley’s mum in the first three Harry Potter movies.

Ben’s life is changed forever when he replies to an ad for a home help placed by Evie. As their unlikely friendship grows, he drives her from London to Edinburgh, along the way having some life-changing experiences, including a fling with a shapely Scottish girl called Bryony, played by Duncan. When saying goodbye to her after a night of passion, he hilariously tells her, “Thank you for having me”.

Although Driving Lessons centres on Ben’s friendship with Evie, it also deals with the awkwardness of being a teenager and the agonies of first love. In one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, Ben reads a romantic poem to a girl he’s got a terrible crush on – with embarrassing results.

“Thank God I’ve never done that,” laughs Rupert. “I’m quite different to Ben when it comes to women, although I am a little bit shy just like he is. But I definitely don’t write poetry.”

Rupert made Driving Lessons after Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, in which he reprised his role as the young wizard’s best friend. And despite his worldwide fame, the new movie is only the second non-Potter film he’s appeared in, after the 2002 comedy Thunderpants.

“I’ve had a few offers, but the gap between the Harry Potter films was always too small to fit any of them in,” says Rupert. “But there was quite a big break between the last film and the new one (The Order Of The Phoenix, due next year) and we were able to make Driving Lessons in just six weeks. It was also refreshing to play a more complicated character because Ron is mostly just scared.”

Rupert insists he wants to star in all seven of the Potter films, even though he could be 22 when the final, unnamed instalment is released in cinemas.

“I’m filming the new one in Watford right now and it’s proving great fun,” he grins. “This could be the best one yet. The series has been such a big part of my lifethat it would be a shame if someone else took over the part. I want to be in the lot and hopefully that’ll happen.”

Rupert and I meet at an Edinburgh tea party held to mark the launch of the film, attended by John Hurt, Walters and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling.

She tells The Ticket she is half-way through writing the seventh and possibly final book, but the 41-year-old Scottish author is keeping tight-lipped over rumours she’s planning to kill off Harry.

“I’m up to about 750 pages now, but I’m not telling anyone what happens to Harry,” she says. “I’ve just come along to support Rupert who’s absolutely terrific in Driving Lessons.”

So, for someone who has seen so much success so young, how does Rupert see his career progressing?

“I don’t know where I want to be in five or 10 years time,” he says. “I’ll just see where things lead me, but I’d love to do more films like Driving Lessons.”


Original article found here: Metro UK | September 9th, 2006

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Jeremy Brock’s Driving Lessons

For someone who has induced more cardiac arrests than almost anyone else in TV history, Jeremy Brock seems remarkably nice. The creator of BBC’s long-running hospital drama Casualty is also no stranger to movie sets, having written the scripts for John Madden’s Mrs Brown (1997) and Gillian Armstrong’s Charlotte Gray (2001). But it was a new experience to get behind the camera as he made his directorial debut on Driving Lessons.

A rites-of-passage drama ripped from the memory bank of Brock’s own life, Driving Lessons stars Julie Walters, Rupert Grint and Laura Linney, and is set smack in the heart of suburbia. The film’s a gentle but warming drama that gives Walters the chance to play a full-on diva – a chance she grasps with both hands. Brock says “there was never any argument” that he’d make his directorial debut on the low-budget pic, which shot entirely on location for six weeks in London, Edinburgh and Scotland.

Julie Walters and Rupert Grint carry on camping in Driving Lessons

Although Brock returned to his writing ‘day job’ after helming duties finished – adapting, among other things, Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and Giles Foden’s The Last King Of Scotland – he admits to “secretly thinking” about when the next directorial opportunity will arise: “I feel like I’ve laid something to rest with Driving Lessons, but with luck in a few years I’ll have a chance to direct again.”

In the video Jeremy discusses the challenges of working with actors, and what he learned from shooting entirely on location.

Driving Lessons is released in UK cinemas on Friday 8th September 2006.


Original article found here at BBC I September 7th, 2006

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Will Harvey Take ‘Driving Lessons’ at Tribeca?

Rupert Grint Press: Will Harvey Take ‘Driving Lessons’ at Tribeca?

Written by Tom O’Neil

What Oscar hopefuls might emerge this week at the Tribeca Film Festival? Last year Harvey Weinstein acquired “Transamerica” in New York and took Felicity Huffman across America to the Kodak Theater. Now there’s a new diva vehicle in the fest lineup that shows off the long-range acting chops of another respected star. Industry-watchers wonder: will Harvey take her and “Driving Lessons” for a spin?

Or will it be hijacked by another savvy Oscar rider like Sony Pictures Classics or Focus Features?

I’ve already seen “Driving Lessons” and can tell you: it’s a helluva ride and it’s obvious Oscar bait based on its setup. Two-time past Oscar nominee Julie Walters (“Billy Elliot,” “Educating Rita”) is a flamboyant, booze-swilling, over-the-hill actress who plays a theatrically outsize Maude (without any icky stuff with the kid) to Rupert Grint‘s awestruck Harold (he plays Ron Weasley in the “Harry Potter” flicks). She’s an eccentric old British bird who lives alone in a big house overstuffed with memorabilia of a long career most distinguished by her once having played a Joan Collins-type bitch on a TV soap. She’s in desperate need of a young helper around the joint and that’s where Grint comes in, arriving as a shy lad eager to escape his restrictive God-fearing home. She introduces him to highbrow culture by casting him opposite her in “Coriolanus” — mugging it to the max, arms outflung, in her overgrown garden. It doesn’t matter that he’s only got a learner’s permit, not an official driver’s license. Next she casts him as her chauffeur, despite his protests, and they embark on a road trip up to Edinburgh where she’ll screw up a poetry recital while he, emboldened by what he’s learned from Walters, meanders off to discover love at last with a pretty young gal.

Walters is an inspiring and magnetic mentor off her nut like Maggie Smith in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (Smith’s first Oscar victory). Oh, except that she’s not recruiting kids to fight for Facism. The fact that Walters portrays an actor instead of a teacher is a plus, considering actors make up the largest chunk of academy voters and they love lampoons of themselves, often nominating roles about hambone overripe thespians past their prime like Annette Bening in “Being Julia,” Albert Finney in “The Dresser” and Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard.” Sometimes they even win — like Maggie Smith in “California Suite” or Ronald Colman in “A Double Life.”

“Transamerica” won the best actress award for Huffman at Tribeca last year and now “Driving Lessons” is a current frontrunner. Both have ContentFilm behind the wheel. Last year ContentFilm acquired “Transamerica” at the Berlin Film Festival and brought it to Tribeca to sell off U.S. and Canadian rights and, hopefully, to send it Oscar-bound. Since the strategy worked so well once (well, at least for a nomination), the distributor is trying it again with a film that has another tour-de-force diva turn in the driver’s seat.

“Driving Lessons” costars former Oscar nominee Laura Linney as Grint’s bible-thumping momma and marks the directorial debut of Jeremy Brock, author of the screenplay to “Mrs. Brown” (Oscar nomination for Judi Dench). It’s loosely based upon his own experience as a boyhood protege to Oscar champ Peggy Ashcroft, but Brock confesses some embellishments, insisting that his grand Dame wasn’t really a secret booze bag.

Photo: “Harry Potter’s” Rupert Grint resists, but Julie Walters insists upon teaching him an appreciation for the free-wheeling bohemian life in “Driving Lessons.”
(ContentFilm International)


Original article found here: LA Times | April 23rd, 2006

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Driving Lessons German Interview with Rupert Grint

Driving Lessons German Interview with Rupert Grint taken from the German Driving-Lessons. DVD.

Transcribed by Karo

The DVD doesn’t have the interview with Julie and Rupert from the UK DVD  but, like the US has the Making-of and the Outtakes. And an interview with Rupert, where you see nothing but his head and shoulders (and his hand when he moves it around) for 15 minutes and 20 seconds (yes, you may be jealous, cause it’s really cute and very interesting).

It seems as if the interview was meant to be cut in a similar way to the one on the CoS-DVD (printed question and then the answer), but apparently they left it just as they recorded it, which makes it very interesting to see (and hear) Ruperts reaction to the “guy off-camera” (I’m not sure if it’s Jeremy Brock, but Rupert reacts differently to him than he did during the promotion for Driving Lessons).

I included one pic, it’s from when he ruffles his fringe (see below, I mentioned it in the text). That frame is what you see the entire time of the interview.

Greetings,
Karo

Interview mit Rupert Grint

(several people talking in the background, Rupert sits down in front of the camera)
Interviewer: Rupert, you’ve come on a tremendous journey in this film, haven’t you? Tell me, how did it feel when this part came along and you got sent the script.
Rupert: ehm… oh god, seems like a long time ago now, ehm… yeah, well, I’ve loved the script when I first read it and it was just good to – like – do a different character, cause – like – all the – the Harry Potter stuff, that was quite heavy-going and for a really long time, so I’ve really enjoyed doing something a little different.
Interviewer: And also, it’s the first really grown-up role that you’ve had isn’t it?
Rupert: Yeah, it is, yeah. Ehm… It’s, yeah… it’s a lot more… eh… grown-up, yeah. Oah [a sound somewhere between “a” and “o”], some of the things I get to do like s – there’s quite a lot of swearing, which is something I’m just getting used to do and which is… which is… that was pretty cool, actually, and… eh… yeah.
Interviewer: What are the aspects of this part that has sort been new ground for you?
Rupert: Ehm… the – eh… the Bryony scene, when I go back to her place, that… ehm… that was weird, that was something I was really sort of – ehm… , something I’ve never, I’d never, I’ve never done anything like that – like – on screen. So that was quite – I found that quite uncomfortable at first, yeah, so, yeah, that was quite weird.
Interviewer: [unrecognisable]
Rupert: Yeah, it was, yeah, it was quite.
Interviewer: Ehm, what was it about Ben that – that spoke to you, that really appealed?
Rupert: Ehm… I don’t know, he’s just like… he’s quite… he’s a bit of a geek, really, and a bit of a loner. It’s just sort of – I really sort of – I liked him, he’s quite, he’s always , he’s obviously quite shy and it’s just something nice to do something so different from – like- Ron. So that was – that’s what I liked about him, really.
Interviewer: Tell me a bit about Ben’s home situation. Sort of set up the character for us, would you?
Rupert: Well, ehm, he’s the son of a vicar…
Guy off-camera: [unrecognisable] say Ben [unrecognisable because Rupert answers over his voice]
Rupert: Oh, yeah, right, sorry.
Guy off-camera: That’d be good.
Rupert: Yeah, well, ehm… Ben, ehm, he’s the vicar’s son and, eh, and his mum’s a bit of a – Ben’s mum [giggles] is – is, eh, she’s very sort of – like – controlling and really sort of keeps him sort of on a leash, basically. Ehm… I don’t think he has many sort of friends, except for Evie obviously, who he – eh – befriends later on, but, ehm, yeah, he’s got quite a difficult home-life cause his parents don’t really get on, ehm, they’ve got quite a few arguments at the dinner table which were quite fun to film, and, eh, that’s basically it and he’s just basically, ehm, yeah.
Interviewer: So, how is it that his life changes so dramatically?
Rupert: Ehm, well, I suppose, when he met Evie, ehm, that’s the sort of like sort of turning-point in his life when he started to just to sort of rebel, basically, ehm, yeah, so, it really sort of did him good, really, so…
Interviewer: What is she like, then? I mean, how does Ben see her?
Rupert: Ehm, I’m not rea… well, at first, when, eh, when Ben first met her, eh, for the…
Guy off-camera: Can you say “Ben” first [unrecognisable]
Rupert: Sure, yeah… ehm… yeah, when Ben first met [giggles]… when Ben first met Evie, ehm, he was a bit unsure, because she was a bit crazy, obviously, and the first meeting of Ben was really good fun to film actually, cause she’s like, she’s cutting a hedge and she’s swearing and this is all new to Ben cause he doesn’t really hear the sort of language at home, so, yeah, at first he was a bit [mumble] unsure, but, ehm, and she gets him into all sort of like trouble with the camping trip [giggles] and she gets him to drive everywhere and he’s only a learner driver, so he doesn’t take that very easily and, eh, yeah, but, as he goes on, they become really good sort of friends and, eh, yeah, that’s basically.
Interviewer: And does she open his eyes to the world, I mean [Rupert nods], is that her gift to him, really, do you think?
Rupert: Definitely, yeah. She does, yeah. [grins] Evie does.
Interviewer: And what does she do? Tell us…
Rupert: Yeah,… ehm… I, well, she gives him a bit of freedom, I suppose, cause he’s, eh, I suppose, he has to look after her, basically, eh, and like, the whole camping trip, ehm, that was like a really big step for Ben cause he’s away from home and, eh, just with this scary old woman [grins], and, eh, that was quite a big step for him [rubs his nose], yeah, and,yeah, she’s just sort of the, yeah, yeah
Interviewer: And of course, you know the actress who plays Evie really well, don’t you? Tell us about your various experiences with that actress who plays her.
Rupert: Yeah, ehm, Julie’s great, yeah, I really get on with her cause she was, ehm, she played my mother in, eh, in the Harry Potter films and, eh, [giggle] yeah, I, we, she’s really funny and really sort of good to work with, so, eh, yeah, I had a good time with her, yeah.
Interviewer: Ehm, and what about Laura, who,… tell me something about working with Laura Linney
Rupert: Oh, yeah, Laura was great as well, yeah, I had, yeah [giggle], ehm, I had to, I was always laughing when I came to her scenes, I had this real giggling problem and, eh [giggle], it seemed to be like, in all of her scenes I started laughing, so that was a bit of a problem, but she’s really, really,… I’ve really gotten on with her as well, she’s really nice.
Interviewer: She has been very complimentary saying things about you
Rupert: Oh, really [Rupert’s famous “I’m-really-embarrassed-right-now” giggle]. No, she was good, I liked her.
Interviewer: Now, how have you found working with Jeremy?
Rupert: Ehm, yeah, oh, ehm, Jeremy’s great, yeah, [rubs his eye], ehm. It’s a lot different from the other directors from the Harry Potter films, ehm, but, just, I really get, he’s really sort of nice, really nice, down to earth, really easy to talk to, and he was just really good, yeah, I got on with him really well.
Interviewer: Does he give you good notes about the way you’re played?
Rupert: Yeah, definitely. Cause, cause he actually wrote – he knows everth – he knows it inside-out, so he could really give some really sort of useful information and he really did help, so that was good.
Guy off-camera: So could you say in what way do you think that Jeremy is a bit different from the other directors…
Rupert: Yeah, yeah, sure
Guy off-camera: …cause that would be good if you kind of say “Jeremy brought this…”
Rupert: Yeah, yeah,…
Guy off-camera: That would be good… [continues some mumbling, I guess talk to the camera man] Will you be okay? Right, Rupert…
Rupert: [seats himself slightly differently, ruffles his fringe, looks around] Ehm…
Interviewer: How is Jeremy different, you say different, from the other directors, would you like us…
Rupert: Jeremy’s different, ehm, from like the other directors, ehm, [giggle] cause [closes his eyes] … let me think… because he, ehm,… [laughs]
Guy off-camera: [starts to say something but stops when:]
Interviewer: Do you think it comes from the fact that Jeremy wrote the piece as well…
Rupert: Yeah,
Interviewer: … so he’s more, he’s completely in tune with the character and the story, isn’t he?
Rupert: Exactly, yeah, ehm…
Guy off-camera: He’s got a lot more time with the actors, would you say; do you think, that’s how you could say…
Rupert: Yeah…
Guy off-camera: I mean, it is horrible, you don’t want to just knock [? Or “mob”] the other directors [I’m not too sure if that’s correct, but it seems to be what the guy tries to say, but he’s not too good to hear]
Rupert: Yeah, they shouldn’t worry, yeah, exactly…
Guy off-camera: [laughs]
Interviewer: [not to hear] does it stand in the parameters which, I mean, must be very difficult for the Harry Potter lot because it’s JK Rowling
Guy off-camera: Yeah, they’ve gone on…
Rupert: Yeah,…
Guy off-camera: [unrecognisable] so yeah, could you maybe say it in that way, that’ll be – that’ll be good.
Rupert: Okay, yeah…
Guy off-camera: Well, then let’s just… we’re still rolling
Rupert: Yeah, working with Jeremy was different in the fact that he, cause it was his sort of, ehm, he actually wrote it, and so he’s like, he knows what he wants and he’s really sort of in tune with all the characters and what he wants to get from them, yeah, ehm, and as for the, cause it was like JK Rowling, Rowling sort of, she wrote everything and sort of like, just sort of like that and, yeah…
Interviewer: Plus the fact that you’ve realised that the character is really based on his own experiences.
Rupert: Yeah, yeah, definitely, so, yeah, I remember him telling me that Ben was sort of really based on when he was like sort of growing up and like being a teenager, so that was quite – quite nice.
Interviewer: How do you feel about that now, I mean you’ve kind of grown up with the Harry Potters and here you are sort of, just having left school, and do you see yourself acting along for your life’s career?
Rupert: Ehm, I hope so, yeah, cause I’ve such a good time filming and I really do enjoy it, so, that’s something I – I really want to continue doing, so, yeah, I think so.
Interviewer: And are you now, sort of thinking about the way you’d like your career to go and the sort of roles you’d like to play?
Rupert: Ehm, not really, I’ll just sort of take it as it comes, really, and, I’m gonna, eh, I’d like, I really do like these sort of little films, I did another one after the – the first Harry Potter film, I did “Thunderpants” and just, and just something in-between, just like, it’s just really good, the sort of, ehm, good to do I think. I’ve had such a good time doing this one, so I wanna sort of do more of these sort of films and comedy has made me, what I’m interested in at the moment, so, yeah.
Interviewer: When the Harry Potter movies really took off, and you just really became instantly recognisable [Rupert giggles] in the streets, how were you expecting it to be like that, how did you cope?
Rupert: Well, I knew the books, ehm, were popular, but I didn’t, I mean I didn’t imagine like how, how sort f big it would be. And it’s just a bit of – bit of a shock like when I sort of get recognised is really weird, really sort of hard to get used to and it’s a bit, I’m sort of, oh, it’s like with like, long ginger hair, it sort of stands out anyway, but, ehm, no, it’s strange, yeah, but quite – quite cool.
Interviewer: So it had happened quite a bit on this, hasn’t it…
Rupert: Yeah, there’s been a few, yeah, we’ve been, yeah, a few times, yeah, it is strange, it really is weird.
Interviewer: And you got to see quite a bit of the world with Harry Potter [inrecognisable]
Rupert: Oh, yeah, that’s been what I, that’s one of the things I really like about it, cause, oh, I’ve been to Jap – I went to Japan last year, that was ama – that was really cool, a really good sort of experience, that, and like, all over America and that, it’s just places that I’d never really go unl – if it wasn’t for the filming and that, so yeah, I’m really sort of [rubs his eye] thankful, grateful for that.
Interviewer: When you’re not acting, what sort of things do you do, enjoy doing…
Rupert: Ehm, well, I play a lot of golf now, I’ve got into golf, been playing for about two years, nay, it’s quite good just sort of in-between, only, on this one, I didn’t really cause it was a six-day week and I was knackered after every week so I didn’t really have much time but I tried to get golfing whenever I can, so, yeah, that’s what I’m into at the moment.
Interviewer: What do you say to someone who wanted to see Driving Lessons? What do they get out of them? [Not too sure if I heard that correctly]
Rupert: Ehm, not sure, ehm, ehm, I’d, probably not what they’d expect, cause, ehm, it’s a lot more about sort of his – Ben’s journey and the people he meets and, in obviously, sort of Evie and his family life and mainly about that, but there was quite a lot of driving in it, and ehm, so I’ve really liked that, I got to do a bit of the driving, that was something I really sort of, when I read the script, that was something I was really interested in cause, like, I’ll be driving next month, ehm, so, yeah, it was good practice.
Interviewer: You haven’t taken your test yet?
Rupert: Not yet, no. I’m seventeen in August, so I can’t wait [giggles]
Interviewer: What’re you gonna buy?
Rupert: Hmmm, I don’t know yet… I think I’v’ve got to get something sensible for my first year, so probably… I don’t know yet.
Guy off-camera: So can, can I start, can you, I start a question about the, eh, the salsa dancing and then say something, I’ve got some good stuff for that, ehm, something along the lines of, you know, something you had to do, but it was quite lucky you didn’t have to be any good at it either.
Rupert: Yeah…
Guy off-camera: Just give us a little lead until [mumbles]
Interviewer: Did you have to train for the – for the salsa dancing?
Rupert: One day, I did, cause, they didn’t wanna make me too good, because [laughs]
Guy off-camera: Please, we’re already on this
Rupert: Oh, ehm,
Guy off-camera: …say “There was a scene in which I’m salsa dancinb but on the…” [mumbles]
Rupert: Yeah, yeah,… ehm, now, there was, one of the scenes I was dreading slightly was the, where we, Bryony takes me to a salsa club and we have to do all this salsa dancing and, [shakes his head, giggling] I’m not really a dancing sort of person, and we had one day training and, eh, that was, it was quite a good experience really, cause I’ve never done anything like that before but, ehm, it was just lucky cause I wasn’t meant to be that good anyway, so it sort of worked quite well, now, it was really good fun.
Interviewer: Do you think you might take it up?
Rupert: I doubt, I doubt it, yeah. [giggles] Yeah, I dunno, it was good fun though, when we did it, it was re, just like crazy with the salsa band playing and there where like all these dancers everywhere, the room was filled with, like, these dancing people and that was good fun actually.
Interviewer: Right
Guy off-camera: That’s fine
Rupert: Cool
Interviewer: Lovely
Guy off-camera: [mumbles]
Rupert: Yeah, that’s fine

END


Original found on Driving Lessons German DVD 2006

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Water day for Walters and her co-star

HARRY Potter star Rupert Grint and screen legend Julie Walters braved the Edinburgh rain as they began filming the new comedy Driving Lessons.
Walters, whose ballet teacher inspired Billy Elliot in the hit movie of the same name, plays a retired actress who befriends Grint.

The youngster, who has starred as Harry Potter’s bungling sidekick Ron Weasley in the film versions of the JK Rowling novels, is trying to escape his domineering mother – Love Actually’s Laura Linney. During the weekend filming has been taking place in Candlemaker Row, the Calton Hotel, and the University Quadrangle, in Edinburgh.

Film-goers will also see scenes set against the world-renowned architecture of the Capital’s Old and New Towns.

In another scene, viewers will see the results of months of salsa dancing when Grint’s character is dragged to a club by his bubbly girlfriend.

The film is being directed by Jeremy Brock, who wrote the acclaimed Mrs Brown which starred Dame Judi Dench and Billy Connolly.

He earned Bafta nominations for his work on the 1997 movie as well as The Widowmaker.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Film Focus said: “We are, of course, delighted that another high-profile production is planning to film in Edinburgh.

“This year, like last year, the Capital seems to have attracted a lot of filming work.

“The landscape of Edinburgh is a very remarkable one to film-makers as much as it is to tourists.”


Original article found here: Scotsman | August 1st, 2005

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