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Rupert Grint’s West End stint in Mojo could silence his critics for good

In 2011, Rupert Grint graduated, freeing himself from the grasps of witchcraft and wizardry. Since, the actor has chosen roles with one common denominator: they’ve had nothing to do with magic – something the actor has described as ‘refreshing’.

Recent diverse acting roles have seen Grint play a World War II pilot in Cross of Honour; contribute as a voice over in American Dad! and Postman Pat: The Movie – You Know You’re The One’ as well as star alongside Shia La Beouf in drama The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.

Later this year the actor also plays in CBGB, which documents the rise and fall of the famous New York punk club of the same name.

These roles seem more of a personal pick ‘n’ mix than a beeline for big bucks.

Grint is right to have trod an intriguing path post-Hogwarts, unique to that of co stars and Hollywood hitters Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who have carved mainstream success in the movies very quickly.

Watson’s sheek hit The Bling Ring and Radcliffe’s role in a screened revival of The Woman in Black confirmed their post-Potter worth. Grint is yet to make his solo imprint.

He is perhaps the lesser-oiled cog in the Warner Bros PR machine, but Grint’s work since Potter – namely his cameo in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman – has been heralded as superb; a markable turn from the actor who broke as comic nerd Ron Weasley.

In this vein, Grint the brand packs a big punch. His arrival at the Berlinale Red Carpet premiere of The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, in which he plays only a small role, saw Potter fans screaming for the 24-year-old over lead star Shia La Beouf.

It seems Rupert Grint still appeals two years on from Potter. A role in the West End, as part of a revival of Jez Butterworth’s Mojo is the actor’s second foray into the world of underground club-culture after new movie CBGB out later this year, and will only strengthen his appeal as a serious actor.

Mojo is a brutal and important piece of theatre that will provide Grint the platform to prove he’s capable of impacting upon hot, contemporary themes.

He’s playing drug-addled nasty Sweets in the play, which is a contentious piece of 1990s brat-pack theatre that premiered at the Royal Court in 1995 – the theatre best known as Britain’s new writing beacon.

Butterworth, alongside Mark Ravenhill and the late Sarah Kane, became infamous for staging shock in the most harrowing of ways.

Mojo documents the waywardly rise of Rock ‘n’ Roller Silver Johnny, and his ties with Soho’s murky underbelly – namely The Atlantic nightclub – in late 1950s London.

It’s a brutal and important piece of theatre that will provide Grint the platform to prove he’s capable of impacting upon hot, contemporary themes.

It’s as far from Harry Potter as he can get.

Mojo is the actor’s opportunity to instate himself as an actor that can move past the constrictions of film – mainstream or otherwise.

More than this, London’s Harold Pinter theatre will offer Grint the possibility of legitimising himself as a serious actor with longevity and variation akin to his co star Daniel Radcliffe.


Original article found here:metro.co.uk | AUGUST, 1st 2013

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Rupert Grint has put his Harry Potter days behind him and found his Mojo in gritty stage debut

article-2378253-0D2BB96A000005DC-979_306x423Rupert Grint, whose career has been dominated by the eight Harry Potter movies, is taking up a life of crime.

Grint will make his stage debut as a pill-popping petty crook alongside Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey’s Mr Bates) and Ben Whishaw, Bond’s latest gadget wizard Q.

Daniel Mays, who won acclaim for his portrayal of Ronnie Biggs in ITV’s drama Mrs Biggs, and in movies such as Made In Dagenham, completes the high-octane quartet who’ll lead a revival of Jez Butterworth’s scorching debut play Mojo, set in the Soho underworld of 1958.

This confirms my recent scoop that revealed Grint had participated in a rehearsed reading of the play.

Ian Rickson, who staged the original 1995 production at the Royal Court, told me rehearsals will start in mid-September.

Producer Sonia Friedman added that Mojo will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre from October 26.

Grint will play a minor hood called Sweets who pops amphetamines like Smarties and does a sort of double act, full of comic menace, with Mays, as a character called Potts.

Rickson explained how he met Grint and then placed him in the Mojo read-through.

‘I’d seen the Potter films with my daughter and always thought Rupert was truthful as Ron Weasley.

There’s something ordinary and centred about him, and in this world of Mojo you want that grittiness,’ Rickson told me.

He noted that he’d spoken to David Yates, director of the final four Potter pictures. Rickson recalled that Yates had told him Grint had ‘hidden depths’ as a thespian.

Not only that, Rickson and his associates are keenly aware that Grint’s fan-base — a post-18 audience weaned on the Potter pictures (believe me, Mojo is not suitable for children) — are ideal patrons.

‘A whole lot of people who might not see Mojo will come and see it,’ the director said.

That was the same calculation behind Daniel Radcliffe’s appearances in Equus, current hit The Cripple Of Inishmaan at the Noel Coward Theatre, and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying on Broadway.

Plus, there was the added bonus of charting Radcliffe’s growth as an actor and his determination to tread dangerously on the boards.

In a sense, Grint’s treading dangerously, too, though more for what his hoodlum character observes.

A severed body found in two bins, for starters; and the psychotic, Kray-like behaviour of Whishaw’s character, the deceptively named Baby, who’s on stage armed with a revolver when he’s not twirling a cutlass .

Butterworth’s dialogue has its own threatening power: an argot that rocks ’n’ rolls to a cut-throat rhythm.

The backdrop to Mojo concerns the kidnapping of pop sensation wannabe Silver Johnny by a gang rival, and how Baby gets his revenge.

Brendan Coyle plays another gangster, Mickey, a number two ruthlessly clawing his way to become number one.

Rickson and Butterworth, who went on to write the landmark play Jerusalem, have worked together several times and have been going over every line in the play and tinkering, just here and there.

Rickson, a music buff, said that working on Mojo again was like ‘going back to that early album and re-mastering it’.

A cast of this calibre is going to be one of the hot tickets of the autumn season.


Original article found here:dailymail.co.uk | JULY, 4th 2013

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Go on, Rupert, give Mojo a go! Grint could swap Potter for grisly gangland murder

Harry Potter star Rupert Grint is in talks to make his theatre debut in a play about a grisly gangland murder that will also star Bond actor Ben Whishaw.

The actor, who starred as Ron Weasley alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in eight Potter movies, has performed in a workshop reading of Jez Butterworth’s searing Mojo.

The drama is set in a lowlife club in Soho in 1958 and focuses on a handsome rock singer with star potential who gets caught up in uncouth goings-on involving a gangster, club owner and band manager.

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Ian Rickson, who directed the original 1995 Royal Court production, held the play reading recently with a cast that also included celebrated actor Daniel Mays and Robert Sheehan, a fast-rising star in the making.

Now Rickson and his long-time producer Sonia Friedman are in negotiations with Grint and Whishaw to star in what will be one of the must-see plays in the West End next year.

The ensemble would be the perfect environment to introduce Grint to the stage.

He’s a big name on film; but will need more experienced thespians around him.

If he does go ahead and test his theatrical mojo in Butterworth’s play, he’ll be following in the footsteps of Radcliffe, who first trod the boards in a theatrical equivalent of walking on a high wire with no safety net.

Radcliffe chose to do the controversial play Equus; then a musical on Broadway; and is now giving the performance of his life in The Cripple Of Inishmaan, part of the Michael Grandage season at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Grint’s representatives were travelling and could not be reached for comment.

Since Mojo, Rickson and Butterworth (whose first play this was) have become one of the theatre world’s most formid-able teams.

Their triumphs include Jerusalem with Mark Rylance, which played to sold-right-out houses at the Royal Court, in the West End and on Broadway, and The River, starring Dominic West, which was a hit last year back at the Court.

It’s great that Grint is going to give it a go.


Original article found here:dailymail.co.uk | JULY, 4th 2013

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