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Talking to Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint is best known as the redheaded Ron Weasley in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies. But he managed to take some time off from wizarding school to star alongside Laura Linney in the coming-of-age movie ‘Driving Lessons,’ in theaters this Friday. Grint plays a young boy trying to find relief from his overbearing mother (Linney).

AMNew York talked to Grint just before the movie opens.

So, how did you come to be involved with the film? Well, I was doing the fourth Harry Potter film and got sent the script. [The filming] was only going to be six weeks, so it was quite easy. I met with Jeremy [Brock, the writer/director] and he was really cool. It just sort of happened from there, really.

I know you were working on getting your own driving license, has that come to pass? Yeah. I passed on Saturday.

So how about your character. Is there anything in your personality that relates to him at all? Not really. There are a few sort of teenage things, like his actions around girls. They’re quite awkward and strange, and I can generally relate to that.

Was this your first onscreen kiss? This was my first.

Was that something that was exciting or was it awkward? I was actually quite nervous about that, because it’s quite a big step. It was really weird because you have the whole crew watching you. It makes you really self-conscious. But she [actress Michelle Duncan] was really cool. She’s older, so it helped a little bit. Watching it back is the worst, especially with my family. They laughed their hearts out.

How was this film different from filming Harry Potter? There were no sets, for one. We filmed all around London. It was only six weeks and the budget was pretty small.

There’s a scene in which you resist some wine because you say you’re underage at 17. Just to clarify, what is the drinking age in the UK? Eighteen. You can pretty much do whatever you want at 18.

Are you getting used to all the screaming, fanatical Potter fans? A little bit, yeah. I’ve been recognized a lot more recently. I don’t know if it’s something you get used to, it’s really weird. They’re always really nice so it’s never a problem.

You were recently getting ready to film the Thestral scenes in the fifth Harry Potter movie. Have you finished those yet? Yeah, we did those the other day. It was really a good time because they had to make a mold, a specially made harness that goes under your legs, because in the film it has to be invisible. [The Thestral is a magical horse-like creature that is only visible to those who’ve witnessed death.] They put you on this crane and lifted you up in the air. That’s been my favorite scene so far.

And that was done on a green screen? Yeah. We’re working on a lot of the final scenes now, the Dumbledore’s Army stuff.

What’s next for you? When does ‘The Order of the Phoenix’ wrap? We’re finished the middle of November, I think.

And you get a break after that? Yeah. We don’t start the next one until next summer, so there’s quite a big break. I’m going to try and do something else in-between.

I’ve heard you’re afraid of spiders, are there any in the new film? They were going to put in a scene where a spider comes down on my leg while I’m hiding under a tree, and they were going to use a real spider. So they were doing tests with different spiders, letting them crawl on my leg. They ended up cutting it because I couldn’t really deal with it.

Were they using tarantulas? Yeah, baby tarantulas. They’re horrible.


Original article found here: AM New York | October 18th, 2006


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