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The Performance: Rupert Grint

Ron Weasley kicks back after wrapping the ‘Potter’ series.

With the long-running ” Harry Potter” franchise beginning to draw to a close, the three young actors who star in the epic fantasy films are finding themselves at the dawn of a new stage of their careers.

Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, is preparing to star in February in a Broadway revival of the Frank Loesser musical classic “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” in addition to lining up new movie roles. Emma Watson, who plays the studious Hermione Granger, is attending Brown University in Rhode Island and will appear in the movie “My Week With Marilyn,” set for release next year.

And Rupert Grint, who portrays Harry’s best wizard buddy, Ron Weasley? Well, he’s blissfully unemployed.

“I am quite enjoying not doing anything,” said the laid-back 22-year-old, calling from his home outside London for a recent interview. “It’s been nice.”

It’s a big change of pace for Grint, who wrapped shooting the two-part “Harry Potter” finale, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” in June; the first part will open in theaters Nov. 19, the final installment will follow next summer. The films, which see the trio of friends leave the safety of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and set out on a quest to finally defeat the evil Lord Voldemort, were made simultaneously and were rather daunting for the actors, Grint said.

“The last films have been quite exhausting. It was over a year in production,” he said. “It was really full on.”

Before he reported to work on the final “Potter” movies, Grint made the ensemble British comedy “Wild Target,” which opens Friday. Directed by Jonathan Lynn, the farce, based on the 1993 French film “Cible Emouvante,” revolves around a middle-aged hit man ( Bill Nighy), the beautiful con artist ( Emily Blunt) he has been commissioned to kill and a petty thief (Grint) who discovers he’s pretty good with a gun and becomes the assassin’s apprentice.

Grint’s Tony also happens not to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he plays the black comedy for all it’s worth — his shocked, anxious reaction to his first kill is particularly memorable.

“It was quite refreshing to do the film,” Grint said of “Wild Target.” “I liked the script, and I thought it would be quite good fun. It came at a good time, as I had just finished filming the sixth ‘Harry Potter.’ I quite liked working with different people.”

Although as Ron Weasley he has had moments of humorous screen time before, Grint admitted that comedy didn’t come naturally to him as an actor. “I find it quite difficult, I think, [compared] to other kinds of types of acting,” he confessed.

But Lynn said that Grint’s abilities served him well on set, working with the rest of the cast. “I think he has a real knack for comedy, but I do think he finds it difficult,” Lynn said. “He think he finds the absolute precision of it difficult…. The reason he does seem to have a knack for it is that he’s a natural, and he has this wonderful personae that works so well on the screen. He was the easiest and nicest person to have around, and he was determined to do whatever I asked.”

Grint doesn’t know what the future holds for him. “I don’t have a plan,” he said, adding that he hasn’t ruled out following Radcliffe and doing theater. “It’s definitely an option. I think it would be quite fun. I’ll see what comes up.”

He might even leave his parents’ house at some point in the near future. “I have a place in London to where I go quite a bit. Eventually, I’ll move out.”


Original article found here: The LA Times | October 28th, 2010

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