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Toronto Fans Spellbound By Harry Potter Actor

He didn’t arrive by Hogwarts Express but Harry Potter fans were nonetheless excited to welcome British actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the film series, at a Toronto cinema for the latest movie’s opening day.

“It’s all really crazy,” Grint, who arrived in a black Hummer plastered with Harry Potter artwork, said on Wednesday.

“It’s really exciting and I’ve really enjoyed it, but getting recognized and that is really sort of a strange experience, and I don’t think I’ll ever really sort of get used to it.”

British actor Rupert Grint says it's 'really cool' to be in Canada for the first time. (CBC)

The 18-year-old British actor was greeted by eager teenage fans, some screaming, who leaned over each other to touch hands with Grint. Some had been waiting for hours.

“We want him to smile at us,” said 16-year-old Becca Ferguson, who had been waiting for three hours with her friend Emily Wilken. The pair were rewarded 45 minutes later when Grint went over to get a picture taken and sign his name.

“Oh my goodness,” was all Wilken could muster after the actor left.

The Toronto visit is Grint’s first time in Canada.

“It’s really cool,” he said. “It’s really good to see everyone sort of excited about the film and stuff.”

The actor signed autographs and spoke to reporters. Grint revealed that he didn’t realize the book and the films would balloon into a global phenomenon. The first six Harry Potter books by author J.K. Rowling have sold 325 million copies worldwide.

There was much anticipation surrounding the launch of the the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and the final instalment of the book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, due out July 21.

“When we first started, I didn’t really think of this far on,” Grint said.

“It was enough of a crazy experience as it was because obviously I came from quite the normal background.”

Grint is the eldest of five children born to Nigel Grint, a memorabilia dealer and Jo, a homemaker, who live in Hertfordshire in southwest England.

The young actor recently bought an ice cream van and joked that if the acting work dries up after Harry Potter, he’ll just start a new career as an ice cream vendor.


Original article found here: CBC | July 11, 2007

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