Rupert Grint made his professional acting debut when he won the role of Ron Weasley in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Ten years later, as the tag on the poster says, ‘It all ends on July 15,’ with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
But an actor’s life does go on for Rupert. He stars in the World War II drama Comrade, which is slated for release in 2012, and has also starred in the independent horror thriller Cross Country, and the comedy Wild Target.
Grint spoke about his role as Ron Weasley, and the end of the iconic franchise, at the press day for the film in New York City.
Did JK Rowling share something about your character’s back-story that was never revealed in the books or movies?
Not really. Whenever JK Rowling came to the set and we would chat, we rarely ever spoke about the story, we just kind of chatted generally. She filled us in with the epilogue, where the characters go and what they do for a living, she had written kind of the rest of their lives really, so that was quite interesting to hear what we all became. I worked in the Ministry doing something and I forgot what Emma’s character was doing.
Some fans waited a long time to see Ron and Hermione kiss and when it actually happened, it went by very quickly. Of course some of that was in the context of the scene where people were dying, how did you feel about the brevity of that and were you hoping that that scene might go on a little longer?
Was I hoping we were making out longer? Er, no, not at all. Yeah, it was a tricky one to do. Obviously I’ve known Emma so long. We were mutually both dreading the scene slightly. It was a moment that was not in the book but what the directors came up with. We just wanted to make it believable, what with the romance of it, because as you say, it’s been built up for so many years now and we wanted people to think that we actually wanted to kiss each other. In reality we didn’t! But it was fine. It was a nice moment and hopefully people will believe it.
Did they make you do it over and over? Or was it just a couple of takes?
We did about four takes. I find it hard to recall anything about that day. It’s been erased from my mind! Yeah, we had a laugh about it. It was fine.
What’s your favorite scene in any of the movies?
There is so many really, I find it hard to pick out one, but I think the chess scene in the first one was quite good. It was a huge set and things were being blown up. It was just the coolest place to be.
Where were you when you were first recognized? When did you know you were famous?
It took me a while to adjust to it, because I was always quite a shy kid. The attention is quite strange. I remember the first time I was recognized was at a shopping center where I live which was near a school and the first film had just come out. It was really weird but I enjoyed it. It was quite cool actually, as it’s something I’ve never really hid from. It’s just become a part of my life now.
Can you talk about the aging process for the end of the film?
The first attempt my character in particular was quite terrified. I looked like a monster really – a bit like a Donald Trump, I had no hair and I was obese. I think it was a bit too much. Then they found the balance finally. It was a very strange thing to film really, just sitting in the make-up chair and watching them gradually age me. It was quite terrifying.
With the second version that you shot, do you feel like you’ve seen yourself 20 years from now?
I hope not! It would be interesting to compare it in 19 years to see how accurate it is.
How close do you think your character is to yourself?
I have always felt this close connection to Ron throughout all the films. After 10 years playing the same guy every day, I think you do naturally morph into him. We have become Ronpert which I think will stay with me for a while. There will always be a bit of Ron in me for the rest of my life.
Do you feel like a role model for red-haired people?
Yeah, I get a lot of support from the ginger community. I’ve always been quite a proud ginger. Having ginger hair is not the coolest thing really. It’s nice that Ron is quite a respected ginger and Prince Harry as well.
It’s a big premiere tomorrow in New York. How do you feel about it?
It’s been a very weird time really of accepting the end. We finished filming a year ago and I now I have this quite empty feeling. It’s taken me quite a while to accept. We had the London premiere two days ago and I got really emotional! I’m not usually that emotional. This experience has really been my childhood. I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
How do you feel about the ending of the Potter movies?
It has been quite emotional and seeing the film as well, I did get quite choked up at the end. There’s this one scene where it’s the three of us after the battle and we are walking on the bridge and the castle is destroyed behind us. It kind of parallel with our own lives really, yeah, it’s quite sad because I’m going to really miss it.