THE LAST SPELL: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” closes out a decade of Hogwarts in Hollywood. Hero Complex is counting down to the July 15 release of the final film in the magical franchise with exclusive interviews and photos. Today: Hero Complex contributor Amy Kaufman chats with Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley.
AK: It’s been almost a year since you wrapped the film, right?
RG: It’s almost exactly a year. Yeah, it’s a bit weird. It’s taken me a while to realize it. This film is coming out and the DVD and everything, and when it gradually fades away, then it will kind of hit home that it’s all over.
AK: So what have you been doing for the last year?
RG: Immediately after we finished, I took a few weeks off. It was really a quite exhausting process, because we filmed both films simultaneously. Then I said, “What do I do now?” Then I started another film a couple of months ago, and just finished it. Yeah, so it’s been quite a weird mixture of emotions.
AK: Is the final film a lot darker than previous installments?
RG: It is. It’s quite confusing, because we shot both parts at the same time. One day we’d be doing a scene from “Part 1,” and the next day we’d be doing “Part 2.” It was kind of a straight-out battle. It’s kind of like a war film, because you become these desperate soldiers, and characters are dying, and the castle is collapsing into piles of rubble. My character falls in love, and that’s confirmed in this one. I think it will shock some people with how brutal everything is, with dead students scattered about. It’s quite dark.
AK: You’ve been playing this character for so long. Do you still do anything to prepare?
RG: I’ve been playing the character for so long, 10 years now, that it really does kind of come much more naturally when you have to get back into it. It’s not a lot of time in between. Over the years, we’ve kind of become similar characters really, me and him. It was just a natural thing where it merged. I always felt quite a strong connection to him when I was reading the books. He used to say “wicked” all the time, and that’s my word.
AK: You worked closely with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. Was it difficult for Emma to juggle her college work from Brown University and her duties on set?
RG: I imagine it was quite hard. She wasn’t here a lot, really. We had to shoot around her, really, because she had commitments for her university. She had a lot of doubles. They made a mask of Emma’s face, a prosthetic for wide shots. She was there for big days and really important scenes and stuff. But I don’t know how she did it, really. It’d be so weird to be in that school environment and then be on set. I couldn’t do it.
AK: If J.K. Rowling wrote another book, where would it go?
RG: I don’t know. It’d be weird, definitely. I can’t see where it would go, really, with the characters. We ended in “Part 2″ when we were 36.
AK: What was it like seeing yourself in your late 30s?
RG: It was really quite terrifying, sitting in the makeup chair and gradually watching your face kind of deteriorate. Initially, we had to reshoot the end. I had a massive fat suit. We had to learn how to move like an older person. We had kids as well. I had this weird Donald Trump kind of hairstyle.
AK: Has saying goodbye to this franchise been as difficult as everyone’s saying it is?
RG: I wasn’t sure how I’d feel, really. I knew it was going to be quite potentially emotional because I was cleaning out my room, which I’d been in for like 10 years. It was my second home, really, and I boxed up toys I’d bought. I wasn’t used to seeing the cast that upset when they said “cut.” It was quite a surreal moment.
AK: Do you think you’ll remain lifelong friends with Emma and Daniel?
RG: I think we’ll stay in touch. We’ve shared this quite unique experience together, and yeah, it’s quite an intense thing when you’re filming, ’cause you’re with each other every day all year.
AK: Have you felt pressure about choosing your post-“Potter” roles?
RG: Not so much really. This last movie just came up, and I was quite game to do something different. It’s just a new challenge. It all kind of made sense. … It’s called “Comrade,” and it’s about a true story set in World War II about two English pilots and three German pilots. They both shoot each other down in the middle of Norway, and they find each other in this old cabin thing, and it’s how our relationship with each other changes. We go into survival mode and put the war aside and we become friends, so it’s quite cool. … It was very different — extremely different. We filmed it in Norway on top of a mountain in crazy weather. It was minus-25 with snow everywhere. It was quite extreme. It was a very different filming experience. … It was a true story. These were real people. World War II always felt like quite an interesting part of history.
AK: It sounds heavy, a departure from your more comedic work.
RG: I’m pretty much kind of up for anything really — anything that’s kind of a bit of an interesting character always appeals to me.
— Amy Kaufman
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