Today on the countdown to the July 15 release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” we bring you a doozy: An exclusive interview with Rupert Grint from the Hero Complex visit to the film set in Watford, England. Still to come this week: New interviews with the rest of the magical trio, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.
Rupert Grint may walk on red carpets but with his glum smile and complete lack of pretension he seems as unaffected as the pub regulars enjoying afternoon beers back in his home village of Watton-at-Stone.
Grint will be just 21 next month, but he seems older around the eyes and, like his character Ron Weasley, he doesn’t seem as driven as the other two members of his famous trio. Daniel Radcliffe wants to be the Laurence Olivier of his generation, and Emma Watson is sorting through a handful of career options, but Grint, well, he seems to be meeting the future with a good-natured shrug.
“I was thinking about what it’s going to be like when we’re done, after the last movie,” Grint said. “It is going to be really weird, actually. At the moment it seems quite far away. I don’t know what I’m going to do, really. I’m going to miss it, I think, because it’s been my whole life for a long time. I really enjoy it as well, every year we’ve come back and done it. All of this, this is what I know…”
Grint was sitting in his hushed dressing room at the cavernous “Harry Potter” set outside London, which has a pingpong table, a miniature billiards table, a huge television, a dart board and a giant cardboard cutout of his character. It’s a dorm room for a fellow who never had any interest in college (unlike costar Watson, who had her choice of universities) and only adds to the sense that Grint is a lucky and carefree passenger on the “Potter” express.
That impression doesn’t hold up to scrutiny for everyone. Alfonso Cuarón, director of the third “Potter” film, for instance, predicted that Grint was the most likely member of the “Potter” trio to go on to future stardom. Asked about that, Grint winced in embarrassment.
“Dan is the one who is very driven; he’s ambitious and he’s knows there’s quite a few things down the road. I am a little bit more laid back. And Emma, I mean, she’s really cool. We all get on really well; she’s just a really good mate. A great person.”
Grint said Watson is “like a sister,” which made for some awkward scenes in “Half-Blood Prince.” A major component part of the film is young romance, in particular the pained love triangle involving Grint’s Ron, Watson’s Hermione and newcomer Jessie Cave as the smitten Lavender Brown. That provides a lot of this installment’s surge in humor, as does Ron’s bid to become a Quidditch player.
About an hour before the interview in his dressing room, Grint was poised atop a gyrating contraption that is used to film the flying-broomstick sport (think high-impact aerial lacrosse). On command, Grint stared into a wind machine, pumped his fist and bellowed in triumph. But between takes he looked pained.
“It leaves you sore in the, uh, bicycle-seat area,” he said after climbing down. “It’s not as fun as I thought it would be.”
Grint said he had caught a glimpse of the very first “Potter” film on TV a week earlier and he was struck by how young he and his friends looked as they ran through the castle. That got him to thinking about endings, both of the novels (which concluded last year) and the films (which wrap in 2011).
“I think it’s going to be sad when this, all of it, when it’s all over. Reading the last book, there was so much talk about who was going to die. So I was half-expecting, I mean, me, Dan and Emma to not survive. Or our characters, I mean. I was pleasantly surprised, though. I’m glad that it ended the way it did. We all make it.”
— Geoff Boucher
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