The Story so Far
It seems a long time ago, possibly in a galaxy far, far away, that we had never heard the name Rupert Grint; when he was just another young hopeful, picked from the thousands upon thousands of eager auditionees who so desperately wanted to be cast as Ron Weasley, the red-headed and loyal best friend of Harry Potter.
Rupert said of the auditioning process for the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone film:
"I found out that you could audition by sending a picture of yourself and some information to Newsround. I did my own video with me, first of all, pretending to be my drama teacher who unfortunately was a girl and then I did a rap of how I wanted to be Ron and then I made my own script thing up and sent it off."
Rupert displayed the characteristics of Ron perfectly, and his genuine love for the Harry Potter series, as well as an eagerness to be a part of the magic, must have shone through, making him the obvious choice for the part of Ron. Of course, it must have helped that he perfectly fitted the look of the character!
Rupert Alexander Lloyd Grint was born on 24th August 1988, the elder son of Nigel and Jo Grint. The first of five children, Rupert has one brother and three sisters. His brother James was born when Rupert was a year old, Georgina and Samantha were born in 1993 and 1996 respectively, and last, but not least, Charlotte, who was born in 1999.
Rupert grew up in Hertfordshire, the English county directly to the north of London, conveniently placed for commuting to Leavesden Film Studios. Before successfully auditioning for the Harry Potter films, Rupert attended Richard Hale Secondary School in Hertford: here he took an active interest in school plays, being cast as Rumplestilskin in the Brothers Grimm fairytales. He was also a regular attendee at weekend drama classes at Top Hat Stage School, also in Hertford.
Time at school was limited, as Rupert was needed on set for the Harry Potter films, where all of the child actors were tutored for four hours a day on set, to keep up with legal requirements. During the summer of 2004, he took his GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams and completed his formal education.
HP 1: I'm Ron, By The Way, Ron Weasley
Landing the role of Ron Weasley was a dream come true for Rupert. When he began to act on the Philosopher's Stone film, he was overcome by the grandness of the sets, describing how he felt as:
"Walking into the Great Hall for the first time was absolutely incredible - all these effects with all the candles floating in the air, all lit and everything, food on the table, all the flambeaus were lit - it was just incredible, it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life."
It was a huge opportunity for Rupert, having his first professional acting job on what was one of the most anticipated films of the year. Fans of the Harry Potter books were expecting an accurate on screen presentation of how they imagined the books to be. When asked about this in an interview, Rupert commented
"I am a really big Harry Potter fan and I've seen all the sets, I've lived Harry Potter and I don't think it's destroyed the books at all, I think it's really spot on."
Rupert didn't seem too phased at all, amidst all the publicity which surrounded the first Harry Potter film. The weirdest thing, according to Rupert, would be that,
"People are going to actually know my name, that's going to be strange."
Being only thirteen when the first film was released, on 16th November 2001, must have made the whole experience slightly surreal for Rupert, yet he seemed only too keen to make the second instalment of the film series.
Thunderpants: I Speak With Clarity and Precision
Between Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets, Rupert completed his first non-Potter film: Thunderpants. Wanting to have a role-change from Ron, Rupert accepted the part of Alan A. Allan and also something which unfortunately came hand in hand with the part - a perm. Rupert said his decision to act in Thunderpants was due to him being "completely 'Pottered out'" by the first Harry Potter film
This star studded and rather underrated film - a story of friendship and opera and space travel and murder and always following your dream (and farting) - was released in the UK on 24th May 2002 and proved to many that Rupert's performance in Philosopher's Stone wasn't a fluke, but that he had natural talent and could create and sustain a completely new character for the length of the film.
HP 2: Can We Panic Now?
When Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets started filming in late 2001, just three days after the release of Philosopher's Stone, Rupert was more accustomed to the filming methods and techniques on set and said filming the second film was,
"...a lot more fun because we were a lot more comfortable with working, I guess - because of working with Kenneth Branagh, who's really funny, and more confident with the camera."
Unfortunately the CoS film presented Rupert with the task of facing one of his real life phobias - spiders.
When asked what it was like to work with spiders, Rupert admitted:
"I hate them - even rubber ones I get scared of. Luckily some of them were CGI [computer graphics]. But that big car-sized one, that was actually there unfortunately. So that wasn't my favourite scene to film."
Though the second film was definitely more physically arduous for Rupert and Dan, Rupert maintained a fun-loving attitude and described filming the car scenes in CoS as being like "being on a theme park ride."
By this time Rupert was pretty much a household name. Appearances in magazines and interviews for prime time television shows and news programmes meant that Rupert was having to adjust to becoming an icon for Harry Potter fans of all ages.
One of the hardest things could have been going back to school and seeing his friends again, though Rupert remained so grounded that he said,
"My friends have been great - they treat me normally. The teachers suck up, they really do. But other than that it's been fine."
Rupert maintained the difference between being an actor and living a normal life which is something some people twice his age struggle to understand.
By the time that Chamber of Secrets was released, on 15th November 2002, it was quite natural that Rupert was thinking ahead to how many Harry Potter films he would star in. He commented (when asked about appearing in future HP films)
"I don't know yet - I want to do most of them because I have a really good time doing them. And I want to do this when I'm older, because I really do enjoy it, it's really fun."
Fortunately, Rupert kept his word.
Baggy Trousers : Down With Skool!
Something we have seen far too little of, from Rupert, is his voice work.
Between Potters two and three, the BBC got him into a radio studio, to record the voice of another well loved British schoolboy, Nigel Molesworth, the Curse of St Custard's, in Baggy Trousers, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2003.
HP 3: I Don't Want to Tap Dance!
The third Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was eagerly awaited, with the introduction of new characters and key storylines. Fans held high hopes for the third film instalment, waiting with bated breath to see more of the spectacular special effects and general magic which they had come to expect from the cast and crew.
Rupert was only too happy to work with the challenge of blue screens and the like, needed to create scenes such as the soul- sucking Dementors and Buckbeak the Hippogriff. When asked about it in an interview he said,
"It's really weird doing all the special effects stuff but it's really satisfying to see it all at the end."
By the time Prisoner of Azkaban was released, on 31st May 2004, Rupert had become one of the most famous teenagers in the world. When he wasn't on set filming, he relaxed by playing golf, but it seemed much different for him handling the fame now than it did when he first starred as Ron, and Rupert even admitted himself that, "It's hard to get used to. It's really weird but quite cool too."
But the enjoyment of being on set and filming continued to outweigh any of the pressures of being famous for Rupert, and his grounded attitude made him a favourite amongst fans.
Happy Birthday, Peter Pan : Groovy, Fab and Far Out!
Another beloved book character from every person's childhood turned one hundred years old in 2005, and who better to narrate the BBC documentary, Happy Birthday, Peter Pan, broadcast on 2nd January 2005, than one of today's best-loved and ever-youthful actors?
Rupert took us on a magic-filled flight through Peter's life, with Tinkerbell at his side, following him from stage to page to big screen.
HP 4: You're Fraternising With The Enemy
The fourth instalment of the Harry Potter film saga offered the toughest challenge yet to Rupert and his returning co-stars. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was a huge feat, both technically and with respect to the developments within each character.
Much to most Rupert fans' delight, Goblet of Fire gave Rupert the chance to display his acting's full versatility and deliver some simply hilarious lines, stealing many scenes with his confusion over girls, in general, and Hermione in particular! He has been accredited for his brilliant performance since the film's 18th November 2005 release - as Rupert continued to show us there are simply no boundaries to what he can do.
With more than half of the Potter films now done, Rupert continued to enthuse about the remaining films and also possibilities once the series ends. He said:
"I want to do as many as I can because they are really good fun to do and obviously we've got to know each other really well, the whole cast and some of the crew, we're really close."
It's little surprise that the cast and crew of the films had become a tight-knit family, giving the young actors a stability not usually possible on a film set.
As he furthered his talents on-screen, Rupert also became something of a style icon to his great legion of fans. He combined the casual-smart look to perfection (with the emphasis on casual), and it was apparent that Rupert's unique sense of style, combined with his acting abilities, paved the way for a very bright future. Rupert's main focus in 2005, aside from filming Goblet of Fire , was to learn to drive, which was to come in handy in his next role.
Driving Lessons: The Future - That's Another Whopper
Driving Lessons was the project which was waited for with bated breath by Rupert's fans. His second film outside of Potter, Rupert more than held his own opposite legendary British actress and Weasley matriarch, Julie Walters, in a small independent film which couldn't be further from the massive commercial franchise in which Rupert has made his name.
After receiving much critical acclaim from fans and critics at festivals such as Tribeca and the Dublin International Film Festival, the film was widely tagged as "one to watch". Driving Lessons' cinematic release in the UK was on 8th September 2006 and the film was both a domestic and international success. Rupert's acting credentials were growing and, bit by bit, he was cementing his place as one of the UK's favourite actors.
RupertGrint.net was fortunate enough to catch up with Rupert at the Edinburgh International Film Festival where he was promoting Driving Lessons. You can read the site's first ever interview with him here. Meeting Rupert only confirmed what we already knew to be true: no matter how much fame he may achieve, he is the most down-to-earth and friendly person you could hope to find.
HP 5: Has Anyone Else Got A Problem With Harry?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hit cinemas on 11th July 2007 to resounding praise from fans and critics alike. Though it was noted by many that Rupert's character, Ron, was not given a lot of screen time, his comedic timing and acting prowess ensured that when he did appear, he stole the limelight from his Potter co-stars.
Being his first Harry Potter film since working on Driving Lessons, Order of the Phoenix displayed a definite maturing of Rupert's acting: "Grint is the superb middleman between Harry and Hermione, and has nearly switched places with Hermione to be the "level headed" one of the group." (The Movie Boy) and showed that experience gained outside J.K Rowling's enormously successful franchise hasn't hurt one bit. "..while Grint lost his virginity in the indie film "Driving Lessons" -- his extra experience shows in Order." (Hollywood.com).
It wasn't just on-screen that Rupert can effortlessly steal the limelight: it was at the press junket before the London Premier that he first mentioned he had bought his childhood dream vehicle - an ice cream van. This so impressed his co-stars that for the rest of the media campaign, Daniel Radcliffe answered the usual, "What have you spent your fortune on?" questions with, "Don't ask me, ask Rupert - he's bought an ice cream van!"
RupertGrint.net was again lucky enough to be able to interview Rupert, not just once but twice, at both the London and LA Premieres for the film, where Rupert's quirky fashion sense was much in evidence when he wore a Harry t-shirt.
It was after the LA Premiere that the Trio of Daniel, Rupert and Emma were honoured by having their hand, foot and wand prints left in wet cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
HP 6: Weasley Is Our King
"Finally!" we thought. After eight years of waiting, Ron Weasley is about to get his turn in the spotlight.
After hitting cinemas on 15th July 2009, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince brought fans the storylines they had all been dying to see on the big screen. Ron and Lavender. Ron and Hermione. Ron as Quidditch King!
And Rupert delivered all they could wish for. Time and again in the media coverage, co-star Daniel Radcliffe raved about Rupert's performance, saying that Ron's Quidditch try-out was his favourite scene in the film.
Despite the torrential two hour hail and rainstorm at the London premiere, fans remained as loyal and dedicated as ever to their favourite stars. After signing so many autographs, Rupert especially looked to be as wet as the fans in the crowd, but, as ever, he had a few words with RupertGrint.net
Cherrybomb: I Don't Kiss and Tell
Actually filmed before Half-Blood Prince
, Rupert's next project may have come as a shock to a few fans, as he picked up the role of Malachy in the gritty drama Cherrybomb. This feature, which was clearly the furthest stretch away from his Potter alter-ego of Ron Weasley to date, revolves around the relationship between two male friends turning very ugly once a shared love interest moves in to their small Irish town. Loaded with sex, drugs and violence, the arty and stylish Cherrybomb was exactly the darker type of role which many fans had waited for. Asked about the adult scenes, Rupert admitted,
"It's really hard. It's very hard to lose yourself in the moment and just kind of get absorbed by it because there's always going to be a big fat guy nearby holding a boom."
Like all independent films seeking distribution during the credit crunch, Cherrybomb took far too long to finally reach a cinematic release, but Rupert's fans didn't give up, trekking to film festivals screenings all over the world. The 2009 Berlinale Film Festival, where the premiere sold out in a mere matter of minutes, the Dublin Film Festival, and the UK Premier at the Belfast Film Festival, where many of the cast and crew saw their work for the first time, and the locals' opinion of Rupert's Belfast accent was unanimously positive.
Praise rang out for Grint's performance in this role, with critics lauding it as "an impressive transformation", noting that "Grint brings a touching sincerity and warmth to the role of Malachy" and congratulating him for "giving a very subtle and realistic performance". Even the film's screenwriter Daragh Carville remarked that, "We'd been auditioning for a while but Rupert really blew us out of the water".
Cherrybomb finally received its UK cinematic release on 23rd April 2010 and it seems that Rupert's efforts to break out into other films is proving to be nothing other than a huge success.
Wild Target: Is That A Cow?
Also squeezed in between Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince was the black comedy Wild Target, where Rupert played a young apprentice assassin. Working with yet another superb ensemble British cast, Rupert's comic timing was used to great effect and the film's UK release on 18th June 2010 was the second phase in what was becoming "The Year of Grint".
Top Gear : 1:45.5
On 11th July 2010, Rupert appeared on the much-loved BBC driving programme, Top Gear, as one of the first celebrities to drive a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car lap in the new Kia Cee'd. He was thrilled to set a new record, which unfortunately has since been beaten, and he is keen to return and reclaim his title.
HP 7 Part I: Always the tone of surprise
When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I was released, on 19 November 2010, Rupert played a larger part than ever before in the series.
Ron's story lines in book seven are not amusing romance or Quidditch that could be sacrificed, for lack of screen time. His journey is intimately entwined with Harry's and with Hermione's and he has more than rose to the challenge. Daniel Radcliffe said,
"All the stuff early on in the film, in the first part, with Rupert - I mean it's very, very hard (as I'm sure you all know) to hate Rupert Grint... even in performance terms... and so that was a challenge."
We learnt some other amazing facts, during the press for DH1, like in Rupert's interview with Total Film Indonesia - much had been made of Daniel Radcliffe studying the physical mannerisms of his cast mates, for the Seven Potters scene and Rupert said,
I’ve got quite a complex about it now, actually. He discovered the fact that I kind of really move my hips, my pelvis, when I walk… I never was really that aware of it until he started kind of mimicking it… yeah, it’s really a… kind of Elvis kind of movement.
At the Press Junket for the London Premier, he told us about his gifts to Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson, when filming finished,
When pressed... the trumpets actually had personal messages engraved on them... with an engraving kit that he'd bought... and he did it himself...
A truly unique, personal, random, Ruperty gesture.
Come Fly With Me: I Think it's a Really Good Film
Rupert played himself with great charm and self-deprecation in the 6 January 2011 episode of Matt Lucas and David Walliams's Come Fly With Me.
HP 7 Part II: That's My Girlfriend You Numpty!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II was released on 15 July 2011. It is certainly unimaginable to think of anyone else playing the role of Ron now, as Rupert has certainly made the part his own, and it is wonderful to read that he remains as much of a Ron fan as he was a decade ago. As he told the book Harry Potter Film Wizardry:
"The truth is that Ron is my hero. He's always there for his friends - sometimes belligerently, but there nevertheless. He's also the comic relief in stressful situations; the funny guy with a great one-liner. And no matter how scared he may be, he will put aside his fears to support and protect the people he loves. To me, that represents true courage."
His performance was everything we hoped for, as his co-star, Emma Watson, told us at the London Press Junket for DH1,
"When he filmed his reaction to Fred's death in DH Part Two it was so well done that she had to keep reminding herself to keep acting, instead of saying 'You're amazing'"
And the world said goodbye to Rupert and his cast-mates at a truly amazing London Premier in Trafalgar Square, where the hardy fans slept out in torrential rain for a chance to see them, and where we asked our final Harry Potter question, before sobbing our hearts out, along with the cast, as Rupert said his goodbyes, too.
Cross of Honour: Where Troubles Melt Like Lemon Drops
As his first post-Potter film, Rupert took on the semi-biographical role of Gunner Robert Smith in Cross of Honour, a Norwegian production, telling the story of the British and German aircrews who shot each other down over Grotli on April 27th, 1940.
Following the pitch perfect Belfast accent in Cherrybomb, he conquered a Scouse accent so thick that some non-Brit viewers wished he'd been subtitled, like the Germans, as he was chuffedto hear, from RupertGrint.net at the World Premiere at FilmFest, Oslo, on 4 March 2012.
We were even treated to Rupert singing, for the first time, with a rather touching rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Lego House: I'm Gonna Paint You by Numbers
In late 2011, strange rumours of a Rupert sighting at an Ed Sherran concert swept social media, and it was true, he was the star of an amazing official video for Lego House.
Visit Britain: If it's Good Enough for Will and Kate
In the Olympic summer of 2012, Rupert was one of several national treasures who participated in a TV advert campaign to persuade us to Visit Britain and was one of thousands who ran with the Olympic Torch.
American Dad: And What Are Maggots If Not Wingless Bees?
Visiting his love for the quirky, he voiced 'Liam', a strangely charismatic character whose amazing British accent gets people into trouble in the Killer Vacation episode of the US cartoon series American Dad.
Charlie Countryman: I Need to Get To a Bar, It's My Only Hope.
Next came the very strange Indie gangster film, Charlie Countryman, filmed entirely on location in Bucharest, where he played 'Karl', a drug taking and incompetent wannabe porn star who is drawn in to the violent world of gangsters when he shares a hostel room with the title character.
As he told RupertGrint.net at the Berlinale, it was good to have James Buckley to work with, and have another Brit on set.
CBGB: It's Real
Another exotic filmset with a fellow Brit to keep him company, was for the Punk Biopic CBGB, filmed in Georgia and staring his old friend Alan Rickman, where he played The Dead Boys' guitarist Cheetah Crome. Not only was playing a living person a new departure, but there was the added pressure of Cheetah being on set, too.
But he didn't have anything to worry about, and as Cheetah told
How about those Harry Potter movies, huh? My son likes them, I've seen them all at least three times each, I was very happy when Rupert was picked for the part.
We Are Aliens: So, Are We Alone? The Simple Answer Is Yes!
Another versatile and unexpected piece of voicework was the narration for the National Space Centre's story of our search to discover if we are alone in the universe, We Are Aliens, which is screened at the National Space Centre, in Leicestershire, as well as planetariums across the world.
Super Clyde: Teach Me How To Do This; Help Me Make Him Proud
Yet another medium to his bow was his first American TV show, the pilot for the CBS comedy Super Clyde, where he played a fast food worker who decides to become a superhero, with the help of his butler, played by his birthday twin and fellow Brit, Stephen Fry. The series was not picked up, but the pilot was, very unusually, released on-line, such was the interest in his latest project.
Mojo: It's The White Ones, Don't Eat No More Of The White Ones
A far more successful departure was his long awaited first stage role, when he played the pill-popping 'Sweets' in a major West End revival of Jez Butterworth's play, Mojo. As part of an impressive ensemble cast of experienced stage actors, including Daniel Mays, Ben Wishaw and Colin Morgan, he had a chance to learn his craft and he more than held his own in the hit production, being nominated for the WhatsonStage.com Awards Best Newcomer.
The Future: That's Another Whopper
We look forward to seeing him develop as an actor in future projects; he has provided the voice in the English version of the upcoming Spanish animated film Foosball and in the British animation Postman Pat: The Movie - You Know You're the One and he is playing Rosse in a brutal looking adaptation of Macbeth.
He has proved to his fans that you can succeed in anything, if you take your best shot at it.
His style is still idiosyncratic, his answers to interviewers' questions quirky and unique. No one else would have worn a home made I ❤ Tom Felton t-shirt to a film premiere. He genuinely surprised his co-stars of a decade when he remarked, at the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, that he'd always wanted to design hats.
After seeing the quirky works of art he has donated to various charity auctions, including for our own fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy, we hope he has more time to devote to art, between film projects.
But we know he will continue to surprise us for years to come. His co-star, Emma Watson, says,
"Rupert just has a wicked sense of humour and he's very eccentric and very unique in the way that he does things. He's like a big kid. I feel like he'll never grow up, which I love."
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