A few months ago, I got to visit the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when the production was still shooting at Leavesden Studios outside London. As you might imagine, it was an amazing experience which you can read about here.
While on set I got to participate in group interviews with a lot of the cast, and the first one we spoke to was Rupert Grint. In fact, we had barely sat down after getting off the bus when Grint (Ron Weasley) walked in to talk to us. Thankfully, since everyone on the set visit was a fan of Harry Potter and we’d all read the books, we were able to jump right in with questions about The Deathly Hallows. Like the rest fo the cast I spoke to that day, Grint was extremely nice, very down to Earth, and you’d never know he was one of the stars of the biggest franchise of all time.
During the interview Grint talked about growing up on screen, what he might take home from set, filming two films at once, and so much more. You can either read or listen to what he had to say after the jump:
Since many of you like to listen to an interview, you can click here for the audio. Or you can read the transcript below. And for the two people that haven’t seen it, here’s the amazing trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 which gets released November 19, 2010:
Question: Is it bittersweet working in this after all these years?
We’ve basically watched the three of you grow up on screen, and you’ve known each other since you were little kids. It must feel like graduation or like you’re going off and leaving your family.
Grint: Yeah, I don’t really know how it’s going to feel on the last day when we never come back. I’ve never really imagined it ending.
In the book, the characters have a lot of action. Can you talk about that?
Grint: This one is a lot tougher because we’re out there fending for ourselves, and there’s a lot of fighting. The training with the wands, in particular, before we used to have this ballet choreographer come in for training to teach us all these fancy flicks. Now the wand fighting is much more sword-like and aggressive. It’s been really cool.
You have some particularly tough emotional scenes with Daniel’s character.
Grint: Yeah, it’s an odd relationship in the beginning because I think for Ron, he doesn’t completely trust that Harry knows what he’s doing. There’s a lot of paranoia and he’s worried about his family, and there’s doubts. It erupts in this big argument.
And this is the point at which Ron and Hermione finally get together.
Grint: Yeah, it is. [Laughing] It sounds stupid, but I never really saw it coming. It has always been hinted, but I never thought to the extent where at the end, we’re quite couple-y. The kiss has been done, it’s one of the first scenes we filmed.
Was it weird?
Grint: Yeah, it was! I kind of built up this thing in my head. We were both kind of dreading it really, just because we’ve known each other since we were really small. It’s like kissing your sister.
It looks like you were away from here [Leavesdon] when you were filming. Is that true?
Grint: Yeah, we have been to a lot of different forests around England. And there was a scene where they closed down Piccadilly Circus. It was a crazy night. That was really cool.
Did people know you guys were coming and there were hundreds of people, or was it very hush-hush?
Grint: By the end, I don’t know how they found out, but there were loads of people trying to get a look. It did get quite crazy, but it was fun.
What do you think fans of the books are going to be most shocked by in these last two installments?
Grint: It’s really taken another level — it’s quite gory. I get splinched, which is disgusting. My arm kind of gets ripped open, and Fred loses an ear. It’s really graphic, actually.
Have you filmed the end of part two yet?
Grint: It’s really hard to know, because some days we shoot scenes for part one and other days it’s part two.
And for the epilogue, it will be you guys? They’ll age you 19 years?
Grint: Yeah, they’re kind of playing about it at the moment. It will be subtle, they’re not going to go crazy.
Have you seen it? Do you have hair?
In the ending of the book, there’s a lot of action and a lot of the fans have beenwaiting to see this big battle. How big is this action scene? Is this going to be a huge part of movie two?
Grint: We’ve done a lot already, all the battle stuff. Some of the scenes — all the sets we’ve known for years like The Great Hall, they just get destroyed and become these burning wrecks. It’s quite shocking to see these familiar places get destroyed, but the scenes are going to be really epic.
Does it feel like this is one big epic, like it’s one big story and not two movies?
Grint: Yeah, it feels like one story. When we started it was just concentrating on the first one because we didn’t have the script for the second one until quite later, actually. To me it doesn’t really feel like two films.
What are things you’re hypothetically taking home as souvenirs?
Grint: Hypothetically, of course. I’d like the Night Bus. It’s on the runway and no one’s really doing anything with it, so… yeah. I’m going to keep an eye on it.
Have you considered keeping your wand or anything else?
Twenty years from now when people are talking about Rupert Grint, they’re going to say ‘Rupert Grint, who was in all of the Harry Potter movies.’ Have you thought that far ahead that this is going to be with you for the rest of your life?
Grint: Yeah, it’s become quite a big thing and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m loving it.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Grint: I want to continue acting, definitely. I want to keep moving on doing it as long as I can really.
Would you want to expand your role and try some directing?
Grint: I don’t think I’d really do that. I’m not good at decisions or anything like that. We got a bit of a taste of it on this one, because there’s scenes where another actor is playing us in the scene, so we have to give them pointers on how we walk and all of our mannerisms. I could never figure anything to tell the guy who was playing me. He had video and watched the previous films.
A lot of actors do theatre, they do movies, and work very strenuous hours, but not many do a movie like this over a year. Can you talk about the grueling schedule?
Grint: Hour-wise, they’re all the same since we turned 16. It varies, it’s 9-hour days and five days a week. It’s quite tiring because this has felt like we’ve been here for years and it hasn’t gone on this long. There’s lots of different scenes and it never got boring.
Doing this for over a year, has it affected your performance?
Grint: I think it helps, because you’re supposed to be exhausted anyway. It kind of benefits it from being tired all the time, but it does take your life over.
How much of the movie is you guys trying to figure things out? Is it an hour of the movie?
Grint: I don’t know. There’s a lot of that, where it’s really kind of an investigation. Yeah, I’d say there will be an hour.
Was the script a lot of you guys wandering around, trying to figure things out, escaping?
Grint: Yeah, there was a lot of that. I would say in the first part, there’s a lot of planning on where to go because we don’t really know what we’re doing.
Have you over the years been pushed to a point where you really had to strive for a scene or do something a director really wanted?
Grint: Yeah, this film in particular is the first time I really had to … especially when Ron loses his brother. That was quite a big scene with the whole Weasley family. It was a depressing scene to do because you’ve got Fred lying on the floor and it’s quite shocking because it’s a character we’ve associated with jokes and mucking about. It’s quite horrible. There’s been a lot of heavy, emotional scenes like that.
Do you like or dislike those kinds of scenes?
Grint: Yeah, it’s satisfying. But it’s quite haunting as well, because I’m not really used to it. But I’ve learned quite a lot and it’s been great. David has been excellent with everything.
You’ve had other directors over the years, but it you all seem to really like David. Can you talk about how that maybe has helped finishing up such a long arc with the same director?
Are you pleased with the evolution of your character through the films and where Ron has gone?
Grint: Yeah, particularly in this one — and the last two — he’s kind of come into his own a bit. I’ve enjoyed having more to do. He’s got a lot more depth now and he’s a lot more complicated than in previous films. It’s kind of nice.
How do you feel about the last films being in 3-D?
Grint: I’m a big fan of 3-D. I supposed it depends what kind of film you’re watching, but I think it’s going to add a lot. 3-D really works with the big action stuff and things coming at you, and there will be a lot of that in this. It will be cool.
For more Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows coverage: