With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 getting released in a few days, Warner Bros. held a big press junket this past weekend in London and I got to fly across the pond to attend. I’ve already posted my interviews with Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and director David Yates, and for today’s installment, I’ve got Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley).
During the intimate roundtable interview, Grint talked about his ten year journey playing Rom Weasley, what props he took home from set, his ice cream truck, some of his fondest memories from making the movies, how this movie is darker than the previous films, and so much more.
Finally, due to Warner Bros. allowing us to use flip cams, after the jump you can either read the transcript or watch the interview. What are you waiting for:
And one last thing…for more coverage on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, click here. The link includes trailers, on set interviews, set reports, posters and more. Look for more Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows interviews everyday this week.
Grint: Um, yeah. I don’t know, we’ve got a lot of promotion left to do and there’s a lot more of this (press conference) stuff to do, and obviously like when the DVDs come out, it’s gonna be quite an ongoing thing. But in terms of filming, yeah it really does kind of feel over now.
So in a way Harry Potter will always be a part of your life but at the same time you really are starting a new phase?
Grint: Yeah, it’s a real kind of sense of freedom now. It’s a good time to finish I think—as much as I’m gonna miss it, I’m ready to move on and do different things.
I heard that you signed with an agency? Was that a step to try to get a different kind of role?
Grint: In America, yeah. I suppose I’m quite keen to do different things now, and establish a little bit of a detachment I suppose, to this. I’m just ready to kind of do different things.
David says that you feel like that’s an untapped part of your talent?
Grint: Yeah, it was really cool in this film to do more of that. Cause with all of the previous films he’s always been quite lighthearted and I suppose quite upbeat, and now he’s a lot more complicated and you see a much darker side of him, and it was really cool to do that with him.
Dan says that it’s impossible to hate you even when he’s trying to act hating you, so how hard was it to fight with him in the film?
Grint: Quite easy actually. No, it was—it’s always quite nice to do those kind of shouty things, it’s always quite fun. But no we all get on great.
Can I ask how the kiss was with Emma? How was that?
Grint: Um yeah. It was actually okay. It was just the anticipation I think, neither of us were kind of looking forward to it
Oh come on
Grint: I know it sounds crazy really, but Emma’s amazing
Because you’re friends?
Grint: Yeah, I’ve seen her grow up. I’ve known her since she was nine, and it just doesn’t feel right (laughs). There’s just something not natural about it.
So how was it kissing Mary Cattermole?
Now we heard you brought your ice cream truck to the premiere?
Grint: I brought it to the last day of filming.
Did you serve ice cream to everybody?
Grint: Yeah me and Emma both were serving (laughs). Yeah it was really good.
What kind of ice cream were you serving?
Grint: Uh the classic, 99.
Why did you buy an ice cream truck?
Grint: I’m not really sure anymore (laughs). It’s always been a bit of childhood dream really—it’s what I wanted to do was be an Ice Cream Man for a long time. Yeah I’ve had that van for a while now.
Do you take it for many spins?
Grint: I don’t very often anymore, cause I’ve found that when I take it out I form queues of people wanting ice cream. It’s quite a tricky thing.
So the Ice Cream Man, then you were designing hats, any other careers you’re gonna surprise us with?
Grint: I dunno. I never really thought I would get into this really, it was kind of a surprise to me. I always loved acting, but it’s weird to think what I’d be doing if this hadn’t come around. It’s kind of a bit of a fluke how I got into it, so I’m grateful.
There’s some really intense moments in this movie, as there are in all the Potter films, but you’re character really is terrorized. Are you concerned at all of the level of some of the scary bits for some of the fans?
Grint: I think kids quite like to be scared by this. So I don’t think they’ll have trouble [with it]. But naturally I think these films are getting kind of darker and as we’re growing up the environment is becoming more—you don’t see us in school uniforms anymore
No, you’re out of the school for the first time. What’s that mean to your character? Is that why you think your character was able to evolve a little bit more, he came out of Hogwarts and into the real world?
Grint: Yeah and I think we see a much harsher side of all the characters given they’re new situation, being on the run and missing their families and being kind of tired. Just living in this little tent together just causes a lot of kind of clashes among them.
But there’s also the spell, the [Horcrux] around your neck that starts sucking your goodness away, you could say
Grint: Yeah that was really cool to have that aspect of it. These Horcruxes are evil objects and it was fun to kind of play that, how it affected all the characters.
Ron and Harry had that kind of stand-off in the movie, how was that to act when you’ve been best buds pretty much through the whole series?
Grint: It felt really cool actually, it was something quite different. They’ve kind of had little arguments before but nothing on this kind of scale, this was quite serious. Yeah it was shocking to see this kind of aggression in all of them, it’s not something we’ve seen before. So yeah, it was really cool.
This is obviously the first time you guys are making two parts out of one of the books, what was your reaction when you first read the script and realized “Wow we’re getting a lot. This is not the abridged version, this is the full-on book?”
Grint: Yeah I think the decision to make two parts really helps just to kind of get all the detail of the book into these films. It feels like a very different kind of Harry Potter film I think. Not having the school is quite major, it just makes the whole environment a lot—cause Hogwarts is kind of this symbol of safety and without that it’s a really scary world.
What was your reaction though, because David (Yates, director) said it was a 263 day shoot? Obviously that’s a lot bigger than the previous films as far as I can guess, could you sort of talk about your reaction realizing “Oh my God I’m gonna be filming this for like a year?”
Grint: We just treated it as one film, one long film cause we filmed them [both] simultaneously. Yeah it was long, it did feel long. It was really confusing as well because we did both parts together and I regularly kind of didn’t know what was going on (laughs). But yeah, as I say it didn’t really feel like a usual Harry Potter film, because we were on a lot of location [shoots] and it was nice to kind of just get out of the studio.
You talked about being filmed together since age 9, can you talk about how you’ve changed or how your buddies here have changed in the last decade?
Grint: I don’t know, I mean they kind of haven’t changed much—I think we’re all kind of the same people. I mean, obviously physically we’ve changed quite dramatically. But yeah it’s weird, I only really notice kind of how long it’s been when I look at the early films and see the difference. Apart from that, it’s kind of just happened quite quickly.
Almost gradual? You hardly even notice?
Grint: Yeah yeah. It’s quite scary.
Did you enjoy the romantic sparring in the movie? There’s obviously the tension between you and Emma, and then Dan’s in the middle there of the love tension.
Grint: Yeah, it’s always quite cool to—I mean in this one it takes the form of a lot jealousy I think, on Ron’s part, cause he sees Harry and Hermione getting quite close. I think it’s not until Part 2 where we see that develop more. But yeah, it should be cool.
Are you dying to give Ron a makeover? I ask that cause you always have on these cool t-shirts on and Ron always has to wear these baggy jumpers.
Grint: Yeah I know, it’s something I’ve kind of gotten used to over the years. But actually I’ve got the most expensive wardrobe out of all the cast. Those jumpers are all like designer stuff (laughs). I quite like it though, as this character.
You like wearing all that, like really as part of the role?
You’re so wonderfully natural, funny, you know as a comic and making people laugh. Were you anxious at all about the dramatic demands that this Part 1 has?
Grint: Um yeah I was a little bit, cause it’s quite a new territory for Ron. Yeah I didn’t feel kind of quite that comfortable with it but I did two films last year and I got to kind of do a bit more—
One was with Bill Nighy?
Grint: Yeah, Wild Target yeah
And what’s the other one?
Grint: It was one that I did in Northern Ireland called Cherry Bomb, and yeah it was really cool to do just something different and see different kind of elements of characters and I learned a lot from that I think.
Is Cherry Bomb a thriller or a comedy or a drama?
Grint: Yeah it’s a bit of a thriller I suppose. It was something I did a few years ago now and yeah it was great to have that experience.
So what’s next for you?
Grint: Um, yeah I’m quite keen to kind of move on and do different things. It has been nice to just have a break at the moment, just catch up with stuff, just to kind of do normal things really.
What do you like doing in your time off now? Do you like to just hang with friends, go to a pub?
Grint: Yeah stuff like that and music and, I haven’t been on holiday for like three years so it was just nice to do that.
Grint: I actually went on this rally across Europe with James Oliver that we had to buy a car for less than 100 pounds and you try and get to Barcelona from England.
And that’s a holiday?
Grint: Yeah. We made it. It was an adventure, it was good.
What did you get for 100 pounds?
Grint: I don’t know, it was a horrible [car].
Are you mechanically inclined if the car had broken down?
Grint: Not really. Every man in my family is really in the car industry.
Isn’t that what your dad did?
Grint: Yeah, he used to sell Formula 1.
You were on Top Gear (a British television series about motor vehicles) as well weren’t you?
Grint: Oh yeah, Top Gear, that was good yeah.
Do you want to go back and get your record back?
Grint: I do yeah. That really bothers me. But yeah we’ll see.
With your family involved the car industry is that why you got an ice cream van?
Grint: Yeah I dunno. I’ve always loved ice cream vans, it’s just something I needed to get. I’m a big car fan as well.
Grint: They’re all kind of quite strange.
Will you list them?
Grint: I’ve got a Bubble car. One of these kind of like three-wheel things, from the 60’s.
Could you talk about, when you’re filming for so long, almost a year, what were some of the days you remember that you were like really present, really there, and you remember fondly?
Grint: The day we filmed on Piccadilly. When we kind of just closed down the busiest part of London. That was quite a surreal day. Just to think we’ve got [that] power too is kind of frightening. But yeah it was just, it was really weird cause like crowds were gathering and, it just felt really cool.
And all that for a very small sequence in the film.
Grint: Yeah it’s like seconds really!
Any memory over the years? Like a key day?
Grint: Probably the first day on set, I’ll always remember that. Cause all of a sudden really I was just on a film set and I never really knew how films were made and everything was just so new and exciting.
Was that a Hogwarts scene?
Grint: It was actually the last scene of the first film, so that was kind of strange. By the train, on the platform. So yeah it was weird.
What about the slugs? Fond memories?
Grint: Um yeah, I’ll never forget that definitely. Yeah I can still taste them (laughs).
Did you have any weird fan encounters like when you were doing this road trip to Barcelona? Do you get recognized pretty much—you go in to buy a coke at a shop or something and they look at you and go “You’re Ron!” or do people not know you?
Grint: Yeah I do. Over the years it’s kind of become a more regular thing. Yeah it does happen kind of everywhere now, particular this time cause the film’s coming out. My hair kind of stands out.
Have you got a blonde wig?
Grint: No I’ve never tried a wig. I went to a music festival this year and I wore a duck head. It was kind of like invisibility strangely.
Is Halloween your favorite holiday though? Can you dress in like a Ron outfit and go, “I’m in costume!”
Grint: I’ve never tried that. That would be funny.
I wanted to ask you about your hair, you’ve won awards for your hair. How does it feel being an icon for redheads? Have you ever had fan mail from people saying “Thank God, you’ve [helped] me!”
Grint: Yeah it’s really funny the reaction I get from kind of the Ginger community.
I sent the letter last week
Grint: Oh yeah!
It’s funny, but it’s actually a really big deal
Grint: Yeah cause [people] get quite a hard time. I always managed to escape it for some reason and never really had any kind of negative reaction. I’m a very proud Ginger. But yeah it’s nice.
Have you had a lot of fan mail from people saying [thank you]?
Grint: Yeah quite often. And just Ginger people in the street kind of shake my hand and say “You make me proud”. Yeah. It’s kind of a pride [thing], so it’s nice.
Grint: Um, yeah I probably would yeah. I’ll always be a Ginger kind of at heart.
Did you guys swap presents, the three of you? We talked about the wrap party, I wondered if, since you’ve been together so long, there was a little gesture or a memento swapped between the three of you?
Grint: Yeah, I got Dan and Emma trumpets (laughs).
Grint: I dunno, I’m not sure.
Do they play them?
Grint: No. I don’t know quite why I did it.
Do you play the trumpet?
Grint: No. There’s no reason at all.
David Yates was saying there was a Mariachi band playing as filming was ending, was that the connection?
Grint: No. The trumpets were just random.
What did they get you?
Grint: Dan got me a really nice still from one of the films. He kind of made fun of me in it and signed it, yeah it was really nice. It was a scene where Dan was kind of climbing on my head and his foot was kind of crushing my head (laughs).
What did Emma get you?
Grint: She got me a diary thing. Like a leather diary.
So you don’t feel bad about the trumpets then?
Grint: [Well] I engraved the trumpets.
Have you ever used the diary?
What did you engrave on the trumpets?
Grint: Just a little kind of message to both of them. I actually hand engraved it too, I got like an engraving kit.
You really put some heart and soul and thought into this?
Grint: Yeah kind of. I dunno quite why a trumpet, but yeah it was cool.
You’re a Russian roulette of a gift-giver, you never know what you’re gonna get.
Grint: Once I got Emma, for her birthday, a signed photo of Trevor McDonald, he’s like a news reader (laughs). I don’t know why I did that.