Interview: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows star Rupert Grint!
I've loved little ginger Ron Weasley from the first HARRY POTTER film. And this past week, I was lucky enough to fly to London to chat with the cast and crew of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. We'll have my review up in a few days and the rest of our interviews, but today you're getting a peek into the mind of Rupert Grint. We chatted about the physical demands of the seventh film, saying goodbye to one of the most famous literary red heads in the world, and what happens now that it's all over. Now the disclaimer. If you haven't read the books, there are a few spoilers, including the first two questions/answers. I'm marking them with 'SPOILERS' so you won't learn anything you don't want to know. You've been warned. Note: Unlike our Daniel Radcliffe interview, these are only spoilers if you HAVEN'T read the book. If you have, feel free to ignore me screaming in all caps.
[SPOILER] We heard that you had to leave the Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Hermione (Emma Watson) kissing scenes because you were laughing so much, is that true?
Actually, I was sent out. They were wearing this silver body paint. It was all really surreal [laughs].
[SPOILER] Well, Daniel was sent away when you kissed Emma.
Yeah, he was.
Was this film more physically demanding than the rest of them? How did you deal with a shoot that was 260-plus days?
This one was rather physical, I think. Theyíre out in the real world, and no longer at Hogwarts, so they are in this really dangerous environment. Wherever we go, we are risking our lives. There was a lot of running [laughs], which is really something Iím not used to. We have run in the other movies, but in this one, we changed the way you do the runs as well, thereís much more of an aggressive tone to it.
Being away from Hogwarts on location, how was that experience different for you, versus being in studio or soundstage?
It was nice to get out. Without having Hogwarts there, we didnít get to see any familiar sets. We were just on the run, camping out. It was good, interesting.
Youíve shot a few movies in between these movies, how much actual time off do you have between POTTER films? With this film, youíre in almost every scene over that long shootÖ
Almost every day I was filming for that entire shoot, yeah. It was a long shoot. You donít really have a lot of time between your time shooting. And in the past, whenever Iíve had a HARRY POTTER break, itís been a few months break and Iíve kind of wanted to something else really, just to see how other films are made. Iím really glad I did the other films, but it is nice to have a bit of a break now to just kind of, relax and do normal things.
When you took the breaks to do the other films, were you able to take something away from those other projects that you brought back to the HARRY POTTER set?
I definitely think so, the more people you work with, you learn. Itís really nice to see how other films are made. HARRY POTTER is kind of a unique experience filming-wise. I know I will never experience anything like that again and itís nice to see how other filmmakers make movies. I guess you could say I wanted to see what the real world was like [laughs]. Itís nice.
We talked to Daniel about the difference in making the first film that was essentially, ďdo this, do thatĒ and now, working with David (Yates) more, could you talk a little bit about how you continue to tackle Ron and make him fresh or bring something new to the table.
Davidís great, he really gives you a freedom. You feel that you can kind of go at it on your own. You can do a lot, really. Itís nice to have it. Over the years, over the last 10 years now, Iíve kind of become this person (Ron). Itís really quite easy to fit back into him.
Once in a while, you must see some of the first movies on TV, do you look at it and think, 'Oh, my God, I look so different?'
I canít go back and not notice the difference in all of us from the early films. It has all happened before our eyes. Itís really hard to still relate to how we were in those early films. It all feels very different now. But, you know, Iíve always got that. Itís like a really expensive home video of me growing up [laughs]. I can always go back on that.
Tom (Felton) was saying he discovered Dracoís softness through [author] JK Rowling as far as where his character was going. How much did you know about Ron?
Iím not sure, really. She didnít give me any clues. I just kind of read it for myself. That was one of the things I feared most about making it as we went along, there were a lot of characters dying.
Do you go back to the books and when you start filming five, six and seven to reacquaint yourself with the stories and characters as far as where they are in the process?
I do reread the books before we start, to get it fresh in your head. I think itís quite helpful.
[SPOILER] At what point did you find out that Ron and Hermione were going to get together? And, what was your conversation with Emma like when you two found out.
Thereís always been this subtle thing between them. In this one, you can see the jealousy in Ronís part. We definitely get the sense that there is something going on there. In the second part, you get to see that develop more. Itís kind of strange, particularly the kiss scene. It didnít feel natural, really. Actually, also I was quite surprised how much we saw into the epilogue. We get married and have kids, I was advised of that.
Are there specific things from each director in the series that you took away and made Ron more complicated or aided in your process -- words of wisdom that they have bestowed on you over the years?
Yeah, Iíve been really lucky to have worked with some amazing directors. I think you do learn something from each of them. They are all so different. They all have their own style and bring their own thing to the films. David, I suppose, because heís been the most consistent, I feel actually quite close to him. Heís just so easy to approach.
Whatís his process like, what does he come with?
He just has a lot of faith in us. He lets us have free reign with our characters. He knows these books so well, just as well as we do. Heís great.
[SPOILER] Talk about filming the epilogue because that had to be really heartbreaking for you all. It also had to be really strange to film.
It was a surreal scene. Meeting our kids for the first time as well [laughs], they actually did resemble us. It scared me a little bit. Just looking old is not something Iím looking forward to Ė Ron ages very badly [laughs]. Itís quite frightening.
[SPOILER] The locket scene was really scary, how easy or difficult for you was it working with the green screen to provoke such strong emotion?
Itís a big moment for Ron. Itís the rare moment for Ron to stand up like he did and be a bit of a hero by destroying the Horcrux. Thereís a lot going on there with the Horcruxes projecting all Ronís insecurities about his family and his thing with Hermione, it was really cool scene to do. It was kind of hard to react to nothing. I couldnít see anything. It was nice to do that with Ron.
[SPOILER] What were you able to see, or hear?
They did play the voices of Daniel and Emma, which really helped. I knew theyíd be kissing and stuff. It was weird.
[SPOILER] Did you know theyíd be naked, also.
[Laughs] I did not know that.
What do you personally most enjoy about Ron?
I canít really put my finger on it. He was always really my favorite when I was reading the books. I felt a strong connection to him and maybe Ginny too. I just really liked his character. He was the underdog and I kind of liked that.
Are we ever going to read the essays you guys wrote about your characters that Alfonso Cuaron asked you all to write?
Iím sure you could find Dan and Emmaís, [laughs] I didnít actually do it. Ah, yeah. I was doing my exams at the time. Alfonso gave us some homework, but I didnít do it.
Are you taking anything away from the franchise, even a piece of the set. What did you take away from Harry Potter that is important to you?
Physically itís quite hard to come away with anything because watch it all quite close. I did steal, on the last day. I unscrewed the number on Ronís home, the door number. Iíve got that. They gave me the deluminator as well. Thatís nice.
[SPOILER] I know we see Hogwarts burning, but was there anything else for you that was heart wrenching from the closing of the Harry Potter saga?
In part two, itís quite shocking. Itís like a war film. There are bodies everywhere, people dying. All these really familiar sets that Iíve grown up, like the Gryffindor common room, is just piles of rubble. Itís quite meaningful as well, itís the last film. Itís the end. It made it feel even more final. Itís quite sad.
After one film, you say goodbye to a character. After 10 years of a character, how long do you think it will take to decompress from Ron?
I still havenít fully gotten there. I donít know, itís going to take a while to grasp that I wonít be going in every day. It has been half my life. I donít remember life before this.
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