For a franchise as globally popular and unanimously beloved as the Harry Potter film series, its famous trio – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint – have definitely had to live under the looming shadow of the Warner Bros. adaptations, never completely free of the identity that was inherently tied to them ever since their pre-teenage days. Even then, time and hardships molded these actors and several others from the franchise for the world that existed beyond the realm of JK Rowling’s literature.
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Rupert Grint on the Hardships of Growing Up in Harry Potter
Navigating the realm of the epic fantasy world certainly existed as the ultimate source of joy and inspiration for children and adults alike throughout the early 2000s. But rarely would anyone have paused to consider how radically it would affect the lives of the young actors who were constantly living and breathing the Harry Potter mythology, ever since they were 10 well until they were above 20. Rupert Grint, the actor who plays Ron Weasley in the adaptations, makes that stifling experience vocal in a recent interview with Bustle.
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Taking up the entirety of his formative years and juxtaposing the life of his fictional character with that of his own, the world began to grow hazy in its detailed reality for Rupert Grint. The actor claims that the difficulty began when the arc of Ron Weasley, a middle child in a large and overbearing family, reflected his own reality as one of five siblings:
“I was feeling the difficulty of being seen, being overshadowed. In the movies, we merged into one. By the end of it, I was playing myself. The lines were blurred. I answer to it, if someone calls me Ron. It’s my second name.
Potter was so full on — [filming] all year, then we’d promote the rest of the time. It was quite suffocating. I wanted a break to reflect on everything… It was an out-of-body experience for a while, but I think we finished at the right time. If we continued, it could’ve gone downhill.”
Even as the experience paints a scary picture in itself, the actor outlived his fame, grew more humble under the explosive light of popularity, and found his niche creative passion in horror projects – “I’m drawn to a hidden vulnerability. A bit broken, damaged people. At the moment, it seems to be what I’m doing.” In the years since 2019, he filmed consecutive delightfully supernatural projects with the great name brands, Guillermo Del Toro [Cabinet of Curiosities] and M. Night Shyamalan [Servant and Knock at the Cabin].
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Rupert Grint Survives the Suffocating Experience of Potter
To Rupert Grint, the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts was more surrealistic than nostalgic – “It was happening. I didn’t really have a say in it.” For him, not enough time had passed between the ending of the Harry Potter series and an event that needed to necessarily call for a celebratory reunion. Even then, the actor claims, “It’s always nice to look back.”
Over the years of his post-Potter fame, the actor cultivated a strong, if not close, bond with the Sixth Sense director Shyamalan, who speaks of Rupert Grint in the highest regard. Describing him as pure, kind, wonderful, and “an unusual human being”, the director says,
“I’ve said this to him: he shouldn’t exist. A child actor part of an almost religious IP. This renaissance, this second movement of his, shouldn’t be happening … He’s a person of such abandon to his character without any protective mechanisms. He has a connection to his emotions in a way that’s just pure […] I defy you to find somebody that doesn’t have something good to say about him.”
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Rupert Grint’s recent project includes the ensemble cast comprising Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, and Nikki Amuka-Bird in the supernatural thriller, Knock at the Cabin which releases on 3 February 2023. The Apple TV+ produced grief-horror thriller Servant, which debuted in 2019 and holds an incredible 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has only recently ended its four-season run on the platform, leaving Rupert Grint open to pursuing a project outside the horror-thriller genre. He claims he might be “doing something light next — like a Christmas movie.”