With CBGB premiering in both NYC and LA last week, both Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman sat down with Vulture and Moviefone to dish about their roles in the film, meeting each other on non-Hogwarts sets, and what’s next for them both.
The characters these two actors play are a far cry from their previous Potter roles. Rupert tackles the drugged-out guitarist Cheetah Chrome of the punk band the Dead Boys, while Alan traded his flapping black Hogwarts robes for yards and yards of flannel for his role as CBGB owner and promoter Hilly Kristal.
To get his role as Hilly, who died in 2007, to come across the screen as true to life as possible, Alan watched videos of the club owner, including some private videos given to him.
“I was able to watch him for hours, really, walking, talking, being… he was smart enough and open enough and generous enough to listen to what their point of view was. In fact, he became a kind of father figure to all these wild young things.”
When asked about his thoughts on Rupert, Dan, and Emma’s future in film, Rickman had nothing but praise. “They’re all three of them great people, and all three of them very talented actors.”
Up next for Rickman is a film he both directed and starred in, A Little Chaos, which he is currently in the process of editing. He reunites with Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy), as well as Kate Winslet, who starred alongside him in Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney) and Gemma Jones (Madam Pomfrey) back in 1995. The film, a period piece, is set in King Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles. “It’s not really about history.” Rickman will play the infamous King, while Winslet will play the landscape artist charged with designing a fountain for the palace. “It’s about her and her options. And some [of] it is very funny, and some [of] it’s not funny at all.”
As Cheetah Chrome, we get to see Rupert Grint step away from his role as of one of the most beloved Potter characters from the series. No longer in Ron’s shadow, Grint has chosen wild, edgy roles and looked outside of his comfort zone in order to broaden his career, including his next project on the West End stage for a play called Mojo.
Just as Rickman watched videos to get to the core of his character, Rupert was able to actually get advice from Cheetah Chrome himself, who had a small cameo in the movie and was always on set. Rupert revealed to Vulture what it was like to have the chance to hear first-hand the experiences the guitar player had during that time.
“It was just amazing to sit with him and talk to him, about when he was so heavily addicted to drugs and living such a wild lifestyle. It’s quite special when you’re playing someone as they’re watching you on set. I felt a little self-conscious about getting the movement right, so there was a bit of pressure, but it was special to get to know him.”
In the movie, Grint also happens to bare a little skin. In one scene, his character literally drops his pants for a record producer, played by Stana Katic (Castle), so that she would produce the band’s record. Rupert claims he wasn’t intimidated by what that scene required of him. “That was quite fun. I didn’t really think about it until I had to do it, but it was kind of quite a tricky process. In the end, we needed a sock contraption.”
Working with Alan Rickman again was also something Rupert enjoyed, saying he had flashbacks to the Potter series. “I love Alan. He’s one of my favorites, and he was completely transformed. I was surprised when I saw him. He was just completely in that zone, as he was when he was Snape.”