Rupert Grint Talks “Servant” and Life After “Potter” in New Interview

If you see Rupert Grint on TV these days, he’s usually playing Charlie Cavendish-Scott in Snatch. However, he’s recently taken on the role of Julian Pearce in M. Night Shyamalan’s new limited series Servant, an intricate thriller that premiered this week. While gearing up for the debut of Servant on Apple TV+, Grint spoke about the show’s twists and turns and his career post-Potter:

I was sent one scene, and it was very out of context. I had no idea what was going on. It was two guys having this intense conversation about a doll. There was just something very intriguing about this story. I loved the language, the dialogue was great, and it was just this incredible surreal, deeply upsetting subject matter.

The show follows Lauren Ambrose (Where the Wild Things Are) as Dorothy Turner, a traumatized mother who begins to care for a baby doll after the loss of her infant son, Jericho. Grint plays Julian, Dorothy’s brother, who spends much of his time drinking with her husband, Sean, and observing his sister’s mental state as what Grint calls “a stand-in for the audience”:

Julian [is] one of these people [who] thinks he can solve everything. He always thinks he’s one step ahead. And it’s only really in our interactions [with Leanne] that none of those mechanisms that he’s developed, being in the financial district and stuff, really work with her. So it’s a lot of interesting different dynamics.

Nell Tiger Free (Game of Thrones) plays Leanne, a nanny brought in to care for the doll. Grint’s character must reckon with the supernatural forces that invade his sister’s home when Leanne arrives and suspiciously begins to treat the doll like a real person immediately:

He’s developed these tools of manipulation and uses money to solve things but unravels very quickly after he comes in contact with Leanne. [Julian has] guilt and some secrets we don’t fully know. With all these characters, you’re constantly asking, ‘Are they good? Is this person telling the truth?’

Julian’s role in the sinister drama is a far cry from that of our beloved Ron Weasley. Grint hasn’t played the iconic role for nearly a decade, and he’s in no hurry to revisit it. He hasn’t watched any of the movies since their premieres, with the exception of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which he rewatched for the first time last year:

It’s just something I’ve never really wanted to [watch]. Not that it’s kind of cringey or anything, but I mean … it was us growing up. It kind of documents our [lives]. … And the most awkward stages of being a teenager, and so it’s a weird thing. It’s a weird perspective watching them.

He did, however, choose to weigh in on that infamous debate over whether Hermione should have ended up with Harry or Ron, and his answer seems to support the canon ending:

I have heard these theories. I think on paper, it makes probably more sense that she ends up with Harry. The Ron and Hermione thing was brewing for a long time; it’s that kind of classic thing. … I like how it all came together. It kind of made sense to me in a way.

Still, Grint chooses to look toward his new, exciting projects instead of reminiscing over Potter days, keeping an emphasis on different styles of writing and production:

I find it really difficult to look back. With this show, I’ve seen the first episode, so it’s very different for me, and that’s exciting. I’ve never felt the way I did with this when I was waiting for the scripts. I was kind of addicted to them, so this definitely feels like very new ground for me.

Servant began its ten-episode run on November 28 on Apple TV+. The series, produced by M. Night Shyamalan and written by Tony Basgallop, has already been renewed for a second season, so be sure to catch the first episode of this thrilling show!

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Gayané Kaligian

Gayane has been writing about Harry Potter since the fourth grade, when she wrote her first five-paragraph essay on why Percy Weasley’s buffoonery could have led to Voldemort winning. These days, she’s still talking about the Weasley brothers, but it’s mostly about how overlooked Charlie is. In her free time, you can find her researching stunt choreography and geeking out over theater.