M. Night Shyamalan Interviews Rupert Grint on “Servant”

Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), who has previously discussed the show with his costars, has returned to his role as Julian Pearce in Servant, a psychological thriller series whose second season premiered on January 15 on Apple TV+. This time, producer M. Night Shyamalan interviewed him about the series, theater, Harry Potter, and the contrast between Grint’s “at ease” and “so un-at-ease” sides as an actor on and off set.

 

 

 

Shyamalan was not short on praise when talking to Grint. “You’re just genuinely the most relaxed, easygoing, nicest guy, and yet the precision of your craft is incredible,” he said during his chat with the actor he called a “unicorn” because of his unique attitude that brings out the best in his costars. “They’re so at ease. When one of your colleagues is spinning out about something, your demeanor always centers them and you’re very patient,” the producer told Grint, whom he had first met when he was a child actor in the heyday of Harry Potter.

Although Grint claimed to be bad at audition tapes, Shyamalan applauded the actor’s self-made recording that landed him his role in Servant:

You would’ve thought it would be difficult for me to see you as an adult after seeing you as a child actor, but it wasn’t. It was such a spot-on audition. I was nervous about it. I’m like, ‘He can’t be this spot-on. He can’t.’

He attributed this to Grint’s experience working on Harry Potter, where he was able to act alongside several renowned actors first-hand.

“It was a real education,” Grint agreed, looking back at more than a decade of playing Ron Weasley, “because it was such a long, intense period of time. We worked with so many great directors and people, and when it finished, it did feel like we were graduating from college, in a way.” He also concurred with Shyamalan that his theater experience was tremendously helpful in finding the character of Julian:

I’ve done the West End. I’ve done a bit of Broadway, and I do love it. It’s a different kind of craft. Servant kind of bridges the gap. It does feel like a lot of the scenes in Servant are very theatrical. The set is this intimate stage, so it feels very familiar.

 

Five actors including Rupert Grint are standing on stage. Ben Whishaw is in a funny position, like he is mocking Brendan Coyle's character. They are all in suits.

L-R: Ben Whishaw, Rupert Grint, Colin Morgan, Daniel Mays, and Brendan Coyle in “Mojo” in the West End

 

However, while Grint’s familiarity with his roles helps him be relaxed around cameras, it is a different story off the film set. Hard-core fans may recall that his first audition for Harry Potter was a self-tape of him rapping. Fast forward to 20 years later, when Shyamalan reminded him of a karaoke night where, to the producer’s surprise, he completely blanked on stage. Grint explained himself as follows:

I’ve always been quite a shy guy. I think that’s what I love about drama and acting. The art of pretending to be somewhere else is always such a huge thrill for me. Usually with karaoke, or any kind of stage, I completely lose sight of any kind of shyness, but that night, I don’t know what happened. I didn’t really know the lyrics, and I need to know what I’m rapping.

He has certainly been nothing but perfect in his role on Servant, and he is not likely to abandon it anytime soon.

I love building a character and etching out all the nuance over a long period of time and then saying goodbye to it. It’s why I love TV.

 

M. Night Shyamalan is directing Rupert Grint on the set of Servant. They are standing in a dark house.

M. Night Shyamalan talks to Rupert Grint on the set of “Servant.”

 

This is not all he is doing. He became a father to baby Wednesday last year.

It’s really changed me, in so many great ways. She ignited a really great routine, and it’s helped everything. I’m crying literally, which is weird. I don’t know why I’m doing that.

That’s a lot cuter than the scary dummy baby premise of the series. For a few hours of goosebumps, catch Rupert Grint in Season 2 of Servant now on Apple TV+.

 

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Dora Bodrogi

I am a writer, a critic, a researcher, a traveler, and a Ravenclaw through and through. My main fields of interest are representation, gender, and LGBTQ fiction, history, and censorship. Incorrigible doodler and theatre kid.

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