Beyond Ron: Rupert Grint Has Moved On
You might think that Rupert Grint would have been at a loss for what to do after so many years of playing Ron Weasley, but this isn’t entirely the case. His first move post-Ron was to get his tonsils removed. In a recent interview with GQ, Grint explained that he first began suffering from tonsilitis in 2005, close to the shooting of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The cast’s shooting and promotion schedule was hectic enough to prevent Grint from getting the problem resolved for several years, a wait that certainly sounds excruciating.
From Goblet to the end of the franchise, I was just ill. My tonsils were absolutely massive.
Once free, of both the tonsils and the constant obligations of starring in the enormous franchise, Grint turned his attention to other things. He tried theater with the encouragement of Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) and took part in indie films and comedies. He has since really caught his stride in the psychological horror genre, namely as Julian Pearce in M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant. The role, as well as his subsequent work within a similar vein, appeals to his fascination with the morbid and fragile aspects of humanity. “I’m drawn to a hidden vulnerability,” Grint said in an interview with Bustle. “A bit broken, damaged people. At the moment, it seems to be what I’m doing.”
Grint recalled that Shyamalan required him to audition for Julian, something he hadn’t often been asked to do.
I feel like I got it on merit. That was a good feeling. Even if my American accent was ropey.
Shyamalan would go on to cast him in another project, the thriller Knock at the Cabin, which hit theaters on February 3. “It’s just a dream to work with him. He’s great,” said Grint of the iconic filmmaker in a video segment for British GQ, mentioning that Shyamalan had actually almost directed the third Harry Potter film.
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Shyamalan was likewise complimentary, marveling at how the actor has navigated his career with such balance.
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.
Nell Tiger Free, his costar on Servant, can attest to these characteristics, recounting how Grint’s dedication to his role once made him ill.
Rupert had a storyline where his character drank these leafy kale juices. What I love about him is if it says in the script ‘He drinks a pint’ of something, Rupert will drink the full thing in every single take.
This particular commitment to character led Grint to consume an excess of greens, developing a rather severe case of kidney stones.
It’s not all horror and kale juice, however. Grint has a healthy number of interests outside of his work, the paramount, of course, being his daughter, Wednesday. “I’m enjoying being a dad,” he said, explaining that the experience has actually relaxed him. Grint also finds peace in his hobbies, such as creating miniature pottery and incredibly, beekeeping.
Of his Harry Potter days, Grint maintains a solid connection still. Explaining that he didn’t go to school or have many opportunities to form lasting relationships with friends outside of Potter, Grint said much of the cast still keeps in close touch, usually by way of their WhatsApp group, which is aptly named “the Potterheads.”
We’re still trying to figure out what life looks like on the other side of this massive cultural thing.
Learning to let go is the clear next step, and Grint finds himself willing to do so. He said that he would love to see Potter adapted for television, in which case Ron Weasley would inevitably be recast.
It’s weird because I’m protective over him; I could relate to him so much, and then I was picked to bring him to life. That’s hard to let go. But it would be nice to, as well.