Overview | The Story
Born on 24 August 1988, Rupert Grint became interested in acting as a child. Aside from performing in various school plays, Rupert joined his local theatre group for two years: Top Hat Stage and Screen School. Some of his known roles were a fish in Noah’s Ark, a donkey in a nativity play, a chorus player in Cinderella, a rooster in Annie and Rumpel in Rumpelstiltskin.
When he heard about the upcoming auditions for the first Harry Potter film on CBBC NewsRound, Rupert was already a fan of the books and could relate to the character Ron Weasley, thus he sent in the application form and pictures. However, after weeks without a reply, he sent in an audition video filmed by his mother. For this video, he dressed up as his female drama teacher, performed a rap song about how much he wanted to be in the film, and read a piece of Ron’s dialogue from the books.
On 23 August 2000, one day before his 12th birthday, Rupert Grint and his future costars Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe were introduced to the world as the three leads in the first Harry Potter film in a press conference. They started filming Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (“Sorcerer’s Stone” in the US) at Leavesden Studios in England in October 2000.
Before the first film even hit the big screen, Rupert secured his first role in a non-Potter film when he was invited to star in Peter Hewitt’s Thunderpants in April 2001. Somewhat “pottered-out”, Rupert jumped at the chance and played the “lovable-nerd-genius-young madcap scientist” Alan A. Allen with fake teeth and permed hair, and gave the character more warmth than the director had intended.
With the theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in November 2001, Rupert gained fans worldwide and impressed the critics with his portrayal of Ron Weasley. He won the Golden Satellite Special Achievement Award for “Outstanding New Talent” and the Young Artist Special Award for “Most Promisisng Newcomer” in 2002, as well as a British Critic’s Circle nomination as “Best Newcomer”.
Following the success of his first feature film, Rupert reprised his role as Ron Weasley for the second film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in November 2001. The limited release of Thunderpants in May 2002 and the worldwide success of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in November 2002, established Rupert Grint as one of the most recognizable young actors.
Although he had been offered yet another non-Potter role in A Cinderella Story, Rupert had to decline as filming coincided with the production of the third instalment of Harry Potter, directed by Academy Award nominee Alfonso Cuaron. From February until November 2003, Rupert returned to play Ron Weasley, but took another break from the franchise by voicing the leading character Nigel Molesworth in the BBC production Baggy Trousers alongside Chris Langham and Emma Kennedy. The show aired on 25 December 2003 and 1 January 2004.
After completing his GCSEs, Rupert Grint left school to focus on acting and joined his co-stars for the promotion of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in May 2004. In preparation for the next Harry Potter, Rupert participated in an “acting workshop” the director Mike Newell had set up for the young cast to get to know the new actors and to practice.
Despite working on the fourth Harry Potter film, Rupert found the time to supply the voice for the character of Peter Pan in the BBC documentary Happy Birthday, Peter Pan, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first stage production of Peter Pan. With Rupert narrating the story of J.M. Barrie and the Peter Pan phenomenon together with Jane Horrocks as Tinkerbell, the show was aired on 2 January 2005.
Rupert was working on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire until March 2005, playing a much more moody and aggressive Ron than before. The film that marked the mid-point of the series was released in November and became (at the time) the second-highest grossing film of the Harry Potter franchise. While on the set for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Rupert was sent the script for yet another non-Potter film to be shot in summer 2005.
Having seen Rupert in the Harry Potter films and feeling he was underused, director Jeremy Brock wanted Rupert to play the lead Ben Marshall in his autobiographical story Driving Lessons, an indepentent film starring Laura Linney and his Harry-Potter mum Julie Walters. Rupert’s performance earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the Moscow International Film Festival and was described by ultimatedisney.com (DVD Review) as “the most significant film project to come from any of the three leading Potter kids since they began their Hogwarts run early this decade”.
While Driving Lessons had its World Premiere at the Dublin Film Festival on 21 February 2006 and subsequently was screened at many festivals before its limited release, Rupert had already started filming Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film in the series and the first one directed by David Yates, who would eventually direct the remaining Harry Potter films as well.
On the set of Order of the Phoenix, Rupert and his co-stars Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis filmed a short scene for the play The Queen’s Handbag, which was the highlight of the “Party at the Palace, an event to which 2000 children, 1000 adults and many celebrities, among them Rupert Grint and his co-stars as well as J.K. Rowling, had been invited to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 80th birthday.
By the time of the premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on 28 June 2007, Rupert, along with his co-stars Emma and Daniel, had already signed up for the rest of the series’ films. With the accumulated worldwide box office returns of the first five films, the Harry Potter series became the most successful franchise in movie history, bypassing even Star Wars and James Bond. Flying on the wings of this success, the filming for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince began on 24 September 2007 and continued until 17 May 2008.
Right after wrapping the sixth Harry Potter, Rupert travelled to Belfast to shoot the edgy dark film Cherrybomb in July/August 2008, playing a character very different to Ron Weasley. To become Malachy McKinney, Rupert also had his eyelashes and eyebrows dyed, and his hair was styled in a quiff. Rupert also had to adapt a Belfast accent which, according to the local crew, he did perfectly.
As soon as the filming for Cherrybomb wrapped, Rupert teleported himself to the set of Jonathan Lynn’s Wild Target in September 2008. A remake of the 1993 French dark comedy movie “Cible Emouvante” from 1993, Rupert had been asked to star as Tony alongside Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Rupert Everett and he spent six weeks filming in London and on the Isle of Man.
Shortly after the World Premiere of Cherrybomb at the Berlin Film Festival on 8 February 2009, Rupert returned to the Harry Potter set as Ron Weasley for the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, for a 56 week long shoot to complete the double-ending of the successful franchise. Afterits World Premiere on 5 July 2009, Rupert gained once again amazing reviews and broke more box office records with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
The Releases of Cherrybomb on 23 April 2010 and Wild Target on 18 June 2010 followed soon after. Rupert wrapped filming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on 12 June 2010, but had to return for a re-shoot of the Epilogue in December 2010. With the release of Part 1 on 19 November 2010 and of Part 2 on 15 July 2011, Rupert was free to participate in other projects.
Having been approached by the British comedy duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams (‘Little Britain’), Rupert signed up without hesitation for an appearance in their new television comedy series Come fly with me in a short cameo playing himself at an airport, which was filmed on 4 September 2010 and which first aired on the BBC on 6 January 2011, and eventually in other countries.
From late March to mid-May 2011, Rupert spent several weeks in both Norway and Sweden for the production of Into the White, an anti-war biopic directed by Academy Award winner Petter Næss and starring Rupert as gunner Robert Smith alongside Lachlan Nieboer, German actors David Kross and Florian Lukas and Norwegian actor Stig Henrik Hoff. Into the White celebrated its World Premiere on 4 March 2012 in Oslo.
In October 2011, Rupert filmed the music video for Ed Sheeran’s song Lego House, portraying the singer’s crazy stalker. Having grown up with the Harry Potter films, Ed Sheeran asked fellow friend Tom Felton whether Rupert would appear in the video, which was released in November 2011 and gained over 2 Million hits on Youtube within a week. A day after shooting part of the clip, both Ed Sheeran and Rupert Grint received a BBC Teen Award.
In March 2012, Rupert appeared in a spot for the Make-it-Great Campaign, a campaign promoting holidays in the UK during the Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, along with Julie Walters, Michelle Dockery and Stephen Fry. Rupert eventually was one of the bearers of the Olympic Torch on its way to London on 25 July 2012.
During the summer of 2011, Rupert had recorded several scenes for the episode Killer Vacation of the animation TV series American Dad. In this episode, Rupert voices the upper-class boy Liam, who meets Steve Smith during a holiday and who takes him on an adventurous trip across the island.
In early October 2012, it was announced that Rupert had recorded the narrator’s part for We are Aliens, a 3D fulldome experience about alien life in the universe by NSC Creative.
In May/June 2012, Rupert filmed The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, playing Carl, and aspiring porn star who befriends Charlie, played by Shia LaBoef. The film premiered on 21 January 2013 at Sundance Film Festival and competed at the Berlinale Film Festival in February 2013. The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman was released in the US in November 2013, and was released on BluRay and DVD in various other countries.
On 25 June 2012, the production of CBGB began, with Rupert Grint joining the cast in Savannah, Georgia, to play the role of Death Boy Cheetah Chrome, starring once again alongside Alan Rickman as Hilly Krystal.
In February 2013, it was confirmed that Rupert would play the lead in the pilot for Super Clyde, a CBS production about a fast food worker who wishes he were a super hero. The pilot also starred Stephen Fry, Tyler Labine and Justine Lupe.
Rupert did the voice work for the animated feature film Postman Pat – You know you’re the one, lending his voice to Josh, a former boyband star and participant in a casting show, which also required singing. Postman Pat is currently set to be released in 2014, with Stephen Mangan, David Tennant and Jim Broadbent also part of the cast.
Rupert also lent his voice to Amadeo, the lead character in the animated movie Foosball. The film was first aired in the English-speaking version at the London Film Festival on 19 October 2013 and is currently awaiting its cinematical release; retitled The Unbeatables in the UK and Underdogs in the US.
In October 2013, Rupert gave his professional stage debut in a revival of Jez Butterworth’s play MOJO, in which he stars as Sweets alongside Ben Whishaw, Colin Morgan, Daniel Mays, Brendan Coyle and Tom Rhys Harries. The shows ran at Harold Pinter Theatre in London until 8 February 2014 with great success, and Rupert won the WhatsOnStage Award as Best Newcomer for his performance.
In addition, Rupert has started filming scenes for Enemy of Man, a film based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in which Rupert plays the role of Rosse. Production is said to pick up again after a successful Kickstarter campaign, but no further have been announced as of yet.
In early 2014, Rupert was confirmed to star as Jonny in Moonwalkers alongside Ron Pearlman. The film was filmed in Belgium in May/June 2014, and the World Premiere took place at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. A release planned for November 2015 in Japan, and for France and the US in 2016.
On 17 June 2014, it was confirmed that Rupert would make his Broadway debut as Frank Finger in the play It’s Only a Play, starring alongside Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing and Megan Mullally. The play was be directed by Jack O’Brien and opened in October 2014 and was extended twice, however without Rupert dropping out due to other commitments.
In June 2015, the first audiobooks for the Tom Gates book series were released, read by Rupert Grint. In July, Rupert filmed scenes as himself for the upcoming revival of the Tracey Ullman show. In August, Rupert joined Iwan Rheon in Krakow to shoot the TV movie The Artist for SkyArts, Rupert taking on the role of Adolf Hitler’s friend August (Gustl) Kubizek.
Continuing with more TV work, Rupert starred in Sky Atlantic’s series Sick Note as lead character Daniel Glass, alongside Nick Frost and Don Johnson. Filming took place in London, with the series scheduled to air in 2017.