Rupert Grint is a British actor best known for his role as Harry Potter’s best friend Ron Weasley in the film series based on J.K. Rowling’s best-selling books.
Who Is Rupert Grint?
As a schoolboy, Rupert Grint was an avid fan of J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series. Hearing about an open casting call for the first Potter film, 10-year-old Grint submitted a self-made audition video and landed the role of Ronald Weasley. His early non-Potter film roles included Driving Lessons (2006) and Cherrybomb (2009), and he went on to small-screen success the following decade with the series Sick Note, Snatch and Servant.
Grint was born on August 24, 1988, in Harlow, Essex, England. His father, Nigel, is a racing memorabilia dealer, and his mother, Jo, is a homemaker. Grint says that his first ambition in life was to become an ice cream man, noting that it “always seemed like a really cool job.”
Unlike his famed onscreen character of Ron Weasley, Grint was a well-behaved child who never showed much inclination toward mischief. “I was never the kind of kid who was destined for trouble,” he says. “Probably the worst thing I did was steal a hairbrush and a Billy Goats Gruff book from a local shop. I think I went in with the intention of nicking something and I must have panicked and grabbed the first two things I saw. Clearly a life of crime wasn’t for me.”
‘Harry Potter’ Fame
Grint was an avid fan of the Harry Potter book series, so when he heard about an open casting call for the film adaptation, he decided to audition for the part of Harry Potter’s redheaded best friend, Ronald Weasley. At the time, Grint’s only acting experience had been in a handful of school plays, including one performance as a fish in a play about Noah’s ark.
Despite his lack of acting experience, Grint pulled out all the stops to land the part of Ron Weasley. “I’d sent in one application and had heard nothing back,” he remembers. “So I figured there was nothing to lose by being a little inventive. My video was in three parts. There was a rap about myself; I dressed up as a woman and did a little sketch in the character of my drama teacher, then I read some Ron Weasley dialogue.” His comic self-marketing paid off and Grint became the envy of redheads worldwide when, at the age of 10, he landed a leading role in one of the most anticipated film adaptations in history.
Grint speaks with awe about his first experiences on the set of Harry Potter. “Walking into the Great Hall for the first time was absolutely incredible,” he recalls. “All these effects with all the candles floating in the air, all lit and everything, food on the table, all the flambeaus were lit — it was just incredible, it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened in 2001, smashing single-day box office records for U.S. ticket sales.
The remarkable success of the first Harry Potter movie instantaneously transformed Grint—along with costars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) — into an international celebrity. Grint says he was initially uncomfortable with his newfound fame. He recalls, “The strangest moment was when I went back to school to finish my exams after filming the first movie. All the kids cheered and clapped when I walked in.”
Grint continued to play Ron Weasley through the franchise’s many sequels: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part I (2010) and Part II (2011).
Films and TV Shows
‘Thunderpants,’ ‘Driving Lessons,’ ‘Cherrybomb’
Grint landed other roles amid the Harry Potter run. He starred in the 2002 kid comedy Thunderpants, and appeared in the well-reviewed 2006 coming-of-age tale Driving Lessons, which the actor called “the first grown-up thing I’d ever really done.” Grint then struck out into decidedly new territory with the 2009 film Cherrybomb, a less-than-wholesome story in which he played a teenager experimenting with drugs, sex and violence, before joining the cast of the 2010 dark comedy Wild Target.