The Story of Rupert Grint

How the ginger who scored the role of Ron Weasley — and stole the world’s hearts — is spending his time post-Potter

Red hair. Big family. By his own admission, not the biggest fan of school. These things describe not only Ron Weasley but also Rupert Grint, a young man seemingly born to play Harry Potter’s best mate. In fact, a year before he was cast in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Grint entered a Ron Weasley look-alike contest sponsored by a London newspaper. “I won, too,” he says proudly. “I had always felt a connection to Ron.”

Perhaps it’s because both guys are a bit eccentric. Those who know Grint — the oldest of five siblings — will tell you about his pet teacup pigs, the Mr. Whippy ice cream truck he drives around for fun, his passion for the art of the late curly-haired PBS painting instructor Bob Ross. “I’ve never been to Rupert’s house,” says Daniel Radcliffe, “but I’ve always imagined it to be a little like Pee-wee Herman’s home. I just picture him waking up every morning, then sliding down a waterslide to the breakfast table.”

“I have always enjoyed things that are a little different, a little odd,” admits Grint, who quit school at 16 to focus on acting. He’s chosen his non-Potter roles accordingly. The 22-year-old actor has appeared in several British indie films in recent years. It was “just for fun, really,” says Grint. “And probably for my sanity, too.”

“He has the nicest nature of anyone I have ever met,” says Emma Watson. “So down-to-earth. So solid. He’s my rock.” Perhaps that’s part of what makes him so well attuned to his feelings — especially about leaving Potter behind. “I was quite relieved when we wrapped last year,” the actor says. “But I felt an overwhelming sadness as well. I do miss it. It’s going to take a while to move on.”

This article has been edited for The complete story appeared in Entertainment Weekly Jul.2011.

July 1, 2011 | Interview | this post contains affiliate links