Rupert Grint was born on August 24, 1988, in Harlow, Essex, England. As a schoolboy, 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. He has also acted in a handful of non-Potter roles including Driving Lessons (2006) and Cherrybomb (2009).
Actor Rupert Grint was born on August 24, 1988, in Harlow, Essex, England. Rupert Grint's father, Nigel Grint, is a racing memorabilia dealer, and his mother, Jo Grint, is a homemaker. Rupert Grint says that his first ambition in life was to become an ice cream man. He recalls, "When I was younger I had sort of—[it] always seemed like a really cool job to be an ice cream man. And I thought, why not?" Unlike his onscreen persona, 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' Films
Grint attended the Richard Hale Secondary School in Hertfordshire. As a schoolboy, he gained a lot of attention for his unruly bright red hair. His great-grandfather nicknamed him "Copper Knob," and his friends at school called him "Ginge" (short for "ginger," British slang for redhead). Grint was an avid fan of J.K. Rowling's 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.
"My mum made the costume for that out of bubble wrap," he recalls. 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 the part of Ron Weasley, 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 film currently stands as the eighth highest grossing film in history, having sold over $974 million in tickets worldwide.
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." Nevertheless, Grint says, "I never took myself too seriously. I come from a very normal background and I'd like to think I've never stopped being normal."
Since then, Grint has continued to star as Ron Weasley in all of the Harry Potter 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) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). Grint will also star in the upcoming two-part film adaptation of the seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Part I will be released in 2010 with Part II following in 2011.
In addition to his work in the Harry Potter films, Grint has also appeared in several other film roles. He starred in the 2002 kid comedy Thunderpants, and appeared in the well-reviewed 2006 coming-of-age tale Driving Lessons, which Grint 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 Grint plays a teenager experimenting with drugs, sex and violence. The film also includes Grint's first intimate bedroom scene. "It was very nerve-racking and not remotely sexy because the set-up is so mechanical," Grint said. "It's a very adult role, just the kind of thing I want to do more of."
While Grint is no longer a stranger to onscreen romance—in addition to the intimate scenes in Cherrybomb, he shared a much-anticipated onscreen kiss with Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince—he has yet to embark on any serious real-life romances. Grint says, "I've never been seriously involved with anyone. I've certainly never been in love. I've always preferred to keep things casual. I'm not seeing anyone now and I don't feel the need to have a girlfriend." He adds about his taste in women, "I tend not to go for the very pretty ones. I prefer the quirkier types, the ones who are a little weird. But when it comes to girls, I'm quite insecure."
With filming finally wrapped on the entire Harry Potter series, the future is once again uncertain for Rupert Grint. And despite his quickly diversifying acting resume, Grint says, "It's always at the back of my mind that acting might come to an end for me when Harry Potter finishes. I don't know if I'm good enough to have a long career. I've got a bit of an inferiority complex about my acting. My self-esteem is quite low in that sense." What will he do if not acting? Grint recently purchased an ice cream van and says that he is considering fulfilling his early childhood dream. He says, "These days I keep it well stocked. I probably spend more time driving around in that van than anything else, and if the acting suddenly comes to a halt, I can't imagine a better job than being an ice cream man."
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