When they were casting Harry, Hermione and Ron for The Philosopher’s Stone, the casting director reportedly intentionally looked for children from ‘normal’ families. They knew that whoever they cast would be involved in the franchise for the majority of their childhood and didn’t want any backstage drama disrupting that. And it seems that they chose well, as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint all turned out relatively normally for child stars.
Having said that, there were certainly pressures. In fact, Grint (now 30!) recently opened up to the Independent about how starring in Harry Potter took its toll on him.
“I had just finished my GCSEs,” he says. “I thought ‘Do I actually want to keep doing this? It’s a bit of a drag.’ Because obviously it’s a big sacrifice. You take for granted anonymity, just doing normal stuff, just going out. Everything was different and a little bit scary. There were times when I was like ‘I’m done.’”
Yikes. It’s one thing recasting Dumbledore after two films, but can you imagine the uproar if Grint had walked away from the franchise and they had to find a new Ron Weasley? It’d be an especially big blow because out of the trio, Grint was leaps and bounds the best actor of the three throughout most of the movies (Martin Scorsese agrees). Fortunately for all of us, he decided to stick it out, though he still seems to slightly resent the fame.
“It’s almost like having a split personality. Sometimes it can be quite dehumanizing to have people just taking pictures of you when you’re out. To them, you are just this one thing. It’s a weird existence. But that’s my life. I can’t really remember life before it. In a weird way, you become blasé about it. It becomes normal and you adapt.”
Considering the intensity of Harry Potter fandom, I’m pretty sure Grint is going to be Ron Weasley to many people for the rest of his life. If he’d known what he does now though, would he have gone through with his plans to walk away from the series? Maybe, but he concludes by saying he never thought things would get this big.
“I really did think it would die down after the first film finished and thought it was done. If anything, it’s gone [the other way] as people hold those films very highly. I’m hearing stories about people who grew up with Harry Potter a lot. I think it comes hand in hand with the people who literally shove cameras in your face. In a weird way, they feel ownership of you a little bit. We’re quite familiar people in their lives.”
Though Grint may now be done with his time in the Wizarding World, J.K. Rowling’s adventures are far from over and you can look for the next installment in her Harry Potter saga, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, to conjure its way into theaters next month.
Source: The Independent