Rupert Alexander Lloyd Grint (born 24 August 1988) is an English actor and producer. He rose to prominence for his portrayal of Ron Weasley, one of the three main characters in the Harry Potter film series. Grint was cast as Ron at the age of 11, having previously acted only in school plays and at his local theatre group. From 2001 to 2011, he starred in all eight Harry Potter films.
Beginning in 2002, Grint began to work outside of the Harry Potter franchise, playing a co-leading role in Thunderpants. He has had starring roles in Driving Lessons, a dramedy released in 2006, and Cherrybomb, a drama film of limited release in 2010. Grint co-starred with Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in Wild Target, a comedy. His first film project following the end of the Harry Potter series was the 2012 anti-war film, Into the White, in which he has a supporting role. In 2013, Grint’s new film CBGB was released and he was cast in CBS’s new show Super Clyde. Grint made his stage debut in Jez Butterworth’s Mojo in October 2013 at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London. In 2014 he voiced the character of Josh in Postman Pat: The Movie, and in 2017, he starred in and was executive producer of the television series Snatch, based on the film of the same name.
Grint was born in Harlow, Essex, England, to Nigel Grint (b. 1963), a dealer in racing memorabilia, and Joanne Grint (née Parsons; b. 1967). Grint is the eldest of five siblings, the others being James (b. 1990), Georgina (b. 1993), Samantha (b. 1996), and Charlotte (b. 1998). He has stated that his earliest goal in life was to become an ice cream man. He attended Richard Hale School, in Hertford.
While in school, Grint took an avid interest in theatre. He started performing in school productions and joined the Top Hat Stage and Screen School, a local theatre group that cast him as a fish in Noah’s Ark and a donkey in another nativity play. He continued performing in school plays as he moved into secondary school. However, Grint had never acted professionally before the Harry Potter series.
At the age of 16, he left school to focus on his acting career. “I didn’t really like school that much,” he later commented.
Harry Potter (2001–11)
Starting in 2000, casting began for the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the best-selling novel written by author J. K. Rowling. Rowling personally insisted that the cast be British and assisted Susie Figgis and director Chris Columbus in casting the roles. Grint chose to audition for the role of protagonist Ron Weasley, one of Harry Potter’s best friends at Hogwarts, and was a fan of the book series. Having seen a Newsround report about the open casting, he sent in a video of himself rapping about how he wished to receive the role. His attempt was successful as the casting team asked for a meeting with him. On 8 August 2000, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and an 11-year-old Grint were selected to play the roles of Harry, Hermione Granger, and Ron, respectively. Grint is the oldest member of the trio. The release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2001 was Grint’s debut screen performance. Breaking records for opening-day sales and opening-weekend takings, it was the highest-grossing film of that year. With a total of US$974 million in its theatrical run, Philosopher’s Stone stands as the second most commercially successful entry in the series. It was also critically well-received, scoring mainly positive reviews from critics. However, a number of critics found the adaption staying faithful to the book to be both its best and worst quality. Grint won a Satellite Award in the category of “Outstanding New Talent”, and a Young Artist Award for “Most Promising Young Newcomer”.
A year later, Grint again starred as Ron in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), the second instalment of the series. The film opened to positive reviews and critics generally enjoyed the lead actors’ performances. Both Los Angeles Times and New York Magazine observed that Grint and his peers had matured between films, with the latter pointing out that Grint had become “more proficient” and said they missed “the amateurish ardour” the actor and Watson carried in Philosopher’s Stone. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) was released on 31 May in the UK. The film sees all three of its lead characters hover on the brink of adolescence, “and while they look braver and more capable than before, the dangers they face seem far more grave and their own vulnerability more intense.” Then Academy Award-nominee Alfonso Cuarón took over direction for Prisoner of Azkaban which remains the lowest-grossing Harry Potter film with US$795 million in revenue. Nonetheless it was the second highest-grossing movie of 2004 behind Shrek 2.
A picture of a man with red hair looking downward. A person is extending their arm to whist holding sheets of paper. Trees and red heights can be seen in the background.
Grint signing autographs at the 2009 premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
In 2005, Grint reprised his role for the fourth film in the series – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The adaptation, unlike previous films, explored romantic elements and included more humour. In a 2005 interview with IGN, all three lead actors singled out the humour as being a reason for the film’s success. This project was directed by Mike Newell. According to the actor, the director was “really loud and not afraid to swear at you, but he was really cool.” Goblet of Fire stands as one of the best reviewed instalments within the series, and is noted for the maturity and sophistication of its characters, darker and more complex plotline, writing and performances of the lead actors. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film in the Harry Potter franchise, was released to cinemas in 2007. A huge financial success, Order of the Phoenix set a record worldwide opening-weekend gross of US$394 million, superseding Spider-Man 3 as the title holder. This entry was directed by a new filmmaker, David Yates, who would continue to direct all of the following movies. Grint said the laid back director was “really good” and helped keep the material fresh. As the fame of the actor and the series continued, Grint and fellow Harry Potter cast members left imprints of their hands, feet and wands in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
On 15 July 2009, the series’ sixth instalment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was released and set box office records. In its total theatrical run, Half-Blood Prince totalled in US$933 million ticket sales. Also, Half-Blood Prince remains one of the most positively reviewed entries within the series among film critics, who praised the film’s “emotionally satisfying” story, direction, cinematography, visuals and music. Grint observed a change in Ron in this entry, pointing out that his once insecure, often overshadowed character started to become more secure and even began to show a dark side of himself. The actor found it fun to personify a more emotional Ron. Between 2009 and 2010, his work received three nominations, including one win – an Otto Award from the German magazine Bravo.
Despite the success of the past films, the future of the franchise was put into question as all three lead actors were unsure about signing on to continue their roles for the final two films. However, by March 2007, Grint agreed to return for the last instalments. For financial and scripting reasons, the last book was divided into two films which were shot back to back, with filming concluding in June 2010. After completing the final film he said: “I mean it literally has been my childhood and suddenly it all came down to really just one random scene, with us jumping through a fireplace, and then it was over. […] it’s very odd. Because suddenly it was all over, just like that. It was really emotional for all of us, realising that we’re never going to be doing this again.”
Grint at the film premiere of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 1 at the Alice Tully Center in New York City on 15 November 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010) was released in November and made over US$950 million. It set several box office records and opened to mostly favourable reviews in the media. His portrayal of Ron again earned him critical praise. Reviewing the adaption in Slate, Dana Stevens called all three of the leads “terrific.” Despite giving Deathly Hallows – Part 1 a negative rating, Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal publication stated “Grint has grown up to be a skilful actor who knows the value of a slow burn”. New York Post writer Lou Lumenick, however, observed that both Grint and Radcliffe had grown weary of playing the same characters and expressed it in their performances. Grint’s performance scored him nominations from the MTV Movie Awards and National Movie Awards for Best Fight and Performance of the Year in 2011. Grint reprised his role for the eighth time, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the last Harry Potter installment. This film picked up from where the previous film left off and included a lot of action, whereas the first part had focused more on character development. Rupert, along with the film, was critically acclaimed: Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post asked, “Who could have predicted that Radcliffe, Grint and Watson would turn out to be good actors?”. The film broke several box office records, including biggest midnight release, biggest first-day opening, and biggest opening-weekend. Deathly Hallows – Part 2 got up to the 4th highest-grossing film of all time, and is the second highest-grossing non-James Cameron film with more than US$1.3 billion worldwide (behind The Avengers).
Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling gave a speech during the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 on 7 July 2011 in London, England. She announced that there are seven Harry Potter film series cast members, to whom she refers as “The Big Seven,” and she named Grint as one of the seven members, alongside Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch and Bonnie Wright.
Other work (2002–present)
In 2002, Grint starred in his first non-Harry Potter film, Thunderpants, which revolves around Patrick (played by Bruce Cook) whose remarkable capacity for flatulence scores him a job as an astronaut. In this film, Grint portrayed the co-lead role of Alan, an anosmic boy who is Patrick’s only friend. It was generally ignored by critics and audiences alike. Most of the critics that did take notice of Thunderpants did not respond well to it, with one writing: “This film should be shown in prisons so that inmates have a good reason to never return.” Another film he appeared in was Driving Lessons, a comedy-drama released in 2006, where he starred opposite Julie Walters. The film was met with a mixed reception by critics, but his portrayal of an oppressed teenaged boy was generally praised. “Grint, on the other hand, is a revelation”, who “displays an innate naturalness mixed with personal charisma that turn a potentially pathetic Christian freak into a humorous, thoroughly likable – if more than a little awkward – young man”, wrote Alt Film Guide’s Andre Soares.
In July 2008, it was announced that Grint would star in the drama film Cherrybomb with Robert Sheehan and Kimberley Nixon. Grint found shooting this film very different from the Harry Potter films since he had to adjust to doing a dozen scenes per day. Grint’s character – Malachy, a worker at Belfast – goes to great lengths to impress his boss’s daughter, with whom he is infatuated. This film, like his next project, would involve him playing violent roles. Despite premiering at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, the film was initially unable to find a distributor. An online campaign by Grint’s fans was credited with helping to secure a deal for distribution in the UK in 2010.
Jonathan Lynn directed Grint in Wild Target, a 2010 comedy thriller film, which he starred in alongside Emily Blunt and Bill Nighy. A remake of the 1993 French film Cible Emouvante, Wild Target was made on a relatively small production budget of US$8 million. However, it was a commercial failure, only earning back US$3.4 million. It also garnered mostly negative reviews in the media, which criticised it for dishonouring the original film and wasting the comedic potential of its cast, but Grint also attracted some positive notice: “It’s nice to see Rupert Grint perform well in a role other than that of Ron Weasley, and it’s clear that he’s got a career ahead of him.”
In January 2011, Grint made a cameo appearance in BBC popular comedy show Come Fly with Me starring comedy duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams (Little Britain). In March 2011, Grint was cast as the lead character in the small-budget anti-war Norwegian film Into the White, which was directed by Petter Næss. Principal photography started in April, and the project, which was shot on location, was released in 2012. Into the White is based on a real incident that took place on 27 April 1940, when German Luftwaffe pilot Horst Schopis’s bomber was shot down at Grotli by a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Blackburn Skua, which then crash-landed. The several German and British crew members found shelter by chance during a harsh winter there.
In August 2011, Grint did a photo shoot with his friend and Harry Potter co-star Tom Felton in Los Angeles for the autumn/winter collection of the fashion label Band of Outsiders. In September 2011, it was announced that Grint would voice a character in the film adaptation of Postman Pat along with David Tennant, Stephen Mangan and Jim Broadbent; the film was released in May 2014. Grint also appears in the music video for Ed Sheeran’s song “Lego House”; the video was released on 20 October 2011.
In March 2012, the “Visit Britain” TV ad was released, which features Grint alongside Julie Walters, Michelle Dockery and Stephen Fry. The TV ad promotes holidaying at home in the UK.
On 14 March 2012, Variety reported that Grint had been cast alongside Chloë Grace Moretz in The Drummer, a biopic film about drummer Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. On the same day, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed this and announced filming was scheduled to begin on 15 June 2012 in California and Savannah, Georgia
On 25 July 2012, Grint carried the 2012 London Olympic torch during the Olympic Torch Relay, which is part of 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. In interviews, Rupert told the BBC News that it was an “overwhelming” experience that he hoped to remember forever, and told The Daily Telegraph “It was amazing, it was really overwhelming. It’s just such an honour to be a part of this. I’m really proud”.
In October 2012, Grint narrated We Are Aliens, a 25min 3D Planetarium Fulldome film about the possibility of other intelligent life in our Universe.
On 13 February 2013, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed announced that Grint would star in a television show on CBS called Super Clyde. “Grint will play the title role of Clyde, the well-meaning and sweet yet slightly neurotic guy who never feels like he really fits in. The avid comic book reader considers himself a borderline agoraphobic with mild to severe anxiety issues who wishes he were a super hero himself. When Clyde inherits a $100,000 a month inheritance from his long-dead eccentric Uncle Bill, he decides that the cash will be his secret super power and will use it only for good and reward the good-hearted.”
In July 2013, it was confirmed that Grint will be making his stage debut in Jez Butterworth’s second run of his black comedy, Mojo, playing the role as a minor hood called Sweets who pops amphetamines like Smarties and does a sort of double act, full of comic menace. Grint will be starring alongside actors Brendan Coyle, Ben Whishaw and Daniel Mays. The play is based on real-life events and ran from 26 October 2013 until 8 February 2014 at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London. He won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best London Newcomer for his role in this play.
In September 2013, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that in an adaptation of Macbeth called Enemy of Man, Grint will be starring with Sean Bean, Charles Dance, Jason Flemyng, James D’Arcy, Neil Maskell and Joe Gilgun, directed by Vincent Regan. The filming production began in January 2014 in the United Kingdom.
In June 2014, it was announced that Grint would make his Broadway debut as Frank Finger in the play It’s Only a Play at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, appearing alongside Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, and Megan Mullally. Grint’s first performance was on 28 August 2014 and his last performance was on 4 January 2015.
Grint is involved with various charities, having donated items such as clothes to charity auctions, as well as participating in the Wacky Rally in 2010 (with James and Oliver Phelps), which raised money for Britain’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution. He was one of more than 40 participants to produce designs for Chrysalis Collection for Keech Hospice Care in Luton. His piece, a painted butterfly, was auctioned on eBay in March 2010.
In May 2011, along with other celebrities, Grint took part in the ad campaign for “Make Mine Milk” to promote drinking milk daily. His ads could be seen on the sides of thousands of buses and posters across the United Kingdom. Grint supports Little Star Award since 2011 in support of Cancer Research UK. “I think that it’s wonderful that Cancer Research UK is helping to bring a little bit of magic to the children’s lives in this way,” said Grint.
In 2012, as part of the London Olympics, Rupert participated in the Olympic torch relay and carried the torch through Hendon in North West London to outside Middlesex University. Grint has been in a relationship with English actress Georgia Groome since 2011.