Most people of a certain age find it impossible to look at Rupert Grint without seeing Ron Weasley. As it turns out, the actor also has a pretty hard time separating himself from his iconic Harry Potter character. In a new interview with The Guardian, Grint (who is now 30 years old, in case you didn’t feel elderly enough today) reflected on his time in the beloved franchise, admitting that he peaked early, but he’s fine with it. This is fine. It’s fine, really:
I peaked pretty early, but I’m fine with that. It would be ridiculous to think that you can replicate that level of success. It’s always going to be a challenge, but I’m kind of enjoying that. It’s quite fun to surprise people.
Grint is currently attempting to “surprise” fans with his role on the Sony Crackle series Snatch, based on the Guy Ritchie film of the same name. He also recently signed on to co-star in an upcoming Apple original series from M. Night Shyamalan, in which he’s been perfectly cast as Lauren Ambrose’s brother. But in a Sliding Doors situation, there’s an alternate reality wherein Grint might not be on your TV (or MacBook) screen. The actor reveals that there was a time when he seriously considered leaving the Harry Potter franchise behind:
Filming ‘Harry Potter’ was a massive sacrifice; working from such a young age for such long periods and I definitely remember thinking during one extended break, ‘This whole thing is so all consuming, do I really want to go back? Maybe it’s just not for me.’ I guess I was probably just being a teenager.
Typical teenagers, always so unsure of their commitments to massively successful movie franchises. Grint goes on to explain that “The line between Ron and me became thinner with each film and I think we became virtually the same person,” which is why it was so freeing to leave the Wizarding World behind. “I don’t want to liken it to coming out of prison because it wasn’t a prison,” he says of his long captivity at Warner Bros. “But it did feel like stepping out of an institution. It was nice to breathe the fresh air and now I’m really enjoying stepping further away from that blue-screen world.”
For more from Grint, check out The Guardian’s full interview.