Rupert Grint reveals why he 'definitely' considered quitting the Harry Potter movies
The quickest way to feel old is to realise that Rupert Grint, the actor who played Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series, turned 30 years old this year - especially since he was cast at the young age of eleven.
A little older than his wizarding co-stars Emma Watson, 28, and Daniel Radcliffe, 29, Grint is the member of the Hogwarts trio that has stayed out of the limelight the most, and it's partly by design.
Describing himself as "naturally an introvert," the actor has worked on various indie movies and more obscure TV shows since the series ended in 2011 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2. Speaking to the Guardian recently, he revealed that the line between him and Ron grew thinner with each film, to the point that he felt they were "virtually the same person".
“For the first few Harry Potter films I was living the dream,” he said. “The reason I auditioned was because I loved the books."
However, things didn't always go so smoothly. Grint opened up about a period of time when he seriously considered stepping away from the series entirely, when the huge success of the movies became overwhelming.
"When I got to film three or four, I started to feel an overwhelming weight of responsibility because they were so phenomenally popular. The whole press and red carpet thing was an attack on the senses. I don’t excel in that kind of environment.
“There were definitely times when I thought about leaving. 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."
He also spoke about what the intense media and fan attention was like in those years, with some almost hoping that he got caught in a scandal.
“As I got older I could feel this growing narrative willing me to get engulfed in some big scandal off-screen," he said. "It felt like people were waiting for me to go off the rails, but it was never going to happen."
“We filmed the whole thing in this very intense bubble in Watford not Hollywood, so we didn’t have the chance to discover drugs, or anything like that.”
“I peaked pretty early, but I’m fine with that,” he added. “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.”
The actor is next set to star in the upcoming ABC Murders on BBC One this Christmas, and is also in the TV series spin-off of Snatch, airing on AMC.