It’s the last wave of the wand for Harry Potter's best mate Ron Weasley, and the only guy who’ll miss him more than fans is Rupert Grint.
“It's been a very weird time, really, kind of accepting the end,” says the actor who’s embodied J.K. Rowling’s befuddled sidekick to the world’s most famous underage wizard about bidding goodbye to the character in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.” “We finished filming a year ago and I was left with this kind of empty feeling, and it's taken me a while to fully accept that it's over. We had the London premiere a few days ago which was, again, really emotional and I'm not usually affected by stuff like this in that way. But it's going to take a while for me to really kind of let go of this, because it's really been my childhood and for it to come down to this last film, it just feels really weird – but I'm slowly getting used to it.”
“I've always felt a quite close connection to Ron, even before the films,” explains Grint. “After ten years playing the same guy every day I think you do naturally just morph into him. We've become this kind of ‘Ron-pert’ thing, which I think will stay with me for a while. I think there will always be a bit of Ron in me for the rest of my life.”
He also recalls the scene that first fired his enthusiasm to be a part of the massive saga. “I find it hard to kind of pick out one, but I think the chess scene in the first film is quite a cool one,” Grint says. “It was just this huge set and things were being blown up, and for an 11-year-old it was just the coolest place to be. I loved that one.”
You don’t need a mystical map to expect that there are MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD, so if you aren’t conversant with the outcome of the book series and some specific surprises from the final film, you may want to throw the cloak of invisibility over this rest of Grint’s thoughts until you’ve seen the finale.
Okay – on to the good stuff, like that long-simmering lip-lock between young-spellcasters-in-love Ron and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). “We did about four takes,” reveals Grint. “I find it hard to kind of remember anything about it. I think it's kind of been erased from my mind. We had a laugh about it and it was fine. It was a tricky one to do, I think. Obviously, I've known Emma so long and I think we've mutually both been dreading this scene slightly, but yeah, it was fine. It's a moment that was kind of not in the book, obviously, and it was something that I think David [Yates, the director] and Steve [Kloves, the screenwriter] kind of came up with. It was all right. It was just a challenge to make it believable, the romance of it, because as you said it's been built up for so many years now and we wanted people to think that we actually wanted to kiss each other. In reality we really didn't. It was fine – it's a nice moment, and hopefully people believe it.”
Then there’s that glimpse into the future at the close of the film, where Grint was transformed into a pushing-40 Ron. “It'll be interesting, actually, to compare it in 19 years to see how accurate it was – it was a very creepy thing,” he says. “The first attempt with my character, particularly, it was quite terrifying. The image still haunts me. I looked like a kind of monster, really – this kind of Donald Trump mixture. I had no hair and I was obese. It was just, I think, a bit too much. Then they really found the balance in the final version. It was a very strange thing to film really, sitting in the makeup chair and watching you gradually age.”
“And then seeing the film as well, I do get a little bit choked up at the end," he adds. "There's one scene where it's the three of us after the battle and we're kind of walking on the bridge and the castle is kind of destroyed behind us. There's almost this parallel with that moment and our lives, really, in that it's over for us as well. It's quite sad. I'm going to really miss it.”