Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint Explains The Downside To Playing Ron Weasley For So Long

Rupert Grint as Ron in bed during Harry Potter 6
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Time and time again it’s been made clear that being a part of a massive franchise is a double-edged sword. This has proven to be especially true for the actors who made up the young ensemble of the Harry Potter movies. While starring in these high-profile movies made it easier for the actors to land roles after Harry’s story came to a close, it also came with some serious downsides, and Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, opened up about while reflecting on his time playing one-third of an iconic trio for a decade.

Grint recalled how much he related to Ron, he said he loved playing him, and had a lot in common with the Weasley sibling. The actor explained he also grew up in a large family with lots of siblings, he told Bustle that because of this he could relate to Ron’s insecurity of not being seen, he said:

I was feeling the difficulty of being seen, being overshadowed. In the movies, we merged into one. By the end of it, I was playing myself. The lines were blurred.

The actor even said that he responds to “Ron” if someone calls him by his character’s name. “It’s my second name,” Grint explained.  

While I can totally see how having so much in common with your character makes the job way easier, it also creates a serious downside. The story pointed out that Grint started working on the Harry Potter movies when he was 11, and they wrapped up when he was 21. Playing a character for that long comes with major challenges, and the actor said: 

Potter was so full on — [filming] all year, then we’d promote the rest of the time. It was quite suffocating. I wanted a break, to reflect on everything... It was an out-of-body experience for a while, but I think we finished at the right time. If we continued, it could’ve gone downhill.

I totally see where he’s coming from, there comes a point when it’s time to move on, and if the welcome is overstayed things get challenging. Luckily Potter ended at the “right time” according to Grint, and he looks back on the experience fondly, even though there were downsides. 

Many of the actors who were in the young ensemble of the Harry Potter movies have talked about the difficulties of transitioning from Potter into adult life. As Grint explained, for him it was untangling himself from Ron Weasley, because they had become so intertwined. Emma Watson realized just how “sheltered” she was while playing Hermione. Matthew Lewis has talked about how hard it was to escape Neville’s shadow. Tom Felton has also been open about his transition, saying that being in these films was a “huge disadvantage” when it came to landing other roles at first. However, the Draco actor also said he’s “grateful” for the challenges because he was able to prove himself and learn from the experience.

The challenges of growing up after these movies really do sound difficult. However, it’s amazing to see how all these actors have flourished, and now have wonderfully unique careers outside of Harry Potter

Grint has said he’d be down to return to Harry Potter if the timing is right and everyone was involved. However, for now, he has lots of new, exciting projects lined up to look forward to. He’s already appeared on the 2023 TV schedule with a new season of the Apple TV+ series Servant. He’s made his way to the 2023 movie schedule too, as he’s part of the stacked cast for M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin, which hits theaters on February 3. 

So, while it may have been hard to transition from the world of Harry Potter, Grint has done so with grace, and he has created some very exciting projects in the years since. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.