Transcript: ‘Driving Lessons’ Press Call

published September 2006
written by

Press: So, how was it? Was it interesting to do another picture with Julie Walters but playing a totally – both playing totally different roles? And I’d love to hear about the first scene you rehearsed or shot together, if it was awkward at all or did you feel like…

Rupert Grint: Yeah, yeah, no, yeah, it was quite… because obviously they’re both quite different characters, it was actually really good having Julie there, cause obviously I kind of knew her before from the Harry-Potter films and especially cause we were only filming for like six weeks, it was like, it was good to have someone I knew and, no, she was really fine and really easy to get on with, and she’s cool.

drivinglessons14Press: And was it strange acting with her and seeing her play in such a strange role?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it was, especially the swearing and that, it was quite something. It was quite shocking, but no, especially the first scene we did, sort of rehearsed, was the camping scene and she swallows the key. Yeah, Julie, she’s really funny, she’s funny, she’s really cool.

Press: What was it about this movie that made you want to choose it as, sort of, your detour from Harry Potter

Rupert Grint: I don’t know, I wasn’t really looking at anything, it just sort of came up. I was doing the fourth Harry Potter film and it sort of came up after that. And I just really liked the script and it was just something really different. Cause I’d been filming the fourth one for about eleven months, and I just wanted to do something different and sort of after being Ron it was good to sort of do something different. So that was, why.

Press: Did you get a break before the next one, or did you start that after this one right away?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, actually it was about, a few…, about three months or something. We had sort of Christmas and yeah, no, it’s usually kind of a quick turnaround and we’re doing the fifth one at the moment, we’re sort of finishing it, so yeah, it’s good.

Press: Now, you were only 16 when you shot this, but now you’re 18 and, you do have your license?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, I just passed, errr, last week.

Press: Cool, what are you driving?

Rupert Grint: I got a little Mini.

Press: A what?

Rupert Grint: A Mini Cooper?

Press: Awww, a Mini Cooper!

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it’s good.

Press: You didn’t wanna go for something more ostentatious or something bigger?

Rupert Grint: No, I think a Mini suits me.

Press: So what were your driving lessons like?

Rupert Grint: Oh, I had so many. Erm. An embarrassing amount, actually. Yeah, they were alright. My test was, I was really nervous. And I failed my first one, I passed on my second attempt, and it was, yeah, it was quite scary.

Press: Why did you fail on the first one?

Rupert Grint: I was doing a three-point-turn, and I didn’t look over my shoulder or something. Something stupid like that.

Press: We go for a thing like that, and you’re obviously a celebrity, and you’re quite well-known, did your drivig instructor go “Oh, I know who you are”? Did they say anything about who you are?

Rupert Grint: No, they didn’t say anything.

Press: Oh, was it here or in the UK where you took this?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it was in the UK, yeah.

Press: But how was life for you in general that way, I mean, you’re easily recognisable, with your red hair, and how was your day-to-day life like, in that way?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it’s not too bad, I mean, it’s only been the last few years in which I’ve got a little bit more recognised than before, yeah, I think it’s, the hair does sort of stand out a little bit, but they’re always really nice, so it’s not really a problem. But it is something really kind of weird and I’m not really sort of used to it, so it’s quite strange, but yeah, as I say, it’s not really a problem.

Press: Do you have plans between the two Potter films?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know really. I’m probably going to take a break because we’ve been filming this fifth one for about ten months, something like that, so it’s been pretty busy, and I definitely want to try and get something else in, something small like Driving Lessons, cause it was a really good experience and I did enjoy doing it, so I’d like to do more stuff like it.

Press: Do you guys ever complain, like tell each other that you might make other blockbuster movies that only take four months to shoot?

Rupert Grint: Now, yeah, it is pretty crazy, but I don’t know why it takes so long. I think it’s just because there are so many people involved, and the books are huge as well, and the script’s pretty big and I don’t know. But it’s I have a really good time doing it at the moment.

Press: It’s interesting how since Three (Prisoner of Azkaban), it’s had three different directors. Do you find that a challenge, or do you like that?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, I do like it. It does give it like a, makes it different. The first time it happened, sort of losing Chris was quite big, cause he was like my first ever director on my first ever film, so that was quite a big thing, but we’ve had some really good ones, Alfonso and Mike Newell, and this one’s been really good, David Yates, yeah, he’s quite sort of laid-back and much more calm. Calmer than the other ones we’ve had, so it’s been good.

Press: Do you think this film, or the themes, will appeal to some of the Christian groups that protest Harry Potter?

Rupert Grint: *laughs* Yeah, I don’t know. I suppose. I suppose, in a way, yeah, cause it does get a lot of attention, so yeah. That will be quite interesting, yeah.

Press: A lot of people think this is your first movie outside of Harry Potter. How was the acting experience different from Thunderpants?

Rupert Grint: Oh, yeah, it was completely, much different, I mean, this is a much more, my first sort of grown-up film, I suppose, and it’s a bigger part than Ron and my character in Thunderpants, so it’s been a real new experience, but it’s been fun.

Press: Has doing a movie like this made you want to continue doing movies after the Harry Potter, and do you want to keep on acting?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I do really enjoy doing them, and yeah, next year the Harry Potter film, I really want to get them done and then, yeah, do some more stuff like Driving Lessons.

Press: Did you ask for a small trailer on this film?

Rupert Grint: *laughs* Yeah, there’s a few new stuff on this one. Like, obviously cause there’s a smaller budget, there’s a few differences like that, but I’m used to having a sort of dressing room and stuff like that and being inside a studio, so that was one of the most different things. In this one we weren’t in a studio, we were just going around London. No, but it was really good fun, though.

drivinglessons2Press: Were you shooting when the terror attacks happened in London, or…

Rupert Grint: Yeah!

Press: What happened, did you have to shut down? Were you scared?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it was quite scary, the actual day it happened, we cancelled filming and didn’t go in. We filmed the next day, in like the aftermath, with all the rumours and threats, so we had to evacuate a building. But it was quite scary, yeah.

Press: Nothing happened?

Rupert Grint: No, nothing really, it was good.

Press: What was the strangest place you’ve been recognised?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know, really. I don’t know, sort of any… I don’t know. It’s mainly little ones that sort of recognise me, so at most places really. But it’s quite strange.

Press: If you compare the US and the UK, are they different?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, definitely. They’re much sort of louder and crazier here!

Press: Is that more fun?

Rupert Grint: Errr, yeah, I suppose. We went to Japan on the third one, and that was crazier as well, so it is quite fun, yeah.

Press: Did they make any interesting fan mail or presents, especially in Japan, what did they give you?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, they do, in Japan, they give you like, weird, they make like, Origami stuff, like swans, and it’s quite strange.

*sound of an airplane* *all laugh*

Press: When you were working with Laura, did she drop her accent in between takes?

Rupert Grint: Oh, yeah, she did drop it in between takes. Yeah, it’s a really great accent, yeah, I was quite impressed. It was good.

vYour parents aren’t that strict, right?

Rupert Grint: Oh, no! She was scary, yeah. No, she’s cool.

Press: Both Ron and Ben are both going through life changes, but did you take this movie because, finally, Ben at least gets a girl. I mean, was that the big draw for you?

Rupert Grint: Actually, no, I was really dreading that scene. I was nervous cause obviously, it was a tiny set, and the whole crew is watching you, and it’s a bit nerve-wracking. But, no, it was alright in the end. The worst part is watching it back with your family, that’s the embarrassing part, but it’s not too bad.

Press: What did you do to get over your nerves before that scene?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know, really. I mean, the first time was really awkward, but once we got into it, I suppose, it was alright, but, no, it was quite an awkward moment, yeah.

Press: But did you have a drink beforehand?

Rupert Grint: *laughs* No, I didn’t. Unfortunately.

Press: I like the scenes where you had to – like where you’re arguing with Evie on the road coming back, where you had to show a lot of anger. Did you have to tap into that?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know, really. I don’t know where that came from, I’m not really an angry person. I don’t know.

Press: Could you talk about, before you joined Harry Potter for the first movie, in which way you were an actor, and year after year, you awe the Harry Potter people, but this one is the same actress, but a different character. Did those experiences give you a greed for acting lessons? What did you learn through this production?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, I don’t know, really. It’s nothing really in particular, just sort of know where to go, and with the Harry Potter films, the more you do, the more you pick up, and I don’t know, I suppose we’ve got more experience down, and work with people like Julie and all of these big names, and it’s quite cool as well, which is quite good.

Press: Who would your ideal leading lady be?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know, really. I’d be – I’m not that fussy, really.

Press: Who are you more like: Ben or Ron?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know, I mean, I’ve always said that I could relate to Ron. I can’t really see much in common with Ben, a few things, like sort of the teenage side, his awkwardness with girls, I suppose I can relate to that. But I think I’m more similar to Ron, I think, yeah.

Press: Are you, Emma and Daniel, are you very close, cause you’ve kind of grown up together. Do you think that your friendship will last forever, or do you see each other in-between films, or do you just see each other on the set?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, we get on, I mean we see each other every day for most of the year, so we don’t need to see each other outside. But we get on really well, and with the other cast as well, cause we’ve known each other for like six years, so you get to know each other. Yeah, it’s a good athmosphere up there and it’s good.

Press: Emma has said that she may not continue making these movies, how weird would it be to work with a new Hermione if you get someone in?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it would be. I heard that as well, yeah. It was quite… I didn’t really… She hadn’t really talked about it. I don’t know, I mean, it would be very weird. I think she will sort of stick it out, I definitely am, and I think Dan is as well, so yeah, we’ll just have to see, really.

Press: Were you being star-struck by anyone?

Rupert Grint: Erm, yeah. I met quite a few people, especially at the premieres, there are usually quite a few good people, like Robin Williams, once, and it was really embarrassing cause my granddad kept doing Mrs. Doubtfire impressions, so yeah, that was quite embarrassing. Yeah, he was kind of humouring him, so it was alright.

drivinglessons8Press: Have you played pool since filming?

Rupert Grint: No, I don’t think I’ve ever really played it, actually.

Press: Do you write poem, or do you have any experience? Cause your character is quite a good poet.

Rupert Grint: Yeah, no, I don’t actually. I mean, I did at school a little bit, but nothing like that. But most of them were – one of them actually was Jeremy’s which he used to write when he was sort of my age, so

Press: Don’t you write some rap lyrics occasionally?

Rupert Grint: *laughs* Yeah, I did when I was, when I did the audition tape for the Harry Potter films, I sort of wrote a rap song.

Press: Who is your favourite musician now?

Rupert Grint: Erm, I’m actually not into rap, I’m more into…

Press: Well, now it’s different, so…

Rupert Grint: Yeah, but I’m into rock, lots of bands I’m into, Arctic Monkeys, people like that, really.

Press: He goes through a pretty awkward rejection, you know, with his poetry and the girl in the beginning. Can you relate to that at all, or are you kind of always the cool guy who didn’t have that kind of experience?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, well, not on that scale, it was pretty, pretty bad. No, I’ve never really seen that. But, yeah, I suppose everyone can relate to that at some point. Yeah, it’s quite a tough sort of stage.

Press: We in America we have, I mean when we hear about the UK on our news, it’s really miracles, so when you see a movie like that, it is really strange, and I mean, is that something you run into, like on a day-to-day basis or every once in a while? Or is this something that people are aware of, that there is this group like this in England?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, definitely, I mean it’s not something that you face like down here, but I don’t know. I mean, I went to a catholic primary school, I’m not religious at all, but you could sort of see it there, like characters like Laura’s character, you definitely see a few of them there, but yeah, it does, it is out there, it’s quite a real thing.

Press: What do you miss most about London when you’re away from home?

Rupert Grint: Erm. Not much, really.

Press: Not the bad weather, or the rain?

Rupert Grint: No, it’s pretty depressing over there at the moment. But yeah, I really quite like coming out to places like this.

Press: But do you have your own flat yet?

Rupert Grint: No, not yet.

Press: Are you ready to?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, I think. I don’t know, maybe in another year, I’m more at home at the moment.

Press: Do you think you’ll move here?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know.

Press: Maybe after the last Harry Potter has finished filming.

Rupert Grint: Yeah, possibly. I do like it here. It is pretty cool, but I don’t know. I think I’d miss all the people at home, yeah, that’s the… I don’t know. Have to see.

Press: Obviously you’ll have to try.

Rupert Grint: Yeah, I know, I do.

Press: If you want to, if you think about your future, do you think about a certain genre, like an action hero movie, or a drama, what would you love to be in?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know really. I’m pretty open to… I haven’t really given it that much thought, I mean, I’ve always liked sort of comedy films. I don’t know, anything really.

Press: Like romantic comedy, or Monty Python?

Rupert Grint: *laughs* I don’t know.

Press: Either one?

Rupert Grint: Yeah.

Press: Can you, or is there any kind of funny story behind the, you know, between you and Julie, cause you’re like, all the time in the car. Did you have any funny behind the story? Bumped any car… ?

Rupert Grint: I don’t know really. Errr… Well, I was, I had a kind of close call; I had to drive down this road and then park it on a sort of hill, and like five feet down the hill was this whole kind of camera crew, filming the front of the car, and in the scene, me and Julie have to get out of the car, sort of do something – I can’t remember, what – but, yeah, I drive up, and we get out of the car, and I forgot to put the handbrake on, and the car started to go down towards the crew. And that was quite a close… a close call. I had to dive in the car and put the brake on, that was quite scare.

drivinglessons13Press: But now you’ve got your licence.

Rupert Grint: Yeah, I’ve got my licence. *laughs*

Press: Did this experience help you to get the licence?

Rupert Grint: Erm. Not really.

Press: How were you driving in the movie, then, without a licence?

Rupert Grint: Er, yeah, I… I only did it on private roads, they didn’t trust me on the major roads. No, there’s loads of ways to get around it, like I had a driving double, this guy in a ginger wig, who drove around all these roads, so, yeah, that was quite strange.

Press: A lot of people when they become famous, they say it’s not just them changing, but the people around them. Have you found that with your old friend and, you know, family that you haven’t seen in three years, or…?

Rupert Grint: No, I think I’ve been lucky, I’ve got a really good family, and obviously have the same friends I’ve always had, so I haven’t really noticed that at all yet.

Press: So, obviously they’re not actors if you’ve known them for…?

Rupert Grint: No, they’re not, they’re… they’ve got proper, normal jobs.

Press: Do you have any camping experience that you can share?

Rupert Grint: Not really. I’ve done it a few times, like in the garden.

Press: Garden camping?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, in the garden, yeah, but nothing like that. I’d like to though, it could be quite fun.

Press: I remember you saying, I guess before you’d done the third movie, you’re looking forward to the dementors. Is there something in the next movie you’re looking forward to seeing now they’re doing it?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, there’s a lot of really good scenes in this one, actually. We’re just doing all the major fight scenes, with all the Death Eaters, and Voldemort comes back. And it’s a lot darker, so that should be good.

Press: They seem to get darker with every single film.

Rupert Grint: Yeah, they do. But it should be good.

Press: Is there “Ron Weasley is our king”?

Rupert Grint: No, no that was a bit… the whole Quidditch thing is, they sort of cut that, but it’s such a big book, you can’t get everything in, but yeah, that was a little bit disappointing. There’s next year, probably.

Press: I have to ask you this, but Ron’s afraid of spiders. What are you afraid of?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, the same. I’m scared of spiders. Yeah, I hate spiders.

Press: No hard acting on that?

Rupert Grint: No!

Press: What about girls? Afraid of girls?

Rupert Grint: Girls? Yeah, no. *laughs*

Press: Any idea on who’s going to die in book 7?

Rupert Grint: Yeah, it’s… there’s quite a lot of rumours going on about, but I mean, it’s alright. You can always come back as a ghost, so… it’s not too bad.

Press: So, Rupert, can you maybe sign this, it’s for my nephew Pierce. He sits and watches Harry Potter movies hour after hour after hour every day. So does this get old, people asking for your autograph and everything?

Rupert Grint: Erm. Yeah, I suppose, yeah. *everyone laughs*

Press: But you’ve a Roswell t-shirt, that’s so cool.

Rupert Grint: Errr, I can’t remember, actually. I don’t know.

Press: It’s like 30 miles from where I was born, so… He doesn’t know where it is?

Rupert Grint: No, sorry.

Press: Awww… Oh, I thought you knew it from a TV show or something.

*photo session continues*

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