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Illustration: Rob Kelly

The Hot Seat: Rupert Grint

Harry Potter's ginger sidekick speaks softly but carries a big wand.


Having played second fiddle to Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter films for all of these years, Rupert Grint (who portrays Ron Weasley) finally seems to be coming into his own. In the franchise's sixth installment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ron gets to be a Quidditch star, continues his awkward teen romance with Hermione (Emma Watson) and otherwise has a pretty nice time doing magic and stuff. As the series winds down (the final book is still being filmed), we spoke to Grint from the U.K. about his Hogwarts legacy.

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Still filming the last Potter?
Yeah, we're nearly halfway there. We're sort of filming in the forest at the moment. It's going really well. It's a lot to include, because it's two films. We're doing part one and part two. I'm enjoying it.

Excited to be just plain old Rupe again, as opposed to Ron Weasley?
Yeah, I mean, I think it's going to be quite weird when it's all over, because it has been such a massive part of my life. I think I'll miss it, in a way, but I am looking forward to freedom, really, when it's all over.

What will you do to celebrate?
I don't know, really. I haven't thought about it too much, but I'm expecting Warner Bros. might have some kind of celebration. It's gonna be good.

Oh really? I pictured all of you Hogwarts grads smoking cigars and setting money on fire.
[Laughs] Yeah.

Getting any good souvenirs from the set?
I got a few things over the years. I have a tie. The Gryffindor tie. I've never really been given anything, but maybe at the end of this one we'll get to keep a wand or something.

I guess all the best swag is CGI.
Oh, yeah, yeah. But there's some really good props. But they don't really like giving stuff away, because there's been a few cases where people have stolen stuff and sold it on eBay. They don't really like that.

Hagrid's beard?
That could be quite good. Yeah. I don't know what I'd do with it.

That'd be awesome, though, walking around like you were Moses.
Well, it's kind of made for Robbie [Coltrane]'s face; unless you have that size head, it really wouldn't look right.

How much do you want for it?
[Laughs nervously] Really? I don't know, those beards are worth a lot, because they're real hair and all handmade and stuff. So I expect they're quite a lot.

You know, you could slay women here with your accent and soft-spoken ways.
Yeah, you say that, but people tend to think I'm Australian over there. But I guess the English accent is quite popular there as well.

Australian or no, you're Rolling Stone's hottest sidekick. You could rule this city!
Well, we'll be going there in a couple of weeks, in July, for the Half-Blood Prince promotional tour.

Would you rather be the hero or the sidekick, generally speaking?
I've always liked the character of Ron. He was my favorite when I was reading the books. I've always felt a kind of connection to him, because I've found certain similarities between us. Just little things, like us both being ginger, and I have a few brothers and sisters as well. I thought he was funny in the books as well. So, yeah, it doesn't bother me.

What's the best way to duck a mob of screaming young girls?
I don't know, really. It doesn't happen much here. It's mainly when we're in America when they're much more crazy and forward. Mainly it's just people staring. It took me a while to adjust to that, because it is sort of a strange experience, being known when you go out.

There's an online quiz that sorts you into Harry Potter houses, and my brother's friend—a big, burly dude—became distraught after he was put in Hufflepuff. Didn't come out of his room all weekend. Overreaction?
No way! [Laughs] That really affected him? That is so weird. I probably wouldn't mind.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens Wed 15.

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