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Interview: Rupert Grint Talks ‘Servant’ and Reflects Back On ‘Harry Potter’

Rupert Grint knows he will forever be connected with Ron Weasley, the Harry Potter character he played in eight films across an 10 year period… and he is completely okay with that. The actor appreciates the role, and the opportunities it has brought to his life and career. But, as discussed during my interview with him, Grint reveals that there’s much more to him than Ron Weasley. He is a husband and father, has some high-profile projects coming out soon, worked on several television series and is one of the stars of the M. Night Shyamalan supernatural thriller series Servant.

The Apple TV+ series, which is currently shooting its fourth and final season in Philadelphia, tells the story of the Turners – Sean (Tobey Kebbell) and Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose). The successful young couple are dealing with the aftermath of the tragic loss of their infant child, Jericho. It is a nightmare situation that only becomes more unsettling when the couple invites a couple of guests into their home, a lifelike baby doll being raised like a real child as a surrogate Jericho and a nanny, Leanne (Nell Tiger Free), to care for the baby. The series only grows more bizarre from there.

In its fourth season, viewers have watched Grint’s character Julian, who has had his share of substance abuse issues fight to become sober. It is some of the best work of Grint’s career. His dry comedic delivery is just the break the viewers need as they are perfectly juxtaposed against the series’ heavier and more manic moments. In addition Grint’s performance hit the right dramatic beats, especially when addressing the traumatic events of the lost child.

Courtesy of Apple TV+

Grint was very generous with his time and answers. In addition to discussing Servant at length, he also took plenty of time to reflect on his time on Harry Potter. It is a fascinating conversation that fans of the series and the actor will take a lot away from.

The conversation began with a look back at how Grint got his start with Ron Weasley. Surprisingly, it kind of began with a contest in the newspaper. “I had always had an affiliation with being a fan of the book. I actually won a look alike competition, before I got the part, in the Sunday Times. They wanted people to send him photos if you look like one of the characters. I get in the paper for that. He was always a big part of my childhood, I guess you could say. So I auditioned for it – it was kind of a big process, it was about kind of five or six rounds,” said Grint.

When the final came to give him the part, Grunt did not expect it, “I was with Emma (Watson,) we came in thinking it was another camera test. And they just told us at the office that we were, we were going to be Ron and Hermione. Then immediately, we were on this kind of whirlwind journey that just snowballed into something kind of incomprehensible. It was a real life changing moment.”

Courtesy of Apple TV+

Fast forward almost two decades to Servant, a series that instantly intrigued Grint even though he was given few details, “It was these two guys essentially arguing about a doll with no other context, you know, with everything kind of M. Night Shyamalan, kind of shrouded in mystery. I knew that it immediately kind of piqued my interest, just that he was kind of attached to it. I said at the time not really thinking I would be the right kind of fit for something like this.” He continued, “But yeah, then I got the scripts and I just immediately just loved it. I never read anything like it –  such a tragic story that had the dark humor laced through it. It was just such an interesting world and to be  all kind of in one location, that claustrophobic nature of the show is something that I think’s really interesting.” 

One thing for certain is that Julian is a character to watch. “Julian is the only one who is a devout atheist. He denies all of these kinds of supernatural things and is actually trying to find out what the hell happened. Where did this baby come from? It’s been fun to kind of see him be a bit of a sleuth as well, and try to work out what actually happened here.”

With each season Grint’s character has changed and it is tough to determine where his motives lie. “There’s always surprises and Julian is quite a volatile character. You never really know what he’s thinking, really – and do you really, really trust him? I still don’t really know where I am on that for sure,” agreed Grint. 

For much more about Rupert’s work on Servant and plenty of insight into his time on Harry Potter, watch the full video interview below.

The first three seasons of Servant are streaming exclusively on Apple TV+.

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Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Screen Radar and Awards Circuit. He has conducted celebrity and red carpet interviews with some of the industry’s biggest names. He is a graduate of RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.
Email: filmsnork@gmail.com

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