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July 16, 2011

Some Career Advice for Rupert Grint aka "Harry Potter's" Ron Weasley

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Rupert grint Now that the Harry Potter films have come to an end with the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:  Part II,"--and no, I haven't seen it yet, waiting for the crowds to die down--I have some career advice for Rupert Grint who played the adorable, red-haired, Ron Weasley in the films.

Because Rupert has a unique challenge, post-Potter if he wants to continue acting. 

Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry will do very nicely for himself.  He's already been critically acclaimed in a Broadway production of "Equus," and he's currently showing off his inner hoofer in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

Emma Watson, will also do well because she's already taken steps forward by chopping off Hermione's long curly locks, and showing off a chic, youthful, sophisticated, non-Hermione-like Emma on red carpets around the world.

Those images of the new Emma are helping distance her from her Potter-Hermione image.  She's also going to college and seems to be testing the acting waters slowly.  Smart girl

But Rupert's the one who's going to have it tough, because while Daniel can play off his star status and Emma can use smarts, sex appeal and a makeover to have casting directors give her a fresh look, Rupert wasn't the start and still looks very similar to the way he did 10 years ago when the films started: floppy red-hair, crooked, mischievous grin, but now without the cuteness of a child.

That's often deadly in Hollywood.

So if he wants to continue with an acting career, and I'm assuming he does, here's what I'm advising him to do:

  1. Hire the best stylist he can afford and come up with a look that's manly and attractive but has a roguish quality.  Think an adult Leonardo DiCaprio.
  2. Look for films with ensemble casts and begin building up an adult resume of roles that are strong supporting ones, in which he can steal a scene or two.
  3. Look into new plays being developed for the West End.  I don't know that he can sell as many tickets as Daniel can when it comes to theatre, but if he picks the right play, he could impress the critics.
  4. DO NOT take any starring roles in blockbuster films about wizards, sci-fi monsters, time travel or aliens.  If they flop, he'll get blamed and be branded as someone who can't carry any kind of movie.
  5. Think about taking a break.  Once again, I'll use Leonardo DiCaprio as an example.  Post-"Titanic," Leo had a terrible time because of the massive success of the movie and because he was so identified with the role of Jack Dawson.  It wasn't until a few years later, when he lost that cute, older adolescent face, and re-emerged as a man that he was able to match his considerable acting skills to some excellent, quality roles.

Rupert's already completed a war movie, "Comrade," and he's scheduled to play Eddie the Eagle, England's first Olympic ski jumper, in an upcoming film.  If those films are good and well received that will help.  But if they're not, Rupert will have to work even harder to break free of post-Potter expectations. 

I like Rupert Grint and I think he can grow into a reliable, capable actor.  But what I would hate would be five years from now, some casting director seeing his head shot and saying, "Oh yeah, Rupert Grint--he was the kid in the Harry Potter movies.  Outgrew the cuteness.  What's he done lately?"

Image Courtesy Warner Bros

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