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October 2006
An Interview with Director Jeremy Brock and Rupert Grint

An Interview with Director Jeremy Brock and Rupert Grint
By Krista Vitola

October 12, 2006

After appearing in numerous Harry Potter films and having fans worldwide, Rupert Grint is the first of the three to step out of his character and do another film for a change, “Driving Lessons”, where he’s paired his other Harrp Potter co-star Julie Walters and Laura Linney. Grint plays Ben, a young lad who spends weeks attending bible classes and having driving lessons with his mom until he meets an eccentric actress who challenges his beliefs. In speaking with blackfilm.com Rupert as well as Director Jeremy Brock talked working on the film and doing something other than Harry Potter.

After working on the big budgeted Harry Potter films, how do you adjust to working on something smaller like “Driving Lessons”?

Rupert Grint: It was quite nerve wracking going into it. It was a lot different doing Driving Lessons because we shot on location.

In casting Rupert, did you have any concerns?

Jeremy Brock: No, not at all. We had discussed when I sent him the script. He read it and we discussed what it would entail. I actually knew that he wanted the balance of shooting a film in six weeks. That generates an energy that feeds off itself.

How difficult was it to go from this back to Harry Potter movie?

RG: Well, one scene took about a week to shoot or maybe even longer, whereas with this film, we were filming 2-3 scenes a day. It’s a completely different movie.

How did the two of you get together for this film?

JB: I had seen him in all of the Harry Potter and I just thought that he’s an incredibly gifted, natural actor and I wanted that particular quality because the character then has to carry and convey feelings of inadequacies and frustrations all on his face and that’s what he’s so good at.

RG: I was actually quite scared about that because you got the whole crew watching and that was a bit scary and the Michelle Duncan, girl was really good because she’s helped us all.

What was it like working with Julie Walters outside of the Harry Potter films?

RG: It was good having someone I sort of knew because I was a bit nervous about coming in to a new filming environment because I'm used to the 'Harry Potter' way of doing things

Do you have an appetite for many independent films?

RG: Yeah, definitely.

In the film, Julie Walters’ character challenges you. Did she do that to off-screen as well?

RG: Yeah, I suppose. She would ad-lib some scenes and challenge me to do the same.

What did you like about the role?

RG: I liked that he was socially different

How was working with Laura Linney?

RG: The great thing about her is that she’s a tremendous actor. She made it comfortable when you’re in an uncomfortable situation. It felt fin with her playing my mom.

How did you feel about directing the film?

JB: I love the process of directing. I love the way it’s like 3-D writing and I found that enormous rewarding. I love the idea of writing about something that I can relate to. I wanted to write about my life in suburbia and I wanted to stick to the story about this amazing relationship I had with (Dame) Peggy Ashcroft.

Can you talk about your driving skills and how’s it going?

RG: I passed my test Saturday. It was second attempt. I’m embarrassed on the amount of time it took me to do it. I took 60 driving lessons.

How were you able to drive in the film without a license?

RG: Well, I was 16 at the time and I wasn’t allowed to because you have to be 17. We had some private roads and it was done quickly. We found a road in Scotland that was on a farm.

Where are you now with your career? Is this what you want to do for a living?

RG: I’m having a real good time doing movies. After the Harry Potter films, we’ll see what happens from then.

Do you think you will stay friends with Daniel and Emma once it’s over?

RG: I think so. We’ve been friends for six years now and have gotten to know each other quite well.

Was your real mother as religious as the character and how did that affect you once you moved out of the house?

JB: To the extent that this is a movie about friendship as well as being a movie about faith and the father articulated one particular point of view, which is the one I find more comfortable. Mom was even more angelical and evangelism has tended to be in my experience to be very constrained and that’s how I experienced it because it’s driven by what they tell you rather than what you think. The father’s son is the key in the movie for the son to make up his mind.

DRIVING LESSONS opens on October 13, 2006





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