LONDON (Reuters) - After a decade of juggling childhood with being a major movie star, Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint is ready to move on as shooting of the eight-film franchise finally comes to an end.
Grint, who plays red-haired Ron Weasley in the movies based on J.K. Rowling’s bestselling wizard stories, has already appeared in several smaller, independent productions while continuing to make the Potter pictures.
Filming of the final installment has just ended, 10 years after the young cast cut their acting teeth on the set of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” which came out in 2001. Its U.S. title was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
“It’s been a long time,” Grint told Reuters in an interview for his latest movie “Wild Target,” also starring Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in a remake of a 199Os French film.
“We started this last one (Harry Potter) this February and it’s been fun, it’s going to be a great way to end the series. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it, but I think I’m kind of ready to move on now,” he added.
The Harry Potter series has made household names of its three central characters — Grint, Daniel Radcliffe (who plays the boy wizard Potter) and Emma Watson (Hermione) — as well as multi-millionaires.
The six movies to date have amassed $5.4 billion at the international box office, and far more if DVD and merchandise sales are added.
The final of the seven books penned by Rowling — “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” — has been divided into two movies, the first of which is released in November and the second in July, 2011.
Grint said he was happy to play different roles other than that of Ron.
“I’m kind of just looking ahead now because Potter is coming to an end and it’s just trying to keep going really,” he said. And appearing in pictures with budgets that are tiny compared with the blockbuster Potter pictures has its own appeal.
“A much smaller budget sort of changes the whole kind of experience because every shot means a lot more,” explained Grint, 21.
“You don’t have the benefit of having a hundred takes, you have to get it right quite a lot sooner. So yeah, I quite enjoy that pressure.”
In Wild Target, middle-aged hitman Victor Maynard (Nighy) finds his professional routine upset by feelings he develops for his latest target, kooky thief Rose (Blunt).
Turning protector, he subsequently bids to stop a ruthless art dealer and rival assassin now threatening their lives with the help of a novice apprentice (Grint).
The film marks a return to British comedy for director Jonathan Lynn, who started his career with the hit television series “Yes Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister” but has since been based in Hollywood directing films like “My Cousin Vinny,” and “The Whole Nine Yards.”
Wild Target hits cinemas in Britain on June 18 with the movie also set to be released in France and the United States later this year.
Additional reporting and writing by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato