On July 15, 2011, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” hit theaters, closing the book on not only a 10-year, 8-film story, but also a major chapter in the lives of the film’s stars, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. For Radcliffe and Watson, the years that immediately followed would be personally and professionally lucrative ones: from high profile Broadway roles and interesting horror fare (Radcliffe) to Brown University and critical studio hits (Watson), the duo remained permanently stuck in the spotlight.
Grint? Not so much. Outside of a few little-seen indies and a couple of stage roles — and a highly entertaining story about the purchase of an ice cream truck — Grint has largely remained out of the public eye since his “Harry Potter” days came to an end.
Until 2016, that is.
“That’s exactly what it was,” Grint, who was promoting his new film “Moonwalkers,” told MTV News over the phone when asked if the last four years have been a period of self-reflection.
Grint was cast as Ron Weasley when he was only 11-years-old, and “as much as I loved it… it was a big sacrifice,” he explained. “My whole childhood, really, was devoted to that. I always kind of felt like I was missing out on a little bit. Once I finished, I had this kind of epiphany where I just wanted to have a little bit of fun, and just live a little bit, and not worry about anything.”
However, even the least worrisome of “Hakuna Matata” phases typically come to an end, and it seems like 2016 might just be the year that Grint busts out of Hogwarts and lands in Hollywood.
“I want to get back into it, and do new things and new challenges,” he continued. “I love doing theater… that was really educational actually, being onstage. I fell in love with acting again. Now is the time.”
Grint’s first new challenge is “Moonwalkers,” a zany ’60s comedy that stars Grint as a down-on-his-luck band manager who teams up with a government thug (played by former “Sons of Anarchy” star Ron Perlman), to fake the moon landing for the C.I.A.
“I just thought it was so ridiculous,” Grint explained with a laugh. “It really at no moment takes itself seriously… I get to wear a space suit on the moon; my friend Robert Sheehan is in it. It just seemed like an easy yes.”
Next in line is a yet-untitled one-hour drama at NBC. The project — which already has a put pilot order — was developed for Grint, who will play a low-level New York office employee who gets caught up in the world of “Imperial City,” a supposedly fictional comic book series written by the character’s deceased father.
Grint is excited about the project, as he’s “always loved comics” and “used to dabble” in making his own, but he also admitted that he hasn’t “really thought about it in too much detail,” at least when it comes to potentially upending his life and moving to the states to film 22-episodes a year.
“Who knows, this might be terrible,” he said with a laugh. “We don’t know yet. I’m keeping an open mind.”
In the meantime, at least he knows he 100 percent wants to dedicate himself to acting again, with the specific goal of “playing a villain” and doing “more serious, dramatic stuff” in mind. (“A lot of people say I’m a little bit too nice, and being ginger doesn’t really give me a lot of edge.”)
This seemingly rules out a return to the world of Potter, though Grint did say that he’s excited for both “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” as both projects make him feel “proud to be a part” of “how those books have really inspired people.”
… Which, by the way, does not mean that Grint spends much time on the Internet, keeping up with what Potterheads are saying. In fact, when MTV News asked him to confirm or deny those Ronbledore theories, we had to actually explain to him what Ronbledore was. Which is that Professor Dumbledore might actually be a time-traveling Ron Weasley. FYI.
“I will read [the theories]… that’s amazing,” the actor said, seemingly incredulous. “That’s fascinating. I hadn’t heard about it. I guess [it’s possible]. There’s a theory he’s traveled back in time? That’s kind of blowing my mind a little bit.”
You and the “Harry Potter” fandom both, Grint.
“Moonwalkers” hits theaters on January 15.