The Harry Potter film franchise has proved to be one of the most successful movie series of all time.
As we all know, it started with the books, the first of which was published in 1997. These books provided children of all ages (along with their adult fans) with a weird and wonderful fantasy world. Yes, the entire franchise allowed pretty much anyone to escape from the real world into a fictional one.
By the time the film adaptation of the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or, Harry Potter and the Sourcerer’s Stone in the US), came out in 2001, there was no doubt that it would smash the box office. Over the next decade, another seven movies were released and the success continued to grow.
Watch Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in one of their first TV interviews, a staggering 17 years ago:
The three main stars of the movies, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were catapulted into the spotlight from a very young age, and it seemed they had very promising careers ahead of them.
But it’s now been seven years (can you believe it?!) since the last film came out.
And it has been apparent that while Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson managed to cultivate successful film careers outside of Harry Potter, the same cannot be said of the man who once played a young red-headed wizard and underdog.
Yes, the latter two are still very much in the public eye, but how much have we heard from Rupert Grint in the years after the series ended? Well, pretty much nothing.
The thing is, the now 29-year-old actor was never drawn to the sort of lifestyle which those in Hollywood boasted.
Rather than make extravagant purchases, he continued to live a much more modest existence and even admitted to owning only a single pair of shoes.
He also has no interest in getting his hands on expensive and lavish cars – well, aside from his famous ice cream truck.
Yes, while his very academic co-star, Emma Watson, spent some of her millions getting an Ivy-league education, Rupert spent some of his dough on an ice cream truck.
And as it turns out, he has quite a lot to say about his famous ice cream truck.
“My first ambition was to become an ice-cream man, which is why I bought the Bedford van,” he explained. “Not long after I first got it, I pulled into a pub to do a U-turn and there were eight kids with their pocket money out, hoping to buy a 99 or whatever. But I had nothing to give them. I’ve learnedt my lesson since then.”
“I keep my van well stocked. It’s got a proper machine that dispenses Mr Whippy ice cream and I buy my lollies wholesale – 50 for a tenner – so I never run short. I’m not allowed to sell my merchandise. I’d need a license for that.”
“I tend to avoid July and August, but the rest of the year I’ll drive around the local villages and if I see some kids looking like they’re in need of ice creams, I’ll pull over and dish them out for free. They’ll say, ‘Ain’t you Ron Weasley?’ And I’ll say, ‘It’s strange, I get asked that a lot.’”
“The van often comes in useful. I drove it up to the set on the last day of filming on Harry Potter. The cast and crew were having a barbecue and I supplied the lollies and ice creams.”
Then, in 2011, Grint became a modest hotelier, opening Rigsy’s Guest House in Hereford, England.
However, instead of drawing in legions of guests, the boutique hotel turned out to be a money pit, and Grint shut it down four years later, having reportedly made only £2000 profit (about $2834) – an understandbale disappointment.
Rupert has also refrained from promoting himself and his projects on social media and has often talked about his lack of interest in signing up to Twitter. With pretty much every big star reaching out to their fans on their very own verified Twitter pages, this hasn’t done him or his career any favors.
The former Harry Potter actor has also emphasized that we will not be seeing him taking up residence in Hollywood any time soon, or ever.
While he has several properties in England, he simply has no desire to move to the states.
Okay, so his lifestyle hasn’t exactly been the picture of Hollywood fame but what about his actual film career? Well, unfortunately, that wasn’t looking too bright either.
Rupert appeared in a number of small indie movies, such as Driving Lessons (2006), which received mixed reviews at best, and Cherrybomb (2009), which struggled to secure a distributor and was pretty much ignored by critics.
Then, in 2010, Grint would have been better off if critics chose not to watch his remake of Wild Target, as according to Rotten Tomatoes, the move is an “ineptly staged farce that dishonors the original film and squanders the comedic potential of its fine actors.” Ouch.
Overall, it seems Rupert had no real desire to remain in the spotlight and thus further his career in the industry. There were even rumors going around that he had considered quitting acting for good!
“We had such an intimate and intense few years in this bubble,” Grint told Entertainment Weekly in 2017. “When I started, [acting] was never something that I aspired to do … I fell in love with it while I was doing it. But I definitely did think, ‘Is this really what I want to do?’ I wanted to live a little bit.” He added, “I felt like I’d missed out on a lot … It was nice to just be away from it and not have any kind of commitments at all, and just be a bit free.”
But we haven’t lost all hope yet, as 2017 saw him on the road to recovering his acting career.
He managed to score to major TV roles on shows like Snatch and Sick Note, and both have been renewed for second seasons this year.
Grint has had more success starring in the Harry Potter franchise than most actors get in a lifetime. Sure, he may never have won an Oscar or been able to follow it up with anything critically acclaimed, but the star made plenty of money.
Worth a reported $51 million, Grint has enough money to last him several lifetimes, and I don’t know about you, but if I had that much money and a successful body of work under my belt all under the age of 30, then I’d probably just retire and enjoy life to the full.
Who knows what else Grint has in store for his fans? I’ll guess we’ll just watch this space…