It doesn’t seem like Ron Weasley and Charlie Cavendish-Scott have much in common beyond Rupert Grint, the actor who plays both characters. But according to Grint, it was playing Harry Potter‘s best pal character through most of his childhood that helped to convince him to take on the role of Cavendish-Scott in Crackle’s Snatch reboot. When Nerdist sat down with the Hogwarts alum to discuss the online streaming site’s adaptation of Guy Ritchie’s cult classic film, Grint discussed how playing the same character for an extended amount of time helped shape the creative choices he’s made in his adult life. In fact, he called those eight movies “the perfect training” for Snatch.
“With TV, this long format where you can develop a character throughout 10 episodes, [that’s] something I’m quite comfortable doing,” Grint said. “That’s what I did with Harry Potter, yeah? I played one character for eight movies. You carve out an arc that way and develop the character. You don’t get many opportunities to do that in film. With film, you can only go so far, really, with the characters. With TV, you have so much freedom to take it wherever you want. You can explore different avenues. I think it’s a great medium that I wanted to get into.”
Seated across from Nerdist in a hotel ballroom as waiters cleared dishes around him, Grint raised his voice a little as he recalled getting cast in the Harry Potter movies back when he was only 11. He called the hire a “fluke,” albeit one that changed his life forever.
“I came into it very young and I never really saw this as my kind of life,” he said. “But it was an education, really. It was almost 15 years on that same set and we all grew up in a very adult environment at such a young age. We had an amazing older cast who were more like mentors, really. Not directly, but they definitely rubbed off on you. It was really important for me. Honestly it was kind of like college. It did feel like a school. I’m really grateful to be a part of it.”
Sixteen years after that fateful film casting, Grint is making the switch to TV as he stars in and executive produces Snatch. Based loosel y on the 2000 film and inspired in part by a real life heist in London, the 10-episode series centers on a group of 20-something up-and-coming hustlers who stumble upon a truck load of stolen gold bullion and are suddenly thrust into the high-stakes world of organized crime. They must quickly learn to navigate the treacherous waters of London’s underworld as they face rogue cops, gypsy fighters, international mobsters, and local villains.
“What we’ve done with Snatch that’s different from the original is create this whole new world,” Grint said. “It’s called Snatch but really it’s just the world and the essence and it gave us the opportunity to flesh out the characters more and give them each their own kind of journey. Snatch the movie was hilarious. I loved the original movie. It was a dark comedy. And my character, Charlie, is just ridiculous. He’s got a drink problem which messes up a lot of the scams. He f**ks it up all the time.”
That dysfunction was what excited Grint most about the part. “I love Charlie,” he said. “He’s quite an unusual creature. You don’t see many people like him and I’ve never played anyone like him. He’s from this old, aristocratic family, but he has no money. His family wasted it all and he lives in a derelict mansion, but he still has that pride and dresses as if he has that wealth. His mum and dad are bohemian hippies who have sex parties. He’s very disconnected from his family.”
He paused to think, then continued, “And that permeates through all of Snatch. There are these young people who feel disconnected from their roots. They all have family issues. They find that connection with each other instead. Charlie is trying to find his place and he feels a bit lost. He constantly tries to justify himself with the group of Lost Boys. And when we get the gold, we get so out of our depth and we don’t know what to do. The gold actually becomes a character on its own.”
What Grint didn’t expect from the role was not knowing how it would all end when he first started filming. “The challenge came from not knowing the end game,” he said. “Everything we were doing, we were doing in the moment because [executive producer] Alex [De Rakoff] was writing it as we were going in real time. It was quite hard to plot out your arc and where it was going. There’s a love triangle coming with Charlie and Albert [Luke Pasqualino] that changes the dynamic a lot between them and I didn’t see that coming.”
Grint knows that fans of the original Snatch are going to be watching with a critical eye. “There is a kind of pressure that comes with that because it’s such an iconic, cult classic movie,” he said. “I know a lot of people are going to be expecting it to be a certain way. It has the heart and soul of Snatch, the quick cut editing, the punchy dialogue. It’s all there. But it’s a present day reimagining of that universe, which is quite heightened. Not quite reality but it kind of sits somewhere in the middle. It’s been a challenge to get that right, the tone.”
Currently, Snatch has only filmed one 10-episode season that, according to Grint, leaves the door open for a potential season two. “I can’t really give away too much but there are endless possibilities in where it can go past the first season,” he said. “It’s left open enough where it can go anywhere.”
While filming a TV series was a new experience for Grint, he decided to add the role of executive producer to his résumé as well. He said, “I’ve never done anything like this before so it’s interesting. I’m not making any kind of major decisions but I’m exploring a different side of the industry. It’s different, but I’ve tried to mainly focus on the character. It’s more a bit of a backseat [as an executive producer] but it’s given me an interesting perspective. I’d say I’m almost an informal [EP]. I’m really grateful for it. I learned to just have a lot of faith in the script, really. I think that’s what I enjoyed most about this is learning that. It’s just been a great experience. I’m having a lot of fun.”
He paused, then added with a laugh, “And since I’ve never done TV, it’s been a lot of learning for me.”
Have you checked out Snatch on Crackle? Let us know what you think.
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