Rupert Grint at the Premiere of “Driving Lessons”

Jul 29, 2007

Posted by John Admin
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Rupert Grint at the premiere of “Driving Lessons” at the TriBeCa Film Festival

By TLC reader Hope

OK, I just got back from the Premiere of “Driving Lessons” at Tribeca. Wow. The film really was amazing. I won’t give a full review because I am exhausted and it is late. All I can say is that the entire cast was wonderful. There were so many hilarious moments- Rupert’s expressions were totally priceless! Yet, I would not call this a comedy, because as a coming of age story, there is just as much angst. Julie Walters needs to get a nomination out of this. Laura Linney was, as always, wonderful, but this really was Rupert and Julie’s film. You guys just need to see this movie whenever it gets released. Rupert played the Ben brilliantly. He played the character so naturally that the intense, emotional moments were so jarringly unexpected and all the better for it. Also, his humor is more subtle in this film because he is playing the straight man to Julie Walter’s eccentric Evie. Part of me expected to see elements of Ron Weasley in his performance, but this truly was a distinct performance. I sincerely doubt that after this film people would doubt that Rupert is a talented actor. His development of the character is really amazing and we finally get the chance to see Rupert play such a wide range of emotions. I believe that even non-Rupert fans will see him in a whole new light. This role really showcases his natural talent and proves that there is more to Rupert than playing the comic relief. When he first came on screen, there was one hell of an almighty roar.

My only real issue with the film was that there were several moments where people laughed, but I was pretty sure were not meant to be funny. That may have been because of the audience, though, and not the film itself. Everyone was just so excited to be there that I think that they automatically laughed. Hmm…once I see it again, I will be able to see for sure.

I finagled my self into a front row seat. Ha! I’m just that good! I was originally put in the balcony because they began seating those of us at the front of the line up there. I was annoyed when I saw teenage fangirls con their way downstairs to the $185 VIP seats, so I tried to change seats, as well. After speaking to three different people, my two friends and I were in business! I saw a single seat available in the front row and snatched it. Everyone seemed to be there for Rupert; almost ALL of the questions from the audience were for him. Every time he stood back from the podium, he had to go right back to answer the next question! I think that there were only three for the director and Laura Linney (who was also there) total. The very first question asked was if a girl could have a hug from Rupert! LOL. He laughed and agreed and then was not quite sure what to do, so someone told him to go the edge of the stage and the girl met him there. The moderator then said that this would be the only request for a hug and there were MANY sighs. I did got a pic with him, but I look awful, so I don’t think I will let you guys see that one! He was so nice about autographs and pictures, even though there was a throng of people waiting for him and the producers were trying to rush him off. He was still there when I left. I wanted to ask him a couple of questions about OotP, but there really was no chance; the fangirls were crushing me and I feared for my life.

Here are a few things that were asked:

Audience Question: Do you relate to Ben (Rupert’s character)?

Rupert: In some ways I do- (laughs) the crap dancing!

Audience Question: How was your first on-screen kiss?

Rupert (totally blushing): Fifteen takes, that took! (Audience laughter) The girl was really helpful – I’ll stop there. (More audience laughs).

Jeremy Brock (writer, director) said that Rupert is also like Ben, because he is intensely modest. Brock also said that he chose Rupert to play Ben (a character based on himself) because having seen Rupert in the Harry Potter movies, he thought that Rupert was extremely talented and under-used. Brock said that it took real talent for Rupert to play a character who bears witness to the events of his own life throughout the first half of the film and becomes someone who learns to express himself. He said that Rupert far exceeded him expectations.

Laura Linney said that she and Rupert were constantly cracking up during the filming and that there most be tons of unusable footage!

Rupert was also asked if he would like to do any other independent films, and Rupert said that he would and enjoys doing different things. He also said that he couldn’t say whether he enjoyed filming “Driving Lessons” or the HP films more because they are so different, especially because “Driving Lessons” was shot in about 6 weeks, whereas each HP movie takes nearly a year.

All in all, it was a great experience. You all must see the film once it is released or on DVD if you cannot see it the theaters. Rupert, as always, was modest, but he was pretty darn funny and answered the questions well. I think this was the most comfortable and open I have seen him when answering questions. If anyone has questions about the movie or screening, feel free to ask.





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