Late on a Friday afternoon, Rupert Grint finds himself in the unenviable position of grappling simultaneously with writers’ questions and a really bad head cold. Every sniffle, every clearing of the throat makes me feel bad for the guy. Then again, he’s brought this steady stream of interviews upon himself: Snatch, Crackle’s new action series—loosely based on Guy Ritchie’s film of the same name—has drummed up some buzz, and he’s the big-name star and executive producer whose involvement has undoubtedly fueled much of that interest.
This iteration of Snatch features an entirely new cast of characters—you won’t see Brad Pitt’s Mickey O’Neil take a beating in the bare-knuckle boxing ring—but the world is essentially the same. There’s still a heist, this one inspired by a real gold theft; there’s still a criminal underworld full of Cockney-accented mobsters and Hasidic diamond dealers; there’s still a feisty boxer (Billy Ayers, played by Scream Queens’ Lucien Laviscount). Most importantly, the series features the same brash editing and edgy score as the original, touchstones that fans of the film will surely be craving.
That said, Snatch has its problems: It’s sacrificed some character development for the sake of madcap, stylized shenanigans, and it doesn’t really add any new elements to what was already a cult classic. But while the show probably isn’t worth watching all the way through, its sheer kinetic energy and swagger make it ideal for, say, a pick-me-up pregame on a Thursday night. And, of course, check it out if you want to see what Grint has been up to since his Ron Weasley days. He plays the posh Charlie Cavendish, the last young man you’d ever expect to get tied up in a gold heist.
The following has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Paste: How’d you come to be involved with Snatch?
Rupert Grint: It was totally Alex’s [de Rakoff, the series creator] idea to make the TV show, reimagining it with a new vibe with a new cast, based on a gold heist. First thing, I was a huge fan of the original film. I was way too young to see it when it came out, but it’s one of those films where you always kind of… I loved it. I think it was important to really have quite a good idea of what the show was gonna do differently. It’s a challenge to kind of keep that same essence from the original movie and reinvent it now, today. It was always a little bit of pressure, I think… It was in great hands with Alex, he really knows that whole world. He knows the language of gangsters. He’s really in tune with that kind of language, [and] made something very fresh and new with the DNA of the original movie.
Paste: What attracted you to the role of Charlie in particular?
Grint: I struggled to understand who he was. It took me a while to get into his head and find out who he really was. I’ve never met anyone like him… he’s kind of an odd fit in this setting. You don’t really see people like him in that environment. So I found that kind of interesting, he’s from this aristocratic family and now he’s in this underworld.
Paste: You first meet him, he’s a real sort of mama’s boy. You wouldn’t expect him to be involved in a gold heist.
Grint: That’s what I love about him, all those surprises.
Paste: I’m sure you’re sick to death of discussing post-Potter life, but indulge me, if you would. You and Dan and Emma have been so financially secure since that ended that you can basically pick whatever projects you want. So how have you gone about that?
Grint: When I finished Potter, it was very strange moment. I’d never really considered what my life would be like. It was such a huge, consistent part of all our lives. I remember when it first finished, it was very disorienting in a way, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I never really had a plan, it just kind of ended. I questioned whether this was something that I wanted to continue, really. I’ve never really had much… We were kind of thrown into it growing up, and I loved it, but…
Paste: It was never really your choice. You were, what, 12 when you accepted the part?
Grint: I was 11 when it all started. I was a huge fan of the books and just had the best time making the movies happen. A really all-positive experience. It was kind of a recurrence, it was great fun. And in between some of the films, I was doing some small independent films, and always kind of enjoyed that, learning to see through a different set of eyes. That was great fun. So yeah, I thought about whether this was really what I wanted to do. It came with a lot of sacrifices. I had those moments. But I was excited to move on and try new things.
Paste: So then what made you decide to recommit to acting after the series?
Grint: I was in something else, I can’t remember what it was… but I missed it. I always loved acting. Being different characters. I didn’t really have a very conscious process of trying to distance myself from the fantasy worlds. It’s just really good scripts and great people, those are always the key components you look for. It’s just always been fun, playing new characters.
Paste: Who’s your favorite character you’ve played, not including Ron Weasley or Charlie Cavendish?
Grint: I’m not really sure. I’ve done quite a variety. I really enjoyed Sweets [his character in the 2013 West End production of Mojo]. That was something I really wanted to do… That was my first play.
Paste: Did you find it challenging acting in front of a live audience, especially given how well known you had become?
Grint: Yeah, I think it’s a very different process developing a character. You have the whole arc in front of you, and you kind of have to track that in a few hours, live. You kind of find a lot of things within that, you’re not breaking character, you’re constantly in it. You can feel the audience in that room, and I learnt a lot. It was terrifying, but very educational.
Paste: When you were doing that—and even now—you have to know people are tuning in or showing up to see Ron Weasley. Do you feel dogged at all by that? Is Ron still a shadow walking in your footsteps, or have you been able to dissociate yourself from that?
Grint: I’ve come to the conclusion that, yeah, it’s the nature of Potter as such a widely loved and watched thing… It’ll always be with me. I’ll always be living with that. But it doesn’t really bother me, I’m just hugely proud to be a part of it, it was a great part of my life. It’s nice now to do new things, though.
Paste: Is it nice now that Ed Sheeran has sort of taken some of that street recognition spotlight away from you?
Grint: It’s an interesting one. I think if anything, it’s kind of doubled either way. It’s fine… It’s always a strange thing to not have that. I think you do take it for granted, not blending in. I can’t remember not being recognized, it’s a strange experience. It’s not something I’ve hidden from… It’s a positive experience, but sometimes it’s nice not to have that.
Snatch premieres today on Crackle.
Zach Blumenfeld hopes Rupert Grint got to take some Sudafed after this interview. Follow Zach on Twitter.