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Rupert Grint Ruined An Impressive Number Of Takes On The Set Of Harry Potter

Among the many occurrences that may ruin takes during the shooting of a film or series, perhaps one of the most prevalent ones is when an actor, well, corpses in the middle of a take. 

What is a "corpse," you might ask? It means to giggle or smile during a take and fail to deliver one's lines. And even though persistent and uncontrolled laughter is a director's nightmare when trying to get a scene right, it does make for very funny bloopers at the end of the day. Apparently, on the set of "Harry Potter," there were other consequences for laughing other than just ruining the take, however. According to Tom Felton, the actor who portrayed Harry's Slytherin rival Draco Malfoy, Chris Columbus, the director behind the first two "Harry Potter" movies, had a brilliant idea to deter the cast members from laughing during takes: he would fine the actors £10 every time they would corpse during a scene.

However, Columbus' incentive worked on some actors better than others. One in particular, had a really hard time containing his laughter during filming, which earned him a considerable fine when the production for the films wrapped.

Rupert Grint was a giggler, it seems

Out of all the cast members, it is perhaps not very surprising that it was Rupert Grint, aka Ron Weasley, who had the tendency to laugh more than the others. In his memoir "Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard," which was released in October 2022, Felton wrote about how Grint was fined a whopping £2,500 in total for not being able to stop laughing during some scenes (via The Independent).

On the bright side though, it was all donated to charity.

"Any time one of us disturbed a take, we were given a red card." Felton wrote. "A red card meant you had to put £10 into a bag and, at the end of the shoot, all the money was donated to charity. It was a good plan to keep us on the straight and narrow, but it didn't always work." And indeed, it seems that Grint was the biggest victim of the dreaded red card. "[S]uch was his inability to control himself when the giggles hit," Felton recalled in his memoir. 

Thankfully, Grint earned more than enough to pay up. Years later, Grint himself admitted his tendency to giggle when he was a guest on the podcast "In the Envelope." "I'd corpse a lot." He said, "Never been able to control it." But there were older, more experienced actors who tried to impart some wisdom on how not to ruin a scene due to uncontrolled laughter. In the podcast, Grint expressed his gratitude towards the late Alan Rickman, who played the intimidating Professor Severus Snape, for his advice on how not to corpse.