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Why Rupert Grint was never the same after Harry Potter

Over the course of the Harry Potter franchise, fans watched Ron Weasley grow into a strapping young lad who won the heart of the brilliant, wild-haired muggle-next-door Hermione Granger, and who played a vital role in helping Dumbledore's Army defeat He Who Must Not Be Named once and for all. While watching Ron navigate the complex emotional maze that is coming of age in the increasingly danger-filled world of wizards and witches was one of the best parts of the Harry Potter films, the ginger-haired actor who played the young wizard on screen has had a slightly tougher time adjusting to his own post-Potter life. 

Point of fact: Rupert Grint has hardly seemed himself in the wake of the Potter franchise ending. We now have some answers as to why the former child star has struggled since leaving the hallowed halls of Hogwarts back in 2011. 

If you read the words "child star" in that last sentence, then you probably have a fair idea of what's plagued Grint's life post-Harry Potter. The track record for child stars who go on to adult success is, shall we say, not good, with many failing to find their footing as they enter adulthood.

Though Grint's Potter co-stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry himself) and Emma Watson (Ron's eventual wife Hermione) have had their ups and downs on the professional front since the franchise's swan song, they've each managed to carve out solid careers on the big screen and beyond in the years since. Like many of the other youngsters who came in among the Harry Potter cast over the years, Grint hasn't fared quite as well as Radcliffe and Watson, sticking largely to supporting roles in little-seen flicks in the immediate wake of leaving the wizard world behind. 

While Grint has rebounded a bit recently with solid turns on series like Sick Note and Snatch, he has acknowledged that the childhood fame that came with playing an iconic film character for the better par of decade did play a big role in is post-Potter struggles. In a recent interview, the actor (who was cast as Harry Potter's sidekick Ron Weasley at just 11 years old) offered a little insight into the heavy cost of his Harry Potter fame, saying, "I struggle to remember life before it. I think I lost myself a bit along the way."

That ominous comment echoes Grint's sentiments from a 2018 interview with The Guardianduring which the then 30-year-old actor stated rather bluntly that, "The line between Ron and me became thinner with each film and I think we became virtually the same person." Grint added, "There's a lot of me in Ron and moving on was a massive adjustment because it was such a constant part of my life. I don't want to liken it to coming out of prison because it wasn't a prison, but it did feel like stepping out of an institution." He went on to note that he often thought of leaving the franchise because it was such an "all consuming" experience.

These days, it's all but impossible to imagine a Potter-verse without Grint's cherubic, contorted mug in the mix — if only because there really was something just so distinctly Ron about Grint himself. Still, it's clear Grint has more than a few mixed feelings about the toll the franchise took on his life. And it sounds like Grint's struggles to adjust to life since leaving Harry and the gang behind has more to do with the actor trying to figure out who he is without Ron Weasley than anyone might've thought.

Even so, Grint appears to be making peace with all the fandom and fanaticism that monopolized his youth, and he's finally embracing what lay ahead. "I peaked pretty earlybut I'm fine with that," he told The Guardian. "It would be ridiculous to think that you can replicate that level of success. It's always going to be a challenge, but I'm kind of enjoying that. It's quite fun to surprise people."

For those who haven't yet seen Rupert Grint in the Netflix dark comedy Sick Note (opposite Nick Frost) or the small-screen adaptation of Snatch, surprises are certainly in store. With any luck, Grint will continue to find himself, and surprise us for many years to come.