“This one was actually okay because my relationship with Jessie was quite fun and she was really over the top and quite intense. But it was an awkward scene to do because we’d only met each other two days before. One of the first scenes we did was the kissing one.” (Rupert on Wizarduniverse.com)
upert began filming the sixth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, at Leavesden Studios on 24 September 2007.
Having missed out on Quidditch scenes in the previous installment, Rupert finally got the chance, filming Ron on a broom in both a comedic, self-conscious, and a self-confident, successful version. Prior to filming, Rupert joined the stunt team for trampoline training. Daniel Radcliffe revealed that Rupert turned out to be a natural at filming these scenes. Having been looking forward to filminig Quidditch for several years, Rupert was somewhat disappointed by the hours of sitting on a sore bum and getting a headache from staring at green screens for hours, yet considered filming these scenes as his favourites, next to burning down the Burrow. He also revealed that a “bum cast” had been made for him to sit on while filming on the broom.
After a several casting rounds, Jessie Cave beat out 7000 girls for the part of Ron’s girlfriend Lavender Brown, having to improvise a scene with Rupert in the Gryffindor Common Room with a plate of biscuits. While Rupert was present at the final auditions, he did not have a say in the casting process. It took them 10 takes to film their kissing scene in the common room, despite Dan losing all professionalism and continuously teasing Rupert that day on the set.
In March 2008, the Military Jacket Rupert had worn to the US premiere of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was given to Sense Charity and auctioned off on eBay.
When filming on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was completed on 17 May 2008, Rupert once again recorded his voice for the videogame that would be released along with the film.
“It was the first kind of real, adult role for me really so I was quite nervous about it. It did felt like a massive step, as it’s kind of away from home. We filmed it in Belfast, out of the whole comfort bubble of Harry Potter really, as I’ve known everyone there for all my life. Had to speak with a different accent, so yeah everything felt different and it took me a while to adjust to that.” (Rupert in The Independent, 22 April 2010)
With only one Harry Potter adaptation left, Rupert spent the rest of 2008 stretching his wings in two more independent films.
On 2 July, he began the five-week shoot of Cherrybomb, a story set and filmed in Belfast about two best friends competing for a girl, with Rupert playing the part of Malachy McKinney. Not only did Rupert surprise with a new look after having his eyebrows and lashes dyed and his hair styled in a quiff, but also with a story about realistic teenage problems like friendship, drugs and sex. Having spent a week rehearsing the scenes with the directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn and his co-stars Kimberley Nixon and Robert Sheehan, Rupert also spent time with dialect coach Brendan Gunn to perfect his Belfast accent, picking up more from the local crew, and eventually being able to fool local crew members into believing he came from Belfast.
While Rupert considered it difficult to spend hours in a cold pool acting out a fight with Robert Sheehan, he also faced his first “love scene” with Kimberley Nixon. Spending the time between takes doing crossword puzzles to calm their nerves, Rupert eventually named this scene as the most memorable one, and he also revealed that, when he had seen the film with his family, noone spoke a word about the scene.
While in Belfast, Rupert quickly became friends with cast and crew, going out and visiting Northern Irish sights such as Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Giant’s Causeway.
“It was just really the script. It was really funny, it’s a quite dark comedy, which is quiet cool. The cast is great. It’s just seemed like a cool thing to do.” (Rupert on Lovefilm 2010)
Having wrapped Cherrybomb in August, Rupert only had a month until he started filming Wild Target in September. A remake of the French film Cible Émouvante (1993), Rupert played Tony with a new look once more, having grown a beard for the film.
Filmed over the course of six weeks in London and on the Isle of Man, Rupert had to learn how to take apart a 9mm Glock handgun and set it back together, but also spent some time on a shooting range to train.
On 16 December 2008, Rupert and his Harry-Potter co-star Tom Felton visited Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Christmas Spectacular Party along with other celebrities to greet and play games with the young patients.
On 8 February 2009, Cherrybomb had its World Premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, being part of the Generation 14+ category, with the tickets being sold out within minutes.
Rupert attended the Premiere along with his co-stars and the directors and revealed during the promotional interviews that it was weird to watch the sex scene with his father sitting right behind him.
While Cherrybomb made its round to various other film festivals from Dublin to Belfast, over Italy to Los Angeles over the course of the year, Rupert returned to the Harry Potter set on 19 February for a 56-week shoot for the final production.
“Being in Harry Potter is like living in a bubble, and it slightly hinders your independence. […] You have got a lot of people doing stuff for you. So I guess that doesn’t help.” (Rupert in Times Online, July 2009)
In February, it was announced that Rupert had his first stylized photoshoot with BLAG Magazine, which was released on 11 March 2009. In addition to images that showed Rupert in a new light, the Magazine held a lengthy interview in which Rupert revealed his interest in surreal films and his hope to work with director Quentin Tarantino.
Following BLAG, several magazines, among them Times Online, Daily Mail, FHM and DRAMA Magazine, published more photoshoots and interviews revealing new sides of Rupert. For the first time, Rupert also spoke of the restrictions he was experiencing due to his committment to the Harry Potter franchise.
On 17 March, the First Light Film Awards took place. Along with Jamie Bamber (Law & Order) and BBC Entertainment Correspondent Lizo Mziba, Rupert had been part of the jury choosing the young winners for the category Best Horror.
In addition, Rupert, Emma Watson and Dan Radcliffe met a school class on the set of the final Harry Potter to raise money for Red Nose Day.
“I am backing this campaign wholeheartedly. I’m delighted by the huge support the film has already received on the official Facebook page and other sites on the web and am so grateful to my fans in particular, who have travelled the world to support the film at festivals and preview screenings.” (Rupert in The Independent, 5 October 2009)
In May, Rupert’s fans had become wary of the lack of distributional news regarding his film Cherrybomb. Being informed by the Sales Agency of the difficulties of finding distributors, the fans started a campaign, spreading the word about the film and collecting several thousand online signatures to show distributors that people around the world were interested in watching the film.
Shortly before the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rupert became a victim of swine flu, and needed to take a few days off from filming to convalesce. On set, he earned the nickname “Pigboy Heart Attack”.
On 5 July, he joined his fellow cast members at the World Premiere in London, braving the rain and reporters questions about his recent infection and the latest addition to his growing crowd of pets, the micro-pigs Stanley and Oscar.
In addition to his pigs, Rupert also owns two donkeys, called Shakespeare and Pandora.
Rupert also revealed that he had bough a hovercraft, which he used in the family’s garden. David Barron even got night-goggles for Rupert so he can ride on his hovercraft in the dark.
With the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series climbing into the Top Ten of the Box Office films, Rupert, Dan and Emma won the Spike TV Scream Awards as Best Ensemble, while Rupert was also nominated as Best Supporting Actor. Another nomination for Rupert was in the Newbie category of the Relly Award, on behalf of the Live with Regis and Kelly show.
In September, Rupert and his family attended a money-raising event for Keech Charity, and shortly after, Rupert joined his co-stars Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe once more in a campaign to raise money for BBC’s Children in Need.
Rupert spent the rest of the year at Leavesden, continuing the shoot of the final Harry Potter installment, which was to be split in two parts to give the series its well-deserved send-off.