Rupert Grint makes the leap from Harry Potter’s "the boy who lived" to Sky’s "the man who fibbed" in the new comedy series, Sick Note.
It’s a big change for the actor who began his career playing Ron Weasley in the successful Harry Potter series at 13 years old. Rupert, now 29, ditches wizardry for telling great big whoppers in this six-part comedy, with Spaced star Nick Frost as incompetent doctor Iain Glennis and Miami Vice’s Don Johnson playing Daniel’s egotistical boss, Kenny West, at We Cover Insurance.
We caught up with Rupert Grint on the set of Sick Note where he revealed what brings his character to lie about having cancer. He also talks about the long-lasting legacy of playing Ron Weasley…
Tell us about Sick Note and your character Daniel Glass…
"Daniel’s life is kept together by many little white lies. He always wears a cast and keeps up the pretence of a mysterious, dodgy arm, as an excuse to get out of work or doing things around the house for his girlfriend Becca (Harlots’ Pippa Bennett-Warner). Daniel’s someone who’s lost all passion for his life. He’s happy watching Game of Thrones and playing his PlayStation!"
What changes when he sees doctor Iain Glennis (Nick Frost) instead of his usual doctor?
"He gets the worst possible news and it completely changes his life. When Dr Glennis diagnoses him with cancer Daniel’s terrified but suddenly everyone treats him better and his relationship comes back to life."
After Iain reveals it’s a misdiagnosis, why doesn’t Daniel come clean?
"Everyone’s so nice to him it makes the decision to lie a lot easier for Daniel. But he doesn’t go into it lightly. It’s a huge decision. He gets backed into a corner and he wants to back out quite a lot! The lie completely spirals out of control and goes in different directions, each worse and worse and more disturbing! There are many strange arcs and twists."
Did you have any reservations about the show?
"Yes, I was worried because cancer is not funny. It’s not an easy thing to be funny with. However, the script and characters made it kind of an easy decision. What’s really important is, Sick Note isn’t taking the mickey out of cancer. It’s more about the lies Daniel and Iain tell, and how they spiral. Cancer becomes a secondary thing. Sick Note’s dark, and I’ve a dark side to my sense of humor, but it’s also hilarious and clever.
Possibly it’s an acquired taste but I hope it comes out funny. It’s quite broad, farcical humor too."
How was it working with Don Johnson and Nick Frost?
"I loved it! The most challenging thing about the whole shoot was working with Nick because he’s hilarious and I struggle with corpsing. Don is great – he’s a complete earthquake, a force that changed the energy on set. You’d never put us three together in anything!"
You’ve worked with amazing actors in your time, who stands out?
"I’ve been so lucky. Alan Rickman quickly comes to mind. He had an amazing presence when he walked on set. There are so many incredible people I could list – Julie Walters and Ralph Fiennes, and I’ve early memories of Richard Harris. Back then I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do now. When I first started they were just nice people, now I’m older and have watched more films, I realize it was amazing."
Does Harry Potter make walking down the street difficult?
"Selfies have become an everyday thing now, it’s happened since I was a young boy so you weirdly get used to it and forget it’s actually quite a strange thing. For me it’s like being asked for directions, it just happens. I never feel famous, so I’m always uncomfortable if someone gets star-struck. But I’ve no regrets. It’s an unusual existence but not ridiculously crazy. Sometimes I can get over it by wearing a hat!"
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With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.
As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast.
After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.