This fall, Rupert Grint is moving from Hogwarts to the Great White Way. The Harry Potter favorite will make his Broadway debut in It’s Only a Play, a revamped revival of Terrence McNally’s 1986 off-Broadway comedy. Grint will play Frank Finger, the angsty young director of a play by a nervous playwright (played by Matthew Broderick) who is worried his new project will make or break his career. But Grint and Broderick aren’t the only heavy hitters in this new mounting—the comedy also stars Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham and newcomer Micah Stock. Broadway.com caught up with Grint to chat about the Yankees, wizards, and of course, musicals.
You’re in a cast with Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and all of these hilarious Broadway pros. Is that intimidating?
It’s really intimidating, yeah. Just to keep up with them has become my main objective. They’re just so funny and they’re so experienced. They really know what they’re doing. It’s amazing to me to watch that. I’ve learned so much just being in the room with them.
Who cracks you up the most in rehearsal?
Oh, Nathan is quite a force. He's hilarious, and Murray as well. I'm just so lucky to be surrounded by these people.
Tell me about this guy you’re playing, Frank Finger.
It’s a type of character that I’ve never had the chance to play before—he’s someone very complicated and deeply troubled. That’s really what attracted me to him. The play is amazing, it's so funny and such an interesting insight into the theater world from behind the scenes.
You starred in Mojo in the West End. Did you pick up any tips you want to remember for this time?
That was different because it was my first ever taste of theater in any form, really. Before that it was just school plays and pantomimes, so it was a big learning experience. [Mojo and It's Only a Play] are very different shows. But I find keeping the concentration quite hard, just being in character for so long. I’m used to dipping in and out. On a film set you’re in character just for a few seconds, then you walk away. So with this, you have to be in the moment for the whole two hours, so it’s hard, but it’s great fun.
Is this your first time living in New York?
Yes, and I love New York. I've only ever been here for like two weeks at a time, so I never really got to know the place, but I'm loving it. It’s such a great place. I went to a Yankee game the other day.
Were you rooting for the home team?
Did they win?
No, they didn’t, they lost quite heavily. [Laughs.] But yeah, it’s great. We’re quite busy rehearsing, but it’s great to be here.
Can you sing at all? Would you ever want to do a musical?
Hmm, I don’t think I could do that. I released a song recently, I did an animation [Postman Pat: The Movie] and it’s on an album now, so I can kind of sing, but not like that. That’s on a totally different level. I just saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch and that was amazing. I couldn’t do a musical, but it looks fun!
The Harry Potter wizards are all getting on the Broadway train—you, Daniel Radcliffe, and now Tom Felton wants to. Why do you think that is?
New York just feels like the place to be. I’ve seen some amazing shows here, and there’s such an incredible energy to the city. It’s so exciting, even just walking down the streets. The West End is great as well, I love that, but New York City a really special place.
See Grint in It’s Only a Play beginning August 28 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.