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Look out for more coverage of
Driving Lessons in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Driving Lessons

THE STARS:
Julie Walters • Rupert Grint • Laura Linney
DIRECTOR: Jeremy Brock

Rupert Grint and Julie Walters THE CONCEPT:
Ben Marshall (Grint) a shy teenage boy trying to escape from his domineering mother (Linney) takes a job as an assistant to an eccentric retired actress, Evie Walton (Walters)

U.S. RELEASE: October 13 2006, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

Was it interesting to do another movie with Julia Walters, who plays your mother in Harry Potter?
GRINT:

“Obviously they’re completely different characters. It was actually really good having Julia there, because I knew her before in the Harry Potter films, especially because we were only filming for six weeks, it was good to have someone there I knew. She was really easy to get on with, so she’s cool.”

Was it strange seeing her in such a different role?
GRINT:

“Yeah, it was, especially with all the swearing, some of it was quite shocking. She’s very funny and she’s really cool.”

What was it about this movie that made you want to choose it as one of your detours from the Harry Potter series?
GRINT:

“I wasn’t really looking out for anything, I was doing the fourth Harry Potter film and it came up after that, and I really liked the script, it was something different. I love being Ron, but it’s good to do something different.”

You were only 16 when you shot this, but now you’re 18 – do you have your driving license?
GRINT:

“Yeah, I just passed last week. I was really nervous doing my test. I failed the first one, but I passed my second attempt. It was quite scary.”

What did you fail on your first one?
GRINT:

“I was doing a three-point-turn, and I didn’t look over my shoulder or something stupid like that.”

What kind of car did you get?
GRINT:

“I’ve got a little Mini Cooper."

Weren’t you shooting Driving Lessons when the terror attacks happened in London? Were you scared?
GRINT:

“Yeah, it was quite scary. On the actual day it happened we cancelled filming and didn’t go in, and then we filmed throughout the next day and it was all about the aftermath, and there were a few rumors and threats, and we had to evacuate a building.”

Both Ron (in Harry Potter) and Ben are going through life changes, but did you take this movie because Ben at least gets a girl?
GRINT:

“Actually no, I was really dreading that [love] scene, I was really nervous, because you’re in a tiny set and the whole crew is watching you, and it is a bit nerve-wracking. The worst part is watching it back with your family, that’s the embarrassing part.”

Who’s more like the real you, Ben or Ron?
GRINT:

“I’ve always felt like I could relate to Ron. I can’t really see much in common with Ben. I suppose I have his teenage side, his awkwardness around girls, I can relate to that. I’m most definitely more Ron I think.”

Are you worried who’s going to die in the seventh Harry Potter book?
GRINT:

“Yeah, there are a lot of rumors going ‘round, but I don’t know, I wouldn’t mind, it’s alright, because you can always come back as a ghost so it’s not too bad.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Driving Lessons site
Images above © Sony Pictures Classics
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #676, November 2006 cover

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