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Rupert Grint: A Ginger Hero

If anyone were to ask me what my favorite feature about myself is, I would say my hair. No, it’s not because it is a particular length, nor has great volume or whatever. The reason why I love my hair so much is that it’s ginger. I consider myself a very proud Irish girl, and even more, a very proud ginger person. I have all the standard features Donnaassociated with being ginger. I have red hair, pale skin, freckles, bright eyes, and unfortunately, a terrible relationship with the sun. So, I guess a question is: why would I have to be proud of it? Many different people have many different hair colors, so why aren’t they all standing tall and declaring themselves proud? Well, I think the reason for that is because out of all the hair colors, ginger hair is unique and the most different, and as the saying goes, people usually hate and fear what is different.

I deem myself pretty lucky. I grew up with great parents and fantastic friends. I did well in school and tried my best to stay out of trouble. However, trouble always seemed to find me. I moved around a lot because my parent’s job kept us on the road, so I went to many different schools. I didn’t mind it at all, I loved it in fact. Except for one thing. While some of the kids were nice to the “new girl”, I mostly got the piss taken out of me and for all the reasons people could have chosen. It was for my hair. I was teased, bullied, and beaten up just because I am a ginger.

People say words can’t hurt. That is a lie. Words do hurt. Being called a “vampire”, “fire crotch”, “zombie”, “the un-dead”, “freak” or “ugly” repeatedly hurts a lot. Being asked if I should even be allowed out during the day, or if my freckles really are everywhere was too much for me to take, especially at such a young age. What was worse is that I got beat on. Girls liked to corner me, pull on my hair and hit me. Boys liked to spit on me and asked perverted questions about my hair and my freckles. I know not all gingers have it rough, but I guess in this case, I was one of the unlucky ones. It did such major damage to my self-esteem. I hated myself. I never wanted to go to school. I gave into what people said about me. I thought I was a freak and a monster. I thought I was hideous and I never wanted to look into the mirror. I could not tell my family. They have always taught me to be strong. Being Irish is hard enough and my family is used to hearing bad things, but adding on being a ginger, and it’s worse. I am an only child and neither of my parents have red hair, so, that was another reason for my hatred of myself. I wondered why I had to be ginger. I wondered why I couldn’t have blonde or brunette hair like them. It was terrible.

So, by the time I was about twelve I was pretty depressed with no way out. Sure, I could dye my hair but I couldn’t change my skin color or remove my freckles. I felt trapped in a body that I knew would be rejected for as long as I lived. Then it happened. I was watching the telly one afternoon and I saw it. It was a preview of some sort to “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. I had never read the books, but of course, I heard of them. I just never had any interest in them. However, I watched the preview and saw the most amazing thing. One of the main heroes, Ron Weasley, was ginger. In fact, his entire family was ginger. Instantly I was intrigued. Gingers are never really seen as heroes. The girls are either highly sexual or dangerous; and the blokes are usually nerds or too afraid and timid to save the day. However, Ron Weasley was a hero. He was strong, brave, funny, and completely attractive. Therefore, I was suddenly interested. I saw the movie when it hit theaters just to see him in action and I was in love. It had nothing to do with the plot, the special effects, or even the acting. I fell in love with Rupert Grint.

I loved seeing him be humorous, brave, confident, a bit sarcastic, and other things that I have never seen from such a young ginger on screen. In fact, I had never seen it at all. That’s why the previews to the movie drew me in. There was a whole bloody family of gingers kicking arse, and that was aharrypotter5pic74(2) wake-up call for me. For the first time, I saw a ginger hero. I saw one in the flesh. We don’t get too many of our own in such a major role, so there was no way I could stop. Therefore, automatically Rupert drew me in because of his hair and I instantly became a fan of his. After the first one, I knew I had to watch them all as soon as they came out, and I’m glad I did. The movies are great, Rupert is wicked as Ron, and represents us gingers perfectly in his role.

I felt an instant connection to Rupert when I’d watch him on screen, and I still do. I watched his interviews, read things he had to say, and did as much as I could to get to know him. There is this confidence about him that I really love and I can tell that he’s proud of what he is. It was strange to me. There I was, scared to go to school where I could be attacked; but Rupert Grint was out in the public eye. Millions of people could see him and make judgments, but it didn’t seem to bother him. In fact, sometimes he likes to draw attention to the fact that he’s a ginger. That takes a lot of courage!

As I watched Rupert more and more, I found a few things in myself. I was so happy and proud that he was a ginger. I felt so lucky that Rupert was one of our kind; and in being proud of him, I found pride in myself. It’s not easy. We live in a world of South Park episodes, terrible Halloween and Christmas cards, websites, and jokes made just for gingers. I don’t, and will never understand it. It’s just a hair color and pale skin; but apparently, it makes you something evil and it makes people want to make fun of you.

Over the years, I fell deeper and deeper in love with him and now it’s more than a feeling. I know I have a deep connection to him and I haven’t even met him. He is more than an actor or a celebrity to me. He is a hero. He is a role model and an example of what real gingers are like. I see so much of his personality in me and in my mates; it’s very easy to look up to him for strength and courage. In his interview on Rove in 2009, Rupert was asked if he thought he was a role model for ginger people. He said, “Yeah, I think I represent the ginger people.” He’s certainly correct! He has no idea what he does for the ginger community. He’s gaining so much attention and is used a lot now for famous ginger people. Every time I see an article using Rupert as one of the famous gingers, I just feel my heart melt a bit. He is so our Ginger Hero. He’s the ideal example that gingers are not freaks and we’re not the living dead. We are real people. We have lives and feelings just like everyone else. We can be successful, popular, and kind. We can be attractive, funny, and outgoing but more importantly, gingers can be shy, quiet, and display manners. Not every ginger is either a nerd or a bad arse. Rupert Grint breaks so many stereotypes for ginger people and more importantly, ginger males. One of my male cousins is a ginger, and he always uses Rupert as his example of what ginger men should be like. He looks up to him as a male role model and he respects him so much. Rupert has no idea that behind him is a ginger army of supporters.

Rupert is marvelous. The way he carries himself is inspiring. So many of my ginger friends and family members brag about having Rupert as our hero. He really is a star and a beacon of light for us. Rupert’s fan base is also inspiring. I think it is wonderful that all his fans just love him, his hair and porcelain skin. It’s great that so many people from so many different backgrounds all agree that he is beautiful. It’s touching and makes us ginger people feel even stronger. It can be hard feeling attractive when you have such pale skin, freckles, and really piercing eyes; but the fact that all his fans find those qualities so appealing about him gives me and the ginger community hope.

grint-cherrybombOver the years, my love and respect for him has grown to a level that I can’t even describe. I saw “Cherrybomb” in Dublin and it is one of my favorite movies of all time! Because of not only the plot, the location, and the acting, but Rupert was once again in control. He was smart, sexy, confident, and a ladies’ man as Malachy. He was all of these things while still being a ginger. I love that he didn’t dye his hair for the role. I love that he is always a ginger. Some celebrities are quick to dye their hair or want to cover it up, but I do not think Rupert is, or will be like that. It really lifts my spirits and gives me strength even on the worst of days. So many times I think, “Well, Rupert does it. I have no reason not to.”

However, it’s not always so easy. It’s really terrible feeling like you’ll never be loved or accepted. It can be lonely and terrifying as well. It’s so important that all gingers find something in themselves to love and hold on to. It’s also important, I think, to have a role model. Rupert Grint, and even Bonnie Wright, are great examples. Their Ron and Ginny Weasley characters are the epitome of strength and love. Watching them and watching Rupert, on and off the screen, has helped me love life and myself again. It’s a blessing really. When someone asks who my hero is, I proudly say Rupert Grint.

Now, I could not care less what people have to say about me. I am stronger and much prouder of myself. I love myself and what I look like. It’s easy for me to be proud of my skin, freckles, eyes, and my hair. Ten years ago, I would never have the stomach to say, “I’m ginger and I’m proud of it!”. But now, it’s like second nature for me, and it’s something I do often. I hate what has happened to me, but in a way, I’m thankful for it. My experiences have helped me to keep an open mind; because I know what it is like to be hated against for stupid things. I know what it’s like to be ridiculed for something out of one’s control. I feel a greater connection to people and I always try my hardest to be fair and kind. I could never do to others what has been done to me. If I hadn’t gone through it, I don’t think I could say that as confidently as I can now.

londonRupert Grint is the main reason why I’m not afraid to go out and live and why I’ve been able to find some humor about bring ginger. Rupert is such a beautiful man. He has a light and a spirit behind him that is immeasurable. He is so kind, smart, brave and absolutely gorgeous. Rupert is my hero and I love him so much. The days that I feel down thinking about my past, and the days where I hear about something awful being said or done to a ginger, I think about Rupert. It lifts my head a bit higher and I’m able to get through it. I know he gets through it, and I know I can too. He takes everything that happens to him, good and bad, and is able to learn from it and keep that amazing smile on his face. It’s not easy for him at times. I know that, but he does not let it stop him. His confidence and courage bleeds out of him, and touches me and other gingers, who need him as our guidance. It’s such a powerful feeling and makes me so emotional and full of hope.

There are so many examples I could give about Rupert saying or doing something amazing in regards to him being ginger, but I picked this one because it’s recent and because it brought me automatically to tears. It’s a prime example of Rupert being one wonderful ginger! On the “Half Blood Prince” DVD, Tom Felton asked the question about what the stars would change most about the world. There were many great answers like war and poverty, but Rupert’s of course, really touched my heart and hit home. He simply replied with, “Everyone to be ginger would be good. A ginger world, that would be cool.” It melted my heart. I cried. It was unexpected, but completely expected coming from him. It’s comments like that that make me love Rupert a little more each day, and make me love myself more as well. It’s the way he said it, and the smile on his face, that makes him a true leader and a fantastic role model. I know he’s not just proving everyone wrong for himself. He’s proving people wrong for me and for all the other gingers who are cast aside because of minor details.

I give Rupert Grint so much credit for what he does, and I love him so much. Every day that I wake up and I’m able to look in the mirror and like what I see, I thank him. It’s because of him that I’m a proud ginger. It’s because of his courage that I have courage and strength to stand up for myself and others like me. If it weren’t for Rupert Grint, I don’t know where I’d be emotionally. He’s done more than entertain me. Rupert has reshaped my life just by leading with his confidence and pride.

Thank you Rupert Grint for being my muse and my Ginger Hero!

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Best Of 2009-Staff Questionnaire(Anna)

Question 1:  Best new quote

“I’ve sat in screenings with audiences who’ve watch what Rupert can do, and he obviously connects with them really brilliantly. That’s the comfort zone the audience had with him. It’s Rupert; he’ll be funny, and appealing. But, he can do really serious, straight stuff. And we’re seeing stuff Rupert do in the Hallows part 1 and Hallows part 2 which is really grown up and dark. You watch and, oh God, it’s really powerful.” David Yates

Anna:   He has been so much underestimate by certain people that it’s just soooo good to read this kind of stuff by somebody as David.

Question 2:  Best new fact

Anna:  Well as I am new in the fandom every fact is new for me! lol Aaaaahhh! I know!!!! Inside swimming pool, How cool is that!!?!?

Question 3:  Best Photoshoot

Anna: Photshoot from The Times. Why?  No need a tone of make up, hours with a hair dresser, fancy clothes. Unshaved, messy hair with his own clothes and a really nice photoshoot.

Question 4:  Best appearence/event outing

Anna:  Halloween Party!  Why? Because most of people think is the poor shy guy.   I think a few have been a bit in shock!

Question 5:  Best interview

Anna:  The Blag Interview,  because it was not an interview as the others. It was him, he was true, not that he isn’t during other interviews;  but most of the time it’s always the same question about the same movies. It was a change.

Question 6:  Best candid shot of Rupert

Anna:  The V festival. That horse hat to get rid of the fans was a splendid idea! So Rupert!

Question 7:  Best movie promo still

Anna:  Wild Target….Tony….Gun….Fierce….Naked and Wet. Mama mia!!!!! And all CB stills.

Question 8:  Best Half-Blood Prince scene

Anna:  The whole love potion scene. I bet everybody answers that too. “I’m in love with her!!” Ahahah, pure comedy acting skills!

Question 9:  Best picture from a premiere

Anna:  HBP UK premiere.  There is so much respect in his look for Maggie, a bit protective too I think.  After all, she has been through with her cancer. Something special, with two special people in a special moment.  Perfect!

Question 10:  Movie Role you’re dying to see right now!

Anna:  If you are talking about a role he already played, I will say Malachy McKinney!! Otherwise don’t care.   I am not dying to see him play a certain role, as much he is happy with his choices; and as much as not a role like in a movie like “Amercian Pie, Scary Movies“. Please please please Rupert don’t do that, never!!

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Rupert And Me

I have to admit that my devotion for Mr. Rupert Grint could be defined as2i88ark fanatic. I’d even go as far to say that it can be obsessive at times. But really, what isn’t considered obsessive these days? I don’t know what I mean by that question. Neither do I intend on providing a rational answer to it.

The first time I saw Rupert Grint as separate from Ron Weasley, the character thousands of Harry Potter fans know him as, I fell in love. I mean I don’t know a lot about a lot but I know this: I freaking love me some Rupert Grint!

He’s ridiculously talented. Aside from the Potter films he’s played the leading role in “Driving Lessons” and the much talked about indie film “Cherrybomb”. He has a quiet nature that transforms and molds into whatever character he is portraying. His acting never feels inauthentic, it fully delves into the awkwardness of moments, the joys of friendship and the sadness of loneliness. 

Rupert is funny, quirky, cool and utterly sexy. And the more I learn about him the deeper I fall into Grintastic bliss. The fact that he owns an ice cream van, gives away his clothes for charity, signs hundreds of autographs, smiles while taking pictures with fans in the rain, and has a rad ass Mini Cooper (like myself) is more than enough reasons to love the guy.

Photo: courtesy of Sarah J. Edwards for Blag magazine

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All Hallow’s Eve

Heed my warning, one and all37461_harry-potter-pumkin-stencil
All Hallow’s Eve has come to call
Lock  your doors and windows tight
Lest  you get visited from Creatures of The Night
Owls hooting in distant trees
Witches, Vampires and Ghosts, if you please
Every year, on October thirty-one
Everyone dresses up to have some fun
Now eat your candy and don’t be obscene
just remember, stay safe this
HALLOWEEN!

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Rupert

Relentless in your pursuit of Ronhorsehead
Undeniable talent
Perfect comedic timing
Eccentric extraordinairre
Redheaded role model
Thoroughly delicious
Gorgeous to the Nth degree
Rare diamond
Inner strength
Nicest person ever
The absolute best

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Editorial: The Evolution of Rupert Grint

normal_tomstockill_7Stop any Rupert Grint fan in the street, or online, and we’ll be more than happy to tell any clueless stranger the myriad of reasons why we love Rupes so much. Ranging from his ability to climb inside of a character and completely own it, to his humble, kind personality, to his wonderfully quirky sense of humor, to the breathtakingly gingery eyelashes, we’ll most certainly sing his praises.

However, we all remember the interviews conducted in the past, and back then Rupert was hardly an easy guy to interview. Rupert could hardly have been called “articulate”; often resorting to his now infamous verbal ticks, such as “uhh”, “err”, and everyone’s favorite and often imitated, “dunno really,” and more than once, sticking with very generic answers for a lot of questions. He was also known to get rather fidgety, constantly touching his face, rubbing his thighs and knees, playing with his hair, and almost constantly shifting in his seat. He wasn’t the most talkative or candid guy either, which seemed to irritate some “journalists” who had just interviewed Dan or Emma, and who sometimes made snide remarks about how “inarticulate” Rupert was in their articles. However, as fans, we all knew better that there was so much more to Rupert than all of his verbal hiccups and his deceptively generic question-answering. However, it’s been proven time and time again, that when Rupert had a good interview, or a good interviewer more likely, he and the interview were simply golden.

As in the “Moviefone” interview he did with director, Jeremy Brock, for the promotion of “Driving Lessons” at the Tribeca film festival.

Rupert seemed a little more anxious and self conscious than usual, which was to be expected and forgiven, as this was his first break out role as a leading man in a film that had nothing to do with Harry Potter. Rupert was quite flushed during the entire interview, and his verbal ticks and fidgeting were obviously in high gear the whole time. I would like to point out now, that when Rupert did have something important to say, he had a tendency to dive in with an answer rather quickly, with very little thought, which caused him to become tongue-tied and maybe not say exactly what he wanted. But I digress. Putting all of this aside, this is one of the “golden” interviews that I simply adore. Any thoughts of Rupert not being candid were delightfully laid to rest in this interview. When asked what three of his favorite things about movies were, Rupert had answers that revealed an incredibly thoughtful, sensitive person. One of my favorite was when he said that he wasn’t the most confident upfront person, hence he loved the fact that he can use a character to hide behind, and get to be someone else.

But as the years have gone on, we have witnessed Rupert become a little more confident, a little more sure of himself. It had become ubundantly clear that he had reached a personal milestone when he was promoting “Cherrybomb” at the Berlinale film festival this year. An interview in particular was the Spiegel TV interview he did with co-star, Kimberley Nixon.

While this had no brilliant revelations in it, Rupert presented himself in a way that made me realize how much he has changed and matured. His fiddling, while still present, was noticeably less. He seemed to gain control of his nervous hands by interlacing his fingers; in addition to that, he was also using his hands more demonstratively when he spoke. Overall, he seemed more relaxed, and quieter. But in a way that was helpful to him, he still had the verbal ticks, but these were fewer and far between than in the past. He seemed more comfortable with pausing before he spoke, and was able to articulate what he wanted to say. But this was just a small taste of what was to come at us in the months to follow.

If any Rupert fan had been waiting for the best, most candid interview in printed media, they certainly got what was a long to coming. One of them was in the form of BLAG magazine. A massive pictorial spread, complete with a six-page interview, that made every Rupert fan finally get a glimpse of who he really was as a person, how candid he could get, and a Rupert that was a bit bolder in what he said. Revealing how weird his sense of humor is, how he’d love to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie, and how he’d be happy to get offered interesting, diverse roles in his career.

normal_article-1195468-0536d0e0000005dc-362_306x423Whatever glass roof Rupert was operating under, was gloriously torn asunder during the promotion of “Half-Blood Prince.” The more interviews he gave, Rupert got that much better at controlling his nervousness, his verbal ticks, and obviously, got better at expressing himself. While I love watching all the videoed interviews, a majority of the “golden” interviews are in printed form. One of my favorites is the Daily Mail interview, in which he makes the most rock and roll statement of all time:

From here on, I don’t want to play it safe. I need to take on roles that are as far away from Harry Potter as it’s possible to get. If I’m to continue as an actor, I need to play characters that are nothing like me at all.

A man addressing his future, with his fist in the air, ready to take on the world. A far cry from the nervous, fidgety guy who was more often times than not, misunderstood or judged because he wasn’t able to articulate himself very well.

This year has been a revelation for Rupert, and for his fandom. Evolution comes in small steps, takes years, and a lot of mistakes need to be made in order to get to the goal. We are witnessing the evolution, the era, the realization of the true Rupert Grint. A boy who couldn’t quite get the words right, but who now speaks boldy and honestly, and yet he is still the same humble, kind-hearted, quirky, talented, driven guy who can really surprise you sometimes. This is the real Rupert that we’ve all been waiting for years to see, and it’s finally arrived. I can’t help but think that in years to come, Rupert, and being his fan, will only get better and better.

Photo credits: Ian Derry for Mail Online, Tom Stockill for Times Online
Video credits: MSN Moviefone, Spiegel TV (the clip uses footage from the film Cherrybomb, courtesy of Generator Entertainment and The Little Film Company)

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Why I Do It? (The Ramblings of a Rupert Grint Fan)

gentleman_featured11

Rupert Grint attends the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

You know, when subject of Rupert Grint is brought up, I can become rather animated. My eyes widen, my pulse quickens, my speech becomes rapid, and my hands move with the passion of a concert conductor. I start listing all of his movies (especially the non-Harry Potter ones), and begin stating my case as to why I know that he has the talent to sustain a career post-Potter. And when I’ve completed my verbal dissertation, ending with the statement “Rupert MUST act!” I get the same response, “So, what are you, a stalker or something?” To which I jokingly reply, “Oh no, stalkers go to prison, and I’m not prison built!” Granted, telling someone that I have on a Ron shirt under my regular shirt doesn’t help my case.

But then sometimes I do have to honestly ask myself, “why do I do it?” What is the purpose of me investing so much of my time, energy and quite honestly, MONEY, into someone, or some entity that I know as nothing more than a public persona? You must understand, I do have a “life” and list of muggle places to be and muggle stuff to do (that will at times take a back burner when some juicy news comes in), but there are just some things about being a fan of Rupert Grint and being a fan of Rupert Grint “fandom” that I enjoy.

First of all, Rupert Grint himself! He just seems like the nicest person in the world, and you just want to support him. After seeing him for the first time at the Tribeca film festival for the Driving Lessons premiere, I was hooked. My mission was to see this guy act far beyond Harry Potter and prove the naysayers wrong!

Secondly, the fans. Through this fandom, I’ve been to places and have encountered people that I would have never had the privilege to meet otherwise. When you meet another Rupert Grint fan, there is an instant connection. You feel like you’ve known this person forever! Over the years, there are some people that I’ve made real friendships with, and who I’ve been able to discuss anything outside of Rupert Grint and Harry Potter fandom.

Last but not least, the fandom itself. I love being a Rupert Grint fan and discussing the fandom with others. I enjoy making others happy by helping to bring news of Rupert and his promotions to the fans that may not be able to get there. Also, the feedback I get from others make me happy. In addition, through being a part of this fandom and general Harry Potter fandom, I’ve been able to expand my general computer skills, my communication skills and awaken my inner amateur journalist.

So, the question is, why do I do it? Well I suppose I have to answer that with, why the bloody hell not?

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August is Happiness Happens Month

Rupert Grint, happy. Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

Rupert Grint, happy. Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

Rupert’s birthday is not the only thing worth celebrating during the month of August. In 2000, the Secret Society of Happy People dubbed the month of August as Happiness Happens Month. Originally declared on August 9, 1999 as Admit You’re Happy day, and later renamed as Happiness Happens Day, this month long celebration encourages people around the world to do just that, be happy. As many of you know, Rupert stated in the Vol. 3 No. 1 issue of Blag Magazine that he “can‘t even recall the last time he felt angry.” Can you say the same?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, happiness is, “a state of well-being and contentment ; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.” There are many benefits to being happy, however, one of the best benefits may be better health. Studies have shown that happier people tend to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol . Cortisol can be helpful in terms of helping the heart maintain a steady beat during stressful situations and helping people deal with intense pain; however, too much or prolonged levels of cortisol in the body can lead to high blood pressure and even a heart attack (and it gives you a big belly).

Therefore, it’s better to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” There are many ways that you can think your way to happier thoughts, such as, hanging around positive people, maintaining a journal of things for which you are thankful and finding out what you can do to make someone else happy.

What are some things that you do to “Be Happy?” Share in our comments.
And check out how your country ranks up in terms of overall happiness in the World Happiness Database.

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The Trio And Me

Alysha’s Life Story

My life has never been easy. In fact, the very thought of easiness is still a mystery to me. I’m an orphan. I don’t know my parents, where they are, what they look like, or if they are even alive. I have no close or distant relatives that I know about either. According to the hospital I was found in, all I had on me was a tag with my first and last name on it and my birthday. All I know about my past is that I’m from New Zealand.

When I was five I got shipped off to England where I would spend the next 13 years of my life. I was in and out of foster care and orphanages.  It was hard. I was lonely. I didn’t have friends or anyone to talk to. I tried to cope with keeping quiet and keeping my head down. However, with nothing really to do or anyone to talk to I mostly stayed in my bed and thought about random things.

It was 1997. I was eleven and at a home when my entire life changed. One day a delivery van came with a large order of books. All the kids got to pick out one book out of this huge box. There were loads of different types like puzzle books, art, coloring, animals, everything. Well, this one caught my eye:

pottercvrFor some reason the image just struck me. I went to my bed and started reading. And I fell in love immediately. I was eleven. I was all by myself trying to survive. The teachers and staff always wanted to gloss over our situation and stayed optimistic. But in Harry Potter J.K. Rowling told it like it was.

I was engrossed in the book. I didn’t bother to go outside anymore. At night I’d stay up in the bathroom and read. It was amazing.

I instantly bonded with Harry Potter. His parents were killed when he just a baby. He had to stay with his terrible relatives. He was treated like dirt. No one had any stories to tell him about his parents or other family members. All he knew was that he had a scar on his forehead due to the car crash which had destroyed his family. He stayed in a cupboard under the stairs and spent most of his time lying there thinking about nothing and everything.

I understood perfectly. I knew exactly what Harry was going through and for the first time in all my life I felt connected to someone else. It helped that he was described as having dark hair, being small and scrawny and underfeed. That basically fit me as well, lol.

I related to him so deeply and as I read I could easily put myself in his place. What Harry saw I could see so clearly and what he felt burned in my heart.

Ron Weasley easily became my sunshine. He had me laughing from the very beginning. I loved how brave and honest and kind he was. I never had a friend like that. As I would read I pictured his freckly face smiling at me and reassuring that things would be okay. It helped me a lot. I also loved how he was from such a big, vibrant, and loving family. Family is something I never knew and still don’t fully understand. I don’t know if I have any brothers or sisters and he was with six. It was gnarly. I fantasized about my parents being like Molly and Arthur. I couldn’t imagine how lucky all the Weasley kids must have felt.

Hermione Granger was the girl I inspired to be like. I never considered myself very smart or bold like her, but she made me want to be a stronger and more determined girl. I considered myself tough but not strong. I loved the girl power and how she kept up and surpassed the boys without a hint of superiority.

The Trio became my family. They were fierce friends and loved each other. Ron and Harry’s friendship moved me from the day one. They instantly connected like they were just meant to be friends. It made me think that everything happened for a reason and maybe my situation would better me somehow.

I thought about this as related to Harry: if Harry’s parents didn’t die, they would have seen him off at the train station and probably would have gotten him there early. They would have found him a comfortable seat with other kids possibly.

If this would have happened, he probably never would have run into Ron. Harry wouldn’t have been famous so there would have been no reason for anyone to point him out. This made me feel better for Harry. All these terrible things happened to him so he could find his friends and moreover, Ronald Bilius Weasley, a person who would quickly become Harry’s light source and soul mate.

So, I read it in a few days. Then I read it again and again and again. When I was taken into foster care awhile later, I took the book with me. It was the only possession I had. I wasn’t supposed to take the book, but I didn’t care. I was twelve at the time. The family I was staying with had children and they actually had books one and two. I was in heaven. I snuck into the boy’s room and read Chamber of Secrets. It was incredible. I loved how the story developed and how The Trio was a unit and even more how Ron and Harry were so funny and close in it.

I didn’t stay at the foster home long. I got shipped back to the home. I cried. I wanted the book. One of the heads at the home noticed how much I loved HP. She promised to get me the books and no matter where I was shipped off to, she’d send me the next one. I had to work for them though. I had to clean, cook, cut grass, and all the things Harry had to do at home.

So, by the time the first movie was in production you could say I was the hardest of hardcore fan. I’m not kidding when I say Harry Potter saved my life. Some people have family, music, friends, art; anything that keeps them grounded and keeps them hanging on even in the darkest of moments. I had Harry Potter. Reading about his adventures and his friendship with Ron turned even my strongest frown into a smile. Harry Potter was my entire existence. I could simply escape all the horrors and pain of the life around me and follow him and his friends into Hogwarts.

alysha2Anyway, I was not excited for the movie. I know how Hollywood just LOVES to glam up books. They love to cut dialog, add things for shock value, dumb down characters so they’re relatable and my favorite, sex up things.

People all around me talked about the movie and how they wanted to see it. I didn’t. I stayed away from it. I was 15 when it premiered. I saw the trailer on TV. I was staying at a foster home at the time. While it looked appealing I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. By the time the first movie came out books 1-4 were out, and I was engrossed by Goblet of Fire. It’s my favorite book. I loved how Harry and Ron’s friendship was tested and how Harry finally had his encounter with Voldemort and his parents. I also loved how there was character death. It made it more real for me.

So, over the years, I kept seeing trailers for the movies. I saw Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson grow up. I thought Rupert just got hotter and hotter but still, I couldn’t watch the movies. Harry Potter meant the world to me and I couldn’t risk watching the movies demolish the story. It would have broken my heart.

So, by 2004 I was 18 and I had books 1-5. I was finally out of the care system and I moved back to New Zealand. I kept the old books that I earned through the years but I bought fresh ones to keep in storage. I was madly in love with the books but I still never went to see the movies, although they were everywhere! The toys, games, websites, clothes, and posters… but none of this captured me. People talked about the movies: some said how they loved them and others how highly disappointing the movies had been. I was happy that I didn’t watch them. I didn’t want any of the HP magic that I saw in my head be ruined by the images of the movies.

So, it wasn’t until 2007 and I was 21 that I saw the movies. By that time movies 1-5 were out. I was in Hertfordshire with friends and, by chance, I met Rupert and his father at a restaurant. Rupert was very lovely and kind to me. Though I hadn’t seen him act in the HP series, I had seen him in Driving Lessons and Thunderpants. I was a fan of his and had seen interviews and everything else of him. I always read good reviews of him playing Ron Weasley so that was a huge plus, and his charm, kindness, sexiness, and just overall personality drew me in. I figured if he was that incredible in person, then his portrayal of Ron had to be major.

When I got back home to New Zealand I bought all the DVDs and watched the movies in one day.

Okay, first, I’m so happy I didn’t watch as they came out. I was right. In my opinion the movies are watered down. So many lines have been moved and changed, the physical appearances of some of the characters are way off, but what gets me is that the “Magic” isn’t really there. Yes, there is actual magic but for me the big CG images and the green screen and all the animation overshadow the actual story.

Harry Potter is about a young wizard, trying to figure out who he is, where his destiny lies and how he’s supposed to be the savior of the wizarding world when he doesn’t fully understand the task. That kind of magic is lost. The spectacular has overthrown the meaning. The actual story and the raw emotions of the characters aren’t as highlighted and important as they should be. If a person who has never read the books watches the movies, I doubt he or she would have any real idea what is going on besides the obvious. So many things have been skipped around and completed taken away or added.

alysha1However, from an entertainment point of view, they movies are good. They’re funny, there are great visual effects, and the chemistry of Rupert, Dan, and Emma is marvelous.

Rupert is amazing as Ron. It doesn’t matter that he’s not as tall or skinny or freckly. He has Ron’s charm and humor and blind impulsiveness down packed. Rupert is the reason I have given the movies the time of day and he’s one of the main reasons I’ve stuck with it. Book!Ron and Movie!Ron are pretty much the same when it comes to humor and impulsiveness, but Movie!Ron doesn’t have the passionate determination and loyalty that Book!Ron has. In books, he’s more than just the bloke who has the one liners — but sometimes on screen that has been his only role. However, Movie!Ron is so much sexier than my Book!Ron is, lol.

I like Dan Radcliffe as Harry. Harry has a dry kind of emo-ness to him that I believe Dan pulls off well. Sometimes he has this look on his face that is so Book!Harry. It’s almost as if he’s under the stairs again, thinking about nothing and everything at the same time. I look like that sometimes too. However, Book!Harry has so much more humor and attitude that they don’t let Movie!Harry have. It’s sad. Harry Potter is so witty, and I wish they’d let Dan work with it more.

I don’t like Movie!Hermione that much. She’s too Hollywood. I’m sure Emma Watson does her best, but still. As a movie character Hermione is great but, in my opinion, she does not reflect Book!Hermione.

So, what did I think of the movies?

Philosopher’s Stone: It was better than I thought it would be. I loved the look of Harry. He was just how I saw him in my head. I loved how they tried to keep the movie canon. Obviously a lot of things were changed, but it wasn’t anything major. I loved the relationship between Harry and Hagrid. It was very much as it was in the book and the animosity between Ron and Hermione was great too. The scene at the end with Quirrell and Voldemort was well done: I loved how it looked and how it was filmed. Rupert lived up to his good reviews. I knew already that he was a great actor but seeing him portray Ron was a breath of fresh air. The book was magical and the movie reflected that magic. Thumbs up!

alysha5Chamber of Secrets: it was another good one. It was very true to the book and Rupert and Dan were flawless together. The animation like the Mandrakes and spiders, and all the flying car scenes were even better than how I imagined. Rupert really became Ron in this one. He was Best Mate and Big Brother and he belching slugs was superb! Five stars for this movie.

alysha4Prisoner of Azkaban: I was very disappointed. Hermione was no longer Hermione. While the look of the film was how I imagined, very dark and sort of mysterious, the storyline was butchered. There were so many things changed. Everything from the Firebolt to the quidditch matches and all the hilarious fighting over the Cat and Rat were gone. Even the big scene with Sirius and Lupin was not as emotional as it was in the book. The only thing that stood out and that I liked was when Ron was being taken by The Grim. How Rupert played that gave me chills. I also really loved Harry and his Patronus and the time turner scene was really funny. So, besides those saving graces, the movie was a huge let down.

alysha3Goblet of Fire: This is my favorite book so I was extremely nervous watching it. I loved the maze sequence and the black lake. The final battle with Harry and Voldemort was breathtaking. Dan did a great job bringing out Harry in these scenes. The Yule Ball scene was very funny and Rupert and Emma did that very well, and it helps that Rupert was extremely buff in this movie, lol. However, generally it was another let down. What I loved about the book so much was that Harry finally realized what Ron and Hermione meant to him. Harry not speaking to Ron killed him. I loved how empty he was without him. It also showed how much he relied on Hermione and how determined she was. She helped him with the summoning spells and stuck by him. None of this was seen the movie. So much friendship was cut and replaced with cheesy comedy. So, it didn’t live up the book as I hoped it would.

Order of the Phoenix: loved it!! We saw a bit of actual friendship and Trio love and the characters just seemed to grow and click. Now, there are some things I didn’t like. Harry going back in time and seeing his father was a huge let down. It was several pages long in the book and was so amazing and detailed, but in the movie reduced to 15 seconds. I didn’t like how there was no quidditch and how characters like Angelina, the twins, Ginny, Dean, and Cho were lost completely. I also didn’t like how Prefects were never talked about. I was excited to see the friction between Ron and Harry. That aside, the movie was great. Luna was perfect. The DA scenes were really neat and I loved Voldemort possessing Harry and him using Ron and Hermione to get through it with the flashback moment. I loved Harry talking to Ron and Hermione about the kiss. Rupert, Dan, and Emma never had more chemistry. I loved how for the first time I believed they were all friends. In the movies it’s so easy to get caught up in the glamour. People forget that these three teens are best friends and need each other. For the first time I saw Harry, Ron, and Hermione as friends and as somewhat regular kids. The special effects were spot on: I loved how the dementors looked and the big battle at the end with Dumbledore and Voldemort was spectacular and epic. Of course my favorite scene was when Harry had a nightmare and he shot out of bed and Ron was there watching him with this look of deep concern on his face. The Best Mates friendship was alive and well in this movie.

So overall, comparing book and movie, books win hands down. There’s the magic and story there. The movies are okay. They are not as terrible I thought, but they aren’t as great as they could be. They’re good entertainment and I really enjoy watching Rupert and Dan act together.

For someone like me who is diehard Harry Potter and has been from the beginning, the movies disappoint me when it comes to keeping canon. However they fulfilled my expectations in the sense that they were a lot better that I originally anticipated. With all the magic it’s easy to get a bit cheesy and over the top; but I think the style is very realistic, and yet enough to make you believe it’s another world. However, they let me down in the sense of the characters just being how they are on the surface. We lose the idea of the Trio being teens trying to survive and how much they all need each other. Not all the acting is spectacular but some of the younger cast members like Rupert Grint and Evanna Lynch give the movie light.

I can’t emphasise enough how happy I am that I waited and how much Rupert has impressed me. He is a main component to the movie franchise’s success, and I can’t wait to see more of him in the future.

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Once Upon A Ginger

Or: how Carolyn cheated on Colin Farrell!

The start of my Harry Potter fandom is a bit blurry. I honestly don’t remember ever hearing about the books. Which is odd because I love to read. Maybe I just didn’t pay proper attention. I don’t even remember how I heard about the first film coming out. All I can guess is that it looked interesting when I saw the trailer. I love English movies. I love Fantasy movies. I love movies you can escape into. So Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone looked like something I would be interested in. It looked very gothic, and with witchcraft as its main theme, I knew I wanted to see it. Anything otherwordly and I’m hooked.

carolyn3I was instantly taken in by the little red haired boy. He was the cutest thing I’d ever seen in my life. He was so animated and funny and talented. I was instantly a fan. But I only thought about him whenever the new Potter movie was out. I didn’t pay much attention to anything about the movies in between them. I just made sure I taped them when they aired on TV so I could have them as part of my vast collection.

It wasn’t until the fourth movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire came out that Cupid’s bow nailed me right between the eyes. I was attracted to Rupert Grint. carolyn1 I mean, I’ve always thought he was an adorable boy, but now I was just enamored with him. The Goblet Of Fire era had me sitting up and taking notice. I would watch the movies over and over again, only keeping my eyes on Rupert. I still didn’t take my fanship any further than that, though. It didn’t really occur to me to hunt down anything about Rupert. My online activities from 2003-2008 were devoted to another actor, Colin Farrell.

Around 2007 though, during the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix promotions, is when I started taping various shows or coverage of Harry Potter that featured Rupert. I would also make sure to keep those tapes close by so that I could watch them whenever I chose.

It wasn’t until mid-2008 that I got into the online fandom. It was like something shifted in me. I tried to fight it for awhile. I would look at all the scrapbooks and collages that I collected and the thousands of pictures of various people, places and things that I had and thought, “Maybe I should start adding Rupert to these.” Now is when I started arguing with myself in my head. “No, it’s too much trouble.”, “I can’t start hunting for pictures of him now. It’s too overwhelming.”, “Are you sure you want to get involved in all this? What about Colin?” I felt like a cheating spouse! But then I just dived right in and never looked back. Sorry Colin!

carolyn2I started hunting around for sites I could join and pictures I could save. Then there were all the online videos that I had never seen before. I thought, “Where have I been all this time???” After coming to terms with the fact that, YES! I am crazy attracted to Rupert Grint and I have to stop fighting it and wearing out my Goblet Of Fire tape and just “come out”, so to speak, everything just opened up for me. I came across a delightful forum called Ice Cream Man and that’s all she wrote. My first night on the forum, a bunch of us got into a discussion about how angelic Rupert looks and someone got a hold of pictures of various Angels, one that was Rupert’s twin! Our own little Botticelli Angel. I was so excited to have discovered this place and found I didn’t need any other sites.

Since joining Ice Cream Man in October of 2008, I have been happily drowning in that Ginger god Rupert Grint. I’m also happy to say I have almost completed my third reading of all the Harry Potter books, which are amazing. I’m glad I started reading them later because now I picture the movie actors when I read the books. And for me, there is no other “Ron Weasley” than Rupert Grint. He captures and envelops that character like he does all the other characters he’s played and will play. Amazing actor that he is, I know Rupert will be around for a long time to come. With good looks, talent and the sweetest heart, how could he not be?

And that is my story of becoming a Rupert Grint fan. Something I am very proud to call myself.

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The magic of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

To many people Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets is a boring book. Friends of mine say it’s just another “intro” book and not a lot happens in it. From what I’ve seen, when people list their favorite Harry Potter books, Chamber of Secrets is usually at the bottom. This is something I don’t understand. This is NOT the case for me! It is my favorite book in the series. In fact, it’s my favorite book of all time!

janine6I read it when I was ten and it’s the reason I became such a huge fan of the series. J.K. Rowling has said herself in interviews that Chamber of Secrets is amongst her favorites! I also think its neat how the book is dedicated to her best friend Sean Harris, who Ron Weasley was based off of. JKRowling has even revealed on her official website that Sean owned the original turquoise and white Ford Anglia, the very type of car the Weasleys own in the book.

Even from the very beginning the book was exciting. The first line of the first page gave a huge foreshadowing of its theme: “Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Private Drive.”

I knew from then on that things were only going to get worse for Harry Potter.

There’s something so raw about how Harry interacted with his relatives and for the first time we got to see what his life was really like. Yes, in the first book there was a lot of description, but in this one we got to see the actual cruelty. It was interesting for me to read it as a ten-year-old. I come from such a big and loving family — much like the Weasleys — so though I couldn’t really understand Harry’s position I sympathized with him greatly.

Harry had changed since Sorcerer’s Stone. He was a bit tougher and more assured of himself. He snapped back when he could and dealt with things like yard work on a hot summer’s day only to be rewarded with bread and cheese. He had a bit more wit and more drive to prove himself.

Dobby was introduced in this book. I loved his character instantly. I loved how he spoke in third person and was so timid yet stubborn. He added a bit of mystery because no one knew of his real motives.

Of course, the gold of the book is Ron Weasley. From the moment Harry spotted the car parked by his window in midair I was in love. Harry was in trouble and Ron was there to rescue him.

Ron grew so much in this book. I knew from book one that he was brave, kind, funny and true but he stepped it up in Chamber of Secrets. He took less crap from Draco Malfoy. He was kinder to Hermione Granger and he was the best friend Harry needed. Ron’s humor, bravery, and loyalty in Chamber of Secrets reminded me of my best friend who is equally loyal and a bit impulsive like Ron. His character made it very easy for me to relate to the book. He was more than just a friend in this one though. We got to see him as a big brother to Ginny Weasley. Their brother/sister relationship is something I’ve always been jealous of. I’m not nearly as close to my brother as I would have liked to be.

I also enjoyed how the Weasley family was brought in. In the first book we got an introduction, but in Chamber of Secrets we really got to know them. We saw how the siblings interacted with each other and their parents and how Harry interacted with them as well.

I could easily identify with the Weasley family. I’m the youngest of seven. I have five older sisters and an older brother. The way the Weasleys interacted with each other was something I saw often in my own home.

I love this book so much largely because it is so Weasleycentric and Ron is just about everywhere! Never again in my opinion does he have such a huge role and an impact until the last installment of the saga, The Deathly Hallows.

We got to see Mr. and Mrs. Weasley in action. Mrs. Weasley was warm and kind, but fierce when she needed to be. We got to see her fuss over Harry and her kids. I saw so much of my mother in her. She always fussed over us and asked us a billion times if we had enough food. Mr. Weasley, who reminded me of my dad, showed us where Ron got his personality from. He was funny, cool, and a bit of a jokester himself.

The twins were great. They picked on Ron and Percy and were just so hilarious. Percy was a nag and such a black sheep to his brothers. We were also introduced to Ginny, this mousy little girl. I saw a bit of myself in her as I read. Being the youngest of such a large family and especially being the youngest girl is tough. I sympathized with how her brothers treated her and I felt the annoyance she must have felt when her parents nagged over her.

However, it’s not just the characters I love. The plot of Chamber of Secrets is remarkable. The way J.K. Rowling wrote the entire Heir-of-Slytherin ordeal kept me on edge and kept me guessing. It was so cool how she brought in the Parseltongue idea, and Gilderoy Lockhart kept the book light with his flashy robes and narcissism.

Of course the actual Chamber of Secrets part was flawless. Finding out about Tom Riddle and Voldemort getting his name was fantastic!

However, what I loved the most was Ron and Harry’s friendship. I loved how much they were together and helped each other out. Ron is my favorite character and one of the things I love about him so much is his dedication to the people he loves and moreover to Harry. All their adventures together in the book were so entertaining. They joked and took care of each other. It was beautiful.

So, when the movie came out you bet I was excited!

The first scene with Daniel Radcliffe at his desk made my jaw drop. He was so… BIG! He looked so much older than he was in Sorcerer’s Stone. I knew a couple of years or so had past but DAMN!!! Even his voice had changed. “I can’t let you out Hedwig,” made my already dropped jaw fall another inch.

I loved the look of Dobby. It was well done and his voice was how I heard it in my head.

janine1Then it happened. The flying car came to the window. I had butterflies in my stomach. We saw Dan go closer to the window and then there he was in the front seat, with a smile on his cute face. “Hiya, Harry.”

That was it. My jaw completely fell off! Rupert’s voice had to have dropped ten octaves if that’s even possible! Rupert Grint had grown up and out! He was taller, bigger, and his butt was yummy! (And FYI I was just hitting puberty!)

From then on I was in heaven. I loved the scene at the kitchen when Ginny came downstairs and asked about her jumper but saw Harry and ran up the stairs. Harry asked Ron what he did and Ron said: “Ginny, she’s been talking about you all summer. It’s getting annoying really.” It was great!

janine2One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Arthur asked how stealing the car had gone and they all started to tell how great it was until Molly hit him. Ron and Harry exchanged this PERFECT grin. I knew from that point that Rupert and Dan were going to bring the heat and make the movie marvelous.

In my opinion, Chamber of Secrets did the best job of staying true to the book. Yes, things were added and omitted here and there, and the pesky line changes annoyed a bit, but overall the film did follow the plot and I can’t thank Chris Columbus enough for that. I’m so pleased with the way he directed this movie.

janine5Words cannot begin to describe how “Ron” Rupert was in Chamber of Secrets. Every expression, gesture, sound, it was all Ron. His arachnophobia was dead on, and the belching of slugs even surpassed how I saw it in the book. The facial expression Rupert made when he was in Hagrid’s Hut with the bucket was great. He didn’t even say much but he commanded the scene.

The boys’ friendship in the book was so magical and genuine. Rupert and Dan portrayed it effortlessly. They WERE Ron and Harry and their chemistry was off the charts! (The movie made me ship R/H, lol.)

A really good Ron/Harry scene was the flying car scene in the beginning. At first they were having fun but then the train came. It was incredible and I’m so happy they added the bit about Harry almost falling out of the car! Ron just grabbed him and pulled him back in. They were out of breath and panting.

Harry goes, “I think we found the train.” Ron replies, “Yeah,” and Rupert does this fantastic thing with his mouth like “Holy sh*t.” 😀

Another great one was when they landed in the Whomping Willow. They kept giving each other glances and Rupert was flawless. When he banged his wand on the wheel and squeaked in such a high pitched voice, “What’s happening?!” I almost fell out of my chair with laughter.

The entire scene with Ron and Harry in the Forbidden Forrest was great. A memorable moment was when Ron sees a huge spider and trembles Harry’s name, but Harry cuts in and goes “Shush!” Ron closes his mouth and makes a face. It was SO Harry & Ron!

janine4I also loved the scene where they were going into the chamber and Lockhart tried to get away. Ron and Harry just held up their wands. They were completely badass!

There were times when they weren’t even side by side or necessarily talking to each other yet Rupert and Dan were so in sync with each other. They were older, more experience, and it showed.

In my opinion, Rupert was never a better Ron and Dan was never a better Harry. I love Chamber of Secrets because Ron is almost in every scene, so the movie was easy to enjoy. Rupert was divine. He always does a perfect job but in Chamber of Secrets he was just spectacular. And Dan too did really well in this movie.

While others may not see it that way, Chamber of Secrets is the “bro” book for me. Hermione wasn’t in it a whole lot and it gave Ron and Harry time to shine. Both Ron and Harry learned and matured so much, and the film showed their developing friendship.

Chamber of Secrets will always be my favorite Harry Potter book and movie.

It’s real magic.

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