'Harry Potter' star Rupert Grint as Eddie the Eagle: Method acting at its most daring

The Winter Games in Vancouver begin in three months, and Stephen Colbert recent announcement that his Colbert Nation would sponsor the U.S. Speedskating team sprinkled the first flakes of Olympic spirit. Consider it a blizzard. At least in my house. That’s because the red-headed stepchild of the Harry Potter franchise, Rupert Grint, is reportedly the choice to play British ski-jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards in a long-in-the-works biopic.

A little background: Back at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Edwards, a bespectacled English plasterer with relatively no athletic training finished dead last in the ski-jump. But his jumps were nevertheless riveting since his every attempt was a potential “agony of defeat” video clip. Ski-jumping officials did their darnedest to keep him out of the competition — for his own safety. Somehow, “the Inspector Clouseau of ski jumping” survived to bask in more than 15 minutes of fame, appearing on Johnny Carson and recording an atrocious single, “Fly, Eddie, Fly.”

In my New Jersey home, the redundantly named yokel was the highlight of the entire games and quickly became synonymous with our own half-baked attempts to defy gravity and common sense. Jump from the trampoline into the tree? Eddie the Eagle!  Scale the brick-faced school building after hours? Eddie the Eagle! He was the original Jackass.

Clearly, I could not be more excited about an Eddie the Eagle movie. Steve Coogan was original mentioned as a candidate to play Edwards, but I’ll settle for Grint. It’s the perfect opportunity for the 21-year-old actor, who couldn’t ask for a better project to segue out of Harry Potter. The best part about the role is that it requires absolutely no athletic training. Just slap on the skis and have someone shove you down the slope, Rupe. Method acting at its most daring.

Do you recall Eddie’s soaring “leaps” at the 1988 Olympics? Did you prefer his antics to the Jamaican bobsled team’s? Do you think Grint is ready to headline a film, and if not, who would you rather see in the Eagle’s skis?

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  • DM

    I love Rupert but a better choice would have been the guy who plays “Bubbles” on “Trailer Park Boys”. He already has the coke bottle glasses and the big chin.

  • April

    I was there for the 1988 Olympics ski jumping. On the day of the competition, it was too windy for safe jumping, so they sent down some practice jumpers to test the course. Eddie was one of them, I think just to make the crowd happy, and he had such a spectacular crash at the end, I can still remember it!! It was a great day!!

  • Tao

    Yes, yes, yes. Anything you say about Rupert… Besides, he’s already the main star in “Cherrybomb”. He was the main character in “Driving Lessons”. He’s played along side great known actors and great lesser known actors and always pulls it off. He can do it here.

    I was 7, going on 8 that year, when Eddie came to be… Rupert, interestingly, hadn’t been born yet!

    • Celia

      Don’t forget Wild Target. He’s starring alongside Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in that one.

  • Just No

    Eddie the Eagle is such a joke. Why would Grint want to play him? Sure he’s a great comic actor, but Grint shouldn’t let his talents go to waste with such a trivial film.

    • topazbean

      Oh, you really, really do not understand the British, do you?

      • Just No

        I guess not if they really go through with this…

    • Luciana

      I agree with you!! I love you Rupert, but not this. Please!!!

  • Mari

    Hah, classic story.

  • karo

    Being a huge fan of both Rupert and of ski-jumping in general, this is like a dream come true! And I can so see him play a character who does everything to reach his dream.

  • AJWC1

    I’m looking to Rupert and his representatives to exercise good judgment if he’s considering this role. I remember the ’88 Winter Olympics, but I don’t recall I don’t recall the ski jumper (I was into figure skating). I hope a decision is made based on the following….if it’s a good script (not just straight slapstick, etc.) and if the role will stretch Rupert’s acting skills.

  • Janizzle

    I’m a big Rupert Grint fan and I hope this film is a success! Grint has a bright future ahead of him, he is immensely talented and has starred in more serious films so I’d like to see him do something more comedic as the leading man.

  • cruzilla

    Am I the only one who finds it odd that Rupert Grint and Steve Coogan are being considered for the same role?

    • Tao

      Technically they aren’t being considered for the same role. Coogan had it, but it seems he either dropped out or they dropped him. Eddie apparently was very upset with the choice of Coogan because of the age (Coogan in his 40s while at the time in question Eddie was 24) and because it was set to be a comedy. They’re obviously going in a different direction… the age will be more accurate and possibly be the dramatic piece Eddie wants…?

      • cruzilla

        Thanks for the info! I realize actors play people who aren’t their age but it just seemed a little incongruous to me.

  • econruth

    Classic Olympic underdog story. On par with playing Eddie the Eagle a little later in the 90s we would play basketball and it was always USA vs Croatia. That way we could chant “Croatia! Croatia!” (Silver in 92 basketball – their first olympics since separating from Yugoslavia.)
    OK that’s just way too much info!

  • jo

    I realize why some folks think Eddie is a joke, but this is a great classic underdog story. The guy had a lot of personality and he went for it. Many ski lovers seem to adore him so it would definitely make a great film for the big screen. I mean all you need is the right actor and trust me as a Rupert Grint fan he can make you love any character he portrays. He’s great at it. Give it a chance. :)

  • Tatiana

    Although I am not familiar with Eddie the Eagle, or the Winter Olympics for that matter (it’s not really an Aussie thing), but from what I have read and heard, this sounds like an underdog story without your typical ending. Eddie sounds very endearing and you have to admire his will and courage to just make it to the Games despite what everyone else says.

    I really think that Rupert can do a great job with this role as he can mix comedy and drama very well, and it is different from his other roles outside of Harry Potter.

  • Cookimonstress

    I’m really looking forward to this movie! I don’t know much about Eddie Edwards, but I love Rupert Grint and I think he’s an awesome actor. I know he’ll be able to pull this one off.

  • Amu

    It is a true story and definitely has credibility…and in a field that has not beeen potrayed much on the big screen…so I think that it will do well given the chance…

    Plus Rupert hasproven time and again hat he can do a variety of roles and does not need to typecasted….for people who dodnot think so…pls see Driving Lessons….I am sure he will do a very fine job of this one as well…

    As Rupert Fans…Lets give him our complete support….He Deserves it!

  • Amu

    It is a true story and definitely has credibility…and in a field that has not been potrayed much on the big screen…so I think that it will do well given the chance…

    Plus Rupert has proven time and again that he can do a variety of roles and does not need to be typecasted….for people who do not think so…pls see Driving Lessons….I am sure he will do a very fine job of this one as well…

    As Rupert Fans…Lets give him our complete support….He Deserves it!

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