Rupert Grint Recalls His Terrifying Experience With the Swine Flu and Compares It to COVID-19: ‘I Was Hallucinating’

Rupert Grint is a former child actor who is best known for the role of Ron Weasley, a character that he portrayed in the Harry Potter film franchise. Born and raised in England, Grint has continued to act in various projects since becoming a star. Although, to many, he will always be most closely associated with the character of Ron.

Grint has made headlines in recent months due to becoming a father, welcoming a baby girl with his girlfriend, Georgia Groome. Recently, Grint talked to Dax Shepard on his “Armchair Expert” podcast about his 2009 experience with swine flu, and why that made him so nervous during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rupert Grint became an international star thanks to the ‘Harry Potter’ films

Rupert Grint smiling in front of a blurred background
Rupert Grint | Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

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Grint was born in England in 1988. As a child, Grint felt drawn to a career in the entertainment business, practicing his talents by acting in a variety of school theatre productions.

When he was only 11 years old, Grint was cast in the role of Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise. The role, and the franchise itself, catapulted Grint to worldwide fame, and he ultimately went on to star in all eight films in the series.

While Grint loved his castmates and was grateful for the experience of filming the movies, it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. As Grint once admitted, “there was a time where it felt quite suffocating because it was heavy going because it was every day for 10 years in the end…it was kind of like Groundhog Day because it was the same sets. It was the same people. But it was great. I loved it.”

Rupert Grint contracted swine flu in 2009

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In 2009, Grint was at the height of his fame when he contracted swine influenza, commonly referred to as swine flu, or the A(H1N1) virus. At the time, the swine flu was rampaging through Britain, with nearly 7,500 reported cases — the highest number of reported cases in Europe.

Grint’s publicist released a statement at the time, revealing that “it has just been confirmed that Rupert Grint has taken a few days out of filming due to a mild bout of swine flu.”

The A(H1N1) virus, according to the CDC, affected humans in ways very similar to the common influenza virus — fever, body aches, chills, nausea, and headaches, as well as dizziness and overall exhaustion. As Grint later revealed to Dax Shepard, his experience with swine flu helped to prepare him for the more recent pandemic. 

What did Rupert Grint recently say about swine flu and COVID-19?

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In March 2021, Grint chatted with Shepard for an episode of his “Armchair Expert” podcast, revealing how parenthood has changed his perceptions of life – and of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “I just had a daughter. It’s amazing. It’s kind of weird during a pandemic. I think it’s been a blessing in disguise. We’ve had all this time to lock ourselves in and work it out. No outside interference. We’ve really bonded and I’m loving it. It’s great … It’s weird for her because she hasn’t really seen any humans except for us and her extended family occasionally. It’ll be interesting to see how she develops if this continues longer.”

Grint also detailed his experience with swine flu in 2009: “It was insane. Might be the fifth film that had just been released. Yeah, it went down. It was a weird one where I was hallucinating. I went outside in the middle of the night once, chasing a fox, I think. It was insane. It was the worst I ever felt it and it was for, like, two weeks … It was my first thought, I must be susceptible to these weird viruses. So far I haven’t caught this yet. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t.”