It’s been 18 years since the iconic film Snatch was released. A stylised British crime drama with more than a hint of comedy, it cemented Jason Statham’s career as a hard man and displayed a side of Brad Pitt that has sadly rarely been seen before or since.
And while we’re very accustomed to remakes these days, both Snatch and its predecessor Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, have – so far – never succumbed to such a temptation.
The world created by those films, however, was an irresistible one. Hapless criminals ripping off bungling mobsters, innocent businessmen and bystanders getting in the way, and larger than life characters that demanded more screen time.
Thanks to streaming services, though, more screen time is now easier than ever. It’s no wonder then, that someone has decided to tap into the world created by Guy Ritchie, and delve into it with the small screen in mind, allowing character arcs to develop and plot lines to stretch further.
That someone was Alex De Rakoff who, along with a team of producers, worked to develop Snatch into a TV show. Set in the modern day, the show doesn’t share any characters with the film, but is definitely of the same DNA.
Full of sharp dialogue, quick cuts and criminal scheming, the show’s second series kicks off not long after the first, with our group of merry mobsters fleeing the UK and washing up in the Costa Del Sol.
Heading up that group is Charlie Cavendish-Scott, played by Rupert Grint, an old soul at heart who tries his best to keep his dysfunctional, adopted family of misfits together.
UNILAD caught up with Rupert to chat about the character, how the show is different from the film, and what it was like producing for the first time, as well as starring.
Check out the trailer here:
Speaking about how he came on board, Rupert said:
I met with Alex the showrunner and we had a casual sit down, he told me why he wanted to make the show – I think that’s an obvious question when you’re making a remake of a film that’s so iconic and loved, so it’s always like is it needed, is it a necessary thing, are you going to do something different enough to make it worth it – but I immediately I clocked with him, and he knows that world so well.
He’s good friends with Guy Ritchie, and it just felt very authentic with him at the helm, he knew that language. And it was an interesting concept to have it set in the present day, and reimagine it with new characters within that present context – it sounded like an interesting group of characters, so that’s how it started.
And, speaking about picking up the mantel of such a quintessential film like Snatch, Rupert added:
It very strongly has that DNA [of the film] – it’s quite stylised, the language is that poppy, shorthand language that I think is important to ground it in that world of Snatch – but I think it takes on its own kid of rhythm and I think it’s important to do new things and push it forward.
Also, in the format of TV you’ve a lot more time for more layered characters, and time to really carve out a journey [because] at the core of it is this quite dysfunctional family, and all the shenanigans that they get up to.
Rupert is, of course, most well known for his time as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films. However, by the end of the second series, Rupert will have spent almost as much time on screen playing Charlie as he did Ron. As part of an ensemble cast, though in hugely different worlds, there were familiarities he could draw upon.
I think in a way, in a weird way, it kind of parallels my time in Potter, which was quite a unique thing in film where you’re spending a lot of time with one character, so you’re able to develop it in more natural ways, and TV definitely offers you that opportunity.
The thing with Snatch is it could go anywhere, it could live anywhere, and it’s always moving. It’s quite rapid paced, so I could see it going anywhere location wise and character wise – you could throw anything at them and it’d be interesting to see how it would develop.
Speaking of his own character in particular, Rupert added:
I found [Charlie] quite interesting because he was very unnatural for a character – to be found in that environment – and he is quite a stark contrast to his friends and the Hills. I love the dynamic between these characters, particularly as they’ve all come from quite dysfunctional families, and they need each other, and they find each other and form this weird family that works for them, and it gives them a place, and they feel like they’re part of something. It’s interesting.
As for how he gets into the Charlie mindset, Rupert said:
There’s a bit of myself in everything I do really, I always find that helps with making it believable, and everything like the costumes and that kind of thing – the more layers you have the better it is, the easier it is to sink into something.
It was hard for me to tune into [Charlie] because he is quite a weird character, he’s quite big and almost from a different era, not quite of this world. And Alex made a good job of writing so many voices and personalities, everyone has their own way of talking and their own kind of rhythm.
Playing the posh Charlie Cavendish-Scott wasn’t Rupert’s only role on Snatch, however. Taking a seat in the producers chair meant Rupert also had a part in shaping the show and taking it forward.
Of his other role, he said:
It was really interesting, it’s kind of a backseat role, I didn’t throw my weight around. It was more to have an interesting perspective and quite educational to see the inner workings of a TV show. It’s something I’d like to do more of, and be more involved creatively, that’d be interesting definitely.
Though we could be hearing of Rupert behind the camera in the future, for now there’s more screen time coming up for the young actor. As well as Snatch, Rupert is starring alongside the inimitable John Malkovich in an upcoming Poirot mystery.
I’m doing a three part drama with John Malkovich, a Poirot adaptation. I think that comes out at Christmas time, and that was really fun, I’ve always been a huge fan of Malkovich, and there’s something quite magic about him, so it was amazing to be in the same scenes. That was all shot around Yorkshire, it was really fun, so that’s next, but beyond that I don’t really know, I just go with the flow.
When you’re as recognisable as Rupert Grint, going with the flow is probably the only way to deal with the worldwide fame. He does, however, have other ways to unwind when he’s not acting.
I draw a lot, I’ve always really been in to art, kind of just these weird cartoons. I have my own secret name, a Banksy-ish identity. I like the idea that its completely anonymous, I find it quite therapeutic. It’s really important to unwind I think.
Who knows, perhaps Rupert’s own drawings might be feeding themselves into a shredder at Sotheby’s one day soon. In the mean time though, we’ll just have to make do with seeing him deal with his own grifts, heists and general crime capers in Snatch.
Snatch season 2 will premiere at 9pm on Tuesday, October 9 on AMC
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.