Did you know…
A look back…
Another change came to the site: The News Post Icons (the tiny images on the left upper corner) were introduced and have been a constant ever since!
In early 2007, Ice Cream Man shared several pieces of exclusive news with the fans: The confirmation of Rupert starring as Ron in the final three Harry Potter movies, Rupert signing with Hamilton Hodell as his new management, and the announcement that the Order of the Phoenix Premiere would be held in Los Angeles.
For this premiere, Ice Cream Man organized its first fan convention for fans and staff members. Each attendee received an autographed headshot of Rupert, and Rupert’s father Nigel sent a letter praising the work on the website.
Aside from covering the Order of the Phoenix premiere, the fan convention included attendance at the Hand/Wand/Foot ceremony when Rupert left his imprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
Back in January 2005, a year and a half after the birth of Rupert-Grint.us, we opened the Forum where fans would be able to talk about Rupert, his former and current projects and everything else. Over the course of the years, we had several different forums, mainly when we were forced to switch when spamming became too extreme.
Aside from fans talking and leaving their opinion in the comments of our News Posts, we have also made sure to reach for fans and their thoughts on social networks. Until 2009/2010, we could be found on Lifejournal and Myspace, but with the rise of Twitter and Facebook, the former accounts were discontinued. Twitter and Facebook, along with tumblr have proven to be easy and comfortable ways to be in touch with the fans and to share the news with them.
Before joining the RG.us staff, I had never been an active member of any fandom. I moved to Manchester, UK in 2006 to study for my PhD. Before that, I had seen all four Harry Potter films that had been released thus far (the last one being the Goblet of Fire), and I thought that Rupert Grint was the best young actor I had ever seen. Despite his youth, he was an amazingly natural, versatile, believable and mature actor, and I knew instantly that he would have a bright future ahead of him. I only became aware of the infamous “shipping wars” in the (then) enormous HP fandom sometime in late 2006; I was looking for some information on the upcoming film Order of the Phoenix online, and I stumbled upon the vile abuse that Rupert was subjected to by some overzealous Dan&Emma fans who dominated the forum boards of the major HP websites at that time (if my memory serves me right, those were HPANA and The Leaky Cauldron). Frankly, I was shocked and felt that it was terribly unfair that such a sweet and talented young actor would be insulted for his looks, shyness, humble demeanour, by people who had never met him (and some of them old enough to be his parents!) I felt that somehow I had to right this wrong and stop the abuse. As a new mother and a PhD candidate I didn’t have much time on my hands, but I nevertheless decided to volunteer to offer my services to a Rupert Grint fansite. There were several Rupert sites at the time, but I was drawn to RG.us because I though that the name was very cool and I liked the crowd that gathered there, including the soft-spoken but passionate webmistress Tao.
Being a complete novice to online fandoms, I soon learned that people can form real friendships online and fight for the same cause, but also that not all people could control their passions properly, which would often lead to trouble. I spent several years as a member of the professional and dedicated RG.us team. Aside from Tao, the core RS.us staff in the mid- to late- noughties consisted of me, Jesi, Michelle, Negin, Karo, Kathy, Malene and others. People would come and go, because being a staff member required lots of dedication and hard work, and sometimes financial investment too, with the main reward being a feeling that we were doing something right and helping a young actor (re)gain his self-confidence, shattered after years of online abuse, and by doing so lay ground for his successful post-HP career. But there were also other, infrequent but all the more precious, rewards. Some of the projects that I worked on and the highlights of my RG.us years included:
– setting up a comprehensive Rave Reviews website and adding hundreds of favourable accounts on Rupert’s acting skills;
– reporting from the rain-soaked London premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. That was the first time I met Rupert in person, and I had the chance to briefly speak to him and to interview a host of other HP actors (Alan Rickman! Jason Isaacs! Helena Bonham Carter! ….);
– coordinating a birthday project Ice Cream Man’s Cookbook, where the fans from all around the world sent their national recipes to a self-proclaimed foodie Rupert;
– setting up the online fanzine Grintastic;
– helping Rupert win several fan-voted polls and score accolades as the “best young actor”, “most promising actor” and such;
– coordinating another birthday project BLAG Around the World, where we organised a worldwide distribution of the BLAG magazine with Rupert on the cover. This was a major departure for Rupert because it was his first non-HP cover and interview, done to promote his Irish flick Cherrybomb;
– coordinating the campaign that secured the cinematic release of Cherrybomb
– attending the Irish and English premieres of Cherrybomb in Dublin and London and interviewing the actors;
– finally, getting to meet several die-hard fans and fellow staff, including Sophie (who travelled from California to Dublin!) and the legendary Karo, who has become the most valuable RG.us staff member.
– getting RG.us into Google News and the IMDb News Feed
At some point in 2010 life outside of fandom became too busy, so I had to resign from my RG.us duties. I hope that I have contributed at least a little bit to a lasting tribute to Rupert that is RG.us, and I wish the fellow staff members many more moments to be proud of.
What's your favourite Rupert outfit?
- Deathly Hallows 2 Premiere London (23%, 9 Votes)
- Premiere of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (20%, 8 Votes)
- Wimbledon 2012 (13%, 5 Votes)
- Warner Bros Studio Tour Opening (13%, 5 Votes)
- Berlinale 2013 (10%, 4 Votes)
- BBC Teen Choice Awards (8%, 3 Votes)
- Halloween 2009 (5%, 2 Votes)
- Beachers Madhouse (5%, 2 Votes)
- F1 Silverstone 2013 (3%, 1 Votes)
- Sugarfactory Las Vegas (3%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 40
What were your highlights in 2007? Let us know in the comments below!