Reason for title: The title of this site was chosen because in many interviews Rupert expressed a desire to be an ice cream man when he was younger. And nowadays he is a proud owner of an ice cream van!
Reason for site: Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that there aren’t many fan sites for Rupert which is a shame. Rupert is a talented young actor who deserves recognition. So ICM was born.
Why do you call yourself Tao: Just a thing. It’s been a screen name for a while and I usually use it to apply for anything that will show my actual name on the web.
Do you own any other sites: Yes. Aside from this, ET.net is my other site featuring Ethan and Theresa from Passions.
Anything else: If you want to know more about ICM, we invite you to read our interview with Jed Medina of the Movie Fanatic. Read the entire feature here, and below are some excerpts from the interview:
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One of Rupert’s most updated and definitely an awesome site for the actor is Ice Cream Man.
We asked the ICM team (led by its owner and founder, Tao and one of the site’s staff, Jo) some questions about how they started, how they manage the website, and much more:
Operating a website for an upcoming talent takes a lot of dedication and time, how did you start with rupert-grint.us? Tell us some background stories.
TAO: I got started with the website because when I got into Harry Potter. I noticed a lack of great Rupert fansites. Rupert was still quite young, and I just couldn’t understand why such a talented young actor didn’t have more dedication to him. I wanted the site to be new and unique, so I even named it something unique rather than the simple “Rupert Grint Fansite” or what have you. I went with “Ice Cream Man” because Rupert would always talk about how when he was younger he wanted to be an ice cream man.
Why the admiration for Rupert Grint? When did you first noticed the guy and why you became a fan? Tell us why you think he’s a very promising new talent. What makes Rupert special?
TAO: Rupert is such a young talent who often gets shunned by the media for whatever reason. Be it because there are not a lot of famous male gingers, be it because he is quiet, or be it a reason we haven’t thought of… he deserves more recognition. I became a fan of his because of his tremendous natural acting ability, but I became a dedicated fan due to the lack of promotion for him by the media. He deserves so much more with his natural talents.
While the critics seem to agree, the media seems far more interested in everyone else. Rupert is special because he doesn’t think of himself as a star. Ask any fan, and they’ll tell you that they adore his laid back style, the fact that he still wears torn and dirty chucks. That he bought himself an ice cream van when he could have anything he wanted as Ron Weasley. They’ll also tell you how down to Earth he is and how dedicated he is to the fans.
What would you consider the most fun/enjoyable part of operating the website? What’s the most difficult?
TAO: Chatting with the fans! Every time there is a news story or we start a topic at the forum, I get to chat with my fellow Rupert fans and learn about them. No one sees color, nationality, political affiliation, male, female, or whatever you can think of that separates us all. The most difficult is when there is something to do and you just don’t have the time to do it. Being an older fan, I have bills to pay and work to do, so I don’t always get to devote as much time as I’d like. So when that happens, you can feel a bit overwhelmed, and that can be quite unenjoyable at times.
Have you or one of your staff met Rupert already? Tell us your first impression of the young actor. What would be some of your most memorable experiences in meeting Mr. Grint?
JO: I first met Rupert at the premiere of his “Driving Lessons” at the Tribeca Film Festival. I was the first one there lol. Those of us with tickets to the viewing were ushered inside but I did get a moment to see him signing autographs for the fans who didn’t make it inside the sold out screening! Rupert sat in the audience among the fans with his dad and was really pleasant and chatted with the fans till the movie began. After the movie he and director Jeremy Brock answered our questions.
Then he spent the rest of the evening signing and taking pictures. I was able to speak with him and tell him about our website. He was amused very much that we were called Ice Cream Man but he liked it. From there we just stayed in touch with his agency and they have been nice to give us updates, answer questions and forward messages from Rupert who always says that he’s overwhelmed by the support. His father Nigel Grint even took the time to write us a letter of appreciation. It can be viewed in our gallery here.
He also took out the time to hand sign a ton of autographs for our fan convention last year at the “Order of the Phoenix” premiere so what can I say Rupert is a great guy and every bit of time and effort we put into his career and out site is 100% worth it.
How different/unique is the website compared to other fansites out there? What are some of the features you offer fans that made them regular viewers?
TAO: I think the fact that we chat up with the fans, my staff and I. We just don’t post news and run because we’re fans too! We want to discuss everything that happens. And I don’t know what made the fans regular viewers of the site. I like to think what I mentioned that sets us apart from other fansites is a big plus. I also think people enjoy the content I give.
One section we all worked really hard on is called Rave Reviews which lists every single review that currently exists (or at least we know currently exists) of Rupert’s work. From Harry Potter to Driving Lessons, it’s all there! And we’re always adding more and doing more, and we’ll be continuing to do that!
Any advice to fans who want to launch a site of their own dedicated to a fave actor/actress?
TAO: Don’t start out with big ideas and plans. Start small. You want to build a fansite first and foremost because you’re a fan. I think a lot of sites go under because they think too much of what they should be accomplishing and not enough of what they are accomplishing. Your site will grow in time. ICM is just over four years old now, and it took that long to have a huge site like we have now. And it will never stop, it will continue on to be a great fansite with dedicated viewers ands staff members!