Rupert Grint calls J.K. Rowling relationship 'tricky': What 'Harry Potter' cast says about author

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After starring in eight "Harry Potter" films as Ron Weasley, Rupert Grint says J.K. Rowling has become like a family member to him — though perhaps a problematic one.

During an interview with The Times published Saturday, Grint, 33, likened Rowling, 56, to an "auntie."

"I don’t necessarily agree with everything my auntie says, but she’s still my auntie. It’s a tricky one," Grint said.

Rowling continues to be a source of controversy after making headlines in 2020 with multiple posts online voicing opinions on the transgender community that conflated sex with gender and defended ideas suggesting that changing one's biological sex threatens her own gender identity. She has doubled down even after the posts were widely perceived as transphobic, misinformative and hurtful.

At the time of Rowling's comments, Grint issued a statement in support of the trans community.

"I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment," Grint said in a statement at the time to the U.K.’s The Sunday Times.

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Rupert Grint
Rupert Grint

Grint later explained in an Esquire interview published March 2021, that he still is "hugely grateful" for the acclaimed author, though he can still disagree with her views.

"I am hugely grateful (for) everything that she's done. I think that she's extremely talented, and I mean, clearly, her works are genius," he said. "But yeah, I think also you can have huge respect for someone and still disagree with things like that.”

Following her remarks, Rowling was noticeable absent from HBO Max's "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts." Though she does not make a new appearance, the special included archival footage of Rowling from 2019 and featured new clips of the cast celebrating her books' legacy and sharing how directions from the author influenced their performances.

Here's what the rest of the "Harry Potter" franchise cast and crew has said about Rowling's comments.

'Harry Potter': How trans fans are grappling with J.K. Rowling's legacy after her transphobic comments

Daniel Radcliffe pens essay in support of trans community

Daniel Radcliffe responded to Rowling's comments about gender and sex in a June 2020 essay for LGBTQ non-profit organization The Trevor Project, in which he criticized her views.

"Transgender women are women," the actor, who starred as the title character in the film adaptation of Rowling's fantasy series, wrote. "It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm."

Though Radcliffe noted that Rowling is "unquestionably responsible" for the course of his life, he added he still feels "compelled to say something at this moment."

"To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you," he continued. "I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you."

Emma Watson stands behind trans community

The actress who brought Hermione Granger to life in the "Harry Potter" film series tweeted her support of trans people following Rowling's controversial comments.

"Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are," Emma Watson, 31, tweeted in 2020.

Watson assured the trans community and her trans followers that "I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are."

She concluded her series of tweets by wishing "Happy #PRIDE2020" and encouraging everyone to donate to the LGBTQ U.K. charity Mermaids and Mama Cash's women's fund.

Eddie Redmayne says he disagrees with J.K. Rowling's comments

Actor Eddie Redmayne, who worked with Rowling in the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise, publicly condemned the author for her comments on Twitter.

"As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand," he wrote in a statement provided to Variety June 2020. Redmayne also played transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in the film "The Danish Girl."

"I disagree with Jo's comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse," Redmayne said. "They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it's time to let them do so."

Chris Rankin praises trans community: 'We love you'

The actor who portrayed Ron Weasley's older brother Percy Weasley showed his support to the trans community in a June 2020 tweet.

"My beautiful, brave, strong, trans friends and house of #ChrisNess family. We love you. I can’t say it enough. You’re wonderful, and deserve to be treated as such. Please know that. Be proud of who you are. We are proud of you," Rankin tweeted.

Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff

More: Dave Chappelle says he's 'Team TERF,' defends J.K. Rowling in new Netflix comedy special

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Harry Potter': What stars are saying about J.K. Rowling