The Harry Potter brand has brought in over $25 billion since the release of the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The Harry Potter franchise includes seven books (soon to be eight), eight movies, two theme parks, clothes, toys, wands and so much more, making J.K. Rowling the world's wealthiest author with a net worth of $1 billion.
The movies alone have made almost $8 billion, so you can only imagine how the lives of the three main stars changed throughout their 8-year journey filming the movies. Let's just say they have a lot more money in the bank now than when they walked in the door for their auditions.
So, if you were one of the stars of Harry Potter, what do you do with all that moolah? Would you go back to school and invest in your education like Emma Watson? Would you make millions more by investing it into property like Daniel Radcliffe? Or would you buy an ice cream truck and drive it around town like Rupert Grint, a.k.a. Ron Weasley?
Grint is reported to be worth $50 million for his role of Ron Weasley. After the movies were over, he enjoyed some down time, did a play on Broadway and donated money to some charities. But his biggest achievement was fulfilling his life-long dream of owning and operating an ice cream truck. I mean, it makes sense. Ron Weasley was always eating.
Here is his 1974 Mr. Whippy Bedford van. Because he doesn't have a license to sell the ice cream, he drives around town and gives the ice cream out for free.
"My first ambition was to become an ice-cream man, which is why I bought the Bedford van. Not long after I first got it, I pulled into a pub to do a U-turn and there were eight kids with their pocket money out, hoping to buy a 99 or whatever. But I had nothing to give them. I've learnt my lesson since then... I keep my van well stocked. It's got a proper machine that dispenses Mr. Whippy ice cream and I buy my lollies wholesale ”” 50 for a tenner ”” so I never run short... I tend to avoid July and August, but the rest of the year I'll drive around the local villages and if I see some kids looking like they're in need of ice creams, I'll pull over and dish them out for free. They'll say, 'Ain't you Ron Weasley?' And I'll say, 'It's strange, I get asked that a lot.'"
So, what about the other $49 million dollars he earned, you ask? According to his co-stars, he also bought a hovercraft and a whole bunch of miniature animals, including miniature pigs, hedgehogs and donkeys. I think Rupert Grint needs his own television series, don't you?!
"I did go through an anxious period after Harry Potter ended. Of course I always knew it would come to an end. But it took some getting used to... Now I'm starting to enjoy the freedom. I can afford to choose my acting roles carefully, and I'm able to enjoy my leisure time. I'm perfectly happy tootling around town in my ice-cream van, haring up the motorway in my Audi, or messing around on my hovercraft in the back garden."
I wish he was "tootling" around my neighborhood in that thing! It's all very Ron Weasley of him, don't you think?