British actor Rupert Grint was handpicked for a West End role after impressing the director with his performances in the Harry Potter franchise.
The 24 year old is preparing to make his West End debut in Mojo, about the seedy underworld of 1950s London, and Ian Rickson reveals he specifically wanted Grint for the role of petty crook Sweets because of his portrayal of hapless wizard Ron Weasley in the movies.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail, "I'd seen the Potter films with my daughter and always thought Rupert was truthful as Ron Weasley.
"There's something ordinary and centered about him, and in this world of Mojo you want that grittiness."
Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw, Downton Abbey star Brendan Coyle and The Adventures of Tintin's Daniel Mays will also appear in the play, which is set to open at London's Harold Pinter Theater in October (13).