British actor Rupert Grint has likened leaving the Harry Potter franchise to "stepping out of an institution".
The 30-year-old actor starred as Ron Weasley in the money-spinning film series, and Grint has admitted to being somewhat relieved to leave the role behind him in 2011, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was released.
He confessed: "The line between Ron and me became thinner with each film and I think we became virtually the same person.
"There's a lot of me in Ron and moving on was a massive adjustment because it was such a constant part of my life.
"I don't want to liken it to coming out of prison because it wasn't a prison, but it did feel like stepping out of an institution. It was nice to breathe the fresh air and now I'm really enjoying stepping further away from that blue-screen world."
Grint thinks his acting career has already "peaked", but the British star - who appeared alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in the Harry Potter films - is enjoying the next chapter of his life.
He told the Guardian: "I peaked pretty early, but I'm fine with that. It would be ridiculous to think that you can replicate that level of success.
"It's always going to be a challenge, but I'm kind of enjoying that. It's quite fun to surprise people."
In fact, Grint revealed he even contemplated walking away from the Harry Potter franchise while he was filming one of the movies.
He shared: "There were definitely times when I thought about leaving.
"Filming Harry Potter was a massive sacrifice; working from such a young age for such long periods and I definitely remember thinking during one extended break, 'This whole thing is so all consuming, do I really want to go back? Maybe it's just not for me.' I guess I was probably just being a teenager."