Flame-haired HARRY POTTER star RUPERT GRINT stunned casting directors when he first auditioned for the films - by dressing up as a woman.

The comical teenager - who plays Potter's best friend RON WEASLEY - wanted to ensure he stood out among the thousands of children auditioning for the coveted role, so he assumed the image of his female drama teacher.

Luckily for Rupert, Potter producers were very impressed with his taped audition and soon he was filming alongside co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and EMMA WATSON.

Rupert laughs, "I dressed as my drama teacher in my audition tape and did a rap. Unfortunately she was a girl so it involved wearing a skirt.

"I know Ron isn't a girl but I wanted to get noticed and show I was versatile."

25/05/2004 13:54