Interviews with the “Prisoner of Azkaban” Cast Lead by Johnny Vaughan

Chris Columbus, Stuart Craig, Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Mark Radcliffe, and J.K. Rowling

David Heyman: The books lead us. I mean, we’re in a good position of having Jo Rowling provide us with fantastic sorts of material.

Steve Kloves: All you have to do is read the book to, I think, sense the place. It’s tone and atmosphere – which I thought she’d done, and continues to do, so grand.

David: In the very first one, Jo came to the set when we were designing, coming up with the design, and had a look-through of them to make sure we weren’t wildly off.

Mark Radcliffe: Jo created this world. We wanted to stay true to it and organic to it, and that’s been our mission.

David: All that vision is born very much from the book. Part of the universe that first Chris [Columbus], and now Alfonso [Cuarón], has built upon.

Alfonso Cuarón: From the get-go, what I was aiming at was serving the material.

J.K. Rowling: Out of the five books I’ve published, writing Azkaban was the easiest, and in some ways, I think that shows. Although it’s the tricky part in some was, as Alfonso will really appreciate, and Steve Kloves, as the scriptwriter, will really appreciate, because they’ve had to negotiate the same ascent that I had to negotiate. At the same time, I felt I was really given space to do that, so it was an enjoyable process.

Alfonso: The moment that I read the book, I just felt so connected. For me, everything was so clear how it should look as a film and how it should be told as a film.

Steve: We tried to discover the best way to convey what Jo was expressing [on] the page in movie terms. And that led us to some interesting places.

Alfonso: You deal with so many abstract concepts, like the time traveling. It is such an abstract thing, and it is so difficult that even trying to explain it right now…

Jo: Yeah, it’s hard.

Alfonso: … is hard.

Jo: It is hard, because you just go in circles.

Alfonso: But then in the book, everything just makes perfect sense.

Jo: I loved watching that part of the film. I loved watching the Time-Turner sequence. There was just enough humor in it, just enough nearness. Dumbledore’s comment when they come back is just perfect.

David: When we got to Scotland to meet with Jo, one, I think it’s important for Jo to feel comfortable, and two, I think that Jo is a wonderful source of information and is incredibly generous with us.

Chris Columbus: I remember when she walked in the door, for some reason, I expected to meet someone who was, like, 70. Jo walked in, she was younger than I was, we liked the same films and we liked the same music, and it was just an immediate connection.

David: When she met Alfonso, he talked about his vision for the film, talked through many ideas.

Jo: Alfonso was mentioned very early on, and I was really enthusiastic about the idea – and I loved Y tu mamá también. Alfonso just obviously understands teenage boys backwards and everything, at 13 now.

Alfonso: These kids were starting to take themselves seriously as actors, so they were willing to explore more emotional territories. I was so lucky that I had them so raw and so willing to go there.

Jo: I think all three of them give their best performance to date.

Alfonso: Poor Malfoy.

Jo: He deserves it, though.

Alfonso: He deserves it.

Jo: Tom took that punch really well. He really did a good job on that.

Alfonso: Oh, they loved it. Emma was looking forward [to] that moment, and I remember Tom telling Emma, “Oh, if you want to hit me, just hit me, just hit me.”

Jo: What a hero.

Alfonso: The universe that you created… you know every corner of that place.

Stuart Craig: This was a map of the world. This drawing is Jo Rowling’s drawing that she executed in just a few minutes. As you see, it has all the principal ingredients. The Dark Forest is here, the Whomping Willow, the Quidditch pitch, Hogwarts Castle itself. The Black Lake is there, the perimeter road, Hogsmeade Village. She had a very, very exact and precise understanding of her world and her creation. She knew exactly the relationship between all of the elements. She was able to give it to us – and that became our Bible.

Alfonso: We needed a place where the kids could see the execution of Buckbeak, and we thought about having a graveyard. And we consulted Jo about it and she said, “No, the graveyard is not there,” and I said, “Why?” And then she gave me the whole explanation of why the graveyard cannot be there, because it’s in a different place of the castle. Because she knows her thing. She knows exactly what’s going to happen later. And once I remember having little people in some storyboards, playing some keyboards and an organ in the Great Hall. And Jo said, “No, there are no little people in this universe. Yes, lovely image, but they don’t make sense in this universe.”

Jo: I was really mean. I wouldn’t let him do it. That’s not fair, is it?

Alfonso: She was just about trying as much as possible to serve the story and the spirit of the story, because that’s what is great [about] the book. Because the third book is, for me, so abstract and deals with so many abstract concepts – but at the same time, it’s in the frame of an adventure.

David: I think it’s very, very important that Alfonso Cuarón be allowed to make this his own film. It’s important that any director come into a situation like this and feel the freedom, feel empowered to make it their own. That’s how you’re going to get the best films.

Alfonso: Pretty much all the visual decisions were made as we were shooting and not in the cutting room. We made most of those decisions either in the storyboard or while we were blocking the scenes with the actors, working with the actors, and we decided how to approach the scene.

David: What he’s done is, he’s built from the foundations of the books, built from the foundations of Chris Columbus, who captured the first two, but made them very much his own to serve the story.

Jo: Alfonso had good intuition about what would and wouldn’t work. He’s put things in the film that, without knowing it, foreshadow things that are going to happen in the final two books. So I really got goosebumps when I saw a couple of those things, and I thought people are going to look back on the film and think those were put in deliberately as clues.

Steve: Jo wants the movies to be faithful to the books. On the other hand, she realizes that they’re completely different mediums. To be entirely faithful, these movies would be 16 hours long.

Alfonso: In this film, the film was about a child trying to find his identity as a teenager. We found the theme, and then whatever stuck there we kept, and whatever didn’t… sorry. As long as we didn’t affect or contradict either the universe or what is to come.

Chris: My biggest concern for the visual effects, I want to make absolutely certain that the visual effects would again move up a notch from the last film. [With the] first film, we were fairly rushed and the effects were never up to anyone’s standards. In the second film, we improved them greatly, and I wanted to take another leap in this film.

Alfonso: We’re watching it and it’s like “Wow, that hippogriff looks great.” And we’re just praising the conceptual artists and the CG artists that put it together. Then someone said, “Yes, but don’t forget who imagined it in the first place.” And here she is.

Jo: I think it’s important to say I didn’t invent the hippogriff. I invented that hippogriff, but the creature the hippogriff, as you know, is in folklore and mythology, so that’s not my creation. But I really thought hard about this, because in the book, it could’ve been an absurdity. And indeed, it really could’ve been in the film as well, but I thought you made him a real creature.

Alfonso: There are not that many graphical representations of hippogriffs, and that is something with the story that is very interesting. There are several sphinx[es], or you see creatures that are half bird and half cat, a lot of different things. But for hippogriffs, it was actually hard to find…

Jo: I knew that because I went looking. I could hardly find any anywhere. So I thought it’s complete liberty to invent.

Chris: I think Alfonso came up with an amazing design for the Dementors, because they truly are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. They are sort of a close cousin to maybe what we’ve all perceived as death over the years, and that’s very, very frightening.

Jo: I had a nightmare in my teens, in which I saw hooded, gliding figures. They could almost be figments of your imagination in a sort of tortured imagination, as indeed they are. They could be figments of a mentally ill mind. And that was the thing that I was expecting in the book. Harry is particularly vulnerable to them, but he’s got a much worse past, so he would be. It’s not weakness; it’s just the fact that he’s faced more. I thought the shrunken head was very funny. I really liked that. It was all done really well, and it was a really funny idea. I mean, I’ve said to Steve Kloves many times, “Dammit, I wish I could’ve written them up.” But obviously, that’s what you want. You want to be working with people who come up with great stuff. It’s great when I’m looking around for all these little bits that are completely consistent with the world. But there you go.

Chris: For me, one of the great memories was sitting in a room with Steve Kloves, Jo Rowling, and David Heyman, the producer, just the four of us for several weeks discussing Quidditch, talking about what it’s going to look like. That excitement, that sense of making something really special, was something I took with me through the making of the first film and the second film.

Steve: The overall process is incredibly open and incredibly creative.

Jo: I think in this case, the book and the director were really made for each other. There’s a unity about the film. There’s a consistency, its tone, its feeling, that’s very, very enjoyable for me – and that’s not a very easy thing, for the author of the original material. I’m completely happy. What more can I say?

Gary Oldman and David Thewlis

Interviewer: What had you heard about Harry Potter before you actually got involved in it? David?

David Thewlis: I’d only read a bit of the first book. And I just knew about all the media furor over it. But I’d not read Books 2 or 3. I’d just read a bit of it. And I’d seen the films.

Interviewer: Okay, so you didn’t read the book that this is based on.

David: Not until I got the part, no. I have to admit, not until I got the part.

Interviewer: What about you, Gary? What had you heard? What [were] your preconceptions?

Gary Oldman: Much the same, really. I had read the first book and I’ve got one up on Dave, you see. I’d finished the first book.

[Everyone laughs]

David: No pictures in it.

Gary: There were no pictures in it.

Interviewer: Kept reading till you got to the pictures. Do either of you have kids yourselves?

Gary: Yes.

David: Gary does. Not myself.

Interviewer: And are they into Harry Potter? Or too young?

Gary: Yeah. Alfie is 14, so…

Interviewer: He’s right in the age there.

Gary: Yeah. And the other two, Charlie is four and a half and Gulliver is six. So they’ve been here and they’ve got… Obviously, it’s an added thing, that they like Harry Potter. But their dad’s in Harry Potter, so…

Interviewer: Are they more excited about that than anything else you’ve done?

Gary: Yeah, I’m a hero at school. I’m big, big noise at their school.

Interviewer: Suddenly you’re a really cool dad.

David: Yeah, well, that’s the best thing about it, I think, is knowing kids and kids getting mental when they know you’re in it. Any kid you meet and anyone I know tells the kid you’re in it and they get short of breath. [laughs]

Interviewer: They also get excited about the film.

Gary: When I told… Gulliver is six. He went into his school and he ran up to his mate Omar and he just said, “Guess what.” He said, “Guess what.” He said, “Guess who’s in Harry Potter.” And Omar went, “Harry Potter?”

[Everyone laughs]

David: So he’s read the books.

Gary: He’s read the books.

Interviewer: But in general, what attracted you to doing the film?

David: Well, for me, I was seen for the first film for Quirrell, which is why I read the first book. Then I saw it, and I know Ian Hart, who did play Quirrell. I know he had such a good time making it. And I really like kids’ films. I really enjoy being part of them. Since this is the biggest of them all, I thought what fun it would be. Then I met everyone involved. And I’m a fan of Alfonso Cuarón. And I’m not disappointed now, here at the end of it. I’ve had a great time making it.

Interviewer: What did you like about Sirius Black? Were you surprised to get a character with the dichotomy that Sirius Black has in a children’s book, to find a character with that kind of darkness?

Gary: Well, it’s great that you… I mean, I’ve played my share of…

Interviewer: You’re not a stranger to darkness.

Gary: No, no stranger to darkness. To the dark, John, to the dark. And so it was great, really, to play a good guy. I mean, he is a good guy. So I mean, we think he’s a bad guy, but… So I liked that dynamic, that twist at the end.

Interviewer: Was there any sort of sense of being new kids in an established cast, almost new kids in a school, ironically?

David: Yeah, there’s an element of that. It’s a welcome from everyone [who]’s worked on it before. Almost all the crew have worked on it before. But it’s such a friendly bunch of people.

Gary: It’s been a great experience in that respect.

Interviewer: But did they gang up on you ever, tease you?

Gary: No, funny enough, it was…

Interviewer: They never got in a circle around you and jabbed and teased you?

[David laughs]

Interviewer: Stole things from you.

Gary: No, that happens somewhere else, before you get here.

Interviewer: There’s another place they do that.

Gary: Your agent deals with that stuff. [laughs] No, but it’s been a wonderful experience.

Interviewer: What about the kids? What was it like working with them? Did they behave?

David: They’re great. Daniel is a hell of a nice boy, a really great guy. And he’s got me into some good music.

Gary: Yeah, I’ve been listening to some.

David: I was still listening to the Beatles until I came here. He’s very passionate. He’s got great taste for a kid his age.

Gary: He’s very dedicated, serious about it, and focused.

Interviewer: Because he said he’s a big fan of yours, particularly, as an actor. I think you are his idol as an actor. Is it quite odd to act with a kid when you know you’re his hero? Do you sort of think, “I’ve got to be good, because this kid…”?

Gary: Yeah, you think, “I’ve got to be good here.”

Interviewer: Yeah, for the kids.

Gary: “For the kids. I’ve got to do it for the kids. I’m doing it for the kids.”

Interviewer: Along the werewolf thing. You are quite lupine, genuinely.

David: Well, I am now, yeah. Yeah. But I’ve put a lot of effort into that. But no, it was good to do. You can say at least once in your career you’ve done the whole werewolf transformation thing. But it wasn’t fun to do. It was very…

Interviewer: Wasn’t it?

David: Well, no, it’s really uncomfortable to do.

Gary: It was terrible when you have lenses in and can hardly see anything and a light would be blinding to you. We were on a dark set. I was led out, and it was the middle of summer and they opened the big studio door. And the sunlight hit my eyes, and I had the teeth still in, and I actually was like, “Ahh!”

Interviewer: “I am blinded!”

[Everyone laughs]

David: “Look, he’s taking it a bit serious, isn’t he?”

Interviewer: You’re in character as soon as you leave the trailer. “Ahh, the light!” Okay, if David genuinely had an Animagus, what do you think his animal would be?

Gary: I don’t know. I think there’s a real softness to David. Like a deer or something. I could see him as a deer.

Interviewer: What about Gary? How would you reply to that now?

David: I’d say some kind of bird.

Interviewer: A woman?

David: [Laughs] Yeah. Some kind of bird.

Gary: “Your tea’s on the table, darling.”

[Everyone laughs]

Interviewer: An old woman.

[Everyone laughs]

David: If you want to interpret it like that.

Interviewer: Thanks very much.

David and Gary: Thank you.

Robbie Coltrane and Michael Gambon

Interviewer: Michael, were you a Harry Potter fan before you got this role? How much did you know of Potter?

Michael Gambon: Not a lot. I’d seen the films. And I haven’t read the other two books. Read the third one. But I like them very much, yeah.

Interviewer: And obviously, with you taking Richard’s [Harris] place, I wondered how you sort of approached this role, then.

Michael: I just did my own thing. I do it with a slight Irish accent, which I think just seems to be right. I don’t know why. When I got on set the first day, “Alfonso,” I said, “I’ll just do that.” And he came around and said, “What’s that accent you’re doing?” I said, “Well, it’s a bit of Irish. Because I am Irish. I feel sort of Irish and this long beard and the long wig.” So he said, “All right, leave it in.” No one’s mentioned it since.

Interviewer: Well, the part of Dumbledore is a classic role, isn’t it? You’ve compared it, I think, to King Lear, I read.

Michael: Yeah. You feel a bit like King Lear, dressed like that. And he’s all-knowing and all-powerful, isn’t he? He’s a bit nicer than King Lear. Lear is miserable, isn’t he?

Robbie Coltrane: Absolutely.

Michael: Not very happy.

Robbie: Not very good at relationships.

Michael: He doesn’t like his children very much. [Laughs]

Interviewer: No, he wasn’t good with kids, was he?

Robbie and Michael: No.

Interviewer: Robbie, you are barely over six feet tall. In the movie, you’re obviously huge.

Robbie: Eight foot six.

Interviewer: Eight foot six. Without giving away secrets, how do they beef that up?

Robbie: Well, it’s mainly done with very clever camera angles. There are one or two other tricks, which I can’t possibly discuss.

Interviewer: But at any time, have you got tall shoes to take you up to the enormous height?

Robbie: Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.

Interviewer: So what’s the biggest height you actually physically get to?

Robbie: Eight foot six.

Interviewer: And how does life feel when you’re walking around 8’6″?

Robbie: Very perilous. Because you’ve got all this hair like that and you can’t really see your feet.

Interviewer: But quite inconvenient at that height.

Robbie: Very inconvenient. And the costume’s very heavy. The costume weighs about 90 pounds.

Interviewer: And not only does it weigh 90 pounds, but what’s it made of?

Robbie: What do you call it, moleskin?

Michael: Moleskin, yeah.

Robbie: Yeah, very thick and hot.

Interviewer: You had to wear this on the hottest day.

Robbie: It was 100 degrees in the forest. But I have a cool suit, you see.

Interviewer: Do you?

Robbie: Yes, it’s a vest, but it’s got miles and miles of plastic tubing in it.

Michael: Like a refrigerator.

Robbie: Very like a refrigerator. Then there’s a box with ice cubes and cold water in it and a tiny wee pump off a widescreen wiper of a car. Of course, they dyed the vest pink just to make me look like a complete silly fellow. And they do. They pump the water around and it’s extraordinary. You know how woozy you get when you’re really hot and your concentration goes. And then suddenly it’s this shock of freezing water circling around. It’s just wonderful.

Interviewer: Michael, how excited where the young children in your life that you’re in Harry Potter?

Michael: Oh, well, every boy and girl I meet asks me about being Dumbledore. So I do my best to tell them stories about it.

Interviewer: Your young relatives. It must be a massive difference between that and the work you’ve done, say, doing theater. I would think they wouldn’t want to talk about it.

Michael: They don’t want to talk about Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. [laughs] It wouldn’t really appeal to eight-year-olds.

Interviewer: “Tell us another story about it, Grandpa. Please tell us about Samuel Beckett.”

[Everyone laughs]

Robbie: “Tell us about existential alienation!”

[Everyone laughs]

Interviewer: You’re really watching the kids involved in this film grow up. Is that a strange experience?

Robbie: Well, no, not strange. Just very interesting, really. Particularly this film, they’re more confident as actors. They’re more confident as people because they’re young teenagers now. One thing that came across in this film is the sense of fun between them. They’ve known each other for years. They get on well. There’s a good knockabout feeling between them, which means that when you do get relief from the horrible things peering in the windows trying to disembowel you, it’s a genuine relief, which I don’t think they could’ve done when they were younger, to be honest.

Michael: I suppose they’re more used to acting now. After three years of…

Robbie: Yeah, exactly. But they put more time in than probably any of us, don’t they? In terms of hours. And when they’re not acting, they’re doing their school studies. It’s a long haul.

Michael: They’re at it all the time.

Robbie: Their concentration’s astonishing. If any one of those had been the wrong person… I mean, not just the wrong person at the start but had developed into the wrong person. In fact, we had this gage that we were going to stick a phony mustache on Daniel and get him to turn up with a cigarette holder and a couple of babes and a fur coat, saying, “My trailer is too small, love. I’m going back to it until…”

Interviewer: You’ve got the nightmare child star. Thanks very much, fellas.

Michael and Robbie: You’re welcome.

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson

Interviewer: Now, I understand that Alfonso had you each write an essay. What was that all about?

Rupert Grint: Actually, I never did the essay.

Interviewer: [laughs] True to character, you didn’t hand in your homework.

Rupert: I didn’t do it, but…

Emma Watson: Yeah. He asked us to write an essay about who we thought our characters were, why they did the things they do, their backgrounds, their feelings, their thoughts, how they’ve changed in the first year of Hogwarts, second year of Hogwarts, and now into the third year. And all that kind of stuff.

Daniel Radcliffe: I felt, really, so pleased with myself. Because you [points at Rupert] hadn’t handed yours in. I felt so pleased. “I’ve done it, I’ve done it, I’ve done it!”. I hand mine in, [and] the next day, Emma comes in with all 16 pages of hers.

[Emma laughs]

Interviewer: It’s frighteningly good casting, really, the way you’re reacting to this.

Daniel: We got a chance to explore the characters more because they’re growing up, so there’s more scope to the characters.

Emma: We’re teenagers.

Interviewer: What is the first thing that, typically, fans do when they see you in public?

Daniel: Quite a lot double takes, first of all. I think there’s almost this theory that we can’t go out in public, so it must just be somebody who looks like us. But that’s a myth. We do actually go out.

Emma: Yeah, I was in Topshop the other day, and this woman who’s working there comes up and goes, “It’s so funny. You look exactly like the girl who plays Hermione.” It’s like, “That’s because I am.” “Excuse me? What? Sorry?” [laughs]

Interviewer: What is the most ridiculous thing a fan has ever said to you?

Daniel: Well, I’ve had proposals of marriage. I had one, which was bizarre. It was terrifying.

Emma: It was “Dan, marry me.”

Daniel: Yeah. It was the weirdest one. It was this big sign. And the other one was the towel girl.

Interviewer: The towel girl?

Daniel: The towel girl. She’s a legend.

Interviewer: And what did the towel girl do?

Daniel: We were filming. I was doing MTV in New York. And it was freezing cold out. It’s not like it was a warm summer’s day. It was so cold. And I got up there, and they took me over to the window, and there was a girl standing there wearing nothing but a Harry Potter towel with a sign that said… It doesn’t get much better than this!

Interviewer: That’s so flattering.

Daniel: With a sign that says, “Nothing comes between me and Harry Potter.” It was great.

Interviewer: In the movie, you encounter a boggart who transforms itself into your worst fear. If you individually encountered boggarts, what do you think they’d be? You look like you love that pressure.

Rupert: Oh yeah. Well, I’m actually scared of spiders. I hate spiders. Just like Ron, really.

Interviewer: What animal, or Animagus…? Is it “Animagus”?

Daniel, Emma, and Rupert: Animagus.

Interviewer: I’ve been corrected by Hermione Granger. What do you think the other two would morph into?

Daniel: Oh, God. I don’t know.

Rupert: You always said that I looked like a frog.

Daniel: I didn’t say that.

Rupert: You did in one of the pictures.

Daniel: Did I?

Rupert: Yeah. One of the stills. I was…

Daniel: That was during my horrible phase. Well, I don’t know. What animal would you like to be? You like camels.

Rupert: Camels are quite cool.

Daniel: So he can be a camel.

Interviewer: It’s a handy thing to be. You can go a long time without water. [laughs]

Daniel: Yeah, exactly! I have absolutely no idea about… I’m sorry.

Interviewer: Throw one in.

Emma: Come on. Yeah, come on, Dan. No pressure or anything.

Interviewer: You’re meant to be able to do things like that. [snaps fingers]

Daniel: I know, but I can’t! I’m meant to be able to. Help me!

[Emma laughs]

Emma: A lion!

Interviewer: What do you think he’d be?

Emma: Well, I know he has a real thing for werewolves.

Daniel: No, just wolves. Wolves.

Emma: Wolves, wolves, okay.

Daniel: I convinced you I was a werewolf.

Rupert: He did, yeah.

Daniel: Yeah, I told him I was a werewolf.

Rupert: I believed you as well.

Interviewer: No, you couldn’t have done, really.

Rupert: Oh, I did. Yeah.

Interviewer: Okay, fellas, you are probably the most famous under-16-year-olds on this Earth. It must be a glorious time.

Emma: A bunch of towel girls.

Daniel: Yes, many, many towel girls. No, it’s great. It’s very cool, yeah.

Interviewer: What are the things you’d really like to do that you can do in Harry Potter but can’t in the real world? Would Quidditch be one? What sort of things? If you could pick one thing.

Daniel: I think I’d probably like the Invisibility Cloak. Because then I could just sneak into so many rock concerts. It’d be great.

Interviewer: Last thing. When a new Harry Potter book comes out, having started out just as Harry Potter book fans, it must have really changed the way you read these books.

Daniel: You do start to look at it as, “Oh my God, well, I’ll be doing this.”

Interviewer: For you, it’s a list of things to do.

Daniel: Yeah, I read the fourth book as we started the first film. At the Yule Ball, me and Ron are like, I remember, just reading, “Oh, my God, we’re wearing dresses?”

Emma: [Sarcastically] Excuse me?

Daniel: What?

Interviewer: “I’ve got to do that.”

Daniel: “No, surely.”

Interviewer: Did you have a similar moment when you read that?

Ron: Definitely, that scared me quite a bit.

Interviewer: But do you, when you look at it, think, “That’s another two weeks in blue screen”? Does it ruin or heighten your enjoyment of the book?

Daniel: For me, it heightens it, because it’s like, “Oh my God, I’m actually gonna get to do this.” Kids all over the world dream of this stuff, and you’re gonna do it. It’s fantastic.

Emma: Now that I’ve done the film, when I’m reading the book, I can see Dan, Rupert, and [myself] actually doing it. It’s really funny. I have this little picture in my head.

Matthew Lewis, Devon Murray, and James and Oliver Phelps

Interviewer: Were you big fans of Harry Potter before you got involved in this?

Oliver Phelps: We’ve read the books, haven’t we?

James Phelps: Yeah. I’d just finished the first one when we heard there were auditions for the film.

Oliver: And obviously, I didn’t realize how much of a big scale it was on. But I knew that there was definitely something about them.

Interviewer: Thought it was gonna be low-budget?

Oliver: Well, I… [laughs]

Interviewer: So what about you?

Devon Murray: Well, I’d just read the first one and then, as James and Oliver said, the auditions came up and then I had to keep on reading more and more to find out more about the film.

Oliver: Well, we heard there was an open audition in Leeds and we thought, “Why not go for it?”

Interviewer: What about you?

Matthew Lewis: Mine was the same. I’m from Leeds. Mine was at the open audition as well. And I remember all the people queuing up the stairs and everyone was there with the Harry Potter books and they put glasses on without lenses in. And I was just there with a little, small CV, and then I thought “Okay, I’ve got no chance of this at all.”

Interviewer: What about you?

Devon: My manager was on the…

Interviewer: Oh, “my manager.”

[Everyone laughs]

Devon: Well, he was on to the casting directors and all that about it, so I went for an audition over in Ireland. Then I was asked to come over here to do a screen test for either Seamus or Neville Longbottom. So I was there, like, “I might get a part in it.” I didn’t know I had the part until the actual read-through. I was told then I was going to read for Seamus, and then they said, “Well, you’ve read it all really well, so we’d like to take you on,” and all that. So went on and on from there.

Interviewer: Okay, where did you hear?

Matthew: Mine was two or three days after the screen test. Suddenly my mum got a phone call, and I was just carrying on playing and I opened the door and said, “Who is it?” She says, “It’s Lynn from your agency.” I said, “Oh, okay.” And well, she gave me the thumbs up. And I just ran in the room [and] started jumping up and down on the sofa. It was really cool.

Interviewer: What about you, fellas?

James: Well, we were just sitting in the front room.

Oliver: And the phone rang, so my mum answered it, and apparently, this lady said, “Hi, is the mum of the Weasley twins there?” I think she said, “No, I think you got the wrong number.”

[Everyone laughs]

Interviewer: Mum blew it for you. That was it. Now, if you could play any other characters in the Harry Potter films, who do you think you’d play?

Matthew: I guess a bad guy would be pretty cool, like Draco Malfoy. But I remember the first time I read Philosopher’s Stone. I put my dressing gown on as I pretend to be Harry running around the house. I can’t believe I just told you that. [laughs]

Interviewer: I’m good, aren’t I? What’s the strangest thing fans have ever asked you?

Devon: Well, they all ask, can we get them a part in the film?

Interviewer: Do they ask you for employment?

Devon: Yeah. Will you get me a job on Harry Potter?

Interviewer: If it’s a lady, I’ll bet you say, “Well…”

Devon: Yeah. [laughs] “Give me your number there and I’ll get back to you.”

Interviewer: Have you had any really bizarre things happen to you?

Matthew: Somebody gave me a pepper at the Collectormania that we did. And you got something even stranger…

Oliver: Yeah, we got a bra with potatoes in it. So I don’t quite…

James: We’re still trying to figure out what…

Interviewer: What kind of tribute is that?

Oliver: Isn’t that weird?

Interviewer: What was going through someone’s head? Something like, “I know what’s gonna really impress the twins.”

[Everyone laughs]

Interviewer: How do we tell you apart? What would you say? How does your mum do it?

Oliver: That one there. I’ve got a mole on my neck there. And James doesn’t.

James: I haven’t. So…

Interviewer: That’s it. We have to look for the mole. You’re not actually ginger, are you?

James: No.

Oliver: No, it’s dyed hair. Out of a bottle. We’re dark brown normally.

Interviewer: How do you feel being ginger?

James: I’ve gotten used to it now. It’s almost three years. We told our close friends we were in Harry Potter and they go, “Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure you are.” Then we walk into school with ginger hair, [and] everyone’s like, “What are they doing?”

Interviewer: No one would do that. Who would dye their hair ginger?

[Everyone laughs]

Interviewer: Matt, your character, Neville. They’ve sort of clowned you up a bit. What have they done to you? You looked different when I was looking at some of the rushes there.

Matthew: Yeah, there’s the false teeth, which are all yellow and crooked. We’ve got the two-sizes-too-big shoes.

Interviewer: They’ve gone for the big clown shoes. What about the ears?

Matthew: They put plastic behind the ears to make them stick out more. [laughs]

Interviewer: Now, in Lupin’s class, this time, we learn about the boggart, which is the thing you fear the most, that’s what the boggart turns into. What would be your own personal boggart?

Oliver: I’d say a big, hairy rat.

Interviewer: Rats.

Oliver: Can’t stand them. Or mice.

Interviewer: Do you ever come across rats in this? I know your brothers got…

Oliver: Only on King’s Cross station last year, but it was an animatronic one until they did the real thing, where it was a real one. And I still had thought it was animatronic until this thing jumps at me.

Interviewer: Did they make a real rat jump at you?

Oliver: It didn’t do it because they told it to. It was just looking at me.

Interviewer: It was genuinely vicious.

Oliver: It didn’t like me, yeah.

Interviewer: What magical power or spell would come in handy in everyday life?

Devon: Mine would probably be, just so all the girls… just so everyone…

Interviewer: [Laughs] He says it with an Irish twinkle in his eye. “All the girls, Johnny, all the girls.” Okay. Well, listen, fellas, thank you for talking to me.

Devon, James, Matthew, and Oliver: Thank you.