Interview with David Thewlis and Gary Oldman
: What had you heard about Harry Potter before you actually got involved in it? David?
David: 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: Ok, 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 was your preconceptions?
Gary: 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. (Group laughter)
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?
David: Gary does. Not myself.
Interviewer: And are they into Harry Potter? Or too young?
Gary: Yeah. Allie's 14, so-
Interviewer: He's right in the age there.
Gary: Yeah. And the other two, Charlie's 4 ½ and Gulliver's 6. So they've been here and they've got, you know
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. (Laughter)
Interviewer: They also get excited about the film.
Gary: When I
When I told-Gulliver's 6. 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?" (Group laughter)
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 Cuaron. 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 like 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, that sort of twist at the end.
Interviewer: Was there any sort of sense of being, like, new kids in a sort of established cast, almost new kids in a school, ironically?
David: Yeah, there's an element of that. It's kind of a welcome from everyone that'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 do you feel--? 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) Stole things from you.
Gary: No, that happens somewhere else. You know, 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's 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, you know. 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 bag 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 gotta be good, because this kid-"?
Gary: Yeah, you think: "I've gotta be good here."
Interviewer: Yeah, for the kids.
Gary: "For the kids. I've gotta 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. (Looks up) And the sunlight hit my eyes, and I had the teeth still in, and I actually was like-"Ahhh!"
Interviewer: "I am blinded!" (Group laughter)
David: "Look, he's taking it a bit serious, isn't he?"
Interviewer: You're in character as soon as you leave the trailer. "Ahhh the light!"
Ok, 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: (pretending to scrub table) Your tea's on the table, darling. (Group laughter)
Interviewer: An old woman. (Group laughter)
David: If you want to interpret it like that.
Shrunken Head: Excuse me, sirs. Before we go, I just wanted you to know I put both of you on my résumé as my costars. So if anybody calls, could you just tell them you learned a lot from me? (Laughs)
David: You should quit while you're ahead.
Interviewer: Thanks very much.
David & Gary: Thank you.