MuggleCast | The #1 Most-Listened to Harry Potter Podcast

MuggleCast 99 Transcript

Show Intro

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[Intro music begins to play]

Andrew: Today's MuggleNet podcast is brought to you by Borders In May, thousands of Harry Potter fans descended upon New Orleans for the Phoenix Rising Conference. Borders was there to take in the sites and share a lively discussion of the series that has bewitched the world with some of Harry's most dedicated fans. Listen in and watch the action yourself. Check our The Phoenix Rising, Borders Book Club discussion at, or click on the Borders banner at the top of the MuggleNet page.

[Intro music ends, and starts up different music]

Andrew: The first of many LIVE episodes of MuggleCast this summer, this is MuggleCast Episode 99 for July 15th, 2007.

[MuggleCast intro music continues to play]

Keith Hawk: Good evening!

[Audience cheers]

Keith: Those of you who haven't attended the entire event, welcome to Enlightening 2007! [Audience cheers] This is MuggleCast!

[More cheers from audience]

Keith: Guys, I have a great show lined up for you tonight; they're having a whole bunch of discussions, a lot about the movie and other things. So, please, let's put your hands together and welcome - for three years, he's been with MuggleNet. From Medford, New Jersey, he's the lead host of MuggleCast. Please welcome Andrew Sims!

[Audience cheers and applauds]

Keith: For four years with MuggleNet - he wants to be known as the chief operating officer. Right from Kansas, please welcome Ben Schoen!

[Audience cheers and applauds]

Keith: Also four years with MuggleNet, all the way from Suffolk, England, he is the chairmen of International Relations, Mr. Jamie Lawrence.

[Audience cheers, and applauds]

Keith: Two years with MuggleNet, he is the head of marketing and the news guru that you hear every week on the podcast, please welcome Micah Tannenbaum, from New York!

[Audience cheers and applauds]

Keith: You might know this guy, I'm not really sure. Started the website when he was twelve years old.

Andrew: Oh my god!

[Some laughter among audience]

Keith: He is here, in the flesh. All the way from Chicago, Illinois. Put your hands together for the guy you love, Emerson Spartz!

[Audience cheers and applauds]

[Intro music finishes]


Andrew: Thank you, Keith Hawk, head coordinator of the trivia contest. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the live MuggleCast, the first of several live MuggleCasts here. Well, this summer - we're going to be all over the world this summer. We can actually say all over the world, not just the United States. Just me?

Ben: Mhm.

Andrew: We're going to be doing a podcast in London for the book release, Jamie and I.

[A few "wooos" from the audience]

Ben: And Emerson and I will be in Chicago.

Emerson: Oak Park, Illinois. It's going to be - every year the entire downtown district of the city of Oak Park transforms into Diagon Alley. How cool is that, guys?

[Audience cheers]

Emerson: Over 10,000 fans show up for this every year. They fly from all around the world to this little Chicago suburb, and we're going to be there counting down to midnight. It's going to be great.

Jamie: Andrew, it's only fair that we plug ours now after that.

Andrew: Yeah, it's definitely going to be a million times bigger, Emerson.

Ben: Oh, I'm sure.

Jamie: One thousand million.

Andrew: Despite the fact we only have 800 tickets, but we will be at - go ahead, Jamie.

Jamie: No, I was just going to one-up Emerson, but it doesn't matter now.

Ben: They're going to be in London at Waterstone's.

Andrew: Waterstone's at Piccadilly Circus. It's going to be a huge event. A week from now. A week from now! You two will be in Chicago, Micah is going to be doing something in New York, and me and Jamie will be in London. It's going to be crazy. It's going to be a lot of fun. Is everyone excited for the book? In just a week, [Audience cheers] everyone will be waiting in line.

[Audience continues to cheer and applaud]

Andrew: I don't want it to end. Do you, Emerson?

Emerson: Mhm.

Andrew: [laughs] We were just having a little talk backstage, and it's funny, because we've all grown up with Harry Potter, as most of you have here, and this is a very family-oriented convention, so overall, it's going to be sad saying "Bye!" to all of that hype that we've been looking forward to for 10 years. So...

The Red Carpet

Andrew: Anyway, we have a few things to talk about. We wanted to start with a fun story that happened last week, but we need to set it up first.

Jamie: Can we sort of start with a catch phrase? I don't know if anyone is going to understand this, but the HMS Bemma has now sailed.

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Sort of. It didn't really sail.

Andrew: First, let's set it up.

Emerson: Some necessary back-story here: at the premiere, I was on the red carpet with Andrew - I was on the microphone and he had the camera, and when Emma Watson came down the line, I was thinking, you know, "Should I ask her another one of those boring character development questions, or should I ask her what she really wants to talk about - Ben Schoen?"

[Audience laughs]

Ben: For real.

Emerson: So I said, "Emma, has Evanna Lynch maybe mentioned anything to you about somebody named Ben Schoen?" And she had this look. She was like, "Yeah! Yeah! Are you him? Are you him? I've heard..." and I said, "Well, what did Evanna say?" She said, [in a girly and very fake British accent] "Well, I don't know how to say this without sounding arrogant, but she said he was a big supporter of mine..."

Jamie: That was a dreadful British accent. I won't lie.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: "...and he really really wants what's best for me."

Ben, Emma, and The After-Party

Ben: That's completely true, and so somehow, we managed to secure tickets to the after-party following the premiere. So, of course, this is my one big chance. You know, my time to shine. Me and Emma Watson. We're coming face-to-face, you know? [Audience laughs] So, I pretty much psyched myself up for it all week. The whole week was building up to it, pretty much, you know, where I'm thinking, this is it. This is it.

[Andrew and audience laugh]

Ben: So, we get to the party, and - you know, you'd expect it to be, like, adults sitting around, sipping champagne and being all [in a sophisticated tone] "Oh, yes. David Heyman, that was a great movie. I really enjoyed that movie. It was a wonderful movie," you know? But it wasn't like that at all. It was really like a kiddie carnival, almost. There was all these games lining outside, it was, like, "Rope a Hippogriff," and I don't know.

Andrew: "Fling the Phoenix."

Ben: A bunch of games like that. So, I go into - it's indoors and outdoors - so I go into the indoor part, and I look around and Dan Radcliffe right there, and he walked by me, and oh, Emma's not in here. Who cares?

[Audience laughs]

Ben: So I walked back out, walked around a bit, and Robert Pattinson! Still no Emma, and finally, I go back in and I see her. She's sitting on the couch, okay? With her dad - I think it was her dad - and her bodyguard standing behind her, and there's a line of fans, okay? There's a line of fans. Don't worry. I would have taken them out...

[Audience laughs]

Ben: ...given the chance, if I could do it all over again. Anyways, so, she's sitting there and there's a line of fans and I'm thinking, how can I do this, being as tactful as I am? It would be the best way to do this. So, I go and sit on the couch next to her and I say I'll wait. I'll wait until the line of fans is gone. Then, I'll lean over and strike up casual conversation, and of course, Evanna Lynch did tell her about me, because she's a big MuggleCast fan, and so she knew who I was. I was going to be like, "Hey! Hi, how're you? I'm a really big fan, blah, blah, blah, " and then I was going to be like, "Oh, yeah. I'm that one dude that she brought up." But anyways, so like I said, I walk in and I see her sitting there, and I can feel it. This is it. It's going down.

[Andrew and audience laugh]

Ben: I was going to be disappointed if I didn't at least get a phone number. And so...

[Audience laughs]

Ben: So - okay. So, I sit down next to her, the line's finally gone. This is it - I'm not nervous at all, by the way. Cool, calm, and collected.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Traditional Ben Schoen manner. Anyways, I lean over to her and I tap her on the shoulder. Watch out, no, don't do that, Emerson.

Jamie: I can't take part in that.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: I lean over, and - she's looking that way, and I tap her on the shoulder, and she looks over to me and I say, "You know, does that ever get old having all of these people ask for autographs?" She says, "What?" And then, this guy - this random guy comes and sits right between us.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: There's, like, literally, a foot gap, okay? A foot gap between us, practically, and this bozo comes and sits between us.

[Audience continues to laugh]

Ben: A complete bozo! I'm just kidding, she might have been close to him - so sorry. But he sat between us. He didn't know - I don't think he realized I was asking her a question, so I sit there. I relax, and I say, "Once he gets up, I'll ask." And, well, he got up, she got up, and her bodyguard whisked her away, and then that - that is when I pulled out my nunchucks, and I beat the bodyguard down and I kidnapped Emma! And she's here with us today! Ladies and gentlemen! I'm just kidding.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: So, I didn't actually meet her, really, at all. So...

[Audience sighs and says, "Awww"]

Ben: Awww.

Andrew: But you got to touch her.

Ben: I got to touch her. I touched her arm, one step closer. It's going to happen eventually, folks. [Audience laughs] Believe me. It's going down soon.

Jamie: I'm don't know why you didn't sort out the guy that sat between you. Was he just more charming, or...?

Ben: Oh, more charming. Of course. Like that's possible. No, I'm just kidding. He was kind of - I don't know. It was kind of weird because later on, I saw him - I think they were friends, or something. I think they were probably good friends because later on, I saw him sitting next to her and walking around with his arm around her, but I know she doesn't - I don't think she has a boyfriend. So, yeah. It was disappointing, but I still got to mingle with Robert Pattinson and all them, so who am I to complain?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: But the HMS Bemma will sail one day. The anchor has just been put in the sea for awhile.

[Andrew laughs]

Jamie: It's a heavy anchor. I don't know how it's going to get back.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Well, like Ben was saying earlier, the after-party is interesting because you expect it to be a very classy, dignified event because it is Harry Potter - it is such a big movie and a big franchise, but then you go here, and it's all of this music you would expect to see at your high school dance. It's just cool teenager music. It was a pretty cool party, and there was free drinks, free food - lots of good food. You pigged out right away, didn't you?

Ben: And get this. There was a pizza buffet there. Just for Emerson, I think. I think Warner Brothers got it for Emerson. He has the taste buds of a fifth-grader.

Emerson: I thought one of the most interesting things about being at the after-party is that you see all these normal families, kids, adults, people in suits, and then all of a sudden, you walk by and oh, that guy is Dan Radcliffe. You're like, "Wow!" They're just walking around like normal people and everywhere you go, there's some other famous person.

Jamie: Do they have guards with them all the time? Or are they just walking around?

Ben: They always have a bodyguard with them.

Andrew: Yeah, like, Dan did.

Jamie: Could you have taken them all at one time?

Ben: Most likely.

Jamie: Without the nunchucks and the swords, and the AK-47s?

Ben: Easily.

Andrew: Why didn't you try? That's what I want to know.

Ben: Because I'm a big fan of not going to jail.

[Andrew and audience laugh]

Ben: I don't want to make the black list. The Emma Watson black list.

Andrew: [laughs] She'll really know you then.

The After-Party Decorations

Emerson: You guys can't even believe how incredible the decorations are. They went all out. They spent over 400,000 dollars on this party.

Andrew: After-party.

Emerson: You go into the bathroom, you're sitting there taking a leak...

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: ...and all of a sudden you hear [meows] and you look over and you see Umbridge's office and you see Umbridge's office and all the cats are staring at you while you take a pee!

Andrew: They're actually in the bathroom.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: It's weird!

Ben: It was also cool on the inside where it went down, or what didn't go down...

[Audience laughs]

Ben: ...there are a bunch of picture frames of, like, the moving video picture frames. It was really cool. And they had all of the Educational Decrees.

Andrew: Yeah, and they had a Hall of Prophecies. It was very well set up. It was amazing. And they actually did more work for that than they did for the actual premiere. The premiere was just a bunch of Order of the Phoenix posters and a bunch of crazy fangirls. Emerson, you and I did a great - well, okay, you did a great job of revving up the crowd with your MuggleNet chants.

Emerson: You did a great job filming them, Andrew.

Andrew: Well, thanks, Emerson.

London Premiere

Jamie: Awww.

Ben: Jamie, Jamie, you did a great job at the U.K. premiere. I just wanted to compliment you.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Micah, you did a good jobt oo.

Jamie: Thank you. Actually, there's a story there, Andrew. We were - I was filming, in the loosest sense of the word, while Andrew was under this huge umbrella and Andrew's umbrella-holding skills are far from satisfactory.

[Audience laughs]

Jamie: And basically what happened was he was at the front and then it was John. Andrew, what was it?

Andrew: I was at the front, and then Melissa was right next to me.

Jamie: Yeah, that was it.

Andrew: John was behind Melissa. You were behind me.

Jamie: And Andrew holds this umbrella perfectly so it's lined up with the back of my neck. So, this rain just hits the umbrella. He stays dry, John stays dry...

Andrew: And Melissa stays dry.

Jamie: And torrential downpour just goes down right down my back. So, I'm standing there...

Andrew: And I would keep holding back at him, and he looked like this puppy dog.

Jamie: Yeah, I was completely soaking.

Andrew: You were completely drenched.I felt for you, but there was nothing I could do, because the umbrella...

Jamie: You could have. You could have moved it back a bit. Anyway, I was holding this thousand dollar camera. We didn't even have a bag to put this camera in because it was raining, so Andrew took off his shirt, he was wearing like he's wearing now, yeah. So he took off his shirt, and I poked the camera lens through the sleeve and wrapped it around, so I'm absolutely soaking, and I'm filming like this and it was not a nice experience.

Ben: That's old-fashioned British ingenuity for you.

Jamie: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: We sort of have a depressing story. Like Ben's with Emma, we never got to interview Jo. Jo...

Jamie: Yeah.

Andrew: She was...

Ben: So, some bozo sat between you and Jo? Is that what happened?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: No, no, it was an interview. Here's the big press pit - it's just a giant circle and they walk around in this circle, and Jo, for some reason, came over to the people next to us a few spots down, but didn't work her way over to us, and it was kind of depressing because obviously, we wanted to ask her some questions.

Ben: Really?

Emerson: Shut up.

Andrew: That's why I said, "obviously." So, that was a bit of a disappointment. We sort of thought afterwards that maybe she was too afraid that we were going to ask her questions about Book 7, and she probably didn't want...

Ben: I think she was intimidated by you, Andrew, to be honest. I mean...

Andrew: Yeah, I was pretty scaring wearing...

Ben: A famous billionaire author, you know?

Andrew: Yeah. [Laughs]

The Moaning Myrtles

Andrew: But who was here for the Moaning Myrtles show a little bit earlier today?

[Some of the audience cheers]

Andrew: What do you think of them? Can we bring them up here now? They're here. There they are. Come on up.

[Audience cheers and applauds]

Andrew: We'll talk to you guys for a little bit.

[Pause, and audience continues to cheer]

Andrew: We were very impressed by - where is she going to stand? Here, stand over here. No, you don't have to do laps. Tell us. When does this whole Wizard Rock thing begin?

Nina Jankowicz of the Moaning Myrtles: For us? Or...

Andrew: For you, and for everyone.

Nina: Well, when did Harry and the Potters get together, Lauren?

Lauren Fairweather of the Moaning Myrtles: I'm not sure, but I saw them in...

Ben: Wasn't it 2001?

Lauren: In 2004.

Nina: Yeah, and then we went together to a Harry and the Potters concert in October 2005, and after we saw them, we thought it might be fun to start a band and Lauren had dressed up as Moaning Myrtle for a book release party for - was it Book 6? That you dressed up as Moaning Myrtle?

Lauren: Yes.

Nina: So I thought that was cool, and it was sort of a joke at first and we wrote "And Then I Died" and put a 30-second clip on the MySpace and lo and behold, two hundred fans within a couple of days, and now we have 10,000. So, it's kind of taken off from there, but...

Andrew: According to the MySpace, anyway?

Nina: According to the MySpace, yes.

Andrew: Where do you guys get your inspiration for writing this music? Because there's a lot of Wizard Rock bands out there right now and you guys are probably one of the bigger ones. I know there's the Remus Lupins, there's Harry and the Potters, there's the Hungarian Horntails...

Ben: And Andrew and the Sims.

Andrew: Andrew and the Sims? Oh, okay. [laughs]

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: But where do you guys get your ideas from writing this music? And once Book 7 comes out, are you going to start writing right away?

Lauren: We're definitely planning on it as soon as the book comes out. Just like, getting more ideas. We really hope that Myrtle is in the next book, so we have some more material, but as soon as we decided on Myrtle, we looked through all the books, post-it-noted all the pages where she was mentioned and just pretty much wrote about the actual references, and then kind of came up with other things on the side.

Nina: We knew we were going to have to be creative at that point because you know, she's mentioned in every other book, and she has little small scenes, and every time she is mentioned she does something hilarious, so it's almost like a little bit of fanfiction in our music because we have to draw experiences that may not have been entirely canon in the books. Stop laughing at me. [laughs]

Ben: So, where do you gals head from here? Do you have any more stops? Do you get to perform anywhere this summer?

Lauren: Yes, we are doing what we call our poor tour right now. We can't travel outside of a two-hour radius from our house, so we are playing in New Jersey, and Pennsylvania a whole lot until the book release and then in August, we are doing a few more shows, so it's...

Ben: So, if I want to go out and see you, where can I find that information?

Lauren: We have - all of our tour dates are on our MySpace, and our website is Moaning, and all the tour dates are on both of those websites with all the information and directions and other fun stuff.

Nina: And if you are one of our fans who keeps messaging us and says, "Play in New Mexico, or play in Salt Lake City, Utah" then buy our CD and maybe we can come there and stop being poor college students. [laughs]

Ben: Yes, everyone buy their CD. Right now. Thank you.

Andrew: Thank you, guys, very much. Good luck on your tour.

[Audience cheers and applauds]

Andrew: The Moaning Myrtles!

MuggleCast Tour Locations

Andrew: That's one thing; whenever we announce we're going on tour, we get, like, "Oh, can you please come to - insert my little town made up of 500 people."

Jamie: Yeah.

Andrew: "We have a bookstore. You can do it here." It's nice offers, but we're trying to go - we're covering cross-country. Where are we going, Ben, exactly?

Ben: Oh, geez. We're going to Las Vegas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Tulsa, Oklahoma; St. Louis, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; [takes deep breath] Columbus, Ohio. No, Cleveland, Ohio.

Andrew: Pittsburgh.

Ben: Pittsburgh, then Prophecy 2007. Awesome.

Andrew: And everything will wrap there.

Ben: The Harry Potter blow-out to end all Harry Potter blow-outs. Be there.

Ben's Hagrid

Andrew: Ladies, and gentlemen, Hagrid has entered the auditorium back there. Please say, "Hi!" to Hagrid.

Ben: [In his Hagrid voice] Rubeus Hagrid!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Do it, do it, do it. Do it, Ben. Ben, could we have a Hagrid impression, please?

Ben: [In his Hagrid voice] Rubeus Hagrid! How're you doing!

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: I don't know what to say.

Order of the Phoenix

Andrew: [laughs] Okay, well, who saw the movie?

[Some cheers and applause]

Ben: Who didn't see the movie?

[Cheers stop, and others laugh]

Ben: Just kidding. Of course Micah saw the film.

Andrew: Plus, my dad, also, in the audience.

Jamie: Can I ask a quick question? Is it worse seeing it in IMAX? Because I've asked a couple of people now, but...

[Some cheers]

Andrew: See, some people are saying "no."

Ben: Yeah, I heard from, like, one hundred people, and the answer was "no."

Andrew: Yeah. Some people are saying no, and they're saying the 3-D effects just weren't worth it.

[Murmuring within audience]

Andrew: They're stupid? We have a "they're stupid" here. I have "You're stupid" over here.

Female Audience Member: Only the last 20 minutes.

Andrew: It was the last twenty minutes, right. So, I mean...

[More murmuring within audience]

Ben: You're the man, dude.

Andrew: Oh, really? Okay. See, it's weird. At one of the podcast workshops today, we were talking about - that it may have an afterthought, like, they didn't film it for IMAX because for one, it was the last 20 minutes, they didn't really come out at you. They sort of did, but it was just the effects.

Jamie: Andrew, I was going to say - you're a technical guy. Do you have to film it for 3-D, or do you, like...?

Andrew: I don't know how that works. They did it digitally, yeah. That's what we were saying. They probably didn't actually plan to do it - release it in the IMAX, I mean, yeah. We'll make a quick extra buck, so I don't know. Anyone here going to see it in IMAX? Micah?

[Some murmuring and agreeing from audience]

Andrew: Well, you guys? Some of you are. I guess it's worth it. It'd be cool. It's a good way to see it again. Plus, you have a huge screen that's like, you can't see anything but the screen and it's amazing. Is it not?

Ben: It is amazing, Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you, but - okay, we wanted to talk about some scenes in the movie that really got our attention.

Favorite Scenes

Andrew: First of all, panel. Overall thoughts on the movie. We'll start with Emerson down there and work our way over.

Emerson: See, I thought the movie was very well done. I don't know if they could have done much better with it, but the fact that Order of the Phoenix was my least favorite Harry Potter book meant that I didn't enjoy the movie as much as I enjoyed the third and the fourth, which I do think are head and shoulders above the first two. They're all good movies, but I'd say Order of the Phoenix falls about number - right in the middle of the movies, but I did enjoy it immensely. It was well done.

Jamie: What about your thoughts, Micah?

Micah: Well, I'd probably have to see the movie first, and then I could [Micah and audience laugh] let you know my thoughts.

Jamie: It could help. It could help. I thought it was pretty good. I thought some small things just ruined it. Well, not ruined it, but just, I thought I couldn't trust filmmakers that allowed those things to go in, like, for anyone who hasn't seen it, let me just completely ruin it, okay?

Micah: Go ahead.

Jamie: There's a scene when Professor Trelawney's being sacked and then Dumbledore walks away from the scene and he's like, "Don't you all have some studying to do?" to all these students around and I just wanted to hit him.

[Audience laughs]

Jamie: Actually, no. I didn't. I wanted Ben to break out his nunchucks and sort him out as well.

[Audience laughs]

Jamie: But...

Ben: I take care of these boys.

Jamie: Yeah, yeah, he's got my back. But other than that, I thought it was really good. I thought the battle was good. I liked the whole sort of time thing they did with the flipping through the pages, going to flashbacks, that kind of thing. I think it was the best Potter movie by far. And yeah, it was good, with only a few minor snags that brought it down a bit.

Ben: I echo what Jamie said, but unless I'm directing the movie, I'm not going to be happy with it, you know? The same thing with any Harry Potter fan, and unless they keep every single one of your favorite scenes, they write every line the way that you think it should be written, you're not going to be happy with it. So, I have a hard time being critical - well, I don't, [Audience laughs] but I have a hard time being critical in the sense that [laughs] I can't really critique the "Oh my gosh, they cut so much out, they did all these things." To me, when you go to see the movie, it's a lot different than reading the book. I mean, there are two different expectations, and I thought the film was great. Best yet.

Jamie: Yeah, and I was also going to say that you have to see the - sorry - you have to read the book first before you go to the movie, because there are a couple of things you wouldn't understand, you know, if you didn't read the book first. I can't remember any of them, but I just remember at the time there is when I was watching it...

Andrew: Well, the veil, for example.

Jamie: Sorry?

Andrew: The veil, for example.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: I mean, the veil's not explained in the movie - it's not really much in the book either, but of course, Bellatrix puts Avada Kedavra on Sirius, which is not the spell that she puts on him in the book, and I thought about this and I realized that maybe it's because if she used the Avada Kedavra, they don't have to explain what happened to Sirius. He's dead.

Ben: That, and perhaps that clears it up, too.

Andrew: What's that?

Ben: That would clear it up, too.

Andrew: Exactly.

Jamie: But someone mentioned in the podcast discussion that the spell didn't actually hit Sirius. You didn't actually see the spell hit him, like, from the camera angle, you saw the light die from his eyes and you saw him fall backwards, but it didn't actually hit him.

Ben: Yeah, I remember seeing - he just wouldn't have stumbled and fallen through. I mean, he does have balance. He stood in front of the veil for a really long time. It wasn't like he just stepped back and was like, "Whoooooa!" You know?

[Audience laughs]

Ben: I think Bellatrix's spell had to have hit him because he's kind of like...

Andrew: Exactly.

Jamie: The point is, is that he tripped, avoiding the spell. That is why he fell into the veil.

Ben: Oh, okay. I see what you mean. Yeah, but I don't know.

Imelda Staunton

Emerson: Imelda Staunton is the perfect Umbridge.

[Audience cheers and applauds]

Andrew: Hands down. Hands down. Hands down the best Umbridge ever.

Ben: Hold on a second, though, Emerson.

Emerson: There is no way anyone else in the single other person, the six billion on the planet, could ever do that. [Imitates Umbridge‘s "hem hem"]

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: That sickening smile that just...

Jamie: How much is she paying you, Em?

Emerson: ...breaks through everything she says, she says it with that smile, that "I'm better than you and I have more power than you and that there's nothing you can do about it."

Andrew: It was perfect. Did anyone see the MuggleNet interview clips on

[Some of the audience says, "Yeah!"]

Andrew: Yeah. Everyone see the beginning? With Imelda Staunton? What do you think of that?

[Audience applauds]

Emerson: "MuggleNet!"

Andrew: Best video clip ever.

Emerson: "MuggleNet, hem hem!"

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Ben: Now, Andrew.

Jamie: That's scarily good.

Andrew's Thoughts

Ben: Now, Andrew, we heard the rest of our thoughts about the film, what did you think?

Andrew: [laughs] Thank you, Ben. Well, listen, I came out of it and - many people have talked about this, and came out of the film thinking just, "Huh." I mean...

Ben: It was kind of mixed. That's how I felt at first.

Andrew: It's mixed, it was very mixed, in my opinion. There's – it's just, I guess I was expecting so much more. I was looking forward to – I was really looking forward to the scene seeing Snape enter Harry's mind. I thought there would be a lot more emphasis on that, a lot more drama in that scene, and of course, that was short. The Umbridge stuff was perfect. They did do a few montages which was an interesting way of moving the movie forward.

Ben: What's a montage? Are you talking about when they put the newspaper thingy in?

Andrew: Well that, but also like, just a bunch of clips all thrown together. Like when Umbridge is wreaking havoc on the school.

Ben: Oh, okay.

Andrew: Well, not wreaking havoc, but laying the smack-down on the entire school. Things like that.

Grimmauld Place

Jamie: One last thing I just want to talk about, which I think we mentioned on a show, which was one more thing which completely spoiled – it didn't spoil it, once again, it's just a nagging thing, was when Harry left Privet Drive and went to Grimmauld Place, and instead of him seeing and reading the piece of parchment that tells him where it is, Moody tapped his stick in some kind of Jafar-like action.

Andrew: So dumb.

Jamie: Which I was expecting like...

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Wasn't that dumb?

Jamie: ...Aladdin Five: Return to the Cave, or something like that.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, that was one of the first things that ruined my enjoyment for the film because it was so far off from the books. It just doesn't make sense!

Jamie: But that charm is so important in the entire scheme of things, with Sirius and Pettigrew and the secret-keeper for the Potters.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: So it seems like you shouldn't make that mistake.

Ben: Well I don't think it's really a mistake because the secret-keeper charm was explained in the third film, and I had a really good point to make. It was the best point you've ever heard in your life, but I forgot it, so I'm going to shut up now.


Andrew: [laughs] But okay, what other scenes were sort of far off? I don't want to be too negative, but...

Ben: Oh, oh! I remember now!

Andrew: Okay. Good, I was just killing time.

Ben: Okay, so when Harry – okay, the first thing that I noticed in the film. Okay, I saw the screening in London, and I was writing and taking notes the whole entire time, and this is really nitpicky, but the opening of the film when Harry and Dudley are running, they're like running side by side, and Dudley's fat, he can't do that.

[Andrew and audience laugh]

Ben: The second thing I thought they messed up was when they get back to – oh, it was Figg. Arabella Figg was the worst Figg ever because...

[Audience laughs]

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: She said, she was just like, [imitates] "Why don't you keep your wand out, boy?"

[Andrew and audience laugh]

Ben: And in the book she's angry, almost to borderline, you know, she's really stern, she's like, [imitates] "Keep your wand out, are you a fool? Keep your wand out!" You know? But in the movie she was kind of, she was too weak. I thought she was going to be a lot stronger. And then you get back to the house, and there's Richard Griffiths and he's all, [imitates] "Oh, I got you now, boy!" but in the book, it wasn't like that at all! But, I mean, from a movie-goer's perspective, I thought it was still good.

Andrew: But there was that classic shot I thought was hilarious, when it cuts to him and he's huddled in the freezer spooning some ice cream. That was hilarious!

Ben: I just think the Dursleys should have been more mad.

Emerson: I just think anytime in the movies where there's any kind of conflict between characters, whenever they're fighting or arguing. Whenever you know, Draco Malfoy comes up to Harry and says, [imitates] "P-p-potter!"

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: It's not realistic at all. Like, he's trying to be angry, they're trying to be angry at each other, but that's not how it actually happens in the real world. That's just a movie scene kind of argument. You guys know what I mean there? Like, he's not clever or sarcastic or funny or witty in any way. It's just saying something I would expect a second-grader to say as an insult.

Ben: He just walks by and he's like, [imitates] "Mudblood!"

Emerson: Yeah.

Ben: [laughs] Then he's like, [imitates] "Let me at him! Let me at him!"

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Yeah.

Emerson: He, like, spits at him.

Jamie: Yeah, but it is a movie, and there's magic in it, so, you know, you can't expect it to echo the real world completely.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Good point.

Ben: I don't know. Raise your hand if you enjoyed the film. You thought they did a good job.

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Now that's pretty impressive.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: I mean, the reviews out there have been really mixed.

Andrew: Yeah. In comparison to the other films, would anyone call it their favorite film? I know people have been calling it their favorite film, but do you call it that just because it just came out? Like everyone says each one is your favorite. "Oh, Sorcerer's Stone, oh my gosh, it was amazing!" "Oh, Chamber of Secrets, even better!" "Wow! Prisoner of Azkaban, oh my god!"

Jamie: No. No!

Andrew: "Goblet of Fire, wow, Mike Newell." "Order of the Phoenix, whoa, Umbridge."

Jamie: No one has ever said that Chamber of Secrets is their favorite film ever.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Well.

Emerson: It was everybody's favorite film after - when it came out.

Jamie: Yeah, because they had to compare it Movie 1.

Andrew: Yeah exactly, exactly, that's my point.

Emerson: Yeah. Either way.

Jamie: Which was not difficult at all.

Ben: Okay, here's what usually happens, I've noticed this. After Goblet of Fire, we got out of the premiere, we went to the podcast and started talking about the film, and all that came from up here, back then, was praise. "Oh my god, Goblet of Fire was a wonderful film."

Andrew: I still think it is.

Ben: Well, hold on a second. And then a week later, all of a sudden, the same people who were like, "Oh, they did a great job!" all of a sudden turned into, "You know, they really messed up this line. They messed up this line, this line, and [gasps] this line."

[Andrew and audience laugh]

Ben: It's just like, come on, really? You were just saying how awesome the film was a minute ago, and I don't know, I just think that sometimes - since we're Harry Potter fans and by nature we're going to be very critical and analyze things a little too much. So...

Jamie: But the movies are a learning curve more than anything. They have got better, I think each one has gotten considerably better when people realize what the fans want, what the fans don't want so, like, I didn't enjoy one at all, I thought it was terrible, thought two was pretty terrible as well.

Emerson: The one thing I would have liked...

Jamie: Three got a lot better.

Emerson: The one thing I would have liked to see more of in this movie was - because it was like two-and-a-half hours of depressing stuff, and then like...

Jamie: It's a depressing book, though.

Emerson: And then the one scene of happiness at the end, and I know that's what it's like in the book, but I feel they could have used a little more humor to lighten the mood a little bit, because I just came out of the movie feeling a little bit tired, because I just – I felt for Harry and I felt for the characters, and it was just such a dark, dark book, so it was a dark movie too and a little humor, I think, could have injected a little more life into the movie.

Ben: Right.

Jamie: But there was a bit of humor still. They still kept in the teaspoon quote, which I was really pleased about. You know, "the emotional range of a teaspoon."

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Something that I noticed, I was just thinking about it - it came into my mind, was that the first film was rated PG, correct?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And...

Andrew: So was Movie 3.

Ben: Movie 3 was? Yeah, that's right. So, I don't know, just how many PG films out there do you enjoy? Because I remember watching this film when I was younger - I remember watching the first three films when I was younger and I was so into those things because it was just - they were amazing movies to me. So, I don't know, I think maybe they were targeting a different audience back then as opposed to now.

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: Because people have grown up with the series.

Jamie: They're more PG books as well. Like, one and two aren't as dark as three, four, five and six, and probably seven as well. So, I think they're just going to get darker, the movies. Six is going to be very, very scary, then seven is just going to be NC-17.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Well, seriously, with so many people dying in the seventh book? I mean, okay, this is probably a stretch now that I'm actually saying it out loud, but could it be rated R?

Emerson: No.

Ben: No.

[Audience says, "No!"]

Andrew: You guys don't know what's happening in book seven!

Ben: [laughs] Everyone's just like, "Noooooo."

Andrew: It could be some really nasty stuff going on in there.

Jamie: No, there's no way.

Andrew: Like stabbing, oh.

Ben: Is that all you're thinking about?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: That's debatable.


Ben: What about Michael Gambon?

[Audience and Ben "booo!"]

Ben: Personally, I think Keith - Keith Hawk is a way better Dumbledore, where you at buddy?

Emerson: Give him a round of applause.

[Audience cheers]

[Andrew laughs]

Emerson: See, I don't actually share Ben's view on this one, even though we tend to see eye-to-eye on most things. Even though there are a couple lines that bother me, just like they bother every other Harry Potter fan because they weren't Dumbledore-ish.

Jamie: Yeah.

Emerson: But at the same point, Richard Harris was not the same Dumbledore that I read in the books.

Jamie: I agree.

Emerson: Richard Harris was – he acted, and he was actually dying, so he acted like a dying old man. There was no energy, there was no spark in anything that he said. He didn't have that Dumbledore twinkle that Gambon shows from time to time. I just...

Micah: He had much more of a twinkle than Michael Gambon does.

Emerson: [Speaking slowly] Richard Harris...

Ben: Yeah, he did.

Emerson: ...talks so...

Jamie: But he had a known twinkle, a more powerful twinkle. I'd rather have Michael Gambon to save the day, rather than Richard Harris to save the day, yeah.

Emerson: ...slowww.

Ben: Well, see, I disagree, I thought Richard Harris to me - he was Dumbledore.

Andrew: Yeah.

[Audience cheers]

Ben: And I thought even though he had the raspy voice - but that was Dumbledore though!

Andrew: But that's what made him so good though.

Ben: That, to me, is Dumbledore. [in his Dumbledore voice] "It is our choices, Harry, far more than our abilities." Anyways.

Emerson: I feel like with Richard Harris, I just felt like he wasn't that – he didn't seem in control, he didn't seem able to take command. I felt like a strong gust of wind would knock him off his feet, you guys know what I mean?

Ben: See, but I think Gambon...

Emerson: I know it sounds bad, but the Dumbledore that I pictured in the books was powerful, he was strong, he was kind and he had energy.

Ben: I think Micah would appreciate this. I think Michael Gambon, he's a feistier Dumbledore, but he's not even Dumbledore. He's a feistier person, because Dumbledore isn't – Dumbledore isn't supposed to be, you know, when Dumbledore enters the room, he's supposed to carry the aura of "You wanna mess with this?" You know? And in the movies, I got that from Richard Harris, whereas – because Richard Harris had the look on his face, everything, where as Michael Gambon, to me, I thought he was just way too – he's just way too angry. You know? Like in Movie 4, when he grabs Harry, he's like, "Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?" you know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: That's just way out of line.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: See, I feel like everybody's judging Michael Gambon based on a couple of lines that were delivered very poorly.

Jamie: Exactly.

Emerson: But I think you definitely see that Dumbledore power when you're watching that battle in the Department of Mysteries at the end of the movie - can you imagine Richard Harris doing that?

Ben: That would have been a lot better.

Andrew: You see, it would have been a lot different, I mean. Especially...

Emerson: I just can't imagine Richard Harris seeming that larger-than-life like Michael Gambon can.

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: He's got that spark that I just never saw with Harris.

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: And I did think Harris was a good Dumbledore at the time. In hindsight, however.

Micah: But I think it's hard to compare the two, considering that Richard Harris never got the opportunity to play beyond Chamber of Secrets.

Ben: Good point, Micah Tannenbaum.

[Audience cheers]

Emerson: They still played the same character.

Ben: Yeah, that is a good point because they are different films so, I don't know.

Andrew: Can you imagine Richard Harris in Half-Blood Prince? Like, I can't see that. You can see him acting in Half-Blood Prince?

[Audiences says, "Yes!"]

Andrew: I can't, thank you.

Emerson: I just can't see it. I – alright, I'm going to stop picking on Richard Harris now. I'm getting too mean here.

Ben: I just think if we had an actor...

Emerson: But can you imagine Richard Harris in that rowboat like, going out to that cave in the middle of the lake and, like – I'm going to stop. I'm stopping.

Ben: Okay, I just think when you have an actor who hasn't even read the books, I mean, really.

[Audience cheers and says, "thank you"]

Emerson: A lot of the actors haven't read the books. I was really, really mad...

Ben: Yeah, but they still do a good job.

Emerson: When I found out...

Ben: That's the difference.

[Andrew and audience laugh]

Emerson: That's a matter of opinion, Ben. Either way, they don't all read the books. They should, I think, I completely agree they should, but they don't all, so you can't just pick on Michael Gambon for that.

Andrew: Well, one person in our podcast workshop brought up a good point. Michael Gambon doesn't even wear the glasses. Why is it so hard to wear the glasses? That's Dumbledore.

Emerson: Yeah.

Andrew: The half-moon spectacles. And Richard Harris was taller.

Ben: See, I thought Gambon did a great job in terms of, like - in this film he had a little more of the wittier lines. He did the funny role a lot better, but in terms of the serious role when he's talking to Harry and those things, I was displeased with that. But I don't know.

Emerson: But when it comes to funny, just remember in the first movie, [imitates] "Alas, earwax!"

Ben: [imitates] "Earwax!"

[Audience laughs]

Ben: I laughed. I laughed.

Emerson: Yeah, that was a punch line! That was funny in the book, but in the movie, it was just like, "Huh, huh, huh."

[Audience laughs]


Jamie: Can we talk about Sirius?

Andrew: Yeah, oh, man. Gary Oldman is the man, seriously.

[Audience cheers]

Emerson: He is, he is.

Andrew: He's the man! I mean, you see this guy - he's another one who, granted, has not read the books either. He sees it as just a role, he said that. However, he portrays Sirius perfectly.

Ben: He's amazing.

Andrew: Perfectly.

Jamie: There's one scene when he's talking to Harry in the tapestry room, and he's like, you know, everyone has good and evil thoughts, and it's your choices and whether you act on good or evil that's important. It was sad, it was sad.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Awww.

Andrew: Well, it was great, I loved him in Grimmauld Place because he has that one line to Harry. I can't remember it exactly, but Harry's trying to argue that he's old enough to be in Dumbledore's Army and...

Ben: You mean the Order.

Andrew: The Order, sorry. And Sirius gives him that little wink, the little, like - after he talks back to Molly.

Jamie: He's just too cool, Sirius.

Ben: I thought that the saddest line in the film was in the Department of Mysteries when - yeah, when he calls him James, that's like, "Awww!" It wrenched out my little fangirl heart.

[Audience, Andrew, and Ben laugh]

Andrew: We don't see that very often.

Ben: You don't see that very often.

Jamie: No, you really don't.

Andrew: So.

Dumbledore And Voldemort's Duel

Ben: What else in the films, guys? I mean, Emerson, was there any scene in particular for you that made the film for you?

Female Audience Member: Ginny!

Ben: Ginny?

Emerson: Ginny bringing down the house in the Department of Mysteries was pretty cool, I thought.

Ben: That was awesome. Oh my gosh.

[Audience cheers]

Emerson: That was pretty cool.

Ben: Although, for me, although I didn't think they did the duel right. I think they could have done a better job. It was still pretty awesome. Like in that scene, I got chills the entire time.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Is anyone with me there?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh my god, oh my god, Dumbledore! [laughs] Dumbledore!

Jamie: I'm so glad they left him that line, "You shouldn't have come here tonight, Tom," because it just shows how awesome Dumbledore is that he can still call him Tom, even though he's, you know, one book from death.

Andrew: Those Dumbledore bad-butt lines are the best.

Jamie: Yeah, so cool. I can't believe he's dead.

Ben: But the one problem I have with this scene was, in the book, they wrote it as – I was under the impression that the entire time, Dumbledore was in control of that battle, that there was no way that Dumbledore was going to be defeated by Voldemort that night. And in the movie, however, it became a lot more of a struggle.

Jamie: No, no, Ben, no, no, in the book there are a couple times when he's in trouble, like when Fawkes has to swallow the Avada Kedavra spell, and there's one more, I think when he has to shake something off, or like a snake comes after him and he just in time whips it into something else, which then goes on to Voldemort.

Ben: Could you do that?

Jamie: I'll just bust out your nunchucks and sort it out like that.

[Audience and Ben laugh]

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