Goblet of Fire Movie Press Junket
Goblet of Fire Movie Press Junket
October 22, 2005
Thanks to TLC for all their help!
Interview with Director Mike Newell and Executive Producer David Heyman
Andrew Sims: Hey everyone! This is Andrew Sims from MuggleNet.com and host of MuggleNet’s weekly podcast, MuggleCast. On Saturday, October 22, various media from around the Harry Potter community were invited to a junket conference with the actors from the Harry Potter films, including Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. This first interview is with Goblet of Fire producer David Heyman and director Mike Newell, followed by an interview with the Triwizard contenders and the actress who plays Cho Chang; the third and final interview is with the Trio. Enjoy!
Conference Leader (CL): So good afternoon, everybody here in London, and for those of us joining us by phone from North America, good morning to all of you. Our first press conference will last approximately thirty minutes with director Mike Newell and Producer David Heyman. And with that, we shall welcome them to the dais.
CL: Okay, so as I mentioned, we’d like all questions from the audience here to come via the microphone so that people back, joining us on phone from North America, so that they can hear. So we’ll wait just a minute for some tape recorders to be placed.
Mike Newell (MN): Hi y’all. It’s very nice to see you. Thank you for being here. If you weren’t here, then who would you be? We’d be in trouble. We’d be in a lot of trouble.
Media: (unintelligible) from Boston Globe. I want to ask both Mike and David. How is this Harry Potter different from everything that’s gone before that? From everything about to change that’s on the posters to they’ve obviously hit adolescence and are growing up before our eyes. What’s the real dramatic difference in this one?
MN: I can go. For me, it’s that I think in the previous films, the age of the people, the age is crucial. What’s been happening is that the scale of the challenge to the leading character has been limited. He’s had a basilisk to deal with; he’s had this problem, that problem, but he’s never actually been challenged in his self. He’s never had to put up or shut up, he’s always had the group to rely on, and now in this one, he’s older, he’s more conscious so he knows much more what’s happening to him. And he knows when Voldemort says in the graveyard, “Come out here. What do you want – to take it in the back or take it in the front, but you’re going to get it whatever way.” But what Harry says is, “All right, I’ll show you.” And he comes out and he’s ready for a fight, and he knows that it’s a fight to the death. And he has the moral courage to do it. So for me, the difference is, and of course there are lots and lots of differences. There are lots of wonderful new things about this, like the jokes and growing up and girls, and “oh god how do we dance”, and all of those things. But the big difference is the challenge is kind of a moral one and he may not survive it.
David Heyman (DH): And for Harry, when we went to Jo the first time, it was a very sort of important thing for her. A theme that will be continued which is to stand up and be counted. Even if you might not win, rather you have to sound out for what you believe in.
MN: It was a very, very important time for that. David took me up there two years ago now and she talked about just that she talked about these moral challenges and she was brilliant about it. And I took a great deal away from that.
DH: And that’s really the fundamental essence that Mike took that sort of goes from the beginning to the end. It is a thriller, the world is expanded, and we’ve got two new schools coming in. We’ve got the first interactions with the opposite sex, both the good and the awkward and the uncomfortable sides of that that begins at thirteen/fourteen and never goes away. We have at its heart, as Mike says, is this moral development. Harry is now fourteen. He’s much more of an individual than he’s ever been before. He’s becoming more who he is and who is meant to be.
MN: Both you and I have taken Emma as a sort of honorary boy. But of course Emma now gets to be a young woman, which is something that I am personally very proud of. Because I thought that she was wonderful, allowed herself to be very vulnerable. She so easily could have said, “Well, I’m Hermione and I’m going to be this and that.” But she was very, very allowing of vulnerability and not knowing and not being kind of cool. And I was very pleased of that because I thought that we got that. Just as in number three, there is this hugely satisfying moment when she hits Malfoy “bop”; so is there in this one, there is this wonderful moment when she is unsure and insecure.
DH: And the other there is I think Mike is… the kids frankly are growing as actors and Mike is benefitting from them having had two films with Chris and one film with Alfonso. And at the same time I think the real reason and one of the many reasons that we brought Mike in is that he is one of the great directors of actors. And the kids are challenged, he didn’t let them rest one minute on what felt comfortable. He pushed and pushed and pushed and the performances show it.
Media: Mike, talking about challenges. As a director, you’ve got some of the greatest actors in England as the co-stars… about trying to use them. I mean, they are just in the background now to Harry’s story. I was wondering what the challenge is.
MN: It’s actually a problem. I think that the way that we attacked it, was that even though each of them is now, Maggie is established, Alan is established, Mike Gambon, Hagrid – all these people are established. So there is no more exploration for the audience to do of those characters. Indeed, they mustn’t change in a way, and so what you have to do is find a kind of lapidary way of using these tiny bits, which will show you parts of these characters that you’ve never seen before. So you’ve never seen Hagrid in love before; a very wonderful thing it is, too. She did this thing at rehearsal, nobody could believe it. This is Frances DeLatour, and they found themselves opposite one another. And of course they are both of them great natural comediennes. So it was great to see these two people kind of awkward and blushing and retiring with one another. And then suddenly, she bent forward and does what she actually does in the scene in the movie, she picks something out of his beard and we all thought, “Isn’t that wonderful!” and then god helps us she ate it. (laughter) So, you know, those little things. A tiny moment like that will keep those characters alive. But yes, it’s something you have to do. It’s difficult.
DH: Look at how Dumbledore in particular has really changed. Looking to explore, this is the first time that we’re really aware that things are getting beyond his control. And that he’s not altogether comfortable with it.
MN: It was really interesting actually, cause Michael was really game to do that. I think that he had not really wanted to be the same figure that Richard Harris had been, a figure of tremendous Olympian authority who’s never caught on the harp. He wanted something different simply because he’s not Richard Harris. And what he found in this one is that Dumbledore is fallible and not omnipotent, and indeed is behind the game. A great deal of what he does is about being inadequate rather than super adequate which of course is much more interesting to play.
Media: (unintelligible) …this is a question for Mike. How much awareness did you have for the movies and the books? Have you read them; have you watched the previous films before being approached for this?
MN: Before being approached? Yes, I had seen both of the films. I had one book, the first book, and seen both of the films before I was approached. And so I was hoping to be approached. And so therefore was educated pretty reasonably when I was approached. Of course then I started to particularly watch the films obsessively. I can still recite in my sleep those textual analysis of numbers one, two, and three.
DH: And Alfonso was very generous…
MN: Yes, he was actually as I’m sure Chris had been.
DH: As Mike has been in turn with David Yates. Alfonso allowed, engaged Mike in discussion of the process of visual effects and allowed him to see the film early. Just as Mike did with David Yates. I mean David Yates has seen a rough cut of the film, so it’s pretty, it’s been pretty great in that way. By the way, Mike was one of the people, I think Mike was the very first person who I approached for the first Harry Potter, so I’d wanted him from the very beginning.
Media: This movie is so different from the previous films. Do you think that’s it’s not only a kids’ movie anymore?
MN: It isn’t for me, not a kid movie for me. It’s an adventure story and it’s a huge entertainment. Warner Brothers absolutely hates me saying this, so I’m going to say it. For me, it has all the kind of variety that a Bollywood film has.
DH: Oh no, he said it!
MN: But anyways, it’s a huge broad-based entertainment. But above all else, David is habitually modest about this stuff, but he was very, very good when he first approached me. Because what he said was “You must read the book and if you find a way of doing the book, then you must tell us what that is. You mustn’t come because it’s a franchise. You mustn’t come because it’s the most famous children’s film there’s ever been. You mustn’t come for this, that, and the other reason. You’ve got to be able to see how to make a 750 page book into a single movie.” And we then had one of the meetings made in heaven when we talked about the thing as being a thriller, because that’s what I found in it. I thought that it was an absolute god-gift thriller and then I convinced him.
DH: For me, the books are not children’s books. I think that’s a misconception. I think the books are books that appeal to maybe children of all ages. But they appeal to people of all ages. I think that they are – that there is something in them for everybody, and I think that this film… That each of the books is getting more mature than the one preceding it because it’s also dealing with a different age – a different year in Harry’s life. In this one Harry’s fourteen, so there’s different issues, greater complexity and I think that really shows in the film. The film is true to that spirit. The other thing is, that when you bring in a director like Mike Newell, just as when you bring in a director like Alfonso Cuarón , you don’t want them to… they are different directors; they are not cookie cutters. You don’t bring in a director like Mike Newell and tell him “Well, you’ve got to make a film just like Chris Columbus”. I mean why, it would be foolish. So for me, it’s been one of the- I look at this film; I see Mike Newell. I mean I see Jo Rowling but I see Mike Newell written all over it. And that was really exciting to me. I saw it with Alfonso, I saw Alfonso written all over it; and Chris.
MN: I saw Alfonso, too.
DH: And I think it’s really important. And I hope that David Yates, I’m sure that David Yates will imbue the fifth with the same. And it’s really exciting to me; this is a big generous, smart, funny thriller.
Media: Are you happy with the PG-13?
DH: Very much so and I am very happy with the 12A in the UK. I see, yes. 1 – I think that it’ll be good for the slightly older audience… umm, and 2 – I think that we had to be, we chose to be faithful to the material. Umm… I think if we can’t – books do not talk down to an audience; the audience reaches for the books and I think the films do the same. They don’t patronize our audience; we make films very much in the spirit. It’s not literally faithful; it is truly faithful to the spirit of what Jo has written and that’s really exciting.
MN: One of the challenges was that, of course, everything goes back to the book, always. Umm… and that’s where the audience begins as well and so as the audience, which began with the first book progresses through 2 & 3 they get to 4 and they see that it’s a different kind of animal – it’s a much tougher beast and the others umm… and if you don’t get a PG-13 in a way, then that audience that began with #1 and is now 14, 15, 16 or 64 whatever – will kind of want to know why you are still – are you not infantilizing the situation. Of course what David says is that these are not children’s books. These are kind of adult stories, with a very strong moral aim and view so with PG-13 they can believe. Without it, I am not sure they can.
Media: Mike, in this stage of your career after all of these remarkable films, how does this rank personally? Not only the film, but the whole entire project?
MN: OK… so… I always hate what I make. I think that it simply shows a depth of, a lack of, I truly mean this, I… It sounds like such a joke sometimes but it isn’t, I can’t stand myself sometimes. He’s seen me in rushes where I simply can’t bear the ordinariness of what I do and I always feel that about everyone…
DH: Even when it’s extraordinary by the way.
MN: What’s that?
DH: Even when it’s extraordinary.
MN: Woo, anyway, I really do, and I always hate the end result. And this time, may be a very bad sign, I don’t know, but this time I don’t hate it. This time, I think it’s, I think it’s what I tried to do, what we all tried to do which was to make this wonderful terrifying thriller ride and so it pleases me very much and that’s a better way of answering your question.
DH: By the way, no we didn’t answer your question.
Media: David, this question is for you. I wanted to ask you in working with Mike and bringing him on board, he brings a certain sense of British sensibility and I was wondering from your perspective, can you talk a little bit about that?
DH: Mike went to a school, as did I by the way, that’s like Hogwarts but without the magic.
MN: Our school was very… it’s very similar.
DH: And he brings an innate since of understanding of the school life. Um, he is very comfortable getting on the floor and wrestling with the kids to bring the, as he did with the Weasley twins, to bring, the sort of the school is more anarchic than I feel that it’s been in any of the other films. It’s a little more anarchic, it’s a little madder and a little looser. Yes you have the authority of the teachers, but you also have the kids rebelling as kids do, kids standing up for themselves, kids complaining to teachers and I think Mike brings a real, I think it’s very true to the schools, the school that I went to and I think it’s true to school life in general but it’s most certainly true to British schools umm… So yeah, and I also think that in a way, I think the nature of the performances – it’s an incredible thing I don’t know quite how to describe, but I really feel that the performances in this are more British than they have ever been. I feel that there is a complexity and a um, you know, at times when he talks about the Bollywood theatrical largeness in a really positive way to the performances, the way I think Dan is incredibly subtle and nuanced and I think all the performances are a boldness about the performances which I think is very, very British and I’m very happy for that.
CL: We have time for two more questions at this end. And then we’ll go to the phone questions.
Media: You talked a bit about how the characters have evolved, the kids how they have grown up and handled how they have handled becoming teenagers. Can you talk a bit about how the actors themselves are handling this fame and how they are sort of dealing with growing up really on set and in front of the whole world?
MN: I don’t know, I…
DH: How did you find them when they arrived?
DH: No – people like Dan, Rupert and Emma in particular?
MN: Oh, I mean I had been expecting – my worst fear was that they would have realized that these films were stories in which they absolutely were the stars. Now most children’s films, that’s not true of, most children’s films, they are that sort of little (unintelligible) of a third of a story taken by the adults, the um, in that way. Mary Poppins is not quite a children’s story – it’s an adult’s story but that’s not the case here. This is a story in which the children are stars and that can do terrible things to children. Miraculously – mostly because of the way they are handled by the production and also because they have got really good parents. Good kids, good parents. They haven’t – they know exactly what they are worth but they have not become impossible and so they are still loose and they are still cute, curious and they are still prepared to have a go at it and everything. We had a, before we began shooting, we had two weeks of acting classes and the reason that we did this was that I was very anxious that the established characters would not dominate the newcomers, many of whom had never acted before. Umm, the Chinese girl had never acted before, the two little Indian girls had never acted before, and I didn’t want them feeling they were secondary citizens, and so we had these two weeks where what we did was we played. We did physical exercises, we did improvisation exercises, and so on and so forth. And by the time by the end of that, everybody was loose in one another’s company, and there was not a rank structure with Dan outshone. Everybody else – they were all the same and they were prepared to do that, which was a very wonderful thing and it shows what you’ve got now is an ensemble rather than a from the top down pyramid structure. You have an ensemble.
DH: And I think in this film more than in the previous three films, partly because of the number of the cast and the number of extras, I mean the number of extras was larger than any of the previous films. It was more than the other films – the sense of community amongst the kids – and you know, whether you got Stan, who plays Krum, or and all the playing and joking and laughing; there was a lot more hanging out and I think it also gave a real, Dan and Rupert, all part of that so it was a much more extended community school life then…
MN: That’s a good point actually. I hadn’t thought of that. It was much more a kind of relationship you would build up in school, much bigger.
DH: Yeah and I say we are blessed, I mean, with three kids who could make it so easy to be brats are not. They want to learn. They want to get through what they do. They are enthusiastic still and they have a lot of fun doing it. And umm partly the rehearsal that Mike had them do but also by the very nature, they are non-judgmental, open people who are as good to the person. They are good to people from the top down. It’s not a – I think Michael can attest to though – the buck always stops with him ultimately. It’s a very democratic environment, it’s one in which people, you know, everyone has a voice – sometimes too much of one, but everyone…
MN: I agree. The trouble is you can’t start that game unless you play that game all the way through.
DH: I agree with you. You know it’s a very democratic – it’s a really umm it’s a place in which everybody is welcome. It’s very open-door, very safe place for the kids to be… Quickly tell them about the fight.
MN: Well, there had to be a fight at one point between the two Weasley twins and they did horrible umm adolescent stage screen fighting. It just wasn’t, it was awful and I had tried and I pushed them and pushed them and they said they couldn’t get past it and I said, “Ok, which one of you wants to fight me?” And they were like rabbits in the head lights and I said what they thought I said. Finally, one of them put their hands up and so we fell upon one another and we rolled over and over and over on the floor of the great hall and I actually cracked a rib and it was very early on in the shooting schedule and all the kids were there and they all saw the director make a complete prat of himself and also get himself injured, ha ha ha, and things were a lot easier after that actually. It doesn’t do any harm to punch your dignity.
CL: We have time for one more question here and then we’ll go to the phones. Ok?
Media: Matthew Vines from Veritaserum.com. This question is for Mr. Newell. How frequently did you consult with J.K. Rowling about deviations from the book and sub-plots cut from the story line and what about in particular?
MN: Well, actually, um, I will answer it, but usually you should ask David because this is an absolutely key function of David’s. Jo Rowling appears to me to be quite extraordinarily hands-off. Um, everybody says, “Oh we’re surprised to hear that; we thought she was very controlling.” Well I speak as I find. She wasn’t with me and I don’t think it’s in her nature. I don’t think she’s like that. Um, we however, David’s relationship with her, which is very close, meant that the whole time the script as it evolved and the script continued, you know I had a set of script pages… It’s a joke, we’ve been shooting the film for six months and I get several script pages…
DH: (laughs) …and I looked to Michael and said, “What is this?” and he says, “Oh, we shot them yesterday (All laugh) and it was great.” That’s right, it was great, yes. I don’t know what color they were.
MN: Sorry, it’s a joke. Sorry. Of course what happened (the operator interrupts the interview and we cannot hear Mike speaking) it’s a huge tribute to David. It’s an enormous tribute to Steve Kloves that in fact they could both of them and everybody around them could be loose enough to see that actually we might get to be going to a place although we couldn’t exactly point to it on a map yet, but we might be going to a place which wasn’t exactly where the first draft of the script had started out but of course, in that the danger is that you lose Jo Rowling, at which point, you lose the audience. Um, because they come in the end for her and uh she was very, very sweet. She was very available. She’s not the best returner of a phone call that I’ve come across, but she was fine. She gave me very clear things when I needed them, like, what did the Avada Kedavra Curse actually do when it hits you. But, she also had this very strong view how the story fitted into the seven-book arc. Beyond that, she didn’t control at all, but, of course, it was to David’s credit that she was brought into the process just as much as he knew she wanted to be, and not an inch more. How does that work?
DH: Jo is the most generous of collaborators – she sees each and every draft of the screenplay. We want to do that because, 1) I made a promise at the beginning that I, that we, would be true, but 2) because we would be fools to do otherwise. So we show her each draft, and we also don’t want to do anything will disrupt books – at that time Book 6 hadn’t been published, or Book 7 – we didn’t want to do anything that would adversely affect that order; that would make people read them askant, or looking askant. So she has incredible knowledge! What’s in the books is just the surface of what she knows. She has notebook upon notebook with more material that doesn’t quite make the books… But I think one of the reasons for the success of the books is because the universe is so clearly thought through. She knows the sixth use of dragon’s blood! You could have a question; she knows the answer. There was one very significant change that we made, and we called Jo to ask her about it because it was a major – I mean, we would have done it anyway – but it was major. It had to do with Barty Crouch, Jr. being present in that very first scene in the film, with Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew, which isn’t in the book. The scene takes place, but Barty Crouch, Jr. is not in it. And, the reason why we wanted that was because we needed Barty Crouch, Jr. to be a more recognizable and formidable presence when you got to the end, when Moody turns back into him. Without that, the only time you’re just seeing him would’ve been in the flashback when he didn’t look exactly like he did at the end. So I called Jo and asked her about it, and she said, “Yeah, that could’ve happened. That’s absolutely fine.” What she loved about the third film – she hasn’t yet seen the fourth – but what she loved about the third film was that it was true to the spirit. That it made changes, but it made changes in the spirit of the work. That’s what she has felt, so far, in the inclusive process of the script, and I know she’ll feel when she sees the film. You know, she was meant to see it last week, but some personal matters came up, and then she couldn’t. She will be seeing it shortly.
CL: I’m sorry. On that note, I’ve got to pitch it to the phone people who have been very patient with us. So we have time for two questions from the phones…
DH: No. No. No interest. Never been asked. She has the attitude that says, the book is the book, and the film is the film, and you won’t make a good film unless you have a certain amount of freedom.
CL: Okay. Operator?
Operator: Yes. The first question comes from the line of Steve Brian of Suburban Journal. Please, go ahead.
Media: Good evening. I’m directing this towards Mike. This is one film where you had to put Daniel through all his paces; lots of running and jumping. How did he handle that?
MN: Well, he’s a very brave boy. He really is a brave boy. He’s a rotten swimmer, or he was when this began, and he had great trepidation and came to me about the swimming. There wasn’t any way around it; he had to swim, he had to spend huge amounts of time underwater in the tank. And, apart from anything else, he was by no means sure that he had the physical resources to do that… You couldn’t say that he was frightened of it, but he was only a step away. Nonetheless, he knuckled down and he did what he had to do. There was another shot that I was actually there for, and I could see that he was absolutely terrified that he had to do it! Falling off the roof… Sliding down the roof. Have you seen the movie?
MN: No, no, no. The man who’s talking to me. Have you seen the movie?
Media: I’ve seen all the trailers.
MN: Okay. I think it may be in the trailers. Anyway, during the dragon chase, he’s knocked off his broom and he slides down a very steep roof, which he did for real. So he slid 30 feet from a 40 foot high gantry – with a safety wire on, of course, but not (unintelligible). But, nobody had to say, “Sorry, Dan, but you’ve got to do it.” We would ultimately, of course, have said that, (Media laughs) but nobody had to say that. Because, he will read himself the riot act; he will tell himself what he’s got to do. So I really think he’s naturally – he’s not going to turn into a stunt man – but, he is a very responsible boy. He knows what he wants to do, and simply does it.
DH: Actually, on the first film when we began the process, Dan was not a physical boy. He wants to be more physical, and we encourage that. We put him together with our stunt team, and he loves, and he is now a jock, of sorts. His body has changed; he’s really much more physical than he ever was. At lunch break, for example, several times a week, he’ll go down to the gym and work out. It’s nothing with actually asking him to do, he just loves to do it. He likes to do his own stunts. He’s very brave, as Mike said. In the underwater scene, he logged 41 hours on his log book.
CL: Sorry, we have time for one more question from, ahh, Operator?
Operator: Thank you. And, our next question comes from the line Daniel Fienberg of Zap2it.com. Please, go ahead.
Media: Hi, guys. This question is probably more for David, and also for Mike. Umm, could you guys talk a little bit about the impact of Steve Kloves and the continuity of the series, and then, sort of as a quick follow-up, is Imelda Staunton signed on for the next movie?
MN: You broke up quite severely towards the end, there. Could you just, briefly, say the question again?
Media: The first, and main question, is about the role of Steven Kloves and the continuity of the series, and then, sort of as a quick follow-up, just wanted to know if Imelda Staunton signed on for the next movie, as rumored.
DH: Steve Kloves is one of the great experiences… To me, one of the great joys of this entire series has been working with Steve Kloves, and frankly, his becoming a very good friend over the five years. I think he is one of the best writers writing. He is a brilliant adapter in the sense that he is able to retain the voice of the author that he’s adapting. He did it with Michael Chabon and the Wonderboys. He did it with another script I’ve read called, (unintelligible), and I think he’s done it with the former films that he’s written. He is a fantastic writer, who manages to bring a keen sense of character and really understands the voice of the actors he is writing for. He can write with great emotion, and at the same time, also a great humor. He is not doing the fifth, because he is writing another project for me called, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which I hope he will direct. However, he read the sixth book and couldn’t stay away, and so he’s going to come back and write the sixth.
MN: Oh, great! Oh, that is good!
DH: Yeah, I know it’s great. (laughter) Michael Goldenberg is writing the fifth. He is another writer, who, actually, I talked to about the first film, and he’s doing a fantastic job. You can never make a good film out of a bad script. You most certainly can make a bad one out of a good one. But, he does have a good script. And, I really believe that Steve Kloves, on each of the four films, has given us a really good script. He’s also a man, in my perspective, who writes without ego. He’s someone who… It’s great when you sit in the script meeting with him, because you can say anything – and he’s thought through everything – it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t defend what he has, but he does it in a way which explains the reason why he has done what he has done. But, it’s always open to changes. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of the world, and clearly, he and Jo are very much on the same wavelength.
CL: Thank you, all, very much.
Media: What about Mr. Newell?
MN: Everything he said. It was the most, it was the happiest collaboration, I think I’ve ever had, certainly as an adapter. He never gets in your way. I am one of those who will start with them, and re-write them, and re-re-write them through the film, which is why the joke about getting pages six months and shooting… Why we all laughed at that. But, he would never, ever complain. He would always see why. He would always dig down into his personal mine of stuff, and come up with wonderful things. I can’t tell you how happy I was with him.
CL: Great. Thank you very much. For those on the phone, uhh, the next press conference will be starting in less than two minutes.
Interview with Katie Leung, Robert Pattinson, Clémence Poésy, and Stanislav Ianevski
Katie Leung (KL): Katie.
Robert Pattinson (RP): Robert.
Clémence Poésy (CP): Clémence Poesy.
Stanislav Ianevski (SI): Stan Ianevski.
Media: Good afternoon. I’d like to know – did you feel like strangers when you came on the set, where everything was like a young crowd of friends?
KL: Who wants to start?
RP: You can.
KL: Okay. We’d been working very nicely, and everyone had been very, very friendly the first few days, and then it was just everyone in the same boat doing the same movie. So, great!
Conference Leader (CL): Stan?
SI: Well, there’s not much to add. We were extremely warmly welcomed. I personally felt it so much from the beginning.
Media: For all of you – can you tell us how the audition process was? I know that some of you were selected among a few thousand people.
KL: Well, my audition process is quite long-winded. My dad saw an advert on the telly, and basically, he just suggested that I should go down and try out for the part. I hadn’t done any acting before; I was a bit reluctant. But, I went down anyway, and I stood in the queue for hours and hours. And we went in… I finally got in and they just took a polaroid and said, they’d call you back if they were interested. So I got a call a few weeks later, and they told me to go down me down for a drama workshop, and that involved a lot of improvisation, and a few scenes from the movie that involved Harry and Cho. And then, they called me back for a screen-test, and that took place at Leavesden Studios, which is where they filmed the movies and from there, I got the part.
Conference Leader (CL): Robert? Stan? Can you tell a little?
RP: Yeah, I don’t have a very interesting story. (laughter) I knew the casting director from another movie which I did, and they wanted to see me for this part, but I was doing another movie over the casting period, so I ended up seeing Mike Newell and Mary Selway and Fiona Weir – who were casting at the time – before anyone else was seen for casting. And then, I went to do this other movie, and then the day I came back… I got a call back and basically, that’s what happened.
Media: What was the other movie?
RP: It was called Ring of the Nibelungs, which was a German movie.
SI: Well, I’ve got an interesting story. (All laugh) I was basically spotted in school. It was all by chance, really. I was late for my afternoon registration, which this school has. So you can imagine, I was a bit nervous, rushing through the lines. But the casting director was there at the time with the head of drama for the school. So when she heard me talking, and then turned around and saw me (unintelligible) as an interest? She asked me to go to an audition later on in the school, which I went to dressed up very sporty before going to the gym. So I was there the longest and I was asked to go to two workshops afterwards, which I didn’t go to for various reasons. I had an exam, and then one of the times they (unintelligible) laid me off. So as any normal person would think I thought – well, I’ve lost this chance, they’re not going to call me back. But then I did get a call back, and they weren’t very happy that I didn’t go. So I went again, later on that night and they turned out to like me and I got it.
CP: My audition was much more classical than Stan’s. I was working to a French casting director about something else and he said, “I’m doing the Harry Potter casting, would you like to come?” So we had to chat in English in front of the camera, and then Mike was in Paris promoting Mona Lisa so I met him in a hotel. We had a little chat, and I think it was three left and we all came to London to audition a very short scene and that was it.
CL: Was it with Harry?
CP: Not with Harry, no.
Media: Matthew Vines from Veritaserum.com. Could each of you describe a typical day on set?
RP: Well, go ahead… There wasn’t anything of any sort of structure. There would be days where hardly anything would happen, where you’d stand around the whole time because it was such a long shoot. Everything was shooting for about 11 months or something in total, so there were days and weeks where you would do absolutely nothing.
Media: At what time would you start shooting on an average day?
RP: Because most people, I think you, a lot of people got, because of younger people working on it, I think those people worked about from 9 or something, but I generally started about 6:30 in the morning. You sort of end up, generally, starting work at 9, having a leisurely morning. Yeah, but some days were just ridiculously busy while other days, especially when there is stunt work or something like that, they would go on and be ruined one day, but a lot of time waiting around.
CL: I was wondering if you knew about the series’ plan, each of you if you could say a little about that. If you had been reading the books, if you were fans of the film. Also, if each of you quickly, and I know one of you can’t answer, looked at the next book to see if you were in that one.
KL: I was a fan of the films before I got the part, and I read the first three books. I didn’t read the fourth and fifth one until after I got the part, and I read the books which Cho was involved in. She was mentioned briefly and I think Harry gets over her. (All laugh)
CP: I loved the books, I had read the first four ones. I saw the first movie, then I saw the third one on set. I absolutely loved the whole universe, the whole world of Harry Potter.
SI: Well, I had never read the books or seen the films. (All laugh) But as soon as I got the part, I read the books up to the fifth one and I’ve touched the sixth one and I saw the films.
CL: And Robert?
RP: Yeah, I hadn’t read any of them either. I read the fourth one just before my audition in a day, and it changed my whole opinion about the whole series.
CL: Okay, I wanted to ask if each of you could discuss your character. What you think of them, and are you all signed for the rest of the series?
SI: Well, Viktor appears in the fourth book. He is the world’s David Beckham, I would say. A Quidditch player so he is obviously well based in the magic world of Harry Potter. Well, people describe him as being very physical, although I think he has got two sides, very sporty and very concentrated. He knows what he is doing, but also he has a big heart. He develops feelings for Hermione so yeah, I think he is a great character.
CL: Where is he from and why does he have an accent?
SI: Well, he is from Bulgaria and that is where his accent comes from.
CL: And that is where you are from?
CP: Fleur Delacour is like, she’s French, I’m French. She’s the kind of girl that would dread in a school. She is perfect, kind of annoying at the end being so perfect. But always well dressed and good at sports, good at school, good at everything. She appears like the kind of image that I guess people have of a French girl and then reacts as normal girls to what’s happening. That’s it.
RP: Cedric is a prefect at Hogwarts. He’s in the top year. He’s one of those guys who does the right thing but not in an annoying way. It’s impossible to hate him. He’s good at sports and athletic. He kind of vaguely takes Harry under his wing and they get closer as the film draws to a close.
CL: Have you seen it with (unintelligible) yet?
RP: No, well I’ve seen it with these guys yesterday.
KL: My character Cho basically shows that Harry is developing into a teenager and is starting to go through a hormonal change, becomes interested in girls. Basically, I’m his crush.
Media: Seth Benderson from USA Today. This question is more for Katie and Clémence. As you’ve been reading the books, this is the first time we’ve seen Lord Voldemort. How did he compare to what you had thought in you imagination, and how do you think Ralph Fiennes’ characterization of character, do you think he… what do you think about how he portrayed the character?
KL: I think he’s done a great job. When I watched it yesterday, it was such a dark scene and he’s just really terrifying which is what Voldemort is. Yeah, I think he’s made a great portrayal of the character and he’s exactly like I imagined him to be when I was reading the books.
CP: I can’t really remember what I imagined. I’m sure I imagined something, but I’ve lost any idea I had. But I loved that moment where he becomes real and that costume surrounding him and him becoming a man in a way. Yeah, I thought it was great!
Media: Katie and Stan, you haven’t acted before. What has been the impact of this on your life so far?
KL: I don’t think, it’s not really changed apart from the fact that I know I can act. And also it has really brought a lot of confidence in me by being able to act in front of so many people and for the cameras and getting to meet new people as well, interacting with everyone. Yeah, everything has been positive about the film.
SI: I’m pretty much the same. I’ve gained lots of experience, a lot of confidence. Especially being in front of a group of people, even a crowd. I couldn’t do that before. I was quite a nervous guy. I also found out what I want to do in the future, which is hopefully continue acting.
Media: For each of you, this is probably your biggest film, if not your first film. And I was just wondering, are you guys prepared for the fame that will be entailed with this, because you’re going to be known all over the world? And how are you prepared to deal with fans?
RP: It’s strange, somebody asked for my autograph the other day. Because I finished school and I’m not really doing anything at the moment, I was just kind of aimlessly wandering around London and these two guys who were about 30 came up and asked for my autograph. I was really quite proud at the time, and they wanted to take photos and stuff. And then they were sort of wandering around and I was kind of wandering around and I bumped into them about three times, and every single time their respect for me kept growing and growing and growing. (unintelligible) I don’t know how that actually happened. (All laugh) So yeah, it’s a lot.
SI: Well, I don’t think you can actually be prepared for what’s really going to happen after this film comes out, because the fan base is world-wide, it is absolutely huge. So I guess we’ll just have to face it and do our best.
KL: Like what Stan said, I don’t think I’ll be able to, no matter how much you try, prepare for it, it’s going to be beyond your expectation, what’s going to happen. I mean, this morning when I was coming back to the hotel, there were a few photographers and the crazy fan base. It was just terrifying, but at the same time it’s a really nice feeling as well that they want your autograph and that you mean something to them. Yeah, I think it’ll be a really good experience.
CP: I don’t know how you, I’ve never been recognized so far. But I think, because I live in Paris, shooting other movies in Paris, it might be a bit easier for me than you guys because the tabloids aren’t that big in France. But I don’t know. I think that when you walk down the street without makeup and in your jeans as always being, or I just hope things will stay the same.
CL: Alright. Clémence, you are fluently bilingual, but you also have an ease with dialect and English, and you can also talk Americanese, so to speak. I was wondering whereabout in the country you learned?
CP: I’ve been a very lucky girl, because my parents put me in a school where you learn English a lot more than you usually would do in a French school. And I went on an exchange program to Toronto when I was 13, spent like two months there so I had no choice but to learn English. It started from there, and I’ve been working in England a bit, I’ve been working with Americans a bit. Each time, it’s another step and you actually work on your accent, try to improve it. But it comes from practice.
CL: Okay, we have time for one more question here and then we’ll go to the phone questions.
Media: Matthew Vines from Veritaserum.com. What stunts did you most enjoy doing?
SI: Well, I personally enjoyed doing stunts with the water. I had a dive, which we I think won’t be seeing. I enjoyed that most because you know it took a lot of courage and a lot of time. And a huge amount of effort. So I’ve enjoyed that most.
CP: Well, the only stunt I had to do was the underwater thing. So I guess that’s what I’d like the most.
RP: The maze stuff was really, really fun to do. Because it was all real. And, and no one actually knew where the walls – because it was all hydraulic walls, and ah, you were wondering if it would kill you or not if you actually got trapped. It was quite nice doing sort of enforced method acting… it was quite nice. That was, it was really exciting. And like doing all the stuff with the weeds, it like… It was so enclosed in the maze, you felt like you could really let your imagination go. Even it was just some guy with a rope pulling (unintelligible) It was really fun, quite therapeutic.
KL: Well, I don’t take part in all the stunts. The only thing I do is the underwater scene. I had to get diving lessons and that was a great experience. It was a lot of hard work and yeah, it was good.
CL: Ok, so Operator, you there?
CL: Ok, let’s go with question 1 please.
Operator: Ok, uhh, first question comes from the line of Michelle Riley, Harry Potter’s Page. Please go ahead.
Media: Yes, for those… you… who have… how… this…
CL: Operator, we’re getting a lot of feedback. We’re hearing every third word.
Operator: Ok, one more time please.
Media: First, I was saying… something before, different was this film… rest…
CL: Ok, Operator, can you say the question please?
Operator: Umm, I’m getting the same sound you are.
CL: Ok, let’s jump to the next question, sorry.
Operator: You need to turn your volume down on your mike in the room.
Media: Okay, for those of you who have experience, how different was this film from the rest of your films?
CP: It, ah, I mean it’s almost a different job. … because everything is almost ten times bigger. Filming, you know, the filming time, it’s much longer. I mean, I shot for eight months when I usually do two months. The crew is, you know, you don’t know half of the crew you’re working with. And you’re actually not on set as much as you are on a normal movie. I mean you’ve got doubles, everyone has doubles. When you have to do something, you’re not participating as much to the life of the movie as you would do on a smaller budget movie. So it was a good way to approach that kind of movie, I think.
RP: Yeah, the scale of it is completely different. And also, I think too, with the blue screen effects and stuff… I did some blue screen things in my last film, but, um, there’s a difference because you have such a huge budget. I mean it’s … you can … there’s so much. Virtually every scene has a bit of … some sort of special effect in it which is changed to do, like having to use your imagination somewhat.
CL: Ok, uhh, operator next question.
Operator: One moment… (unintelligible) please go ahead.
Media: Hi. This question is for Clémence. I see you have a birthday coming up in November. So I just wondered… this is your first really big film. How do you plan to celebrate?
CP: My birthday isn’t actually in November. I don’t know. I saw it somewhere. It’s not in November. So…
Media: When is your birthday then?
CP: Um, I don’t know. I think I’ll keep my birthday to myself. And I’m twenty-three now.
CL: Operator, the question at this end is how old are each of the actors here in the room? So we’ll let them answer that first.
SI: Twenty at the moment.
CL: OK, great, so Operator, next question.
Operator: Next comes from the line of Andrew Sims, of Muggle.Net. Please go ahead.
Andrew Sims: Hey guys. I was wondering what kind of practice went into the Yule Ball scenes and how you think you did in the final cut?
RP: Umm… umm… yeah, it was cool. We practiced for like, um, I think it was a two-week choreography session. And, umm, learning the waltz. And, umm, yeah it’s cut down to nothing in the film. It’s like… it is kind of strange. But, umm, yeah it was fun doing it. It was really… that was a really fun period. Because I’ve never really done renaissance… Is it renaissance or a waltz? Some classical dancing. I really think I learned a lot.
RP: Yeah, then the shoot was about two… two or three weeks…
KL: Two weeks.
RP: Yeah, and um, I think the most embarrassing part of that was just the normal dancing. When the rock band comes. I think there was two days where the crew was like, “Just dance, just dance.”. So you can’t, in a club or whatever… that was really awkward.
CL: Ok, we have time for one more question, from, uhh, Operator?
Operator: Yes. Ok, next question comes from the line of Melissa Anelli of Leaky Cauldron. Please go ahead.
Melissa Anelli: Hi! I was wondering if you guys could switch roles with anybody else in the film, who would it be and why?
KL: I think I would love to play Ron’s part. Because he’s like the comical guy and he seems to, like, he’s able to make everyone laugh even when it’s in the saddest tones. I mean, like when the film’s like really tragic and stuff he comes out with is just hilarious. So I love to make people laugh. Because I can’t do that in real life.
RP: Probably Harry. I think. Not being arrogant or anything. I just think it’s a really intricate and it’s an amazing part. I think also when you don’t really have the opportunity to be guaranteed seven films when you’re growing up during the filming. (laughter) It’s really strange …yeah, I think it’s amazing. I think it’d be an absolute… I think Daniel’s doing an amazing job. And you can see him progressing and developing as an actor and as a person…
CP: Um, Dumbledore has always been my favorite character. So I guess, you know, I’ll switch to the beard and a weird dress.
SI: I’d probably try out Voldemort. Um, you know, we’ve only just seen what he’s actually like in a humanic way. And I would love to try him. See what it feels like to be the Dark Lord.
CL: Ok, thank you all. Umm, we are going to be bringing in Daniel, Emma and Rupert momentarily, so if you want to switch tape recorders real quickly or anything, thank you very much. And for those on the phone we’ll just have… just a moment.
Interview with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson
Media: Hi, you guys. Cindy Pearlman from the Chicago SunTimes.
Daniel Radcliffe (DR): Hello.
Media: Congratulations, this was one of the great Harry Potter movies.
DR: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Media: Let us know what you thought about him growing up, was it something you guys have identified with a little bit in your own life, and what do you think about your characters aging?
DR: Well, I think… You don’t mind if I start, do you? Okay, then. It’s great because there is so much pressure on the films now to get better and better and better and better, and especially after the third one, which I… for me was great. There was an awareness that we had to work really hard to go further with it, to make it better. Otherwise, people would be very disappointed I think. So for me, it is also a lot of fun… Sorry, it’s also loads of fun playing Harry as he’s getting older because it’s almost as if, sort of, we go from being, I think when we start Harry is 10, it’s his 10th birthday, and it’s almost as in real life, the stories that people sort of grow extra emotions, which is partly to do with hormones and all the trouble that they cause. And it’s partly just a thing about growing up. You have other assets to you, and it’s fun to play that in Harry as he grows older.
Emma Watson (EW): There is also a lot of speculation as to whether we’re going to outgrow our parts, or that the films will take longer than we will. But actually, it works out pretty well because each film takes about a year and obviously that goes right with us. While they’re at school, we’re pretty much growing along side them and sometimes everything that we’re going through, in some cases they are, too.
DR: I’m sorry, this is quite good. Because there is always this thing of will you get to old for your part. But people are playing a lot younger than they actually are in real life. I don’t think it’s as big an issue as a lot of people are making it out to be.
DR: You know what, that was really awful for me. No, that was great! It was fantastic, and if Katie had been in there, “Thank god, I hated doing the hugging scenes with Dan,” or something. But for me it was great fun.
Rupert Grint (RG): So what was the question?
DR: We have gone far off the topic since…
RG: Yeah, I think it’s cool that the characters have grown. They’re more so the teenage sort of life. But Ron was bit, bit more moodier in this one. But yeah, there are a few arguments and yeah, I enjoyed doing all that. That was fun.
Media: Now that you all have got a few films under your belts, can you tell me a little bit about some of your favorite things? What do you splurge on? What are your luxuries, your favorite gadgets? Can each of you talk a little about that?
DR: Rupert, Gadgets?
RG: Yeah, I really do like gadgets. When I went to Japan last year, that’s a good place for them. I’m not sure about gadgets at the moment, but…
DR: What about the camera thing?
RG: Oh, yeah! When I was in Japan, there was this sort of Spy Camera and it was disguised as a cigarette box. And that was quite cool, I think.
DR: And the NDAB office helped.
EW: For me, it’s the iPods. Where I come from, they’re everywhere.
DR: Umm… Well you see, I find the iPod thing hard, because I’m quite obsessive about CDs. And so I quite like to have the actual CD with the little sleeves and the back and the pictures. Which some may call bad. For me, it’s mainly CDs, books and DVDs, I suppose. I mean I haven’t changed much over the past five years, which isn’t that exciting. But that’s the honest answer.
Media: The three of you, Steven Shave with the Boston Herald, the three of you are now a part of this empire, this global phenomenon of Harry Potter movies, not just the books. And yet you’ve got such low-key profiles. You’re not individually famous or anything like that. Now, is that all going to change now that you’re real teenagers with hormones and everything? Are going to see you turn to Lindsay Lohan and start trying to shock us with some stuff? Are you going to be party animals?
EW: Hopefully not.
DR: Well, I’m planning on buying 20 Porsches and crashing them just for the extravagance. I don’t think that – I think it’s quite a really good thing that we haven’t… Because the characters are so well known and iconic, if we had been going out and if we’d been… Basically, if we’d gone to every party on the planet we’d been invited to, it would be hard for people to divorce what they see in the films from what they see in magazines.
DR: And starting that would have been a mistake, and that’s why we basically only go to the premieres pretty much.
EW: Yeah and I think we do have kind of a responsibility to that as well. And I don’t think – we aren’t particularly party animals.
DR: Yeah, I quite enjoy the not having a high profile thing. I quite like that, but it is – I sort of feel like I’m fooling people, because you know, it’s this massive thing and yet it’s still quite a low-key thing. I feel like I’m tricking everyone.
Media: (unintelligible) Does everyone where you go to school know who you are?
EW: At the new school two years ago. At first, you do get some funny looks but after a while, they just accept the fact that you’re there all the time, and I didn’t get treated any differently and that’s how I like it, so much happy.
Media: Angela Dawson, Entertainment NewsWire…
DR: (interrupts) Quickly sorry, this is interesting – the answer. The only thing that I would sort of; basically when you get back to school as Emma said originally – when you’re that person, as if you’re sort of running along with an extra arm or something, but then after a few weeks or something, it sort of settles down. And then they just go, “Oh, there’s the kid with the extra arm”. You know? It just doesn’t seem to affect everyone quite as much. I mean, it’s actually the only time it peaks is if I’m ever at school; I mean, it’s only every happened once really, when I was at school when the third film came out. Then it went a bit, sort of hit fever pitch again sort of mad, but I mean it’s not really a problem. Is it for you?
RG: Well I’ve finished school now, so I don’t really get the same sort of reorganization as that. But getting recognized is sort of weird anyway. I’m 17 now, yeah. You get the odd person sort of shouting out “Ron” or something. And my hair at the moment is sort of stand out at the moment. It’s not really a problem.
Media: Angela again. I wanted to ask you, each of you has issues with each other going on throughout the film. I thought it was kind of interesting, kind of the fact that you know Rupert – you and Dan kind of get to be at odds a little bit with each other and there’s a sort of tension you know with Emma and Rupert and stuff like that. And can you talk a little about the disconnect that kind of goes on and how do you guys when you come back to a new film? Is it like going back to school?
EW: I loved all the arguing. I thought it was really juicy. It’s not these people that always get along perfectly and I think it’s much more realistic that they would argue and that there would be problems. So I thought it was great fun. And I think it makes up for quite a dark book; this one makes up for a lot of the humour, which is nice, light relief.
DR: What’s quite nice, actually, about the thing that goes on between Harry and Ron in this one is the tension is that it’s funny to someone looking in on it, but to them, it’s absolutely serious and they’re really angry at each other, and each of them feels that they’ve both behaved in a really bad way. Sort of like they’ve been betrayed by them. And so it’s mutual blame; both to blame for how they’re acting but to someone else watching, it’s quite funny because you sort of, in the long run, it’s actually quite trivial what they’re arguing about as a lot of arguments sort of are. They seem really important at the time and then two years later, you can’t even remember where it started or what it’s about. So I think that’s probably as you said it does provide a lot of the humour, that and the dribbling orange juice.
EW: Oh yes, that was good. They both behaved rude.
DR: I enjoy doing that, yeah sorry.
RG: Yeah I think it’s also sort of again just them growing up.
RG: Yeah sort of more natural, I suppose.
Media: I’d like to go back to what Emma said about this being quite a dark film. I also thought it’s easily the funniest of the Harry Potter films. Was it difficult finding the balance of the tone, when you’re playing emotionally grueling stuff then quite light-hearted?
DR: As you go along…
EW: I think it was quite difficult because it’s difficult to know quite what to do because I think for – I mean it’s difficult because there’s such a huge audience that’s children. You get kids being so into it, so part of the people who are making this film feel “Oh we don’t want to make it too scary, because we’re going to cut out this huge audience that are so passionate and love Harry Potter films.” At the same time, they want to be faithful to the book which is a darker book and I think they did a really good balance because I really do think it was the best way to go because, from the very beginning, it’s been “we’re going to stay faithful to what this is about and not about having, getting everyone, having huge audiences.”
DR: I mean, I think it would have been hard to adapt. Steve Kloves, who wrote the script, that’s what must have been – I mean to adapt something as huge as the fourth book, is, is something – I certainly wouldn’t envy that task. I mean he did an amazing, job on it. I mean, to me, the humour is actually essential to the darkness in a way. I mean, if you had that darkness running the whole way through the film, you’d be tired and it wouldn’t be effective. I mean – what’s nice, is that Mike lulled you into a quite false, you’ve got a dark opening with the snake and caretaker being killed, but it then goes into this sort of feeling that almost like the first film in it’s almost – with the Quidditch World Cup – it’s almost wide-eyed and it’s sort of wonder and everything and that highlights the fact that suddenly they come out and everything is ablaze and everything is on fire, which means the same thing as ablaze, I don’t know why I said both. And you know and suddenly, instantly, it’s more of a shock when you go into that darker world. So I think the humour is all sort of essential to that.
EW: I don’t think… I don’t think Mike has ever held us back in any way. He’s has every really, really pushed us… to make it so really real, how you would react in that situation. He really, really went there. And the other thing about Mike is that he really, really treats us like adults. He wasn’t taking any slack. He was expecting us to be professional the entire time where I think before in some ways, I don’t know..
DR: We could get away with more.
EW: Yeah, but he really took no excuses. He really pushed us which was really nice to feel that there was a real challenge.
Media: Emma in the Ball scene, there is a magical moment when you stand at the top of the staircase and come down. How many times did you have to shoot it and did you have input into your costume?
EW: That actually took a while. I didn’t know there were so many ways that you could walk down stairs actually until that day and it was difficult. It was hard work. Mike was giving me all these directions, “Keep your head up, make sure your back is straight, but don’t make it too frumpy, glide smoothly.” (laughter) By the time we did it, I was an absolute wreck. But hopefully it looks okay and it’s up to that amazing transformation, which it is for Hermione. As for the costume, I had a bit of input, but I loved it so much anyway, there’s nothing I’d would wanted to change about it. I mean Jany Temime, who is head of Costume created a truly magically dress – I mean beautiful, beautiful – and there were loads of fittings for it throughout the whole leading up to that scene. I think it looks really great.
EW: No it’s upsetting. I’d loved to have kept it, but no.
DR: I got to swim, not in a dress, though which would have been (unintelligible). No, that was amazing. That was quite hard work actually, because those days, I could feel I call what I did “work”. ‘Cause normally, I think I’ve got this thing in my mind that work can’t be fun, ’cause I’ve always connected it with not enjoyable. So I’ve never really associated Harry Potter with work in that way. On those days, it was tough, it was fun but it was hard you know. I trained for about six months beforehand and it was just; I’d go under and I was sharing someone else’s air from their SCUBA-diving tank, so we both had sort of, umm, regulators and they’d say “three-two-one”; on the “three” I would blow out all the air in my lungs and then on “one,” I’d take a very big gulp of air in and then it’s how much action you can do with that amount of breath in your body kind of thing. It was actually quite – the hard thing was not holding breath. It was the fact that you couldn’t – I wasn’t actually allowed to let any of the air out because Harry is supposed to become a fish with gills, so there’s not supposed to be bubbles going around. So if I looked at all pained…
EW: You know why.
DR: It was good fun and I have to point out I have the most amazing stunt team backing me up. I trained with them for six months. They were down in the tank with me, so they were fantastic.
Media: For each of you – now that it’s been four films, what’s the thought about whether acting is your long term life choice or don’t you know yet?
RG: I think, I’m really enjoying doing all the Harry Potter films. It’s really good sort of experience and in the future, it’s not such a bad job and so definitely.
EW: I definitely wouldn’t want Harry Potter to be the last thing I do whether within this business, it turned out to be film or not; but originally what I used to love was being on a stage and reacting to a live audience and maybe my calling is more in theatre. But I don’t know. There are so many different things you can do within it. But definitely looking around and definitely interested.
DR: I love doing it and I was trying to sort of work out the other day what’s the attraction, why do I love it so much and I have no idea. The sort of conclusion I reached was that, that it’s something to do with the idea, a sort of power thing. Because you have a character and in many ways, it’s up to you how that character is perceived by people who are watching the film. Obviously, it’s not just up to you, it’s the script and direction as well. So I supposed that’s something I love doing. Huge passion for acting. I’m also quite interested in maybe… I’m not even saying it’s happening within the next twenty/thirty years but eventually maybe directing or something like that. Simply because I’ve been so inspired by working with Chris Columbus and Alfonso and now Mike and having conversations with David Yates, who’s doing the fifth film and also talking to Gary Oldman, cause he directed a film Nil by Mouth, which is a fantastic film, quite harrowing but it’s brilliant. I mean to watch, to talk to him about it – he just said “When you’re doing, you’re creating all the time.” which is quite appealing to me. A long way down the line.
Media: Matthew Vines, Veritaserum.com. Which scenes that you filmed that were cut would you have most liked to have seen in the final movie?
EW: Good question; difficult to say. It’s kind of – I try to think about what they did cut. When it’s all put together and you see the final thing, it’s very kind of, I don’t know. It looks – it all flows so well that you kind of forget what’s actually missing. I’m trying to think …
DR: Personally, I was quite happy because all the bits I was really worried about me being really bad in, they cut. Which is wonderful. I don’t know… What were some of the bits? They were just needling sort of moments where there was one; where we just went into… there was another I thought I didn’t do as good as I could have there an they weren’t in which was fantastic. Which obviously meant I was right. I hadn’t done as well as I could have done. But it was I can’t actually think of any whole scenes that were cut. I’m sure with the amount we shoot there must be…
EW: A huge amount was cut.
DR: When you see the film, it does seem so complete that…
EW: You don’t really miss it. It’s so good that I can’t remember anything that was cut, I can’t remember.
Media: Can you talk about, I’m going back to the theme of the parallels to your own life, how the opposite sex treats you, with boys at school, do you have boys chasing you, everywhere?
DR: Is that for me? (laughter)
EW: I don’t really know how to answer that, to be honest. Dan, you’re always good on this question, you take it.
DR: Do I have boys chasing after me? (Laughter) Um, I don’t, but to be honest, you talk about parallels in the film. There is a parallel in that both me and Harry are not very good with women. (Laughter) Um, I think I’ve gotten better now. I think any man who says he has never had an awkward moment with a girl, he’s a liar or he’s delusional because he is sitting there thinking he is doing really well and the girl is thinking “Who is this man and why is he talking to me?” So I think that is probably the main parallel between me and Harry in this film. I would like to say though that’s got huge amounts of attention, but I think there’s this sort of dividing thing between what people think they’re going to get when they see the film and then what the reality is. I think it’s slightly grimmer possibly.
DR: Yeah, oh, nothing but! (laughter)
Media: Rupert, are you engaged?
RG: I’m pretty much the same as Dan, yeah. I think I’m probably very similar to Ron really. He is not very lucky and he has some bad experiences. (laughter)
DR: And the worst date in the world.
RG: Oh, yeah.
DR: From experience. That is what I like about Harry and Ron. They are the worst dates in the world and these poor girls, Afshan, the girl who plays Padma, the girl who had the misfortune of going out with Ron is one of sort of my best friends (aside – is this button part of the microphone) and it was great because you just feel so sorry, and this night should be the greatest night in the world for her, but it’s horrible, and then you have that little bit outside which is quite true with those kind of dances and type of thing where you’ve got sorta the ballroom casualties are outside weeping because their night has been so horrible.
EW: Hermione included. (laughter)
DR: Yeah, Included.
EW: That’s the thing, you know, I loved doing it so much because I could relate so much to what she was going through. I so know that frustration where guys can be so insensitive. Um, yeah, but I can relate to a lot of things she experiences and a lot of awkward moments and feeling so unsure about um, you know that is the really sweet thing about the relationship that Hermione and Viktor have and the one that Mike really wants to play to is that Hermione is so insecure about herself that she’s never really had any attention from any guy before that when she sees Viktor looking at her, she thinks “Is that guy really looking at me,” and like, he genuinely wanted to come across as she is quite literally being swept of her feet. She doesn’t know what is happening to her and she gets caught up in this whirlwind with this incredibly famous Quidditch player and she can’t believe that it is happening to her so umm… It is quite an emotional roller coaster for her but, umm…
Media: If you were a bit older, I wonder which one of the more mature roles in the series would you like to have played?
DR: Sirius, yes probably. Mainly because Gary Oldman played him and I think he is one of the most brilliant actors. I think Sirius is very similar to Harry and it is what is sort of fascinating and would have been fascinating if I would have played Sirius and will be when I’m doing Harry in the fifth film. It’s because there is sort of a relationship that is based on two relationships that are based on a mutual need for someone that is gone, so me and Sirius is basically based on the fact that we both miss James and he’s clinging onto James through me and I’m trying to get to know my father through him and the same thing happened with me and Cho Chang in the film when I was the last person there and her boyfriend got killed. We sort of had a crush on each other anyway. It would have been nice to get to know Harry from a different angle. So maybe when they remake the film in fifty years, I’ll be lining up for it. (laughter)
EW: Rita Skeeter, she’s so deliciously evil. She is just umm, she is just such a personality. She’d be so much fun to play because she’s funny, but she was something that is very um, there is something very real about her and her costume is fantastic.
Media: You said there is something very real about her.
DR: We’re in a room full of journalists.
EW: Maybe that wasn’t the right thing to say? (laughter) I’m going to backtrack, umm (laughter) yeah, but.
DR: What Emma meant! (laughter) People have (laughter) a malevolent side to them.
EW: They can! (laughter)
DR: But none of you! (laughter)
EW: None of you, not any in here. (laughter)
RG: Uh yeah, I’ll tell you. I’d be Hagrid; he’s pretty cool yeah. I’d probably be him, I don’t know why, he’s tall. Yeah, he’s tall. That’s one reason.
CL: We have time for two more questions and then we’ll go to the phone.
Media: Could you go through who your favorite actors are that are not in the film and who each of your favorite bands are or musicians?
DR: Rupert, you want to go first?
RG: Music, yeah, I’m into sort of rock, AC/DC are quite cool, yeah.
EW: This question is a killer. I hate it.
DR: Look what you’ve done!
EW: Umm, there are so many people that I’ve never had one person that I’ve particularly idolized or I thought “Wow, I want to be just like them”. It used to be when I was younger, Julia Roberts, I used to just love her. There is something so appealing about her and um, I think – I think pretty more recently I’ve loved Natalie Portman, not just on screen but how she’s handled herself. I think she’s done a really good job. I love people like Renée Zellweger who’s not afraid to look unattractive and really put themselves into a character role and to really be an actress and not just be onscreen “am I pouting and looking beautiful” cause that’s not really what it’s about. Nicole Kidman has had a fantastic career and she’s done loads of different things with herself. She’s been really successful and she’s done loads of different things. Umm, ok, umm music. Again, this is really difficult, I like so many different things I have had so many music influences in my life and my dad has had a lot of influence on that. He got me into Eric Clapton, BB King, and loads of stuff like that and then my mom got me interested into the symphony and me for myself – I kind of divide up what I like, for dance I like hip-hop and all that, there’s things I just like listening to. I love Damien Rice um, I just love music generally. If you come to my house, I have music playing, umm, yeah. (unintelligible)
DR: Umm, in a way, it’s hard to think of actors. We’ve been incredibly luckily, I’ve worked with some of the best British actors um, of their generation, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and um, I’m trying to think of other actors, and um, a German actor who I think is absolutely amazing, but I don’t think it would ever work is Daniel Brühl who is in “The Edukators” aka “Die Fetten Jahre sind vorbei”, and “Goodbye Lenin” as well, and he’s amazing. When Alfonso did “Y Tú Mamá También“, Gael García Bernal is amazing. I mean… Come on now, think of someone who speaks English. (All laugh) I can’t actually think of… To be honest, I would like to worked with Peter Sellers… Older actors that I’d like to, just have… well would have been Peter Sellers. Because when you people talk about classic British actors, you talk about Lawrence Olivier, and Peter Sellers was just the most amazing in films. He played four parts in them, I think it was four or three in, three. So he’s just amazing.
But with music, that comes easier to me. Which possibly the other way around, it should be. I’m one of those people, I got an album the other day by a band called We Are Scientists, a band called… Yes, good! It’s so rare that my taste gets recognition from someone. That’s a very special moment. (audience member mumbles) Fantastic! The Rakes, Dogs, Hi-Fi, What else… I’m also listening to a sort of, because they’re not similar, actually, the new Franz Ferdinand album is extraordinary. They all sound kind of Indie. But I also like a sort of more orchestral type like – any heard… hands up if you’ve heard the band called Godspeed You Black Emperor? YES! Fantastic. Brilliant. And also, my dad listens, my dad has got me into David Bowie and T-Rex and stuff like that. Electric Warrior, what a brilliant album! But also he got me into… When we were in San Francisco, he bought Melanie’s Greatest Hits. It’s BRILLIANT! Absolutely fantastic! There’s this one song called “Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma”, it’s fantastic! So those are probably some of the ones at this moment.
Conference Leader (CL): We have time for one more quick question before we go to the phones.
Media: I know it’s very difficult but what memory will you, of this film, carry away with you? When you’re lying in bed and you’re thinking, “Oh my god, that was brilliant,” which memory will it be?
DR: Seeing it, probably. When you see sort of eleven months of your life and you go in everyday and you do it, it’s very particular Harry Potter, it’s a very gradual process. And you piece it together day by day and you refine and refine and refine and go through all the different stages and I mean, it’s fifteen minutes of credits. Thousands of people work on it, all whose work is as important as the last. And then it amounts to this massive thing at the end of it, which is just amazing and it is a fantastic thing to see because even if we hadn’t (I mean I believe we’ve made a great film, a really good film), even if we hadn’t, the sense of achievement would be still be this amazing thing. So that would probably be for me the thing about the film.
EW: My answer is quite similar to Dan’s. You’d kind of think that working on something for the five years I’ve been doing this for, the novelty would start to wear off and it would get a bit boring, and probably start to get complacent and want to move on and stuff, but a couple weeks back, the trailer was shown for the first time on ITV. And, I remember coming in to the kitchen and I saw the screen and it said that it was going to play in five minutes. And, I literally filled with excitement all over again about the fact that I was part of this and that I was in it. I could be excited about that there was all this talking again and I was going to see it soon and all the waiting. And, when I saw it I was literally just like, “Oh!” I was so excited again. Then… So probably… Yeah, probably sort of waiting to see how it would come out. And there’s a huge wait. A killer wait. You worked on the film for eleven months and you have to wait six months to see it. It’s painful. You just so want to know what it looks like. So yeah, probably that.
RG: Yeah, I tried. I find it harder to actually remember anything really being quite like that.
RG: I’d have to say seeing it. Seeing it at the end.
DR: It seems productive.
RG: Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
DR: It’s far too early to be reminiscing though, I think. We’ll be having parties soon. It was really nice to end that. Sort of, yeah.
CL: And now we’re going to go to some questions from our phone. So operator, first question?
Operator: First question. Comes from the line of Paige Banfield of DanRadcliffe.co.uk. Please go ahead.
Media: Hi Dan! My question is for you.
DR: Hello, Paige!
Media: Hi! How are you?
DR: I am very well, thank you. How are you?
Media: I’m good! What is the one impression of this film that you wish that the viewers would take away that perhaps they didn’t get from the first three films?
DR: I think this film, I think the main theme of the entire, sort of like all stories are, is I think it comes across more in this film than the last one, is the whole series is about a loss of innocence. If you go with the first one, it is all sort of very wide-eyed and almost naive. You know, he is quite naive and thinking because it is a magical world, it is going to be better than the world that he has come from. Where in actual fact, it’s not. It actually… There are further extremes. The further… You know? It can have extremes of joy which possibly are more than in the normal human world, but also the depths that man can sink to and people like Voldemort, and I think in this film, he starts to wake up to that fact even more than last time. He comes to the realization that if he’s going to make it in life, he’s going to be making it alone. And, I think that’s the main thing that he discovers in this film and hopefully people will realize that about me. That I’m not out wreaking havoc! (laughs)
CL: Okay, operator. Second question.
Operator: Second question comes from the line of Lisa Carlin of CBS Radio. Please go ahead.
Media: Yes. Hello, congratulations to all of you! It is a wonderful movie and I’d love to hear each of you answer this question. After all these years, I am sure that you are incredibly invested in these characters in the story. J.K. Rowling is writing the 7th book now, the final book. If there was something you could say to her that you either really want to happen or really don’t want to happen before this series is finished, what would it be?
DR: If Quidditch isn’t absolutely necessary, maybe don’t make it so…
DR: Because I read in an interview with her a while ago saying, she said something like that it has become quite a chore writing Quidditch now. It’s quite tough to film!
DR: It’s tough on both of us. No one is benefitting!
DR: So maybe, that would probably be one thing, I would say. Then again, it’s also incredibly exciting for people to watch. So there is that as well.
Media: And how about Emma and Rupert?
EW: I’m going to make Rupert really uncomfortable now. For goodness sake! Hermione and Ron just need to get it together! This has been SO long now! They’re so wrong, but they’re so right. It just needs to happen and they just need to get on with it. Yeah, if that doesn’t happen, I am going to be really frustrated. Oh God! It’s still ongoing. So hopefully, they will end up together. (laughs)
Media: Great answer.
RG: Yeah… My answer is a bit different.
RG: I was actually looking forward to Quidditch, really. So I’ve ruined it. Yeah.
CL: Okay, operator. Question three?
Operator: One moment. Next question comes from the line of Sharon Eberson of Pittsburgh Post. Please go ahead.
Media: Hi! How are you guys doing? I was wondering, you said on this film Mike Newell treated you as adults, and perhaps that hadn’t been the case before or as much so before? In what way did that manifest itself? How did you know that “Wow! We’re being taken seriously!” and more like adults this time around?
DR: Do you want to say something? I am still thinking. So…
EW: I feel it’s just the way that… I mean, Alfonso put a lot of trust in us and it was so nice that he really wanted to hear what we had to say and what we thought because, but Mike kind of took it to a new level. I mean sometimes, in a way I think, I would be saying to him, I would be learning something really difficult and just say, “I can’t get this right! Just tell me what you want me to do! Just tell me how you want this to be because I am going crazy!” And he would just say, “I can’t tell you how to do it. I’m not going to tell you how to do it.” And I would be like, “Okay!” And he said, “Just think about it.” I mean, it was just nice that while he guided us really well, we felt responsibility for ourselves, for our role, for how we came across. He left a lot of trust in us to do that and it was really, really nice.
DR: I mean, I suppose sort of the main thing that I got out of Mike’s direction was to… I mean, we’re not old enough to appreciate scenes being analyzed and broken down. The fact is, there is such a rigorous process of drafting the script on Harry Potter, on all films, but Harry Potter, you know, we must go through ourselves before we get to the one, before we start shooting them. So basically by that time, if it’s in the script, it pushes the story forward and it advances things and it is there for a reason, and Mike was fantastic about going into detail. I mean I remember sort of the first time, we were rehearsing with Mike. It was me and Matt Lewis. The boy who plays Neville, who is fantastic. He’s just the greatest guy and we were doing a scene. And, on the page, the scene was around an inch-and-a-half long, and we spent an hour-and-a-quarter rehearsing it and going through different… And we were going like, “Mike if this is how long an inch-and-a-half of script takes, how long will it take when we get to the twelve-page things with Voldemort?” We were sort of slightly apprehensive about how we were going to be pushed, but it was very exciting. He realized that we are now old enough to appreciate really going into detail about the scenes. And, I think that was probably the main thing that changed in this film.
RG: Yeah. The same really. Well, actually I’ve finished school now, so for me, it feels like I’m sort of grown up a bit more now anyway. Yeah, and Mike was great. He was really into your own sort of input. Yeah. I’m uniform in that. Yeah, definitely.
CL: Okay, operator we have time for one more question.
Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Earl Dittman of Wireless Magazine. Please go ahead.
Media: Hi guys and girls! How you doing?
DR: I’m sorry. One second. You’ve just been greeted by two members of the audience.
Media: (Laughs) I’ve got the final question. One thing. A two-part question. Now that you’ve played these characters for over four films, do you feel a connection to them like twins or best friends? And, are you excited about doing the rest of the films, the rest of the books? It’s for all of you.
DR: Emma, do you want to go first?
EW: I am hugely attached to Hermione’s character because I’ve already played the part for four years. I know any of you who interviewed me early on know that there is so much of me that goes into her as far as so much as my experiences and the things that Mike did. He really made me think about while I was acting. I was kind of regurgitating my own experiences. I don’t know what I am going to say now.
EW: Yeah, no. Putting them into, applying them to what Hermione’s going through. So I know if anybody else played Hermione, it would actually kill me. I wouldn’t be able to deal with that at all. I’d go after her. Anyway…
EW: So yeah. No girl can replace her.
DR: A threat to any future Hermiones.
EW: Yeah. Watch out!
DR: Actually, what you bring up, it’s enough to bring up an image… No, you’re absolutely right. He did make us draw upon our experiences. I think you can’t really help but feel attached to… I can’t help but feel attached to him in some ways. But, I mean kind of like twins. OH! Someone’s tape has just run out. I just wanted to point that out. But, I don’t know if it’s so much that… In a way, I don’t know if me playing him has turned out how much I am like him now or being so close to him over five years has influenced my own character. I mean, I don’t think it’s – I haven’t developed a complex over it or anything, but it is sort of an interesting thing. Yeah. I mean, it is very hard to separate yourself from him in some ways, but ultimately you go home at night and it’s not like you stay in character all the time. It would be very hard to be a method actor on Harry Potter because then you’d have to try to find a figure of ultimate evil… Rupert, you’ve broken the… Sorry, that wasn’t a part of an answer to the question.
DR: So that would be my not particularly clear answer to that question. Oh, the other part. Yes, sorry. I think it comes down to the fact of are we still all enjoying it. If we are, I think it would be sort of stupid not to. If the script is good, and it’s a challenge and it’s an interesting director, as long as… I mean I’m going to speak for myself. I’m not going to speak for everyone here. You know, I don’t want to put words in everyone’s mouth. But, I would feel as long as I am doing sort of enough other stuff. For some reason I keep addressing all the phone questions.
DR: As long as I can do enough other stuff around the same time, then I think it would be… and also, I sort of try to read the books when they come out very impartially and not make up my mind. But, the fact is, when I was reading the 6th book, there was that bit and I was going like, “Oh my God. I would love to do that.” It was so good.
Media: Do you get those books earlier than the rest of us?
DR: No. No, we don’t.
EW: No, no.
DR: I tell my friends. I tell my friends I know and then make up stories, but I don’t actually get them. No.
RG: Yeah. Well, since the beginning, I always felt like I could sort of relate to Ron in a way. We’re both ginger, if you want, and we both have sort of big families. I’ve obviously been playing him for a long time. So I got to know him. So yeah, definitely.
EW: It’s really difficult when people ask these questions because it is such a huge commitment and you can’t appreciate how much you’re on it, the amount of time everything takes. An eleven-month film is huge and it’s not just a little bit every day. It is a full day. We work a lot of hours. So I think I would never want to do it if I felt I wasn’t going to give a 100%. I’m so focused on this one now. I’m so psyched about this film now. I’m really not thinking about anything. You have to take it one at a time. Otherwise you just get a bit overwhelmed, I think.
DR: I mean I would just… I mean I am not in any way trying to undermine… Just in case we get prosecuted, we don’t actually work for very long hours. We work very long hours…
DR: And when we’re not working… I think what makes it hard is that a lot of actors act like that. That’s the thing.
DR: When actors aren’t filming, they just go to their dressing rooms and relax. Whereas, we go… So yeah.
(Cluttered chat) And I think that makes it come to the equivalent because when we’re not filming… When other…
Media: Well, congratulations again for a great movie.
DR: Thank you very, very much, Earl.
EW: Thank you.
CL: We have to get them on out of here so thank you very, very much.