MuggleNet’s “Half-Blood Prince” US Premiere Coverage
by Andrew Sims · Published · Updated
All right everyone, here we go: Our Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince premiere interviews are now online. Captured in glorious high-definition footage outside the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, Emerson and I talk to Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, David Heyman, Daniel Radcliffe, Alan Rickman, Freddie Stroma, Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright, and David Yates, as well as fans on the red carpet, to get their take on this film as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
In these interviews, we learn a lot of cool information: what deleted scenes to expect, what scenes the cast and crew are most looking forward to filming in Deathly Hallows, and much more. Later today, we’ll be posting a summary of all the juicy info we learned from this premiere as well as the one that was held in the United Kingdom.
We’d also like to send a big thank you to Warner Bros. for granting us this unprecedented access to the stars. We hope you all enjoy the interviews as much as Emerson and I enjoyed conducting them!
Transcribed by Marissa Osman
Emmerson Spartz: This is Emerson Spartz from MuggleNet.com, here at the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince premiere in beautiful New York City [at] the Ziegfeld Theatre. Many of these fans here have been lined up [for] a long time and they're all super excited to see the stars who show up and see the movie.
[Crowd cheers and chants "MuggleNet"]
Emerson: We'll be bringing you the latest from the red carpet, interviewing the cast and crew.
[Transitional music plays]
Emerson: Hey, [I'm] Emerson Spartz.
David Yates: Nice to meet you.
Emerson: We would love to know more about the DVD. What can we expect in terms of deleted scenes for the DVD?
David: We've got a couple of things. You know the Slughorn photographs in the movie? We did a lot of improvisation with Jim Broadbent, so we put a whole selection of Jim Broadbent moments together that are really playful and funny. Jim's a really good comic actor. We're still reviewing some of the other scenes. We didn't cut a lot out, to be honest. There are a few little bits and pieces that are charming. There's one scene with Hermione and Harry when they're talking about the Marauder's Map, and Harry's convinced he's seeing Malfoy on there and [that] Malfoy's up to something. We took that scene out [but] that'll be on the DVD extras. There's also a scene in the great courtyard when Harry's figuring out what Malfoy's up to [and] talking about [the possibility that] he's using the vanishing cabinet. We took that out. So there [are] a couple we took out.
Emerson: Another question- Obviously you have to make [many] tough decisions as a filmmaker about what to cut and leave. If there was one scene that you could stick in this movie that wasn't there, what are you most regretful about having to cut?
David: I ask myself that every time we make one of these movies and I feel good about where we got with it. I do look at the source material often. We showed it to Jo and it's her favorite. She said, "It's my favorite so far." We're all nervous to hear what she thinks because we're so in awe of what she's given us, and so I figured, "That feels right. We're good."
Emerson: Deathly Hallows filming is now underway. What scene, in particular, are you most looking forward to filming?
David: I'm looking forward to the seven Harries chase which is a cool action sequence. It's going to be really good. And [I'm also looking forward to] the end confrontation with Voldemort. We've been waiting for seven books and seven movies to get to that point. That's going to be really cool, and we've already shot a lot of cool stuff. One of my favorite things is the Ron and Hermione kiss that we've already filmed. It was really cool to shoot.
Emerson: Hi, Bonnie. Emerson Spartz from MuggleNet.com. I know you're you've got to be sick of hearing questions like this by now but one of our readers wanted to know, was it awkward kissing Dan when you're taller than him?
Bonnie Wright: [laughs] Not really. To be honest, without these heels, I'm pretty much the same height. It was weird [because] we've known each other so long [it] almost feels like we're still the same age as when we first started.
Emerson: Are there any scenes from the next movie, Deathly Hallows, that you're looking forward to filming, in particular, as your character has a much more important role?
Bonnie: There [are] a lot of things I'm excited for. The thing I'm excited for is the epilogue. Fourteen years later, we're married with children. It seems so surreal.
Emerson: If you could keep any item from the set as a souvenir, what would you want to keep?
Bonnie: I know it sounds really boring to a lot of people, but I spend so much time in the Gryffindor jumper and the cloaks, so I'd probably take that. And though it's very simple, it just has such a memory for me.
Emerson: Thank you very much, Bonnie.
Emerson: Hi, Dan! Emerson Spartz from MuggleNet!
Daniel Radcliffe: Hi, how are you?
Emerson: I'm doing great. Listen- Deathly Hallows filming is underway now. What scene are you most looking forward to [filming]?
Daniel: The one I'm both terrified about filming and very excited [to film] is when Harry makes that long walk - that pilgrimage - into the forest to meet Voldemort right at the end of the film. I'm really looking forward to doing that just to see if I can actually do it justice.
Emerson: What scene from Half-Blood Prince, then, did you find the most challenging?
Daniel: Dumbledore's death scene was by far the hardest. There are a lot of hard scenes [but] all the stuff with Dumbledore is very involved and complex in the film. But Dumbledore's death was the trickiest of the lot.
Emerson: When this Harry Potter thing is all said and done, and you have grandkids, and you're trying to explain to them what it was like, how would you describe it? If you had to describe it in a sentence?
Daniel: Good question. I actually don't know. I would say... You know what? I have a video at home of me at the age of 13 when I first arrived in Japan and there were 5,000 people waiting for me at the airport, screaming. I would just show them that video. I think it would be easier than [describing it]. A picture says a thousand words and all that.
Emerson: If you could keep any item from the set as a souvenir, what would you keep?
Daniel: A wanted poster. One of the Harry Potter wanted posters. I think that'd be great, it'd be cool. Hopefully, I'll never have a real one made of me, so I'd like to have a fake one to put up in the house somewhere.
Emerson: Thanks a lot, Dan.
Emerson: Listen- We want to know about the DVD. What can we expect? Deleted scenes?
David Heyman: There are a few deleted scenes [but] not that much because we really stuck to the script and didn't cut out that much. On the Blu-ray, I've just seen some stuff which is going to be really cool [where] a lot of the cast go around the set and interview various heads of departments. So for example, Dan spends some time in editing with Mark Day. It's hosted by Dean Thomas and Neville [Longbottom]! That's pretty cool. And then we got a little sequence which David cut together. You know the moving pictures? Well, there's a whole load of Slughorn pictures of Slughorn sowing off with various people. We needed 20 or 25 more photographs that were live and in motion. Jim Broadbent, who plays Slughorn, is a fantastic comedian, so we strung a few of those together in a montage. There'll be some pretty cool stuff.
Emerson: Can you comment at all on the PG rating?
David: Have you seen the film?
Emerson: Not yet.
David: Okay. It puzzles me because it's not a conscious decision to be darker or less dark and you can never predict what the MPAA will do. There are things in this that feel to me like they should be PG-13, but I think the film is really good and I'm really proud of it. PG or PG-13, that's fine. It's never going to be an R [rated film].
Emerson: Years from now when you have little grandkids running around and you have to describe to them what this was like how would you? If you had to describe it in a sentence, how would you do it?
David: That's a really good question. I've got a 14-month-old son who's here with me today and I just think, "What am I going to say to him?" It's been the most amazing adventure and a real privilege to be a part of something so wonderful.
Emerson: If you could keep any item from the set as a souvenir, what would you want?
David: I would love to have - and this doesn't really exist - but an invisibility cloak would be pretty cool. But I don't know, there [are] so many cool props. I've actually been keeping a few of them all the way along. [After] each film I keep a few props for myself. For example, I've got the Quidditch box full of a Quaffle, a Snitch, a Bludger, a bat... There are so many things where the detail of the work is incredible. I'm going to get a copy of the book of magic. I don't know, it's so hard [to decide]. I hadn't thought about that, but I will think about it [for the] next time you ask me.
Emerson: I just want to say, on behalf of the fans, as always, thank you. Thank you so much for protecting our series, doing it justice, and treating it with the respect that it deserves.
David: Thank you. It's a real privilege to be a part of it. You're a fantastic organization [and we] really appreciate the support that you give the films. Jo Rowling's books are fantastic and you know it, you celebrate it. Thank you for that.
Emerson: Thank you.
David: I've been trying to think of an answer to that question [about props] and I don't know!
Freddie Stroma: I read the first two when I was very young and then it became famous, you saw more people having it, and then I read, of course, the sixth one to study Cormac, but that's it. I hadn't read the others, I just watched the movies a few times.
Emerson: If you could swipe one thing from the set to keep as a souvenir, what would you pick?
Freddie: I think the wand maybe. The wand was quite cool [so it would be nice] to just have that around. The broom would have been cool, but it's a bit much. [laughs] But I would probably say the wand. They're quite cool. We all got given one for the ending scene. I'm not going to spoil anything. That would have been quite cool, just to hold onto one of those.
Emerson: What was your favorite scene to film?
Freddie: Possibly the scene in Slughorn's office where we have the Slug Club [dinner party]. That was really fun just because we got to have these really awkward moments where I look at Hermione, and I'm constantly trying to get her attention [but] she's just not having any of it. That was fun, comedy-wise. That and the stunts. Stunts are wicked.
Emerson: Thank you very much.
Emerson Spartz: Emerson Spartz, MuggleNet.com.
Tom Felton: You've done me well over the years. Thank you very much!
Emerson: Thanks for supporting us. We're getting so many questions that people [are] asking. You mentioned on your Twitter something about a Twilight role?
Emerson: Is there anything you can comment on?
Tom: All I can say is that it is rumor, rumor, rumor! I haven't actually been approached with anything solid yet but I know of the film, certainly, and it would be an incredible achievement to be part of them. Fingers crossed! Keep campaigning! [laughs]
Emerson: Yes, we will! Years from now, [imagine] you have grandkids. How would you describe this whole Harry Potter thing to them in one sentence?
Tom: It's an epic journey. You can't describe it. I don't think it's really sunk in now how amazing it really is [to work with] the franchise and what an honor it is to be part of it. I'm looking forward to showing my grandkids the DVDs and saying, "There I am!" I'm sure it'll be fun when I do.
Emerson: If you could keep any item from the set as a souvenir, [what would it be]?
Tom: I love my wand. They're so tight on wands. They literally have two [for each actor], so there's no keeping your wand. But if I could, that would be great. [It would be] a little personal item for me.
Emerson: What scene are you most looking forward to filming in Deathly Hallows?
Tom: Oh, God. There are so many. The ones at Malfoy Manor are going to be great. Oh, no, wait! The train sequence [in] the very last scene, 19 years on [when] we're all older! I can't wait to see Dan looking like he's 35.
Emerson: You name your kid Scorpius!
Tom: I know! That's pretty mean, isn't it?
Emerson: I feel like giving your kid a name like that is basically guaranteeing he's going to be like his father.
Tom: Pretty evil!
Tom: It's going to be fun! I think they're going to make us up some prosthetics and make us look a bit older. Hopefully, they're going to be flattering!
Emerson: That must be so weird, seeing an old version of yourself.
Tom: I've yet to see it, but I'm sure they're going to be very accurate. It's going to be very scary, to say the least.
Emerson: Thanks for everything!
Tom: Thanks very much!
Emerson: Hi, Alan. Emerson Spartz from MuggleNet.com. First of all, I want to say - on behalf of the fans - you have one of the most emotionally complex characters in the entire series. I want to say thank you for doing such a fantastic job [of] capturing that emotional complexity. Years from now, when you look back on this whole thing, when the Harry Potter series is said and done and you've moved on with your life and you have grandkids asking you, "What was that whole Harry Potter thing about?" if you had one sentence, how would you describe to them what it was [like]?
Alan Rickman: It's what storytelling is all about. A great story, as it's been brewed through literary history, is something that grabs the reader's imagination. Yes, it's all happening on the page, one event after another, but also - as has been proved - children have their own life inside their imaginations with it. If they meet you, they stare at you as [if you're] an actual human being, but you're also the embodiment of all sorts of pictures in their head.
Emerson: You've obviously had a lot of really difficult scenes to film, but you're a veteran actor. Which scene did you find, in filming any of the movies so far, was the most challenging for you to get right?
Alan: They're all equally challenging and they're all equally fun. The pressure of filming is always the "Quick, quick, quick, quick, quick! We've got to move on!" thing. You're always left with the [feeling], "I wish we could do it another couple of times."
Emerson: If you could keep any item from the set as a souvenir, what would you want to keep?
Alan: Oh, I've taken many. [laughs]
Emerson: So, it's true! You can take items from the set!
Alan: No, you are not supposed to.
Emerson: I won't tell David. [laughs]
Alan: I've got my script. I'm not sure that I'm supposed to keep those, [but] I have all my scripts.
Emerson: I know you couldn't tell CNN what that one scene was, but we've been fans...
Alan: It wasn't a scene, it was a piece of information. I promised Jo Rowling I would never, ever say it.
Emerson: It's over now! You don't have to worry about...
Alan: I would never, ever say it. That was my promise. And also, the books are over to you, but - as I found last weekend - I was at a friend's house, and a six-year-old knocked [on] the door knowing that I was there. He was wearing a full robe and holding a broomstick. He's only on DVD two or three. You can't just spoil his fun.
Emerson: Fair enough. Thank you.
Emerson: Emerson Spartz from MuggleNet.com. Rupert, Deathly Hallows filming is underway now. What scene are you most looking forward to filming for that movie?
Rupert Grint: I don't know. I'm looking forward to seeing how they are going to do the aging process at the end.
Emerson: That's what Tom Felton said, too!
Rupert: I don't know if they've decided what they're going to do, but it's going to be quite a change.
Emerson: What scene was the hardest for you to film in this previous movie?
Rupert: Maybe the Quidditch. That was quite tricky. I made my green screen with...
Emerson: [Is there] a lot of green screen?
Rupert: [There's] a lot of green screen, and it's quite uncomfortable as well to film just sitting on a broom, basically. Eventually, they made a special chair where they molded my area and it made it more comfortable. It was quite a long process.
Emerson: If you could keep any item from the set as a souvenir, what would you keep?
Rupert: I don't know. I got my tie from the last one because we don't wear our uniform anymore after the sixth [movie]. I kept a Gryffindor tie which is quite good. I'd probably like something a bit better than that; I'd probably want a wand.
Emerson: Thank you very much, Rupert.
Emerson: Emma! There [have] been rumors all over the internet that you have a Twitter account, but no one has confirmed it.
Emma Watson: I don't have a Twitter account! I'm so sorry.
Emerson: You've just broken so many fans' hearts right now, you have no idea.
Emma: Aw. I don't have Twitter. I don't have Facebook. I just don't do social networking.
Emerson: You probably have a good reason. You're probably a bit busier than most, I'd say. What scene are you looking forward to filming in the next movie? You've got some tricky ones.
Emma: Gosh, I'm looking forward to being tortured by Helena Bonham Carter. I think that's going to be pretty awesome.
Emerson: If you can capture that on screen then you will have arrived as an actress! [laughs]
Emma: [laughs] Yes, I hope so.
Emerson: Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day.
Emerson: We're here with Kylie Johnson. How long have you been down here?
Kylie Johnson: 12 hours.
Emerson: Who are you most looking forward to meeting? If somebody comes up here and signs your poster, who are you most looking forward to meeting?
Kylie: Rupert Grint.
Emerson: Why Rupert Grint?
Kylie: He's hot.
Emerson: He's not here today. [pause] I'm just kidding, he's here. How about people like Alan Rickman or J.J. Abrams? Lance Bass is going to be here. It's going to be awesome.
Kylie: Alan Rickman would be sweet.
Emerson: Cool. Thank you.
Emerson: We're here with MuggleNet's biggest fans. What's your name?
Emerson: What inspired you to make this sign? What's on the back of it? Oh, nothing. I was expecting, "Dan's biggest fan."
Erica: No, we love you guys.
Emerson: How long have you been out here?
Kelly: We've been here since 9:00 a.m. We actually came yesterday. We thought it was yesterday and we were here for hours. Then we found out it was today, so we've been here twice.
Emerson: Who are you most looking forward to meeting?
Kelly: You guys were our number one!
Emerson: Good, that's out of the way!
Emerson: Do you want me to take you out of the line now?
Erica: No. [laughs]
Emerson: [Who are you looking forward to meeting] actor-wise?
Erica: Anyone. I love them all.
Emerson: Me too. [to the cameraman] Can you get a closeup of her eyelids? They're painted red and gold for Gryffindor pride.
Erica: Go Gryffindor!
Emerson: And [Kelly] has Slytherin [eyeshadow]. Nice! I hope you guys meet who you want.
Emerson: We're at the end of the premiere line, here, and there's this one girl- What's your name?
Emerson: Where are you from?
Sarah: I'm from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Emerson: Wow. Did you come here just for the premiere?
Sarah: I'm actually working in New York over the summer, so I came here.
Emerson: Perfect! How long have you been waiting out here?
Sarah: About two hours.
Emerson: That's not bad. And you still have a good place.
Sarah: I hope they're going to come over.
Emerson: Me too! I think they are. Who are you most looking forward to meeting?
Sarah: Rupert Grint.
Emerson: I've asked four people now and everyone has said, "Rupert."
Sarah: Alan Rickman would be good, too.
Emerson: Is anyone looking forward to meeting somebody not by the name of "Rupert?"
Fan: Daniel Radcliffe!
Emerson: Why Daniel Radcliffe?
Fan: I've been wanting to meet him for the past seven or eight years since the movie came out, and I really want to see him.
Emerson: She's getting a little emotional!
Emerson: What would happen if you meet him?
Fan: I don't know. I won't scream, but I will get a picture and an autograph. I will freak out.
Emerson: Cool. Thank you.