Red Carpet Interviews from Grand Opening of Warner Bros. Studio Tour Now Available
by Keith Hawk · Published · Updated
MuggleNet had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter this week. We have pieced together three video interviews with the younger actors, the older actors, and the crew members, all of which you can view below.
Special thanks to MuggleNet staff member Kat Miller, who did a brilliant job covering the event the entire week leading up to the grand opening, and also thanks to Hypable staff member Selina Wilken for joining forces with us.
Transcribed by Katie Hynes
Kat Miller: So as someone who started out as a Harry Potter fan and still is a Harry Potter fan, how long do you think this craziness is going to last?
Evanna Lynch: I don’t know. I’m genuinely shocked by how many people turned up today. Not just because we’ve done this so many times before, but also, it’s Watford and it’s cold.
Selina Wilken: It’s freezing.
Evanna: And it’s far away. So I don’t know. It’s hard to put a time on it. At the moment, there is still hype, but there’[re] always going to be [new things] like the theme park and the exhibition. Them there’s going to be a theme park in L.A. So I don’t know if there’s ever going to be a time [where] we’ve overdone it [and] everyone’s leaving. But I’m just enjoying it while it lasts.
Kat: And have you heard anything about Jo’s new book, or…?
Evanna: No, nothing.
Selina: What do you think it’s going to be?
Evanna: I don’t know. I’ve heard rumors that it’s a crime mystery.
Selina: That’s what people are thinking.
Kat: Are you going to read it?
Evanna: Of course!
Evanna: That’s a ridiculous question. I’m going to queue up, definitely. It’ll be weird though, queuing up and not being like, “Oh what do we do with our robes?”
Selina: So, I was wondering, what’s it looking like with your future involvement with the Harry Potter Alliance?
Evanna: Oh! I really want to get more involved. I love the HPA and I love everything they do. I just love the people who work there. There are so many great charities that I don’t really have any relationship [with]. I just love the way they use the passion that we have for the books to put into a project that empowers that. I hope to do more. I really was touched by the response that I got when I wrote [about] body issues and stuff, and I still get messages about that. More than anything I’ve ever written about. And I think it’s a really important issue because it’s a block for so many girls. People who want to be creative [and] want to do things are blocked by bad self-image, and so I’m hoping to do more with that. Andrew Slack is just so great. He’s always open [to] new ideas.
Transcribed by Adam Leuenberger
Selina Wilken: There is a rumor going around that weddings are going to be available to be held in the Great Hall?
Bonnie Wright: In the Great Hall? I don't know, maybe. I've heard that as well. We shall see. I think they have already had a few concerts in there as well, so, who knows?
Kat Miller: Is there a scene for yourself that you remember filming or for Ginny, in general, that got cut that you wish the fans had a chance to see?
Bonnie: There [were] some quite weird, twisted scenes they did in the second film of me when I am being taken over by Tom Riddle that they didn't show. They were a bit too scary. There were a few of those. There is so much that they shot of the sets, seeing it as the full self, that you didn't get to see in the films. You will be able to see that when you do step on the sets. All corners that you never have been shown in the film.
Selina: You have been to both the Wizarding World and this. What do you think will be the most fun for fans?
Rupert Grint: I mean they are very different kinds of attractions. I mean, this offers more of an authentic kind of experience. You can feel what it's like to work on these films. It's in a real studio, in the exact location where we all filmed. It's a lot of fun.
Selina: [unintelligible] both of them?
Rupert: The theme park is amazing as well, so you've got to go to that. It's just so much fun going on the rides. This is more for film lovers.
Selina: Are there plans to bring the Slytherin common room to the tour?
Tom Felton: There are plans? There is?
Selina: Are there plans?
Tom: You got my hopes up! I don't think there are. I didn't think they had any sets from the first few films other than the obvious. But they have kept more or less everything, so who knows? If we get enough people through these doors in the next few months, maybe they'll have opportunities to build another stage?
Kat: You have been to Wizarding World and here, which do you think is more fun for the fans?
Tom: It's a completely different, separate kettle of fish. Orlando is typical Orlando; it's a theme park. It's a wonderful theme park, one of the best I've ever been to. This is an attraction and a real chance for people to go and see the nuts and bolts of the film and how things were made. I think for film fans, and for people who are appreciative of the work, this is going to be more interesting. If you want to feel like you are in Hogsmeade, probably go to the Orlando one.
Selina: A lot of Dudley was cut out of the seventh film, such a shame. Was there anything you shot that didn't make it into the movie?
Harry Melling: From the seventh one? Yeah, we had the handshake moment which had to go because they wanted to try and propel themselves into the narratives. [unintelligible] now just to kind of join in, and that, unfortunately, was one of the things that had to go. But that's just the way films are, and the way... such a big book... so yeah.
Selina: We hope to get to see it one day.
Harry: It's on deleted scenes, so yeah!
Kat: There was only one set you ever got to film on. Where would you have liked to film if you had the chance?
Harry: I would have liked to film Diagon Alley. I remember them building it when we started and thinking, "That's going to be something special." I'm excited about going in there because I haven't been in there yet.
Kat: You haven't seen it yet?
Harry: Not yet, no.
Kat: Is that what you are looking forward to then? Diagon Alley?
Harry: I think so, Diagon Alley, and the Room of Requirement, and all of the magical places in Hogwarts I didn't get to see...
Transcribed by Marissa Osman
Selina Wilken: There's obviously so much excitement, still, about Harry Potter even though it's over. How long do you think this kind of excitement is going to continue?
George Harris: Forever.
Selina: Forever. How come?
George: Because of the nature of the story. Donald Duck and all the great Disney characters... Storytelling touches the heart, and J.K. [Rowling] is the most amazing storyteller there is today.
Kat Miller: Have you read the book?
George: I've read some of the books, yeah.
Kat: Is there a scene for Kingsley that you really wish had made it into the movies?
George: Yeah. I like the one where I'm doing the broadcasting in Deathly Hallows.
George: Yeah, Potterwatch. But they didn't do it. I would have felt like Terry Wogan or somebody like that.
[Next interview clip]
Selina Wilken: Was there a scene with Tonks that was cut out of the film that you really with fans could have seen?
Natalia Tena: Oh! There was a bit when I tell Mrs. Weasley I'm pregnant, and I really wish they'd kept that because it was a little moment with us and her going, "Ah!" I love Julie Walters; she's so funny and fantastic. I wish they'd kept it.
Selina: And at the end, they just say, "Their son died." It's like, "What?"
Natalia: Oh, yes! Also, I just turn up whereas when we did it, there was a little scene between me and David. I wish they would have kept that just because it's like, "Aw!" You get to see a bit of them in love.
Selina: There definitely wasn't enough Tonks in the films. It's such a shame.
Kat Miller: There's obviously still quite a bit of excitement for Harry Potter. How long do you think that's going to go on?
Natalia: People are still completely bonkers about Star Wars [and] this is one of those. [In] 50 years I reckon there will still be people walking through.
Selina: We'll be a lot older, but we'll still be here. [laughs]
Natalia: Yeah! Dragging the kids along, "Go on, look at it! Enjoy it!"
Kat: Have you been to the Wizarding World in Orlando, Florida?
Natalia: No! I was meant to go with all the other people last year but I couldn't make it. [It's] so annoying.
[Next interview clip]
Selina Wilken: Was there a scene from the film that was cut out that you wish fans had the chance to see with you in it?
Nick Moran: It's the scene when I get Emma and I say, "You smell of vanilla." That thing where I sniffed her? The actual line that was in the script was, "You smell of vanilla," then I licked her face and said, "You're going to be my favorite." That was really chilling. And I'm just about to drag her off when someone's like, "This one has lied about his name," and that takes my attention away. When we did the scene later on, I had her under my arm in Malfoy Manor where I was going to have Emma as my little trophy. I think that Warner Bros. thought that was a bit too strong, but I didn't! I thought it was great! Emma was really game. She is not as delicate as you think. She was like, "This is great. This is really good." So when we did that scene and it was so chilling, it was from Saw. [laughs] It was from a completely different movie. I think they were right to take it out because it would have been a little bit too much, but it informed the rest of the scene. Nobody thought they were in a kid's film. Everyone thought - I thought - I was a leader of a gang of murderers that caught some children in the woods. I was playing it like that and so was everybody else. So whether it got cut out or not, it still gave it that edge.
Kat Miller: There are so many sets inside the tour here. You only really got to film on a couple. Which one would you like to film on if you had the chance?
Nick: A lot of my stuff was exterior. The one thing you can't see [at the studio tour] is the Ministry because the Ministry is the biggest set I've ever been on. It was the whole size of one of them. They would have 500 [or] 600 extras in the Ministry and it didn't touch the sides. When you walk onto a lot of [pother] movie sets, you get a wall and the rest of it is green. When you walked onto our Potter set, they built a whole building. Malfoy Manor was enormous; [it] was as big as a castle. The Great Hall is very impressive, that's still here, but the Ministry here was immense. You could shout and it would be a second before the echo came back and that was really, really impressive.
[Next interview clip]
Selina Wilken: You've worked on a lot of British and American productions. [Does] Harry Potter feel British or more American?
Warwick Davis: It feels very British. [It's an] entirely British cast, which is something J.K. Rowling always wanted, and here we are at Leavesden, at the studios, in Great Britain, at this unique attraction. The crew, they're the best in the world. The best of the best of the British film industry works on these films and that's what this is about: celebrating their creativity and art.
Selina: Do you think this means a lot to Britain that this is here and not in America?
Warwick: Of course it does. This is the home. We're standing on hallowed ground. This is where the films were made, and it's great that Britain's got a world-class attraction like this. We've got other attractions, obviously, but for Harry Potter and for the world, you can only come here to see this. You can't go anywhere else because there's only one version of these sets; these are the originals. You couldn't reproduce this anywhere else.
Kat Miller: Now, you're a part of two of some of the largest fandoms in the world: Star Wars and Harry Potter. How do they compare? Are the fans crazier for one [compared to the other]?
Warwick: I think the fans of both of the series of films are very passionate, you certainly sense that. But I think Potter, probably. They love to dress up and - as you can see here - there are all sorts of wizards and witches behind us. There's probably slightly more passion in the Potter fans than the Star Wars fans.
Kat: Besides your mask for Griphook, what is your favorite creature creation on the tour?
Warwick: I love seeing Aragog [and] how big he is. I remember seeing him in the corner of the workshop gathering dust, but now he's been preserved and is looking fantastic hanging up there. I think if you've got any form of arachnophobia you're going to be terrified seeing that.
[Next interview clip]
Selina Wilken: What's it like being back here at the studio after a while? Are you reuniting with everybody?
David Bradley: It's just great seeing everyone again. It's been two years and the last time I was here the Great Hall was in a right old mess and I was trying to sweep it up to very little effect, but now I'm looking forward to seeing it restored to its former glory.
Selina: What's your favorite memory from working on the films?
David: I think Chamber of Secrets, because my daughter Francesca - who is now a casting director, she's over there - spent a few weeks with me on the set as one of the children in the Great Hall. She met everyone and we spent a lot of time together, so for personal reasons that set was my happiest memory. I liked the film, as well, the Chamber of Secrets, because I had a nice little chunk in it where I had to scream at Harry and find my cat petrified. That was quite a nice scene for Filch to do.
Kat Miller: Which set did you never get a chance to film on that you would have liked to?
David: Oh, there were quite a few. The dormitories, Dumbledore's office... There were quite a few that I never got to see but I spent most of my time in the Great Hall, in the courtyard, and a few of the corridors. There was a forest scene that they'd built here with these massive trees going to the ceiling, and it was covered in fake snow. It was the third [film] that Alfonso Cuarón directed, Alfonso showed me around the set [and] said, "David, David, come here, come here," and he took me into the studio, and the whole studio was a massive forest with trees that went into the ceiling. When I saw it, I thought it looked like such a real forest with real snow. I just loved walking around sets like that, but I never got to act on that set; I never have any scenes on that one.
Selina: Did working on Harry Potter feel like working on a British production, or did it feel more like an American production?
David: It was a unique chance to work with British actors and it felt like a British movie.
Transcribed by Marissa Osman
Selina Wilken: On the tour, I've heard of there being weddings in the Great Hall. Can you confirm or deny?
David Barron: No. [laughs] That's not something I've discussed with anybody. But I'm sure people would love to do it. Yeah, absolutely. I know they've had people propose in the Orlando theme park. They've had proposals there, but I don't know about weddings. That's a great idea.
Kat Miller: Can you tell us anything about what's coming up as far as DVD releases, things like that? Do you know anything about it?
David: I can't give you a lot of detail, but there will be. Obviously, there's more coming. There's more to look forward to. There will be great fun, added extras, and it'll be very worthwhile.
David: Who knows! I can't tell you details, but there will be good things to have.
[Next interview clip]
David Heyman: I'm glad that it's opening up and that people are going to be able to share it.
Selina Wilken: So all these secrets we've been hearing about... "More secrets will be revealed," what is that?
David: I don't know. I think what I can tell you is, I guess people going in will get to see things they haven't seen. There's so much detail on these sets in this exhibition that we couldn't show in the films just because you can't focus on every part of a set and how certain things were then done. You get to ride a broom which is pretty fun, but I know there'll be plenty of plans in the future to have - because we saved everything - other sets and other things brought out.
Selina: One thing that they have been talking about is that it [might] be a possibility to have your wedding in the Great Hall?
David: Nobody's told me about that. For me, that would be a little spooky having spent as much time as I have there.
Selina: I think it would be cool, though.
David: No, I think it would be cool because when those doors open into the Great Hall it does take your breath away. So I think it'll be pretty fantastic.
Kat Miller: What can you tell us about upcoming editions of the DVD? Anything?
David: Well, I think that there will be... We've been looking at a lot of special features, special short films made about the kids growing up and about behind the scenes that we haven't shown before that are really lovely and I think give an insight into the world and the family that was Harry Potter.
Kat: What about some bloopers?
David: I think there will be a gag reel.
Kat: Did you know that there's going to be a Quidditch match at the London 2012 Olympics?
David: That doesn't surprise... I know there's the Quidditch Championships. When I was in New York a little while ago I know [there] was the Quidditch championships going on. I didn't know, though. I'm sure it won't be an official event, but I think it's great that it would be an unofficial event.
[Next interview clip]
Selina Wilken: The dragons are so richly designed and they're so original. What were your inspirations for designing the dragons?
Nick Dudman: Well, all the designs start as sketches in the art department and then we work our way through and they mutate as we go, with any creature, with a lot of people involved; it's not one person. But the biggest challenge with any of these things is to make them not look like something that somebody else has done. So when you're doing dragons, werewolves, anything that's iconic, you hit a problem because a lot of the good ideas have already been done. So you have to find a different angle. That's the hardest bit.
Kat Miller: What's your favorite creature that's in the studio tour?
Nick: All I'll say is, if you go into the creature shop, at the end of it, look up. It's got eight legs, it's extremely big, and if it moves, I'd run.
Kat: She's beautiful. I did see that. I know what you're referring to. Thank you.
[Next interview clip]
Alfonso Cuarón: ... someone who is so handsome and beautiful [unintelligible] suddenly turns into this ugly man over there. So it's amazing. Some people really hate that.
Selina Wilken: How do you think that Prisoner of Azkaban has shaped the rest of the series?
Alfonso: I think that what shaped the whole series was J.K. Rowling. No question about that.
Selina: You brought a whole new style to the film...
Alfonso: I think that each film has a different personality and a different progression, and in many ways, I think that what is interesting is that [which] is projected in each film projects the age of the characters at the time. You see the whole thing go from a character who starts being ten until 17. I happen to have the transitional moment that is 13. So I was very lucky in that sense because we could flex and stretch certain stylistic approaches.
Kat Miller: What other film would you have wished to direct if you could?
Alfonso: I don't know. Probably The Godfather.
Kat: I guess that would do it!
[Next interview clip]
Jany Temime: I always thought that Ravenclaw was a very, very, very nice House.
Kat Miller: I would agree with that completely.
Jany: Very creative people.
Kat: Are you a Ravenclaw?
Jany: No, no, my love. I was a Gryffindor. Always have been. But I do respect Ravenclaw.
Kat: What's your favorite costume that you've ever designed?
Jany: I am going to disappoint you because you wanted me to give you a Ravenclaw one, but my favorite costume is Bellatrix. I love her.
Kat: How come?
Jany: Because I like the baddies. I like the baddies very, very much. They are very interesting.
Selina Wilken: Did you like Lucius, and Voldemort, and all of those?
Jany: No, Bellatrix is the most interesting. Voldemort is the figure of the bad; of course you like him. But Bellatrix... she was the one who was really, really exciting. I don't know why. Because she was bad, but so bad that she became almost funnily bad. She was such a great character and she was brilliantly interpreted by an iconic actor. I think the costume was very successful and very sexy and very strong at the same time.
Selina: Did you work with Helena Bonham Carter when designing the costume at all?
Jany: Yes, I always work a lot with the actors. You start sketching and you show them the sketch and then they tell you what they think about it. And then you do the first costume, you fit it, and then they walk with it, they put it on, and then little by little you create it. You work together. Yes, of course.
Kat: Which was your most difficult?
Jany: Voldemort, because it was very hard. I wanted the Death Eaters to be in black cloaks, but I wanted Voldemort to be much more spiritual. I think that the silk floating around him gave him the [look] that he could appear and disappear making it more magical.