Interview with Triwizard Contenders
Conducted in November at Leavesden Studios by MuggleNet, TLC, IGN, Dark Horizons, and Coming Soon.
How does it feel to be the new blood in such a popular series of movies?
Robert Pattinson: Well, I thought it would be more daunting then it has turned out to be. I think I’ve kind of integrated pretty easily, but everyone’s pretty friendly, so it’s not particularly difficult to do that. I think being a “new blood” hasn’t really affected me that much.
Stanislav Ianevski: I feel as if what I’ve been doing hasn’t really changed me, as well. I feel as if I’m a part of a new family now. I’ve settled down really well, I think.
Were you fans of the movies before doing this or had you not paid attention?
Stan: Well, me, personally, not directly, but as soon as I got the part, I got the past books and the films.
Robert: That’s more or less the same as me. I hadn’t read any of them until I heard about the audition and then I read it about a week before the audition. I was pretty unitiated.
Stan, this being your first movie ever, what’s it like coming onto a set this extravagant for your first experience?
Stan: Well, I didn’t exactly know what I was going into, so I think I sort of took it the more relaxed way. Then, as time went by, I started getting amazed myself, thinking of the future in that what we do in that moment, we’ll actually be seeing that all over the world on screens next year. It was a little scary feeling as time went by. You try to give your best for the viewers.
Can you tell us how you got the part of Victor Krum?
Stan: Well, I had only been in little school thing. In Israel, we had little theatre things, but they were minor. I got the part in my current school. We had afternoon registration and I was late, and I was speaking to one of my friends in school, running to sign in at the late afternoon. The casting director was walking by and she heard my voice. She turned around and told the head of drama that she wanted me to come to audition. That’s how it started. I went to a lot of auditions and I eventually got to meet Mike and got the part.
What is Mike Newell like to work as a director? Was he rather paternal to the younger actors?
Robert: Sort of. Everyone says that he’s very much of an actors’ director and he is quite hands-on. Nothing’s kind of theoretical. He’ll show you exactly what he wants to do. It’s not sort of anything high-flung about it. He won’t assume anything to any of the actors. He’ll talk to you the same if you’re Alan Rickman or if you’re an extra. He’s a really good director to work with.
Stan: He creates a really strong atmosphere when he’s around, and I think it’s also really motivating for the actors.
Of the other actors you’ve worked with, which of the veterans most impressed you?
Stan: Personally, every single actor on this film has his own strong side, and I’ve been impressed by everyone, really, but especially Dumbledore, Michael Gambon, and Alan Rickman. The bigger actors seem to be more friendly then I thought they would be, and they really make you feel like you’re there to have fun rather than work. (At this point, actress Clémence Poésy joins the two guys.)
Since you’re just joining us, what’s it like being the “new blood” in this movie?
Clémence Poésy: It’s been fine really. Everyone’s been really friendly. You don’t feel like an intruder in a way. You feel really welcomed, and it’s a new film each time. We’re not the only ones being new.
How was it shooting the Triwizard scenes?
Robert: The maze right at the beginning was tough, physically demanding stuff. It’s me and Stan and Dan doing it for most of the time, and most of the special effects are kind of real. The whole thing was hydraulic, so the maze is crushing and squeezing in on you, and no one knew if you were going to sort of die, because it closed the whole way. It was all pretty exciting stuff. I had never done anything like that before.
Stan: It was the very first thing we were doing, as well, and we had quite a few laughs. We were at some times a bit scared.
What are some of the things that each of you face during the maze, which is the third task in the Triwizard contest?
Clémence: Dangerous things, I guess. We haven’t seen it yet.
Robert: What we face? It’s kind of nothing in a way. It’s different to the book how it’s been portrayed in this, quite a lot different. It’s like your biggest enemy is yourself and the isolation and fear of what’s behind the next corner, of not knowing anything. And the maze itself is alive, rather than being monsters and stuff inside. When you’re walking around a corner, you never see anything, but all the competitors go insane, because of the competition and the general fear, like being scared of the dark over a period of time.
So there won’t be any 15-foot tall spiders like in the book?
Robert: No, but it’s much scarier. I shouldn’t really say that to be controversial.
What’s the coolest scene you’ve filmed that you’re most looking forward to seeing on the big screen?
Robert: I think probably the final sequence of scenes from the end of the maze and the big fight scene finale. That’s going to be really, really cool.
Stan: I’m looking forward to the more action scenes as well, especially the one me and Rob filmed right at the beginning where we were fighting in the maze. I remember that very clearly.
So we know what was the hardest part, but what was the most fun for you to do?
Robert: All the physical things were probably the most fun things, as well. The underwater stuff was really cool, but bizarre. You can’t experience that anywhere else. There’s nothing in the pool, and that’s the scene that I’m most looking forward to seeing because you can’t actually see anything. There’s nothing to see, so everything is very devoid, the entire environment.
Can you talk a bit about the underwater training you went through for the second task?
Robert: I did about three weeks training just before the maze and that was the first thing I did for anything. Yeah, and how long did we shoot underwater? It was two months, I think, but I was only there for three weeks. It’s pretty strange, because you can’t see anything. Everyone’s in blue wetsuits and you get something jammed into your mouth. You have a megaphone Tannoy (that’s a speaker for you non-Brits) under the water, which tells you “Look more scared” or something. “Stop breathing.” (laughter)
Were any of you certified divers before this and did you know you’d be doing so much swimming before you got the part?
Robert: I wasn’t. Just general swimming.
Stan: I wasn’t either.
Clémence: Well, I think we got one from the training. It was the first time for me. I had never scubadived before, but I know they made sure I was able to swim when my contract showed up. That was it.
Which one of you ended up spending the most time underwater?
Robert: I don’t know, because [Celeste] had to fight the Grindylow.
Clémence: Yeah, I don’t think I was supposed to have that much, and then I got a bit more.
How is it fighting in a blue screen tank against a non-existent monster?
Clémence: It’s pretty scary at first, just because you can’t breathe. It’s just not natural and you just want to go back to the surface. They keep telling you that you’re going to get used to it, and you just stop coming up all the time. You actually spend three hours underwater, which is great by the end of it, because it’s really relaxing. It’s a very peaceful world.
Robert: And you’re not self-conscious at all, because you know that whatever you do, you’re going to look like an idiot. (laughter)
What did you guys have to do underwater?
Robert: I had to kind of look around (laughter) and point and I have to tell Harry to hurry up, so I didn’t have a huge amount to do.
Clémence:: Did you actually talk?
Robert: No, I didn’t really do anything. I just kind of point at my watch. There’s so much chlorine in the water, you can’t actually see each other, so it took almost the whole day just to get the right angle. You can’t get any of the timing right. (Note: Spoiler warnings for those who haven’t read the book follow. You can read them by scrolling over them with your mouse.)
Robert, your character dies in the book, so what was that experience like in the film?
Robert: Well, I haven’t actually died “live” yet but I’ve been dead a few times. It’s strange, but it’s quite sort of relaxing. You feel like a bit of a therapist, because everyone’s giving you all their grief, and you’re just lying there listening. Yeah, it was quite nice, like no pressure after a couple weeks. I enjoyed it.
Of all the costumes you each wear in the movie, which is your favorite?
Clémence: Why I think it’s going to be my ball dress. I haven’t worn it yet, but I tried it on, and I’m looking forward to wearing it. We’ll be shooting that in December, of course, so we’ll all be freezing, but it’s a very nice dress.
Robert: I think the costume which I have when I’m dead, the funeral costume. And I did request to have an open coffin.
Clémence: And then you attended your own funeral! He came and looked! (laughter)
Robert: I think the torn-up Voldemort blood-stained costume is probably my favorite.
Stan: I quite like my maze costume, as it’s the softest one of all. It’s made out of cotton and I prefer softer clothes.
All the clothes you’re wearing seems to be kind of heavy, Stan. Aren’t you hot all the time?
Stan: I don’t prefer much heat on me, but you have to wear it.
Clémence: We can swap if you want. (laughter)
Are we going to see you playing Quidditch at all in the movie?
Stan: Well, I’ve tried my broomstick out, and we are going to shoot Quidditch, but that’s still to come.
The fourth book seems to show a lot more of the growing teen’s hormones. Did you feel that sort of atmosphere on the set at all? (All three actors look at each other trying to decide who to answer, before both guys look at Clémence, at which point, they all start laughing.)
Clémence: No, the thing is that I’m always surrounded by fifteen really pretty girls, so when you walk down the set, you’ve got all of these extras (breathing heavily) because it’s a group. I don’t think we’d be like that if we’re on our own otherwise.
Robert, can you talk about the celebrity of being the Hogwarts champion and having to compete against the great Harry Potter?
Robert: I suppose it is quite cool, but then again, it is Harry Potter, so you’re never going to really compete. During the Great Hall sequence, my entrance is like you hear everyone whispering “It’s Cedric..it’s Cedric…” That’s really quite cool. You get a trip from it.
How has it been working with Daniel Radcliffe?
Robert: Really good. I’ve kind of done everything and I’ve only worked with Dan in almost every single scene, so yeah, I get on with him very well.
Stan: He’s a great boy. He’s just amazing. There’s not much that I can add to that.
Clémence: Me neither.
Robert: He’s incredibly hard working, as well.
Clémence: Yeah, he’s a true professional.
Stan: He’s always friendly and willing to help you.
Robert: He has to go to tutoring at the same time and the immediate switch between going from tutoring to actor all day every day, nearly 365 days a day. I think it’s absolutely incredible, and I would never ever be able to do that.
Have Daniel, Rupert or Emma talked to you about the mad fans you’ll be dealing with when the movie comes out or are they trying to keep that from you?
Robert: We kind of briefly met, and I was talking to Dan’s dad about his Christmas card to the fans. I think they’re printing out 20,000 Christmas cards, just in the first batch, just for his personal fan club. Just the scale of it is incredible. I got fan letters about a week after it was announced that I was cast from people who probably have no idea who I am really. I thought that was really strange.
What have each of you learned from doing this movie?
Clémence: The most important thing is about acting in front of blue screens. I mean, that’s something I’ve never done before, and acting underwater was quite a new experience, as well.
Robert: Yeah, I suppose the blue screen thing, I guess you can never really get that used to it. I did another movie, which is almost all blue screen, as well, so I had some idea, but not to the extent that it is in this movie. I think the technicalities of things is quite a big thing I’ve learned.
Stan: Everything that’s been done on the film has been pretty much new to me, so I’ve learned quite a lot.
You’ve been working on this movie since April, and you’re going to be shooting through March. Do you have anything else lined up for after it’s done yet?
Robert: I’m going to start doing castings again in January, since I have a month off and see what happens.
Stan: I’ve got to see my agent beforehand, but hopefully, there will be things to come.
Clémence: I’ve got two French movies lined-up actually, one for spring and the other for the summer, so it’s going to be very different. Small movies.