Anna Shaffer – Collectormania, May 2014
Transcribed by Meg Scott and Jean Bachen
Toni Cooper (TC)
Anna Shaffer (AS)
TC: Hi, Anna.
TC: Okay, so it’s been nearly three years since the end of Potter. Does that still seem a bit surreal to you?
AS: Yes. Actually, today… I hadn’t seen Alfie [Enoch] for years, and so this morning in the green room, we were trying to work out when the last time it was that we saw each other. And then I thought, “Oh my God, it’s been three years since everything ended,” and I thought, “Oh my God!” I hadn’t really thought about it and it kind of really hit home that it’s over, which is really sad.
AS: But it doesn’t feel over in some senses because there’s events like this and the fans are so amazing that you feel like…
AS: …it’s kind of always around you.
TC: Yeah, we always say, “Oh, it never ends.”
AS: Yeah, it never ends! It never ends.
TC: It just never ends because we’re always talking about it and stuff.
TC: And there’s always stuff going on on MuggleNet and stuff like that.
AS: Yeah, it’s cool.
TC: So you said that you hadn’t seen Alfie for all that time.
TC: Do you still keep in contact with any of the other cast members?
AS: Yes, I do. Jessie Cave, who played Lavender – she is one of my best friends, so I see her a lot in London. And Afshan [Azad] and Bonnie [Wright], I see a little bit.
TC: Oh, okay.
AS: And who else is there? God, there’s so many of us!
AS: And Izzy [Isabella Laughland] and Georgina [Leonidas], I see a bit of. It just depends because everyone has kind of dotted about the country…
AS: …so it’s so hard to keep in touch with everyone. But we try to, as much as we can, to see each other.
TC: Yeah. There’s some things like Twitter and stuff like that, so social media.
AS: Yeah! Exactly, exactly. You’re always kind of keeping tabs on what everyone is doing.
TC: Yeah, exactly. So… it’s not only the fans who contact with you; it’s just each other as well.
AS: Yeah, yeah.
TC: Which is quite nice when one person is doing one thing…
AS: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
TC: …and they’re on the other side of the world or something. [laughs]
AS: Exactly! So it’s always nice to see what everyone is up to and see pictures of people and see that everyone is having a good time.
AS: It’s nice.
TC: So do you enjoy going to events like this to…
AS: Well, this is my first one!
TC: Oh, wow!
AS: Yeah! And I’m having a really, really good time. Everyone has been so lovely and it’s… I was just saying to Claire how it’s so nice to… you kind of forget what an amazing thing Harry Potter is and…
AS: To be a part of something like that, it really humbles you. And when you see everybody queuing up to meet people, you kind of think, “Oh my God. Yeah, this is a huge phenomenon.” You kind of forget a bit.
AS: So it kind of really hits home how amazing it is.
TC: Yeah, even on the Internet…
TC: …all the Potter fans are like one big family.
AS: Family, yeah. And everyone is so lovely to each other. It’s really nice.
TC: Yeah, I think Harry Potter has got one of the best fandoms…
TC: …because there’s not that many harsh people or anything like that.
AS: Yeah, yeah.
TC: Everybody just treats each other the same.
AS: Yeah, because everyone loves the same thing, so it’s cool.
TC: And there’s always something to talk about as well, literally.
AS: Yeah, yeah.
TC: There’s always something. You think, “Oh yeah, I could discuss this theory, that theory.”
TC: Things like that. So it’s really good. Do you have a favorite memory at all from your time on set? Or does anything stand out in particular?
AS: I’m trying to think. That’s such a tough one. In general, I loved… actually a lot of it was… because I was so young; I was fifteen when we started filming, and there were so many of us that started at the same time on the sixth film and we were all still kind of school age, so we’d get tutored in our spare time and stuff.
AS: So it was literally like going to Hogwarts. We’d kind of run around the corridors…
AS: …and just kind of wreak havoc and steal loads of sweets from the canteen and things like that. [laughs] And the night shoots were amazing to film. They were so much fun. It was like having a sleepover at Hogwarts. [laughs] I remember the fight scene… it would have been where Lavender gets eaten by…
TC: Oh, yeah. Greyback.
AS: Yeah. And that was… was that the second one? Yeah, it must be.
TC: Yeah, the last one.
AS: In Deathly Hallows. And I remember that really vividly, that whole experience, the huddling outside with hot chocolates and waiting in between takes and stuff. That was really fun. Yeah.
TC: Yeah. Because that was the whole battle scene, wasn’t it?
AS: Yes. Yeah. Yeah.
TC: So I suppose that took a seriously long time.
AS: Yeah, ages. Weeks and weeks.
AS: Because obviously you have to wait for it to get dark, and then there’s so many things to think about, all the different special effects that have to happen and the stunts and stuff. So…
TC: Yeah. Like the one problem… I think it was on the set, wasn’t it? Something happened to the set?
AS: Yeah, I can’t remember that. I feel… sorry. This is rubbish. Rubbish answer.
AS: There was always… I think one time it didn’t work or something, and then it did, and then one of the explosions or something…
TC: Yeah, it all went wrong.
AS: [laughs] Yeah.
TC: I remember.
AS: But they got it right in the end.
TC: And it’s just quite funny as well because it was the battle scene, so it could have been like, “Oh yeah, this is what…”
AS: [laughs] Yeah.
TC: “Oh wait…”
AS: “Wait. No.” [laughs]
TC: “…that shouldn’t be happening.”
AS: Like, “Umm, I think we’re going to have to do that again.” But no, it was cool.
TC: So I know that you worked on Hollyoaks as well.
TC: So is it a totally different experience working on TV than it is to film?
AS: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s so much quicker. If you’re doing like a great war scene in Harry Potter, that might take three weeks to film one scene, whereas at Hollyoaks, you’re doing five or six scenes in a day. So it’s completely different. It’s so quick, and there’s not really time for mistakes or time to talk about it, so you have to make decisions really quickly, which can sometimes be difficult. It puts you under a bit of pressure. But it is exciting. They are both so exciting in completely different ways, I think.
AS: So I feel really lucky to have had the experience of doing both.
TC: Yeah. Would you ever consider going into stage like some of the others?
AS: Yeah, I’d love to. I think I’d be absolutely terrified [laughs] but I would really, really love to. I think it would just be finding the right thing to do and getting over all the nerves, I think.
TC: Yeah, I think that’s what one of the most thrilling things is about the stage, isn’t it?
AS: Yeah, totally.
TC: Because it’s totally different due to the live audience.
AS: Yeah. And you get that feedback instantly…
AS: …so I think… I’d just be scared of forgetting my lines, I think. [laughs] Or laughing or something. [laughs]
TC: Yeah. [laughs]
AS: It would be awful. And then I’d just run off and never come back, I think.
TC: So I think a lot of people prefer the stage. They prefer…
AS: Yeah, they say that that rush…
TC: Yeah, exactly.
AS: …and that thrill. So maybe I’ll get the bug. [laughs]
TC: Yeah. So I guess it’s just waiting…
AS: Yeah, exactly.
TC: …for the right thing to come along, perhaps. Okay, and the last and most brilliant question of all.
AS: Oh, God.
TC: What is your Hogwarts house and is it the same as your Pottermore one?
AS: My Hogwarts house is Gryffindor, definitely. Was Romilda Vane… I think in the book, Romilda wasn’t in Gryffindor. I think she… or was she? Has she always been in Gryffindor? I thought maybe in the book, it was different than in the film. I was in Gryffindor. I can’t remember. But I definitely think I would be in Gryffindor. I think so. I hope so. [laughs]
TC: Is that the same as your Pottermore house, though? Or do you have a Pottermore house?
AS: I don’t have a Pottermore house, actually. I should get one, shouldn’t I?
TC: Yeah, and see if what you think is right.
AS: Yeah, and see if that is right. I know. I need to do that.
TC: Because I was a Hufflepuff. I’ve always seen myself as a Hufflepuff. And then I went on there…
TC: …and I was sorted into Slytherin, and I was like…
TC: …”How does this work?” I was like…
AS: Of course!
TC: I was just like, “I don’t understand how this works.”
AS: But have you embraced Slytherin now?
TC: Well, I’m a Slytherpuff.
AS: Slytherpuff. Okay. Yeah, I like that.
TC: I don’t know how that would work…
TC: …because Slytherins don’t really like Hufflepuffs.
AS: No, you’re making your own one.
AS: I like this. I like this.
TC: I think it’s fine to have a Slytherpuff. Half and half, as Seamus would say.
AS: Yeah, yeah. Half and half. [laughs]
TC: And I think that is it.
AS: Oh, well, it was great to speak to you.
TC: Thank you so much.
AS: I hope my answers weren’t terrible. [laughs]
TC: Oh, no. They were fine.