Jack Thorne Opens Up on Tackling “Potter”: Five Things You Didn’t Know About the “Cursed Child” Playwright
While the merits and drawbacks of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been the cause of much debate among Potterheads, it’s one of the West End’s most commercially successful productions in recent history and a critical hit as well. So there’s no denying the prowess of the playwright behind it all, Jack Thorne.
Recently, the extremely prolific writer sat down with the Telegraph in a fascinating interview, discussing many of the works to which he has contributed over the years, including National Treasure, last year’s Channel 4 drama starring Robbie Coltrane and Julie Walters (who played Hagrid and Molly Weasley in the Potter films!).
Thorne also talked about his collaboration with J.K. Rowling on Cursed Child, elaborating on the experience of joining forces with Rowling on a script that was entirely his own idea:
I was also lucky in that she was happy to collaborate. There were lots of points where she could have pulled the plug, where she could have said, ‘no, I don’t think this is right’. But she never did. She is too kind a person to do that.
He definitely felt the pressure of the Potterhead population’s eagerness for another chapter of Potter canon (which is only fair since we did our waiting – nine years of it!), but he didn’t let it affect his writing:
I shut myself out [from the hype] ,but I always felt it. Luckily, I was a Potterhead, and so the characters already felt very alive to me.
But Thorne didn’t just discuss his relationship with Potter – while we’re all familiar with Cursed Child, there are some things that even the most diligent Potterhead likely hasn’t heard about the playwright. So read on to find out five things Thorne revealed that you probably didn’t know about the man behind the play.
1. He has four BAFTAs (at least?).
When asked about awards, Thorne commented that awards may be important, but they’re not the only thing by which he measures the quality of his work, citing the BAFTA-less Queer as Folk as one of his personal favorites. That said, he’s pretty sure he has four BAFTAs, as he puts it, “because I see them in the telly room.”
2. His work is coming to Hollywood.
Later this year, the film Wonder, starring Julia Roberts, is going to hit theaters in America. Thorne helped pen the film’s screenplay, which will mark his first contribution to a Hollywood flick.
3. His plays were rejected 22 times.
Before he struck gold with the British TV series Skins in 2007, the ever-prolific Thorne had written 22 plays, which he sent off to theaters around the country – only to be rejected by every single one. While it probably wasn’t a good feeling, Thorne agreed that they were “terrible.”
Of course, he and JKR probably had a lot to talk about, as Harry Potter was also rejected by several publishers before Bloomsbury!
4. He’s taking on another popular fantasy book series.
Thorne is tackling another well-loved fantasy series, this time for a television adaptation rather than a stage sequel: Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, which is being adapted for BBC One.
Other attempts to adapt the books haven’t been terribly successful – but based on Thorne’s work with Potter, we know there’s nobody better for the job.
5. He has yet another production currently running on the West End.
Thorne seems to write like he’s running out of time – his latest production, Junkyard, is currently running at Bristol Old Vic through March 18. If you can’t check it out in Bristol, you can read about it and its touring schedule to Kingston and Wales here.
What do you think about Jack Thorne’s revelations about working on Potter with J.K. Rowling? Sound off in the comments below!