Join MuggleNet on Instagram Live for Exclusive Interviews with Cast and Crew
If you’ve been looking for something to watch during quarantine, check out MuggleNet’s Instagram page for some exciting interviews! We’ve been interviewing Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts cast and crew throughout April, and our latest interviews are with several Harry Potter stars and MinaLima, the graphic designers for both film series.
If you’ve watched any Wizarding World film, then you’ve seen the stunning work of Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina, also known as MinaLima, the graphic design team for the Harry Potter films, Fantastic Beasts films, and Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks. MinaLima will celebrate their 20th anniversary of working together next year. Because of the current lockdown, MuggleNet had to interview Lima and Mina separately, starting with Eduardo Lima.
In a stroke of magic, Lima’s first job working in graphic design was for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He was connected with Miraphora Mina through a mutual friend and started working with her on set – they’ve been together ever since. Because Lima started midway through the production, he did not have his own personal creations for the film. His first big project was for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which was the pumpkin juice bottle label. He also worked on many of the packaging designs for Honeydukes and took over the design of the Daily Prophet, which was one of his favorite things to design. Lima said that they worked very hard to create a completely immersive experience not only for the fans but also for the actors. They would write and design every element of each newspaper or magazine from cover to cover in order to create this totally magical environment. Lastly, Lima mentioned his immense excitement for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film because it takes place in Brazil and Lima is Brazilian.
Mina was working for Stuart Craig prior to the first film. When Craig was hired for Harry Potter, he took his entire team with him, including Mina. One thing she’s loved the most was the process of learning how to design books and book covers for Hogwarts textbooks. She credits this to MinaLima’s success in designing books in the present day for franchises outside of Harry Potter. Mina’s goal is to create items for characters that fit their personality. She couldn’t simply use nice, pretty handwriting when creating Snape’s copy of Advanced Potion-Making; she had to use handwriting that accurately portrayed the character. Mina also spoke about a fan favorite – Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. She said it was equally challenging and hugely entertaining. It took them about six months to complete the props and designs for the store. For people who are new to graphic design, Mina recommends buying as many books on graphic design as you can to create and build a library of resources. Her favorite prop from the films is the Marauder’s Map because she believes it has its own life to the point that it’s almost like its own character.
James Payton plays Frank Longbottom, Neville Longbottom’s father, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He is seen in the old photograph of the Order of the Phoenix seen by Neville in the Room of Requirement. Interestingly, Payton was sought out for the role specifically by David Yates. When first asked, Payton actually turned down the role because he was working on another film at the time. It was then clarified to him that Yates was asking for Payton and only Payton, so he went to Leavesden for a screen test with Lisa Wood, who played Alice Longbottom. Payton credits Potter for his acting career, saying that the role of Frank Longbottom led him to bigger and better roles than he had been doing prior. Payton has been Sorted into Gryffindor. He said that he has been fascinated with acting since he was a child. It was actually immersing himself in watching films on TV that helped him cope with the death of his father when he was just 12 years old.
In an unconventional style of interview, Sean Biggerstaff and Christian Coulson decided to have a conversation with each other over MuggleNet’s Instagram story. Biggerstaff played Oliver Wood, and Coulson played Tom Riddle in Chamber of Secrets. The two actors spent the interview answering questions fans asked during the livestream. They both said they were proud to be associated with the film series, and Biggerstaff referred to it as “quite a privilege.” Coulson said playing Tom Riddle was one of the greatest experiences of his life. He even threw in a fun tidbit about his hairstyle for playing Tom Riddle – he had to spend a few hours each morning of filming having his hair straightened. Coulson was asked if he would appear in any of the Fantastic Beasts films, and while he said he wouldn’t, he said he would definitely say yes if asked. Given the state of things, they were also asked questions about their quarantine activities. Biggerstaff hasn’t been picking up new hobbies so much as he has been more actively doing the ones he loves – cooking, reading, and playing guitar. Coulson said that he simply can’t wait to be in a room with real people again because video chatting is just not the same.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Jon Campling plays a Death Eater who stops the Hogwarts Express on its way to Hogwarts. While Campling’s character isn’t named, he’s created his own backstory. Campling believes that his character is the man whom people call when they need something or someone “taken care of” but don’t want their name associated with the crime – so Campling’s character was called when they needed the Hogwarts Express stopped and searched. Campling also gave fans some insight as to what was really happening that day on the Hogwarts Express. The Death Eaters were actually on the train to search for Luna Lovegood, but because Neville stood up and mentioned Harry, fans just assumed the Death Eaters were there for Harry. Campling must have known that all Potter fanatics love a good wand story, so of course, he told his. It was his first day on set and he was already in costume. He was standing alone and off to the side watching the set be created and prepped for shooting when two men approached him. They opened up a box with a few wands inside and told Campling to choose his wand. Campling ended up going with the simplest one, which can be seen in some promotional posters from the film.
Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley, says that while Percy comes off as a boring, Ministry-loving party pooper on the surface, he is actually quite complicated underneath: Bill and Charlie have both excelled in their chosen fields, the twins are exceedingly bright, Ron is Harry’s best friend, and Ginny is the only girl. This leaves Percy, who Rankin believes has to work so hard to maintain the image of being naturally knowledgeable that he comes across as stiff. Rankin personally relates to Percy and was drawn to the character when trying to get the role. Like Percy, he was a prefect in school at the time and considers himself a rule-follower. Rankin is a Ravenclaw but was recently re-Sorted into Hufflepuff, so he claims both Houses as his own. He told a fantastic story about a time on set during the wrap party for Chamber of Secrets. For the party, the crew put together a blooper reel that has only ever been seen by the cast and crew of that film, one of the greatest things Rankin says he has seen to this day. He also talked about Mark Williams and Julie Walters, who played Arthur and Molly Weasley. He said that each of them individually was quite funny, but when put together, they were brilliant comedians. In regard to his personal life, Rankin teased that he is currently writing a screenplay for a short film that will likely start filming next year. He loves directing and is able to do so through not only his upcoming film but also a community theater company that he runs.
Keep an eye on MuggleNet’s Instagram page for possible upcoming interviews!