Daniel Radcliffe and Elijah Wood Join Magical Forces for “Empire” Magazine’s Anniversary Issue
Daniel Radcliffe and Elijah Wood, Elijah Wood and Daniel Radcliffe. This renowned pair of actors share some huge similarities. They are both brunettes with big blue eyes, they are known for blockbuster fantasy movie adaptations, and they (consequently) have been frequently mistaken for each other. Celebrating the 20th anniversaries of the respective magical worlds associated with their names – The Lord of the Rings for Wood, the Harry Potter franchise for Radcliffe – they are about to appear in Empire magazine’s next special issue together. Fandoms collide!
“When Harry met Frodo,” says the cover of Empire magazine’s issue dedicated to Wood, who portrayed Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, a hobbit with a big adventure thrust upon him, and Radcliffe, who carried the Harry Potter movies on his shoulders when he filled the shoes of the title character and went on to become one of the most beloved actors of the new millennium even beyond his role as the boy wizard. While J.R.R. Tolkien’s and J.K. Rowling’s book series were published some 50 years apart, the magical worlds share some similarities. Additionally, the big-budget movie adaptations were coming out simultaneously starting in 2001. As a result of this and their undeniable physical characteristics, Wood and Radcliffe have often been mistaken for each other over the years, which they have taken with a sense of humor.
For the first time ever, Empire‘s special 38-page anniversary edition celebrating 20 years of both Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings on the big screen has finally brought together the two lead actors for interviews and a socially distanced photoshoot by Art Streiber featuring illustrations by Peter Strain. Harry Potter producer David Heyman also sat down with the magazine for a hearty interview to answer fan questions. Here is a sneak peek of what Heyman said about the beginnings of Potter and though we have heard this story before, why movie Harry had blue rather than green eyes:
I realised I had something special when I first read the book. I loved it. It moved me. I fell in love with it before it was published. I’ll never forget being on set that first day, filming the last scene of Philosopher’s Stone where Hagrid and Harry bid farewell at the railway station at Hogsmeade. Dan [Radcliffe] was wearing these contact lenses to make his eyes green, and he had an allergic reaction to them. His eyes were red and swollen, and we had to take them out – we thought we may add that green digitally, though ultimately we decided not to because it felt artificial. But Dan’s eyes were puffy and red, and oddly, it was quite appropriate for the scene where he was saying goodbye to Hagrid.
Naturally, adaptations must pick and choose which bits of the books to omit and which to keep or even flesh out. Heyman remembered the difficult selection process:
We always left things out that were painful. We shot [Rik Mayall as Hogwarts’ poltergeist] Peeves in the first film, and I loved his anarchy, but it didn’t fit. I love the Quidditch from the fifth book – Ron is so funny, and it was good character development, but there just wasn’t a place for it. S.P.E.W. – the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare – was a wonderful part of the books, Hermione’s mission to protect these outsiders.
Not being able to film the Quidditch World Cup in Goblet of Fire – that was more because it was so spectacular. The backstory of the Marauders, of James and Sirius and Peter Pettigrew – that was such wonderful colour and informed Harry’s relationship with Sirius in a really interesting way. Those are things I missed. But I do feel like we made the right choices for the films we were making. Kreacher was almost cut from the fifth film, and Jo [Rowling] said, ‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you, because he does have a role to play later on.’ So Kreacher remained, and thankfully he did because he was a significant house[-]elf.
Empire‘s anniversary issue is on sale on February 18. Preorder your copy today.