Dragon Con Returns with a Roar: Matthew Lewis Admits to Costume Theft and Bonnie Wright Reveals Cut Scene
by Peter Ampudia · Published · Updated
Dragon Con took place this past weekend in Georgia, and Bonnie Wright and Matthew Lewis were back to celebrate with the rest of the convention. They were the key speakers at three events over the course of the weekend and spoke about everything from headcanon to explosions.
Bonnie was able to prove that she was still able to use perfect Parseltongue to open the Chamber of Secrets and told the story of one of the scenes that was cut. It shows a darker side of Ginny when she was possessed by Tom Riddle: “There’s a scene where I go into the Hogwarts chicken coop, and I kill a chicken to get the blood to write the blood on the wall.” Matthew then expressed disappointment at not being able to see the footage.
Bonnie told the story of being uncomfortable in a scene. “I was lying dead in the Chamber of Secrets for, like, 3 weeks,” Bonnie remembered. To help with being so uncomfortable, a yoga mat was cut out similar to a chalk outline of a dead body. It was the only relief between her and the rock floor.
When asked by a fan who had only seen the films how Ginny had won over Harry instead of Cho, Bonnie provided her own headcanon and replied, “Well, it was a slow burn. It happened over time.” She further explained that she would leave her jumper around the house and he would bring it back to her. She said that Harry “had to get a few things out of his system before he realized who his true love was.” Both actors recommended reading the books.
Matthew went into greater detail about Alan Rickman’s advice on his last day on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Rickman encouraged him to do a theater production to hone his craft. Taking his advice, Matthew’s next project after the Harry Potter series was a play, and he credits his success to Rickman. “I wouldn’t still be working today,” Matthew said. “I would not have done half the things that I’ve been fortunate enough to do in the last 10 years if I had not taken his advice that day.”
Matthew Lewis admitted to stealing Neville’s Battle of Hogwarts costume. It’s currently on a mannequin in his parents’ home, and the costume that is displayed at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is not authentic. He said that he had stolen several items from the set, explaining, “I’m a dirty thief.” Bonnie Wright said that she had accidentally stolen a coin but expressed disappointment when she couldn’t use it for anything.
When asked what position they would like to play behind the camera, Bonnie replied, “I was so obsessed and in love with the art department.” She said that she always felt like she wanted to work behind the camera and so she would try to spend her days in most departments just helping out. In fact, she does own a production company named Bon Bon Lumiere and mentioned that her next project is a short horror film titled Consumed, which is about a monster that hunts a couple inside their own home.
Matthew answered that he would work in the animal department. “I love animals,” he said. He was able to spend an entire day in the animal department on one of the sets. And when asked what movie he would direct, he simply said whatever movie had the most animals in it. This seems to continue in his current project, All Creatures Great and Small, which is a period series that revolves around a veterinarian. However, he did say that he wouldn’t like to direct: “It’s a tremendous amount of effort and I’m too lazy.”
Matthew said that his favorite line for Neville is “entirely self-serving because I wrote it.” In the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 when the wooden bridge blew up, Neville says, “That went well.” There wasn’t a line to follow the scene, so director David Yates told Matthew Lewis to make one up. Matthew continued, “So I just went ‘That went well,’ thinking they would obviously cut that, but they didn’t.”
What was your favorite moment from Dragon Con?
Bonnie Wright: Good morning.
Matthew Lewis: How [are] we all doing?
Host: While we get people lined up, I've been selfish and had a question. I want to know more about your production company, Bonnie.
Bonnie: Oh, yeah! Production company sounds a bit grander than it is. In my undergrad program that I went to while I was in film school, I majored in directing and writing. Afterward, I continued to make my own short films, music videos, commercials, different things. I just put them under the umbrella of a company.
Host: Say the name.
Bonnie: It's Bon Bon Lumiere. Sweet, light, and it's a homage to the Lumiere brothers who were early filmmakers. The last thing I made - which we've finished, it should be out soon - you might all like it. It's a short horror film.
Bonnie: It's called Consumed and it's basically about this monster that hunts this couple in their home. You never actually see it, but the monster is essentially made of trash. And as we consume, it's coming to consume them. [sarcastically] [A] very light subject!
Bonnie: That's the company and that's the next film.
Host: Matt, tell us about your projects you're on.
Matthew: [to Bonnie] The Lumiere brothers, they shot a bit in Leeds. Did you know that?
Bonnie: I did know that.
Matthew: That's where I'm from, and Bonnie's got some family from there as well. They shot a bit on Leeds Bridge, the Lumiere brothers did. What did you ask me? Right. I just finished the second season of a show called All Creatures Great and Small.
Matthew: It's very nice. It's about a vet in the north of England. A Scottish vet. We did the first season last year, and we managed to get that finished about a week before everything shut down and. It's quite a nice little quaint show. It's period. It's set in 1937, and I think it just resonated with a lot of people. Everyone thought it was quite charming and that feel-good drama that people were after last year. So we did season two. We might get that finished this year as well, somehow. We wanted to get it done. I think it's on PBS in Winter of this year or maybe early next year.
Host: Awesome! Alright, who's ready? Go ahead.
Speaker: We have a fan here who first wanted to thank you guys, because about 15 years ago his sister wrote the cast of Harry Potter to ask for autographs. You guys responded and even wrote a nice personal letter, so he wanted to thank you both but also ask: do you guys still get any fan letters? Do people write that anymore?
Matthew: [laughs] Yeah.
Matthew: The pandemic obviously has made it quite difficult with all that stuff. But immediately before, yeah, we're still getting quite a lot.
I talk about the Harry Potter fan base - and I've said this a couple of times over this weekend - you guys are genuinely one of the, if not the, best fan bases in the world. To be now 20 years after the first movie, 10 years after the last film, to still be receiving the level of fan mail that we get? It's extraordinary. And look at this room, for crying out loud! Look at all these people in here! It's ridiculous.
Matthew: You guys have stuck with us since day one and are still doing it right now. I don't know why, but you are.
Matthew: I appreciate it very much. You should all give yourselves a pat on the back. [to Bonnie] Do you still get fan mail?
Bonnie: I do, yeah. As you say, it's incredible. I think, too, how far and wide the films reached. When you just think, every corner of the world seems to have known something about the Wizarding World, Harry Potter, the book has been translated into so many languages. I feel like you meet people and so many people found their friends through loving Harry Potter, or maybe their partners, or they're passing up on to their children. I just think it's so special. I think that's why it continues, because there's this friendship element to it, which I love. Yeah, just echoing what Matt said. I'm grateful for everyone's continuing support and just keeping it alive. I think it does feel still fresh for so many people.
Matthew: [to the audience] So thank you and your sister.
Speaker: Thank you.
Speaker: Our question is for Matt. What's your football team, and can we have kits [pronounced as "kids"]?
Host: Okay, do the football team.
Matthew: What was the second bit?
Speaker: The football team you play for, and can they get jerseys somewhere.
Matthew: Oh, kits!
Matthew: I did think it was rather forward. [laughs] The team I play for, we're a terrible little six aside team called the AFC Misfits and we are exactly that. I've played one game because I broke my leg in the first game of the season. So it's not something you want to aspire to, honestly. The team I support is Leeds United. I host the official Leeds United podcast as well, which comes out on a Thursday, normally. If you're not into soccer it's extraordinarily dull. So Leeds United is my team, and the guy did the podcast with, Pat Bamford, actually just got picked to play for England today!
Matthew: And can you get kits? Yeah, I guess you can get kits online from Addidas. I don't know. I'm not into selling, so find them yourself. [laughs]
Speaker: Alright, so the question here is: out of the cast of Harry Potter, who are you guys the closest to?
Bonnie: That's like if you're a parent choosing your favorite child! It was such an ensemble piece that there wasn't anyone I could single out. I obviously, spent a lot of extra time with my Weasley family. But there [were] always fresh new actors in every film. That made it exciting because it mixed the group up a bit. I'm so thankful that we all did it together. I imagine acting as a child actor around only older, adult actors would be quite challenging, but we were still able to do everything that you would do, and feel, and say as a child by having other children around you. So I couldn't single anyone out. You can't shake that 10 years of that experience; it's so unique, and [how] ever much we try to describe it to you all about what the experience was like filming, I think there's this unspoken thing that you've just been through, there's this understanding. You can get each other when you see each other after all these years have gone by. It's a nice relief and like family. But no one I could single out. I loved everyone.
Matthew: Yeah, I really have to echo that, honestly. We were all just on this same journey together and trying to figure it out. A lot of us had worked before, but nothing on the scale of Harry Potter. We were all very much trying to piece this all together amongst ourselves. Luckily we had each other to rely on and we were all doing it together and we could talk to each other about our aspirations, but also about our concerns, and our worries, and everything in between. I wouldn't be able to be a single anybody out either. It's very much a collective and we were all a real team together, all of us. And as Bonnie says, when we get together again, you just click together, right? We just assume the position, as it were, as we know each other really, really well. Family. Exactly that.
Speaker: The question over here is: I know we asked yesterday what characters you'd like to play, but the question would be, if you were going to do any position behind the camera, which would you choose? And if it's directing, which movie would you most like to have directed of the Harry Potter movies?
Bonnie: I don't think I'd ever want the challenge of directing one of the Harry Potter films. Even though I would have liked a woman to directed one of them, that's for sure.
Bonnie: I was so obsessed and in love with the art department on Harry Potter. I mentioned this a bit yesterday, but Stuart Craig, who was the production designer on the film, so much of what we've grown to love and understand as Hogwarts was his imagination. I had the fortune to spend a few days helping out and [doing] work experience. I tried to work and do different days in most of the departments while I was on the film sets because I already had this feeling that I was interested in behind-the-scenes stuff. So I think if I were to do anything, it would have been working in the art department, and just try to absorb as much of that creativity as I could. I don't know what film I would choose. I feel like the last ones were all about blowing up what we'd already built. [laughs] The earlier ones were more about establishing these places. Gosh, I feel like the Chamber of Secrets would be fun because you would have built the Chamber of Secrets, which was amazing. Also, it's the first time we see the Burrow as the Weasley set, which I love.
So maybe Chamber of Secrets in the art department.
Matthew: Wow, I couldn't direct because it's tremendous amount of effort and I'm too lazy.
Matthew: The guys behind the camera work so much harder than the people in front of the camera, so the idea of going into any of those roles fills me with dread. But I did my work experience on the set of Harry Potter. So for two weeks, I got to go and experience various roles. I saw a different one each day. I was assistant directing where I was just getting Rob Pattinson his cornflakes.
Matthew: I did a bit in the art department, in production, just photocopying scripts all day. But the one that I enjoyed the most, actually was animals. I worked in the animal department. We had so many at any given time and the animal trainers that we had, had so many of their animals there. Whether it was dogs, cats, foxes, owls, and insects. The whole spectrum of the animal kingdom was in there. I got to spend the whole day in there feeding them, cleaning them out. I love animals, so that would be wicked to do something like that. And take your pick. Any of the films. Whichever film has the most animals in, that's the one I would like to have done that on. But they were there the whole time! The whole eight years we had them, they had their little building just off outside the studio. They'd be out there training the owls, and all the birds, or all the dogs, and you could go visit anytime you want. It was wicked. I miss that so much. So, yeah: animal department.
Speaker: So the question here is: if Neville and Ginny were at Dragon Con, how do you think they would react, and what do you think they would do?
Bonnie: Obviously everyone is in wonderful, incredible costumes and outfits. I think the key Neville and Ginny moment was obviously when we went to the Yule Ball together. So I think we could dust off our Yule Ball outfit and wear that. I had a particularly interesting peach, pink, and green dress. But I remember, at the time, thinking like, "Everyone's got these cool, pretty, feminine dresses and I'm wearing this Weasley hand-me-down, strange outfit." But I love that. I was talking about this earlier. We all did ballroom classes for the Yule Ball, but there's meant to be this whole storyline - which is in the book - that Neville's really taken to dancing. And we learned this whole separate dance routine. There was tango...
Bonnie: And we were practicing way more and then we never even filmed the scene.
Matthew: We never shot it. Weeks! Weeks of my life.
Bonnie: So I feel like if we were to come here, I don't know how we would experience it.
Matthew: Do you remember any of it?
Bonnie: No! I was just thinking about that. I don't remember anything. But I definitely have an outfit.
Matthew: We were pretty good at tango, I'm not going to lie. I don't remember the waltz that we did.
Bonnie: I just remember the step, which is a classic.
Matthew: Right. Because we proper nailed it. It would have been great.
Bonnie: It would have been so fun.
Matthew: Was it supposed to be in the snow? Or was it...
Bonnie: No, I think it was going to be inside.
Matthew: Inside? Okay. We just never shot it. We never did it, which is a shame.
Matthew: When I was last here 13 years ago, you had a Yule Ball.
[Audience claps over Bonnie trying to speak]
Matthew: Damn my broken leg! What a shame. But that's what they do!
Bonnie: Yeah! Just sitting in his room I'm getting some ballroom vibes. That's what we would do if we came here.
Audience Member: Bring your dress next time!
Bonnie: I didn't steal that one from the set.
Speaker: Alright, [the] question over here is: what was your favorite line of your characters?
Matthew: We got asked this yesterday; I refuse to answer it. I said the one I hated the most instead. You can have that if you want.
Audience Member: Alright!
Matthew: "Oh my God, I've killed Harry Potter!"
Matthew: I just couldn't make it work. It's not the fault of the line, it was just I couldn't make it work. There's a thing with acting where you're supposed to commit. You have to really commit to it, and I couldn't commit. It just felt it felt ugly in my mouth when I would say it. Mike Newell was repeatedly telling me, "It's gonna be brilliant. It's gonna be amazing. You've got to do it." We must have done it about 20 times and still, now, if I ever hear it, it's unbearable. But people seem to like it. I guess he was right and I was wrong, and I should have just committed a bit more. That's my least favorite and that's the answer I'm giving you.
Bonnie: Yesterday, I said one, and then as I said it, I actually remembered another one which I find quite funny. In the second movie when I run down the stairs and I say, "Mum, have you seen my jumper?" It's more my expression after I say that line than the line itself. [It's] where I widen my eyes.
Bonnie: I find the jumper/sweater discussion between English and American English [is something] that people seem to love it. People who don't have an English accent will say it because they really enjoy saying the word jumper. People seem to enjoy saying that line to me for some reason. I've unfortunately had friends... You know when you're texting a friend and [there are] gifs? On Apple? That expression is one. I've had that a couple of times from friends. Once, I will accept. I will find that funny. Twice? Too far. Even made it to a gif.
Matthew: I've had a change of heart. I'll give you mine.
Matthew: I thought, "I'll be less miserable today. I'll be nice." [laughs] [This is] entirely self serving because I wrote it. In Deathly Hallows Part Two the, "That went well," when the bridge blew up.
Matthew: We didn't have a line there originally and David Yates said, "Just make something up." And I just went, "That went well," thinking that they would obviously cut that. But they didn't! So that was nice. That was all mine.
Speaker: So right here, she wants to know: how did you feel when you got cast in the roles? Were you excited?
Matthew: Pretty excited. I remember my friend Anthony Waterhouse was at my house. We were playing... PlayStation? I don't know. We were playing something, and my mum got the call. I went in because she'd taken this private phone call and [I was like], "This is interesting." So I snuck into the kitchen and she just went: [vocalizes] I was like, "Oh, man." I just ran into the living room, and me and Anthony Waterhouse jumped on the sofa, up and down, for about half an hour. And then it all got overwhelming and I cried that night.
Bonnie: It's funny, I have a similar story of suspicion. When you see your parents acting weird and you're like, "Something is up." I remember I was in the car with my brother and my parents. My parents were whispering something funny in the front seat the whole time. My brother and I were like, "What are you talking about? What's up?" I think it was a message or something and they were worried that they had heard it wrong. So they called them back to check and then they told us. We were driving on the motorway - which is like the freeway - in England. We rolled the windows down and just screamed as loud as we could. [laughs] My brother was really why I even ever went for an audition [for] the films. He was older than me by a couple of years and he had read the first two books. He was already a fan of the series and I hadn't read any; I was nine. He was like, "You should go and audition for the Ginny role." And he was really specifically like, "That's the role you should play." People were beginning to hear that they were making these movies, so I was like, "Okay. Cool. I'll do whatever you say because you're my older brother." [laughs] That's why I went for an audition.
Speaker: Right, the question over here is: given how long you played Ginny and Neville, in growing up in these characters, how much of those characters traits have influenced the adult you've become?
Matthew: For me, it happens with every job I've ever done.If you play any character for any length of time, invariably stuff gets mixed up in the middle. You end up giving them traits of your own, and you absorb some of theirs. It's always happened to me. I mean, less so when I'm playing a sex offender or whatever.
Matthew: It tends to be a blurred line where you exchange threads a little bit. When I was a kid I didn't really know where Neville began, and where he ended, and Matthew began, and all the rest of it. We were one and the same for a long time. That's because when they cast me, I was Neville, honestly. I resonated so much with him and his whole story as a kid. I didn't have to do very much. So as we got older, we both evolved together. Neville, as a character, went on a journey and so did I. Growing up, and maturing, and having a lot more self-confidence, and all the rest of it. Definitely, as I've [gotten] older I've certainly taken on parts of all my characters, and Neville is no exception.
Matthew: Absolutely, no. None of that. I only did that for a few weeks, so I didn't have time to absorb any of that, thank God.
Bonnie: Yeah, same. We played those roles for so long that the lines definitely blurred. I think I more looked up to Ginny. There are so many parts to her that I loved. I feel like she was fearless and unapologetic in [being] herself. She was kind, and she wasn't... Apart from the language. She shouts, "Shut it." That was quite out of character. I really loved playing her. I loved how she was written. I feel like I more looked up to her most of the time and hoped that I could potentially be as cool as her. The lines blurred and I think even after finishing filming it was an interesting untangling from the whole series, the character. Yes, obviously people will first know as those characters before ourselves, but it wasn't so much other people's perception of that [and] being type-cast so much, it was more just literally my time that I had spent with her and the whole series and just separating from that in a really positive way. I was able to see it, and her, for much more, afterward.
Speaker: You talked earlier about how when you guys get together it's like no time has passed. Do you still have any inside jokes or references you have with the cast that you maintain to this day?
Bonnie: They wouldn't be inside jokes if we told you.
Bonnie: Like you say, [there are] just rolls that everyone still... While we've grown and moved on, we're probably all quite similar. Like when you see family you haven't seen in ages and you slip into those positions and roles.
Matthew: Yeah. It's not so much inside jokes, it's just a level of familiarity that you have. You can't fake that kind of thing. When we get together I'm so content to take the piss out of Tom, or Alfie, or whatever. And they'll be the same with me even though I've not [spoken] to them for years.
It's fun. It's that level you have with a family that you can be entirely comfortable around these people that you may not have seen for a long, long time. You're just going to slip into the old brawls, I guess. When you shared something like that, that's unique, that no one else in the world understands... No one really understands what it was like to be there at that time, at that moment, and we know each other inherently understands it.
It just forms a bond that is... It's unlike many, many other bonds, and the only way I can describe it is familial. You have that a lot with a lot of projects, a lot of film, and TV, and theater. You form a family for the 12 weeks, 16 weeks, that you're together. You just become as close as anyone can possibly be. And then you might not see them for years. But that never goes away, that in the trenches feeling that you had. You knew that you, and you alone, shared this unique moment and the pressures that come with being on stage or creating a film. You can only share that with your co-stars, or the crew behind the camera. I don't think that bond will ever leave us. [to Bonnie] Do you agree?
Speaker: First, thank you for being here and for being a part of many of our childhoods. What was a favorite memory from filming the Harry Potter films?
Bonnie: That's difficult. I know I've said this before, but being part of the Weasley family and all the moments that we shared definitely were super fond memories of mine. Just because I felt well, A) I loved everything the Weasleys represented as a family. [You] really felt that warmth and acceptance that I think family is really about. I was just so happy when we filmed those scenes. It was like always fun. Most of the hysterical laughter, for me, happened in those moments. It was this extra thing. Not only was I able to be a part of Hogwarts, I was also able to be a part of the Weasley family. My fondest memories are those. I'm so thankful to Julie Walters who played my mum because she saw that I was very scared and out of my depth on my first day. [She] held my hand and I felt safe and protected by her. So I would say a lot of fond memories from the family.
Matthew: It's very difficult to narrow down. Every time I answer this kind of question I always change my mind. Just because there were so many moments that were so fantastic. Right now, I would probably say the final premiere in London. The whole thing was coming to an end, and we'd finished filming several months earlier. This was our last little reunion. This was going to be it, and the turnout was just unlike anything I'd seen before.
Matthew: The fans had turned out that day and it was unusual from what we normally did because the red carpet was separate from the theater. It was a big, long walk from Trafalgar Square and it just felt like everyone in the country had turned out. It was bizarre. It was probably the first moment after all of those years that I had to stop and go, "Savor this one." Everything else you just go with the flow of it and you don't really appreciate it, and then it's done and you're like, "Oh, shit. Wow. That really flew by. But this is the first time I said to myself, "Just stop and savor this because it's the last one." So I did. Seeing everyone there, the cast and crew, and then all the fans all together for that last moment, there [were] tears of joy, really, more than anything. Everyone was upset to be finishing and not seeing everyone again, but we were thrilled that we got to finish this journey together, and that was a really happy, happy moment for me, that that entire evening.
Speaker: You mentioned not taking the Yule Ball dress. He would like to know if you did take anything from the set, and if you did, what was your favorite?
Bonnie: This is Matt's question. [laughs]
Host: Bonnie's a good girl.
Bonnie: I didn't take anything. I now wish I did, hearing Matt's little things he took.
Matthew: I'm a dirty thief.
Matthew: I stole a few items. Not as many as I would have liked, but in hindsight...
Bonnie: Not as many as other people did!
Matthew: Not as many as some other people. In hindsight, I should have stolen more.
Matthew: God, I'm probably going to get in so much trouble. I did steal Neville's outfit from the final film. The cardigan, bloody shirt, and trousers which was great because I really wanted them. I would have liked to have stolen the sword but I couldn't fit it in my bag. So I got that. My parents have recently got hold of a mannequin from somewhere.
Bonnie: Is it in the house as you walk in?
Matthew: It's in the study at the back and it's dressed in the thing. It looks like the studio tour, but it's at my parent's house.
The reason I say, coincidentally, is because I just found a photograph on my phone, yesterday, of me in it a few years ago. I've got this big old mustache because I was doing Ripper Street at the time. I'm behind in Neville's clothes. I just found that. I didn't know it existed. I stole that, and I'm not telling you what else I stole. They'll make me give it back.
Speaker: Of the merchandise that has been made after the movies, what is your favorite representation of yourselves that you've seen.
Bonnie: Gosh. None of them. [laughs] It's so strange because, as you can imagine, I don't scour the internet looking for what's the freshest new merchandise out there in the Wizarding World. So the only time I honestly get to see anything is when people bring them to either be signed or maybe sometimes a friend would have seen something. But, honestly, most of the time I see things when people want them signed or they tell you about them. I love that the wands, as they were actually in the movies, became available for people to purchase and interact with because they're all so special and there was this idea of it choosing you, and that process of the wands I love. In the book, I loved Ollivanders and that whole idea. I feel like there's a real excitement when people are holding their wand that they chose. It's cool that you see Ginny wands out and about. But in terms of photo-real representation things, it's pretty creepy. I feel like they've stopped doing that so much. I think it's more [about] the accessories around it because that feels more real than buying a figurine. I think it's more fun to buy like a Quidditch outfit, or a Gryffindor robe, or a wand. I can't say I enjoy that part of it, but I like the wands and all the other things.
Matthew: It's certainly improved over recent years. We did hours of cyber scanning for the video games, and then it's this little blockhead, ugliest little thing. And it's like, "What? Why did we spend hours in that room being cyber scanned if that's what was going to end up on the video game?" But anyway. I do enjoy the little Funko things. They're fun.
Bonnie: They don't look anything like us, which is great.
Matthew: I drew a mustache on mine. What's the other thing I quite like? Oh! LEGO! LEGO is fun. That's a bit of a dream, isn't it? To have a LEGO figure of yourself. And again, it doesn't look anything like me so it's great. To have a little LEGO of me is cool.
Speaker: Out of all the historical characters in Harry Potter - anybody who was not part of Harry's era - which do you find the most interesting, and who would you want to meet or talk to?
Bonnie: You mean like in Fantastic Beasts?
Speaker: Yeah. Fantastic Beasts, or Merlin, or anybody like that.
Bonnie: Newt Scamander [with] the animals. I was jealous of all the animals and creatures those films got to interact with. I thought they were so cool and special. I loved all the creatures in that. They felt quite... Obviously, they were made more recently, but I love when older things feel slightly more futuristic. I love that kind of thing. It's obviously a technique used in loads of sci-fi and different things, that distorted time. So I like how it's back in time but you have these quite futuristically drawn and animated characters. I like all the creatures in that. He gets to interact with them the most.
Matthew: [makes a noise of discomfort]
Matthew: Did you say Merlin?
Speaker: I did.
Matthew: Because he exists in the Harry Potter... He was Slytherin. He was King Arthur's wizard.
Matthew: In Harry Potter he was.
Matthew: I don't know anyone!
Speaker: This question is for Matt. Considering the fact that Neville tends to be a very cowardly character, how did it feel to you for the last movie when he has that big impact? How did you read that, and what did you think about Neville's impact on the end?
Matthew: It was fantastic. The great thing about Neville is his journey. It's the evolution that his character takes and it's the idea that no matter what humble beginnings you come from, you can still achieve greatness. Harry obviously faced adversity, that's a given. But he was the hero; he was meant to be the hero. He was meant to overcome his obstacles and all the rest. Neville was never meant to but did it anyway, and that's what I really enjoy about him. Anyone who's written off but refuses to let that stop them. I think it's John Wayne that says, "Courage isn't being fearless, it's being scared out of your mind but saddling up anyway." That was the kind of thing that I always appreciated about Neville. At no point was he really fearless, but he just knew it was the right thing to do, and so it had to be done. I love that. It's so much more human. It's so much more believable. To be able to play that was really interesting for me as an actor. I just feel like Neville and I were so similar. My wife thinks this phrase is hilarious, but I wouldn't have said "boo" to a goose when I was a child. I was very shy and I grew with Neville as he grew in confidence. Because he resonated so much with me when I read the books, it was such a privilege to be able to put that on screen and hopefully make that journey and that character accessible to a whole bunch of new people. It was a real honor and that whole final payoff that we got in Deathly Hallows Part 2 was exactly what I wanted to do with him. I'm so thrilled. David Yates had a real soft spot for Neville and I knew that from the moment I met him on Order of Phoenix. We wanted to make sure we did as much justice as we could. It was a privilege and I'm really glad that we got to do it.
Speaker: We have a request and a question. The question is: were there any practical effects for movies that you found particularly impressive, and if so what were they? And then, Bonnie, if you would not mind, he would like to hear you say, "Shut it," in your best Ginny Weasley voice.
Bonnie: I don't know about being asked to say lines. I'm going to give you another line because I don't want to shout. I did it on Friday, and I'm actually quite proud I can still open the Chamber of Secrets.
Matthew: That was dead good as well.
Bonnie: So I can give you that. [speaks Parseltongue]
Bonnie: I feel like the "shut it" line... I'm too soft for that. [laughs] For the question: the sets. They built so much of it. As we were saying before, they didn't do a lot of green screen, so it meant that [for] so much of the things we actually had eye lines and we could see things for. [It's the] same with some of the effects. There was obviously the animal department that Matt spoke about, but there was the creatures department that was incredible. They made animatronic Dobbys, for instance. Different Dobbys were built to do different things. There's one Dobby that could blink its eyes really well, but another one that could move its arms. They brought different ones on for different scenes. Those were just incredible.
You were just amazed, not only the technique of them being able to move animatronically, but also the skin texture and painting on the veins of his translucent skin. [For] the centaurs, there's a process called flocking which you see sometimes on display cabinet units. When you electrically charge the two parts - maybe the paint is positive and the model horse is negative - they literally brushed these particles on to make it look like how a horse's hair will move. Just the attention to detail was just incredible. Going in there and just looking at everything that they did. You sometimes wish more of that had been seen. I guess some of those things are available to be seen at the studio tour, but I was really impressed by the practical effects of the creatures department and everything they did.
Matthew: It was, it was like Willy Wonka's factory, or like Q Department in James Bond. There would be people testing stuff when you walked through, and mad stuff would be happening, and spider's legs would be coming out of a wall, or there be a giant basilisk head coming down from the ceiling and people putting individual feathers into Fawkes to create the whole phoenix. There was just something going on all the time when you walked through there; it was so exciting. As Bonnie said, the animatronics all really came to life and I'm such a huge fan of real practical effects over CGI. I think there's no substitute for it. Seeing these people work, and all the things they created, Bonnie's absolutely right. It's a shame that we didn't see quite a lot of it because they made so many things. Even the [Monster] Book of Monsters. That was a working prop that literally was spring-loaded and would open and snap its jaws. There was so much stuff like that. The whole creature effects department was amazing. I hate spiders, and I quite like scaring myself, [so] to go in there and see these giant spiders that all moved - a giant Aragog - it was incredible. It was a real skill that I'm worried we might be losing in the film industry these days. I hope to see it make a resurgence.
Speaker: Do you have any pets, and if so, what are they?
Bonnie: Oh, good question! And I know you've been plucking up the courage to ask your question. I've been seeing you back and come up to the microphone. So well done for going up.
Bonnie: I know it's really quite scary going up to ask, so thanks. I do have pets. I have three pets. I have a dog called Billy Blue who's three, and I just got two kittens. One is a ginger cat and one is a black cat, so I feel like they're both representing two sides of me. As you can assume, a black cat is quite a witchy cat and a ginger cat is quite obvious. [laughs] They're Hugo and Frank. They're seven months old. Do you have a pet?
Audience Member (Child): Yeah, I've got one dog named Darcy. He's a Jack Russell [Terrier].
Matthew: I've got two dogs. I have a... Okay, let me get this right. She's half Yorkie which is nice because I'm a Yorkie. [laughs] Then she's a quarter Dachshund and a quarter Chihuahua. She is as insane as that sounds. She's called Nellie because my wife named her before I met her, after the rapper.
Matthew: Don't ask. And then I have a Toy Poodle. Who's a little shit and I love him with all of my heart. He's called Luke after Luke Skywalker.
Speaker: So This fan is going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter soon, and she wants to know if you have any recommendations or must-sees from the experiences going.
Bonnie: Well, I love theme parks. I love rides. I love the thrill of things. It's pure escapism. You enter this world, and I think what's so good about the theme park is they got a lot of people from the production department that we talked about earlier who designed a lot of sets to come on and make it as authentic as possible. I think the journey of taking the Hogwarts Express is genius. It's photo-real video going by of London and that moment felt really cool. Even just the London element of Kings Cross in Florida. It's like, "This is unusual." [laughs] There are so many parts of the theme park that we obviously haven't gotten to do [working on the movies]. We didn't ever get to go into all these actual, [fully] operating shops. I love Diagon Alley in the films and the books, so I was so pleased when they extended it to Diagon Alley. I would say my favorite is just exploring the streets. The rides, obviously, are incredible, but I just think the little details of the alleyway, walking through, [and] going into the shops. You're going to have the best time.
Matthew: That's it, really. The rides are fantastic. All of them. The new one, the Hagrid one. Gosh, I was hungover on that.
Matthew: I don't recommend that. Go on that stone cold sober because [otherwise] you're going to have a bad time. But it's really good. What they do really, really well are the reveals of some of the stuff and how they really do a great job of making you feel like you're taking that journey that the characters took. You go to London, and London's reimagined incredibly well. I did play a few years ago, and I used to get off at Leicester Square tube station every night for 12 weeks. And it looks identical; It's incredible, the attention to detail that they've done. And then Kings Cross looks uncanny. You do that, and you go there, and you go through Kings Cross station. You get on the train. Well, you go to Diagon Alley first. It's got this clever illusion when you go through the the wall and suddenly you're not in London anymore. You're in Diagon Alley. It's just an incredible reveal. Then you get on the train to go... I don't want to spoil the train journey, but it is one of the most immersive, clever pieces of theme park magic I've really ever seen. It's brilliant, and it's different both ways. When you take one way to Hogsmeade and one back to London, it's different. It's just so clever, and so great, and you're going to have a wonderful time. And then you come out of Hogsmeade and you go into Hogwarts! It's all there. It's all happening. It's brilliant. You'll have a great time.
Speaker: Of all the things from the book that didn't make it into the film, what is something that you wish had.
Bonnie: Wow. I've wanted to re-read the books for a long time just to remind myself just how much wasn't in the movies. I think I'll remember things and I'm like, "Wow." There's definitely a lot more than even my memory can think of. All the obvious things of my character. I've already [spoken] about those things and I feel like a lot of people would have loved more of all of our characters, just to help that evolution of the roles and why they ended up where they are. But I feel like I always wanted to see more of Hogwarts. I feel like in the book, they end up in different corners of Hogwarts and I always wanted there to just be some more corners. Even when we were performing, there was the courtyard, the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room, and that was the main set. There were some classrooms too. I just wished we genuinely could have wandered around and had more moments of the general feeling of the scale of Hogwarts. Even though I wouldn't have liked to perform more Quidditch, because it was an uncomfortable thing to do, I wish there had been more Quidditch in the film. As my memory remembers different things every day, I'm like, "Oh, this bit! That bit!" I also just loved all of the characters like Lupin, and Tonks, and Sirius Black, and all those more adult roles in the story. Particularly in Order of The Phoenix. I just feel like they could have literally had their own series on top of the children's story. That's not a very precise answer to your question, but so much I feel was missed out.
Matthew: I have a couple. One, specifically for Neville, is the one I've always said - and we were desperate to get it in - was when Neville visits his mother in St Mungo's Hospital. Just because it was so crucial to his character. When I played Neville after reading that, it influenced so much of what I did. When I was dealing with Death Eaters, or when I saw the Cruciatus curse on that insect, it influenced so much of what I was doing.
I wanted everyone else to partake in that and see it. It was a shame that we never got to do that because it's so crucial to his entire being at that stage in his life. I alluded to David earlier, having a soft spot for Neville, and he was desperate to get it in, and we just ran out of time.
We never got to do it and that's always been a bit of a regret of mine. Aside from me, Peeves the Poltergeist was always a favorite of mine reading the books. Having read the book so long ago and having seen the films relatively more recently, you forget just how much of Peeves is in the books. He's so good and so funny. In the first movie, we had the late Rik Mayall who is one of the greatest comedic performers of all time, and who was a personal hero of mine now but even then at 11 years old. I adored Rik Mayall, and he was played Peeves. He was utterly majestic. He was fantastic. He would have been the one where you all went, "That was the best casting that there ever was in those movies." Alas, it had to go for a couple of reasons. We shot it, but it went for timing issues. We have to shoulder some of the blame for it because we could not stop laughing. He's supposed to be terrifying us, and we just found him the funniest guy in the world. I mean, [he's] Drop Dead Fred. It was just incredible, and I hope one day it sees the light of day because you would love it. So brilliant. It was so great.
Host: Alright, we have time for one more. It's already been an hour.
Speaker: Our question here is: if Neville and Ginny were Animagus like Mcgonagall, what do you think their animal forms would be?
Bonnie: It's probably more about what I would like to be, as Bonnie, as an animal. I spend a lot of time in the water. I love the water, so if I could become a dolphin and jump right into the ocean and swim around, that would be good. I always think, too, it would be hilarious if your Patronus is a whale because it would just fill the room.
Bonnie: I was like, "They could be to scale. That would be good. Dementors would probably leave." But Ginny, I don't know what she would be. A word that David Yates gave to Ginny quite a lot when we talk about her as a character was this "warrior" role. So I think something almost like a stag or a horse feels quite right because I feel like there is this, "Onward!" to her character. She just keeps going. I don't think she dwells in the past so much. That would be probably quite fitting for Ginny.
Matthew: Neville would be a little turtle who is quite content in the safety of his shell. But in the open ocean, he would fly. When no one's around, when no one's looking, he would be beautiful. He would come out and enjoy his time.