INT: Harry Potter
With HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX opening this week, you can expect big numbers at the box office, even with this crowded summer of sequels and such. With the fifth chapter, I think fans will find a whole bunch to get excited about. The special effects look amazing and we are getting closer and closer to whatever Harry and companies future will be with book seven hitting the stores soon. The successful film franchise not only has the very popular books as a base for their success, but also, the three young actors who brought them to life. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint grew up right before our eyes and gave a face to Harry and friends. While they are starting to branch out, most notably Daniel and his on stage nakedness in the production of EQUUS, they still give their all to the franchise.
When the three of them took time out to talk to the press at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, I was truly surprised. First off, Emma is absolutely lovely and has a terrific chemistry with Daniel and Rupert. It seems that they really are good friends. And they are just young adults who happen to be in one of the most successful film franchises ever made. Yet there was not an ounce of conceit, nor pretension. They seemed like real people that made fun of each other and didnt take themselves too seriously. Daniel had no problems talking about his recent case of nudity, while Emma was positive that she saw a giraffe somewhere. Rupert was the most quiet of the three, yet he was very funny when he wanted to be. Yes, the books are terribly popular, but having this winning group of actors bringing the characters to life certainly adds to the films success. And yes, the latest HARRY POTTER is now playing at a theatre near you.
Daniel, how does being naked on stage in Equus compare to the kiss in Harry Potter?
Daniel Radcliffe (DR): Well, I did the kiss first and I think the reason that it wasn't a problem, or a sort of worry in the slightest, was that in the back of my mind I was thinking I'll be naked on stage in six months [and] I've got to get over this because if that's a worry, then the whole nude blinding horses would be a greater worry. But really, everyone assumed that the kiss was more of a big deal than perhaps it was, a really big sort of moment, but it's just like doing any other scene really, which is very disappointing for people to hear I know, but that's unfortunately how it was.
Did you relate to the issue of revolution in this film, being a punk rock fan?
DR: Yeah, I love doing all that stuff to do with Harry in this film because [director] David [Yates] kept referring to Dumbledore's army as being like the French resistance, which was a metaphor that really appealed to me. And also, Harry as a leader and a teacher was able to show off his wizarding skills. That showing off stuff was really, really fun to do. So I don't think I brought a tremendous amount of punk music into those scenes. It didn't seem to require it. I was mainly listening to Radiohead for Harry in this film. Somebody did ask me yesterday if there was one album that could be Harry's soundtrack during this movie. I think it would be "Okay Computer by Radiohead which I think tells you all you need to know about his character.
Could all three of you talk about growing up over the course of these five films?
Emma Watson (EW): Its kind of a bit of an Emma Watson context when you're doing it on screen. Like I remember, especially with the earlier films, Dan and Rupert had grown a couple of inches by the end of shooting because it was so long, or by the time the film was released. That was kind of crazy. I remember on the second one I was still losing teeth, so that was interesting. One scene I had kind of like a full set and then I had to cover all of that up.
DR: Not a full false set of teeth. It was one tooth. It wasn't like the whole mouth.
EW: No, I was saying I had a full set of teeth and then I'd lose one.
DR: [teasing her] Oh, right, okay, I thought you said, "I had a false set of teeth." [Laughing]
EW: False?! No! [Laughing] Oh my God, no! No, I dont wear false teeth. [Laughing]
EW: So it was kind of a weird experience, to make the whole growing up process run smoothly. We kind of had to do it without anyone realizing. But I don't know, I think we don't really think about it. Everyone always asks this question. "Is it really hard growing up on screen?" I've never grown up any other way so I don't know. That's the way it's always been and you just kind of deal with that, I guess. And we've been doing it since we were so young so I can't really remember what life was like before these films [Laughing] - so I don't know. Its just the way it is.
Rupert Grint (RG): Yeah, for me it's just been one long experience really because it doesn't really feel like that long ago. It's only when you look back on the first ones you sort of realize how much we've grown up I guess. It's been really fun. I've enjoyed sort of every moment of it so it's been really cool.
DR: I don't think you realize when you're growing up. I think it's just one of those things that sort of just happens to you and somebody shows you a photograph of yourself when you were 10 and you recoil in horror. To us, as Emma was saying, we've just grown up. We don't think of ourselves as having grown up on screen. But yeah, it's been great. It's been really good fun. We've met some of the people who we're really, really good friends with through these films who we probably wouldn't have had the chance to meet had we not done them, so it's been fantastic.
How will it feel to have your handprints and footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater?
EW: I was amazed they asked us. I was like, "Wow." I couldn't believe it. That's such a big deal. I was really, really, really flattered. It's just amazing to be doing it.
DR: Yeah, but when you see those other names, I think we all were like
EW: Really? Us? You sure?
DR: Yeah, I don't know. It's amazing. It's absolutely just fantastic. I think we're all just a little bit in shock that we've been asked. It's amazing.
EW: Yeah, its really cool.
Did you do "Equus to prove to yourself as well as audiences that you're more than Harry Potter? Do you look ahead to life after Potter in terms of your career?
DR: I do give it a lot of thought. That question was asked to me in a rather more brutal way the other day. I think what they meant to say was, "Is there life for you after Harry Potter?" But what they said was, "Will you live after Harry Potter?" on the red carpet which was slightly I don't know what they're planning for me after the seventh film. [Laughing] But yeah, Potter's never something I would want to distance myself from because I'm incredibly proud of it. It's given me the most amazing opportunities and I've met some of the most fantastic people and got to work with these brilliant actors.
But I certainly also want to establish myself as an actor in my own right rather than being just the actor who plays Harry Potter. And as you say, it's just as much if not more to prove to myself that I can do it than to be able to prove it to the audience. Because there will always be people who see us as our respective characters no matter what we do. But ultimately that's more their problem than ours because they are not the people who are going to be stopping us from doing other different things.
Over the years all three of you have talked about fan encounters, but Im not sure how many opportunities youve had to work with a fan. Evanna Lynch was such a lover of the books and she came out on the open call and then got the part. Did you get sense of her reaction to being on the Hogwarts set and being a part of it?
EW: It's really funny. I guess like the fifth time around, Dan, Rupert and I were just kind of [feeling that] it's quite a surreal experience working at Leavesden Studios. You'll be going along on your [your golf buggy because] the studio's so big we have little golf buggies. Anyway, we're going along on our golf buggies and they'll just be like - we've had like a giraffe, we've had- - no what was that?
DR: A giraffe? We did? [Laughing]
EW: No, not a giraffe. Im really crazy. No, no, no. Maybe not giraffes but we've had like goats, we've had bats.
DR: We have had goats and bats.
EW: Armadillos, that's why you'll be going past and it's like, "Oh, yeah, yeah." And we're sort of past the stage of really- - I don't know. It doesn't really affect us. Like a giraffe could go by and I wouldn't care.
DR: That almost happened. We've obviously been so adjusted to it we've not even noticed.
EW: So anyway, the point is that when you step onto these amazing sets, we kind of take it for granted at this point. And when you see Evanna Lynch's face every time she steps on set, it kind of humbles you again and it makes you realize just how amazing the whole experience is. It stops you from getting
EW: And taking it for granted. It was really nice to have someone who's so genuinely, genuinely just completely excited and just in ecstasy every time she saw something. It was really nice.
DR: We did have one moment though where it was very, very hard to present an idea to David Yates if Evanna was standing next to you because if you said something and it was even slightly wrong from the technicality of the book, she would not
EW: She would be looking at you like [scowling].
DR: And you would be in deep trouble. So you'd sort of have to be quite careful. Whenever I talked about the wording of the prophecy and she was there, I'd just be like, "Where's the book?" [laughs] But no, it was fantastic to have Evanna around because she is such a massive fan of the books and the films so it was lovely to have that enthusiasm.
EW: I remember actually after watching the film, the person I was most nervous about finding out their opinion was Evanna. Id go up to Evanna just like, "What did you think?" I was really, really scared. But she loved it so I was like, "Okay, as long as she likes it, we're good. We're all good. That's good."
Daniel, you play such a dark role in this. What place did you go to develop such a dark characterization? Did David Yates share his ideas with you about this role?
DR: I mean, I don't know, I think everybody's got that side of them which they can upon when they have to if they're trying to act it. So yeah, David was fantastic. I think the two people in this film that were most brilliant were obviously David Yates. He was just incredible throughout the film and what was remarkable about David was that he had the same enthusiasm on the last day of filming as he did on the first which on a 10 month shoot is quite an achievement. So working with David was fantastic and I can't think of some specific notes that he gave me in terms of Harrys darkness.
I just remember him coming up with very, very real, accurate direction the whole time. For instance, there was one scene very early on in the film when Harry's asleep and he's having nightmares and then he wakes up suddenly. I was doing a lot of that sort of movie type of Ah! waking up. And David just says, "Dan, no one does that. Just open your eyes." [Laughing] Yeah, you're absolutely right. You do see it in films a lot of the time when people are lying straight down in bed and they suddenly sit bolt upright. If you try and do that, it's incredibly difficult to do, let alone when you're half asleep. But yeah, so working with David and also working with Gary Oldman in terms of the scenes concerning his death in the film, sorry if I spoiled that for anybody. You've all read it.
But in terms of those scenes, he was just a fantastic person to be around. There was the one bizarre bit when we were filming literally the moment of his death and my immediate reaction to it where he said, "Dan, in this next one, do you mind if I do something a little more physical?" And I was thinking, "Maybe he's going to give me a hug" or something like that. And he grabbed me and shook me violently for 30 seconds while screaming at me. And then he sort of backed away slowly and you suddenly regress and I just started to cry. It was this really weird thing but he obviously knew it would work. [Laughing] I don't know if he's done it to people in the past but certainly it worked then. He was amazing. That was a very, very long answer. I'm sorry.
Do you have an inside track to reading the Harry Potter book thats coming out shortly, and how do the book releases affect you guys personally?
RG: Yeah, it's quite exciting, particularly this one because there's so much hype about it and everyone's got their own little theory of who's going to die. That's the big question. I don't know really. I'm really looking forward to it.
DR: Who do you think's going to die?
RG: I think it could be you actually. [Laughing]
DR: Oh, man. I mean, I do think absolutely there's always going to be that hype around it but the thing is, with the books and the films, it's not just hype. It's deserved because they do get better and better and more exciting. My favorite book is the fifth and my favorite film is the fifth as well. To be able to say that five movies into a franchise is I suppose quite rare. But also, I don't know how the book releases affect us. I think you're very, very anxious about what's going to happen. I don't think we get totally distressed by it, do we really?
EW: I get a bit distressed.
DR: Do you?
EW: I get really stressed. I remember us doing this interview and I've always just been convinced that Hermione's going to make it. Apparently this hacker has been claiming that she's going to die. This interviewer sat down and she was like, "Well, this hacker is claiming what's going to happen and she's not going to make it and she's the one." I was just like, "No, no, no. You don't understand. She's meant to be with Ron and she's meant to just " I just have all these ideas in my head about what was going to happen. It was all just ruined. It was horrible. But I guess from an acting point of [view] it would be good to have a death scene or to die. It would be a challenge, I guess. I mean, we obviously have hugely invested interests but I think mostly we're like really big fans ourselves.
DR: Yeah, exactly, so we are looking forward to finding out with the rest of the world as well, but we certainly don't get any inside information.
EW: Yeah, no sort.
DR: No, we don't. When I saw Jo at the premiere the other day, I just said, "How many people worldwide have read the book?" And considering that at this point it's under two weeks before its release and under 10 people have read it still which is pretty incredible. But could you imagine being one of those people? How fantastic would that be? My God!
Was it fun getting to kick butt for a change and do some magic?
EW: Yeah, definitely. Ron and Hermione kind of took a bit of a backseat on the last one, watching Harry do all the tasks and stuff so it felt really nice to kind of be back in the action again. I mean, nothing major. We had a couple of stunts to do, a couple of harnesses and that sort of thing which was really fun. We actually had a dance choreographer in. All the different spells had different choreographed specific movements that went with them. So we had a couple of classes like that which was really good fun. I think this is the first one that you really see the craft behind magic and you get to see the craftsmanship. It looked really impressive I think, especially that scene at the end between Dumbledore and Voldemort.
Was it fun for you guys too?
Rupert and Daniel: Yeah.
Was there anything hard about it?
DR: I found the dance lessons quite tricky actually. I found I was getting really frustrated with myself when I couldn't get the moves right. But yeah, no, it was. It was good. I think that was a brilliant idea that David had to actually make it so that whereas before, it's just been point at something, say the word. Now he was starting to build the sort of art just to show a distinction because when it came to the film, we didn't really do a lot of the stuff that we learned in the [class] but all the adults were. And it just made it so that there was actually a distinction between the adults and the young kids in terms of the skill. But no, it was good. It was fun. One of my favorite lines in the film is when Gary says, "Get away from my godson" and then punches Jason Isaacs in the head. Me and Gary, we were Butch and Sundance on that day. It was just fantastic. So no, I had a lot of fun, definitely.
RG: Similar to everyone really. In the last one, Ron's been a bit of a wimp and sort of stayed away from the action side. This time it was quite cool that he got to be a bit tougher and got to fight so it was good fun really.
Of all the actors who have left their handprints and footprints in cement at Graumans Chinese theater, is there one in particular you really admire? Also, do you like Los Angeles? What do you like best about L.A.? Did you enjoy the premiere yesterday?
DR: You asked four questions in one breath! It's incredible! I think John Wayne's there so that's pretty cool. My favorite John Wayne line is from a really early John Wayne movie and it was obviously improvised because nobody could have scripted this. As he walks out, he walks out of a saloon I suppose, because they were saloons then, not bars. And he walks out and he's walking through the square and he's quite young, and there's all these birds in the square and he walks in and they all flutter away and he goes, "Get outta my way, pigeon." Which is just fantastic. So if I can have my handprints next to that man then that would be awesome.
RG: LA is really cool, yeah. It's been really fun. It's just really different to everywhere else. I really enjoy it. It's been really, really good, hasn't it?
EW: Yeah, it's really funny. There's lots of things, like when I came the second time to LA, there were so many things I didn't know about it. Apparently my dad went to like the tar pits yesterday which I was just like that was so weird.
DR: What's he doing at a tar pit?
EW: It's this massive tar pit which basically loads of animals basically fell into.
DR: Oh God, that's horrendous! [Laughing]
EW: Yeah, it's nice that he actually had a day yesterday when I was able to actually see LA which is really cool.
DR: That's deeply disturbing.
EW: It's not. It's really cool. It's like history. You can see it.
DR: I was about to say that LA's very clean.
EW: Let me finish my answer.
DR: [Laughing] Im sorry.
EW: So it's been really nice and the reception we had yesterday was amazing. I've had a really good time here and everyone's been really friendly. It's been really fun. It's been really, really good.
DR: It is a strange town I think. It's totally different from I think anything we've really experienced before and I don't know, it's very spread out and I don't know, it's just hard to get my head around fully really. It's just like nothing I've ever- - nowhere I've ever been really.
EW: It's very distinctive.
EW: You know you're in LA.
DR: Yes, certainly.
EW: The weather's nice.
DR: That is.
EW: We're all enjoying that.
DR: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That's the first thing you notice because it's warm especially coming from England where theyve had storms and things recently.
Have you gotten to see it in 3D Imax yet? How do you think it will be?
DR: I haven't seen it that way. I have heard about it. It's going to be fantastic. It's going to be terrifying.
EW: I was about to say, it's scary enough as it is. In 3D, people will be like
DR: Also, there's one moment where Ralph as Voldemort sort of appears and he comes from the side of the screen, sort of pushes forward and suddenly appears. That's gonna scar people. That's going to be hysterical. No, it's great. I've not seen it though, no.
EW: People will jump. Honestly, people will be absolutely jumping out of their seats. There's enough moments as it is where
DR: Would they have the glasses?
EW: Yeah. That's what 3D is.
DR: I know, but I don't know, maybe they give you a visor or something. [Laughing] Or like the guy in Star Trek who had the thing.
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