Cinemania. Interviews with the cast and the director. Mexico. July 2009.
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How did the love scenes go?
It was just kissing. We didn’t talk too much about it; we didn’t analyze it or rehearsed it either. But when it was time to film suddenly I got really nervous because we had to do it in a room full of people, since it happens after a quidditch match. We got it in seven or eight takes.
Were you surprised to find out that Hermione and Ron end up together?
I always thought it was going to happen, even before I read Deathly Hallows. I sensed it. It’s going to be weird because we’re like brother and sister. But I’ll worry when it happens.
What do you think of the directors of the saga?
David is the most relaxed of all the directors we’ve had. It would be cool if Tarantino directed the seventh.
Interview with Emma Watson
What’s the main change in your character for this movie?
Hermione is finally realizing that she has feelings for Ron, even though he’s still clueless about it. Both of them get jealous of each other and fight all the time. It’s nice to have these kinds of elements in movies that just keep getting darker and darker. I think J.K. Rowling still remembers perfectly what is like to be a teenager and being in situations in which you still don’t know how to handle relationships.
Are you okay with Hermione being in love with Ron and not with Harry?
Hermione has a very maternal instinct towards Harry, she’s even a mother figure to him at times. That’s why they couldn’t be together. I’m really happy for Hermione because that’s what she wanted, but on the other hand oh my God! I’m going to have to kiss Rupert after knowing him for seven years!
Interview with Tom Felton
It must be more interesting to play the bad guy.
Thanks for agreeing with me. Definitely. In real life I’m not like Draco, so it’s fun to be like someone who is completely different from me.
How hard did you work on going from Harry’s pain in the butt to an actual murderer?
The director and I talked a lot about it. Obviously Draco loses his father, he’s alone, he wants to show his independence and he’s the Chosen One. He’s been very jealous of Harry all his life, he’s been jealous of the attention he gets, and now it’s the opportunity to show what he’s really capable of. But at the same time he’s terrified and deep down he knows he can’t do what he’s been assigned to do. So there’s a very strong conflict of emotions. To me it’s a challenge because I have to think deeper about my performance. It’s not all about putting a mean face for Harry.
What’s the difference between the previous directors and this new director?
I don’t have any experience in directing, so I don’t know what makes them good. But each of them has had their strengths. David is humble, quiet, and personal. He’s not very lavish and he makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Did he ask for anything in particular when he directed you this time?
No, but I’m very thankful for the extra time he put into me and my character this time around. E spoke a lot about our character. David is trying to outline his complexity. This year Draco is not interested in bullying Harry. He’s got more serious stuff to pay attention to. For years he has been bullied by his father and that’s why he is the way he is. I wanted to show that side of him, not to make people feel sorry for him but to at least identify themselves with him. The best thing is that now I get to wear better clothes. Draco is very concerned about his style, and that’s part of his look as a villain.
Are you tired of playing the same character for such a long time?
No, on the contrary. I love coming back every year, seeing everyone again, how they’ve grown up, remembering how young we were in the first movie.
Really? And if you could go back in time and choose another character, what character would you choose?
Still my own. I feel so grateful. Draco has a very important part that is not boring at all, but I the same time I don’t get recognized as much as the others, so I can leave London without having any problems. Nobody has ever stopped me and asked for a picture with me. The blond hair is very telling, but with a hat it’s problem solved.
How is your relationship with Daniel Radcliffe?
We’re very good friends. Before I used to love saying we couldn’t stand each other, but in reality we get along great. We both love cricket and we talk about it a lot. We’re very passionate about music, although our taste in music is very different. He likes more underground and punk music.
What was your approach to the material in the Half-Blood Prince?
You respond to all the elements that mean something to you. In the last movie we handled the emotional journey that teenagers go through. In this movie I liked the sex, the politics, the romance and the fact that it’s about teenagers understanding that the world is very complex. Here Harry starts having attitudes that are more adult and proactive. He knows how to manipulate relationships around him, he acts in a way that you wouldn’t expect, he uses all of his psychology, for instance, to get information out of Slughorn and he does things that are provoking, especially for a character that is supposed to be our hero.
What is the hardest part?
Working three weeks on a green screen because your brain starts clashing with yourself and you haven’t seen the sunlight. Daniel, Rupert and Emma are used to it, but the truth is that it gives you a headache that lasts at least five days. We just finished filming a scene that is very dramatic and complex, and it happens inside a cave. We shot there for two weeks in a row with a green screen and you just start to lose your mind. You need to use all your imaginary resources.
Why did you decide to approach evil in the way that you did?
We needed a scene in which it was reflected on the first plane the violence behind the wizarding world. In the book we only get an idea from third party perspective. Here we are going to be literal because the reader can use more of his imagination, but the viewer has to become more involved with images.
How will you show the death of the iconic Headmaster of Hogwarts?
His death will be a very moving scene that it’s very heart wrenching because it’s hard for me to understand the fact that a child has to commit a murder and him having to deal with it, and Tom, who plays Draco, is amazing. Plus, it’s Dumbledore’s death! He’s being taken away from us! Harry is used to dueling because he’s lost so many people and that’s why his attitude is more resigned. Ours is not.
Interview with Daniel Radcliffe.
How’s the filming going?
The first four months were all about Michael Gambon and me, filming alone. This has been great because he’s hilarious.
Has he changed in any way?
He’s more out there because now we know Dumbledore is gay. This was very fun to Michael. He’s taken advantage of that. Maybe that’s the main change in the character.
Aren’t you sick of it after sick movies?
I’m still amazed. This time, for instance, we have scenes inside a cave. And if I was sick of something I’d say I’m sick of riding the broomstick. But now it’s different because they’ve changed the seat for something more comfortable.
Is it hard being Harry Potter?
No, when little kids meet you they have certain expectations of you. But other than that, it’s just like another acting job. 95% of the time people who approach you are nice and I’ve hardly had any trouble.
Is it hard to keep up with the image of the good guy the whole time?
I’ve never felt like the character is invading my life in any way. I’ve been lucky enough to know how to detach myself from it.
How is your character feeling in this movie?
He’s much more organized and focused. It’s the first time he’s going to do something in particular against Voldemort and he feels like he’s Dumbledore’s favorite soldier. Now he wants to contribute, he knows more what to do. His romance is a bit sad because he’s in love with Ginny, but he can’t do anything about it because it’s Ron’s little sister. So he has to endure seeing Ginny going out with different guys.
Was it weird kissing the littlest of the Weasleys?
Yes, because when I kissed Katie Leung, she had just signed up for the series and everybody knew she was going to be a romantic interest of Harry. However, I’ve known Bonnie Wright since she was 9 and I never thought I would have to kiss her when she was 17. It was weird, but we’re very professional and she’s a very patient girl.
Are there any differences in the way you’ve played Harry before and how you’re playing him now?
Yes, of course, simply because of the age difference. I think I’ve matured and gotten better at it. I can’t keep playing him like he’s eleven. I wasn’t aware of it until the third movie, in which I tried to analyze my character and do a bigger effort. Now I ask myself to do much more.
Do you like seeing yourself when you were little?
Not at all. It’s so weird. I forget how young I was. But it’s not that bad either.
Which actors have been your favorite in the whole saga?
Michael Gambon because he doesn’t take himself very seriously. Imelda Staunton because she’s fantastic because of the variations she puts into her dialogue and how she puts herself into the story. And Gary Oldman who has taught me about giving all of yourself for a role. All the work he’s done is amazing.
Before taking on this movie you participated in the play Equus, wit a full frontal nude. Did that experience help you for Harry Potter?
What I learned from Equus that I could bring into this role was the concentration. Being so focused for over two hours really helped me. There were many things that could distract me, like one time I almost feel off the stage, but you have to learn how to go back and pay attention again. I use that now when I start my scenes with Harry.
Interview with Matthew Lewis.
Knowing the importance of Neville in the seventh book, how is your perspective changing when you’re filming the sixth movie?
It doesn’t change in particular. Since the beginning I knew Neville had more to offer than what he appeared to be. I best try to forget what I know about the character because my character doesn’t know the future.
You don’t seem very shy. Where do you get this trait from your character?
I’m not anymore, but I used to be. Being here, working with adults makes you grow up and it helped me gain more confidence.
When you read the books as a kid, did you see yourself as any of the characters?
I never knew they were making a movie. At the time, obviously, my hero was Harry. After that I just wanted to be in the movie no matter what. I’ve been acting since I was 5 and when I auditioned I went for any role they could give me. When they told me I would play Neville I thought the character fit me perfectly and it was a wonderful feeling. The character is brilliant because there’s so much diversity to him: his sadness, his comedy. I love him!
Has your life changed at all since you became part of this saga?
Yes, but I try to stay as normal as possible. I still have the same friends I had from when I was 11. I still go to the movies, watch football, do the same thing. Now I’m 18 but I don’t see any reason to move to LA and stop being myself, but at the same time I can’t say my life is completely normal.
What are you going to do after Harry Potter?
I have an agent now. I didn’t do anything besides Harry Potter because when I wasn’t filming I was in school, but now that I’m done with school I can look for different projects. I applied to college and got in, but I decided not to go because I want to be an actor. So there’s no point in studying for a career that I won’t use. I can always go back if I want to.
What surprised you about the last book?
I never thought that so many people would die and that Neville would go back as the main leader of the resistance, strong and with long hair. It’s weird to read something for the first time and then realizing that you will be giving life to it the next year. It’s surreal.