As promised last week, we now have the continuation of the all-star Harry Potter cast interview extravaganza! This week’s interview features:
- David Barron (Producer)
- Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid)
- Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy)
- David Thewliss (Lupin)
- Evanna Lynch (Luna)
- Freddie Stroma (Cormac McLaggen)
- Warwick Davis (Filius Flitwick)
Q: What was it like on the last day, knowing it was the last time you would film with the Harry Potter ensemble?
Robbie Coltrane: I was terribly, terribly upset, actually. And if we’re all honest, we all were. It was very, very sad.
David Barron: We filmed a very simple scene. The three of them, Dan, Rupert and Emma jumping onto a green screen bag for an element where they jumped into the fireplace in the ministry of magic in Part 1. And we deliberately kept it simple and non-involved, not a big dramatic scene, because it wouldn’t be fair for them to do that.
Q: Besides your character, who is the most interesting character in the movies?
Robbie Coltrane: I think the “baddies” really. I like baddies. I like wondering what horrible things they’re going to come up next. I find that very exciting, I have to say.
Helen McCrory: Yeah, Voldemort, [played by Ralph Fiennes], is extraordinary, and I remember the first scene that we’re all sitting in Malfoy Manor, down the long, long table. Ralph starts, and you suddenly realize at the end of the speech when [the director] hasn’t called cut and Ralph is still improvising and walking around the table. And you go, “Alright, that’s why he’s playing Voldemort.” He’s superbly good, and that sort of piercing quality he has comes across in the character. So, I think Voldemort is entrancing.
Evanna Lynch: Snape isn’t really given enough credit, because he holds so much inside himself. Most people go around, they have people they speak to, people who love them, and I think with Snape, no one loves Snape. (laughs) It’s true, though! Everyone’s kind of intimidated by him. Even Dumbledore, he admires him and he kept Snape there, but Snape’s just living for himself and he’s living for Lilly, and you find out about that, and it’s really sad. I just think he’s a really amazing character.
Q: What do you think Hagrid’s influence was on Harry?
Robbie Coltrane: Oh, blimey. . . Well, I think Hagrid was terribly, terribly honored to be looking after the boy, the golden boy. So I think Hagrid really liked that. Hagrid knew all sorts of strange things about the dark forest that other people didn’t know, but he wasn’t exactly the brightest knife in the drawer– let’s be honest, but a thoroughly decent man. I get letters from kids saying, “I wish my dad was like Hagrid, you know, because Hagrid wouldn’t hit my mum.” He was a father figure to lots of kids actually because he was a big strong man. No, I’m serious, you should see some of these letters; it was lovely. I got this lovely letter from a girl in Russia. She said, “I live in Moscow on the 17th floor. You could fly in through the window and sort out my father.” And you know, if I could, I would.
Q: How big a decision was it for you to take this role?
Robbie Coltrane: Well, my children made the decision for me. I was told if I didn’t play Hagrid, I wouldn’t be allowed home again because the wee fellow had told all his pals. And they’d say, “Is it true that you’re going to be Hagrid?”
Warwick Davis: I remember auditioning for the first time for Professor Flitwick and just having loads of fun with it. He was a character that had always been in me. I had some home movies from when I was 12 or 13 playing an eccentric professor with a laboratory in my bedroom. And that’s been a character I’ve always wanted to play. And so having the opportunity to do it in something like this. . . It was really terrific. So yeah, so glad that I said yes, really.
David Thewliss: I auditioned for Professor Quirrell in the first film and didn’t get it, which I’m very glad because he died in the first film. And then, when we were making The Prisoner of Azkaban, the book Order of the Phoenix was published, and I went to the bookshop at midnight in my home town with lots of little kids dressed as wizards and witches and all sorts, and nobody knew me because Prisoner of Azkaban hadn’t come out yet, so I thought, “I can go amongst them and nobody will know who I am.” But I’m there and I start looking through it and I see that Lupin’s mentioned and I thought, “This is great.” And then I flipped nearer the end of the book to see if I’m still there. At the time, there was a rumor that one of the major characters in The Order of the Phoenix was going to die and I thought, “Well, it’s not me. I’m still there right at the end.” I did happen to glimpse by accident that it was Sirius Black, who is played by Gary Oldman who lives very close to me. I saw him the next morning and he said, “Have you seen the new book?” And I said, “Yeah, have you read it?” And he said, “No, I just flipped through it.” And I said, “Alright, well good luck!”
Q: What was your first day on set like?
Freddie Stroma: It was pretty terrifying at first. But I met Dan [Radcliffe who plays Harry] on my first day doing a costume fitting and he introduced himself to me and he saw me three weeks later and said, “Hi Freddie! How are you doing?’ He meets so many people a day and it just made me feel so welcomed. And then after being nervous for one day, I spent the rest of the time in bliss. It was so much fun.
Evanna Lynch: I was a bit different because I wasn’t an actor. I was just such a huge fan. My first day was the screen test and I hadn’t got the part yet. I was meeting all these people and I was telling them their names. . . “I know you and I know your birthdays.” I had to tone it down because I really wanted the part. But they were so nice. Dan, I remember, he knew I was a nervous wreck and he was showing me around. I was just staring at him and I just had to ask him, “Can I touch you and check?” And he was very good. But it took me ages to settle in there because I was just stunned and awestricken by it. I expected everyone to kind of just be their characters and we’d be sort of replaying the books, and so when I met Draco Malfoy, I was like, “Keep your distance. . . ”
Q: What were you most impressed with at the exhibition?
Evanna Lynch: It’s just so nice to see it all up close because oftentimes when you’re on set, there are all these guys guarding them with their lives and they’re like, “Don’t touch that!” And I love the phoenix, the life size version of it. And it looks like it could be a bird, but obviously phoenixes aren’t real. Sorry, I had to break it to you. . . But yeah, and Dobby. I love Dobby; he’s so cute.
Q: How has this experience affected your life and how have you grown?
Warwick Davis: I haven’t grown. (laughs—Warwick plays Flitwick and is a little person) But no, it’s been amazing. It’s a delight that you can bring younger members of the audience as well. You see the wonder and magic in their eyes as they meet somebody from the film. You know you’ve had an impact on their lives and kind of their growing up and their imaginations. And that’s terrific, you know, it makes you feel good about what you’ve done.
Q: What do you think the message is of the Harry Potter series?
Evanna Lynch: I think the most important one is the one you see in Harry himself. Like he’s the main character, but there isn’t really anything extraordinary about him. Half the books, Harry’s like, “Why is this me? Why am I the chosen one?” and we’re like, “Yeah, why?” Because he’s a teenager and he’s sort of fumbling around and he’s always saying I couldn’t do it without my friends. And I think that’s what the message is. He’s a normal boy but he has this need that he wants to do good and he respects everyone else and everyone joins in. You see what he achieves. He defeated Voldemort. And it’s just because he wants to and he has the will to do good. I think that’s the message. If you have the will inside you and if you do it with all your heart, then you can do pretty much anything.
David Barron: I think [J. K. Rowling] also teaches us to celebrate difference. We’re not all the same. Outsiders are not necessarily bad people because they’re outsiders; they’re just different. And she also teaches about making the right choice. Making the right choice is not easy; making easy choices is not always the right choice.
Q: Can it really be the end?
David Barron: It is for now, for sure, because there aren’t any more books. If there were, we’d make them. She’s reached the end of that story, and she’s told us at the end of that 7th book what happens to Harry, Ron and Hermione later in their life. So, there’s very little room to maneuver there I think, unless she comes up with something else. But to my knowledge, she is not. She is busy doing other things and she’s very happy with what she did on these and is enjoying her life as it is.
Are you excited for July 15? I am definitely excited but also kind of sad at the same time, because then it really is over. At least we still have the Harry Potter Message Boards where we can meet other HP fans and discuss!
Images courtesy of Warner Bros.