Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Interviews by Tim Nasson
Shacking up at the Four Seasons at Beverly Hills recently, the three main stars of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in theaters today, talked about the fifth in the film franchise. And about the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, due out later this month.
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint speak about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Question: Daniel. You’ve already been naked on stage. How does your first kiss on film in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix compare to you being naked on stage in Equus?
Daniel Radcliffe: I did the kiss first. I think the reason that it wasn’t a problem or a worry was because in the back of my mind, I knew I’d be naked on stage in six months. I knew I had to get over this. If this kiss was a worry, I knew that being naked with a bunch of blinding horses would be an even greater worry. The kiss was more of a big deal for everyone else, but to me it was like doing any other scene. Really. Which is very disappointing for people to hear, but unfortunately that’s how it was.
Question: Daniel, we’ve heard that you are a big punk rock fan. Did you use your knowledge of the punk movement as an inspiration for the rebel that Harry becomes in this fifth film?
Daniel Radcliffe: I love all of the rebellion stuff that has to do with Harry in this film. Director David Yates kept referring to Dumbledore’s Army as being like the French resistance, which was a metaphor that appealed to me. Also, Harry as a leader and a teacher was able to show off his Wizarding skills. Showing off stuff was really, really fun to do. I don’t think I brought a tremendous amount of punk music into those scenes. It didn’t seem to require it. I think it was me listening to Radiohead that affected my character in this film. Someone asked me yesterday if there was one album that could be Harry’s soundtrack during this film, and I said, “I think it would be Okay, Computer by Radiohead. Which tells you all you need to know about his character.
Question: Why don’t all three of you discuss growing up over the course of these films.
Emma Watson: It’s a bit out of context when you are doing it on screen. Especially with the earlier films. Dan and Rupert have both grown a couple of inches. They would be a bit bigger by the time one of the films was released. I remember the second one, I was still losing teeth. That was interesting. One scene I had a full set, then I would turn around and be missing.
Daniel Radcliffe: Not a false, but a full set of teeth? It was one tooth. It wasn’t like the whole mouth.
Emma Watson: I had a full set of teeth, and then, in the next scene, I would lose one.
Daniel Radcliffe: Oh, okay. I thought you said you had a false set of teeth.
Emma Watson: Oh, my god! No! I didn’t have false teeth. But the filming process made the whole growing-up process run smoothly. We had to do it without anyone really realizing. You don’t really think about it. I haven’t grown up any other way, so I don’t know. This is the way it’s always been. We’ve been doing this since we were so young, I don’t really remember what life was like before we started doing these films. That’s just the way it is.
Rupert Grint: For me, it feels like one long experience. It’s when you look back on the first ones that you realize how much you’ve grown. It’s been really fun, though. I have enjoyed nearly every minute of it. It has been really cool.
Daniel Radcliffe: I don’t think you realize that you are growing up. Its one of those things that just sort of happens to you. Someone shows you a picture of yourself at age ten, and you recoil in horror. To us, we’ve just grown up. We don’t think about the fact the we’ve grown up on screen. It’s been great. Its been really good, and we’ve met some of the people that we are really good friends with through these films. We probably wouldn’t have had a chance to meet them had we not done this. It’s really quite fantastic.
Question: You are all going to have your footprints set in cement in front of the Mann’s Chinese Theater. How does that feel?
Emma Watson: I was amazed that they asked us, because it is such a big deal. I was really, really flattered to be doing it.
Daniel Radcliffe: When you see those other names, you can’t believe it. It’s amazing. It’s absolutely fantastic. I think we are all a little bit in shock that we’ve been asked. Its amazing.
Question: Daniel. Do you think your part in “Equus” proves that there is a life after Harry Potter, or do you even consider what you are going to be doing with your future at this point?
Daniel Radcliffe: No, I do give it a lot of thought. That question was asked of me in a rather more brutal way the other day. I think what they meant to ask was, “Is there life for you after Harry Potter?” But what they said was, “Will you live after Harry Potter?” Which was on the red carpet. Hmm. I don’t know what they are planning for me. But Potter is something I would never want to distance myself from, because I am extremely proud of it. It’s given me the most amazing opportunities, and I have met some of the most fantastic people. And I have worked with all of these brilliant actors. But, naturally, I want to establish myself on my own right, rather than just be the actor who plays Harry Potter. It’s just as much, if not more, to prove to myself that I can do it, as well as the audience. There will always be these people that see us as our respective characters no matter what we do. But ultimately that is more their problem than ours. They are not the people who are going to be stopping us from doing other, different things.
Question: Did David Yates (the director) worry about how dark this film had to be?
Daniel Radcliffe: David was fantastic. David Yates was just incredible throughout the film. 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 ten-month shoot, is quite an achievement. Working with David was fantastic. I can’t think of any specific notes that he gave me in terms of how he started this. I just remember him coming up with very real, accurate directions the whole time. For instance, there was one scene very early on in the film when Harry’s asleep and he’s having nightmares. He wakes up suddenly. I was doing a lot of that sort of movie type of waking up. David just says, “Dan, no one does that. Just open your eyes.” 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 bolt upright. If you try and do that, it’s incredibly difficult, let alone while you’re half asleep. Also, working with Gary Oldman in terms of the scenes concerning his death. Sorry if I spoiled that for anybody. You’ve all read it. In terms of those scenes, he was just a fantastic person to be around. There was this one bizarre bit where he said to me, “Dan, in this next one, do you mind if I do something a little more physical.” I was thinking, “Maybe he’s going to give me a hug” or something like that. But he grabbed me and shook me violently for thirty seconds while screaming at me. And then he sort of backed away slowly. I suddenly regressed and I just started to cry. It was this really weird thing, but he obviously knew it would work. I don’t know if he’s done it to people in the past but certainly it worked then. He was amazing.
Question: Are you excited about the release of the seventh book – next week?
Rupert Grint: 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.
Question: Do any of you have a theory as to who is going to die?
Rupert Grint: I believe it could be you, actually (he says, staring at Radcliffe).
Daniel Radcliffe: Oh, man. I do think there’s always going to be that hype around it. 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 quite rare. I don’t know how the book releases affect us. I think we’re very, very anxious about what’s going to happen. I don’t think we get totally distressed by it, do we really?
Emma Watson: I get a bit distressed.
Daniel Radcliffe: Do you?
Emma Watson: I get really stressed. 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.” I have all these ideas in my head about what was going to happen. It was just all weird and horrible, but I guess from an acting point of view it would be good to have a death scene. I mean, we obviously have hugely invested interests. Mostly we’re really big fans ourselves.
Daniel Radcliffe: Yeah, exactly. We are looking forward to finding out with the rest of the world as well. We certainly don’t get any inside information. When I saw Jo at the premiere the other day, I asked, “How many people worldwide have read the book?” Under ten people have read it, which still is pretty incredible. Could you imagine being one of those people? How fantastic would that be? My God.
Question: You all got to use your magic more this time around. Was that exciting?
Emma Watson: Yeah, definitely. Ron and Hermione kind of took a backseat on the last one, watching Harry do all the tasks and stuff. It felt really nice to be back in the action again. It was nothing major. We had a couple of stunts to do, a couple of harnesses and that sort of thing. That was really fun. We actually had a dance choreographer come in. All the different spells had different choreographed specific movements that went with them. So, we had a couple of classes like that which were really good fun. This is the first one where you really see the craft behind the magic. You get to see the craftsmanship. It looked really impressive.
Question: What sort of difficulties did you encounter?
Daniel Radcliffe: I found the dance lessons quite tricky. I was getting really frustrated with myself when I couldn’t get the moves right. It was good. A brilliant idea that David had was to actually make it so that, whereas before, it’s just been point at something, say the word. Now he was starting to build this sort of art just to show a distinction. When it came to the film, we didn’t really do a lot of the stuff that we learned in the class. It just made it so that there was actually a distinction between the adults and the young kids in terms of skill. It was fun. One of my favorite lines in the film is when Gary says, “Get away from my godson.” Then he punches Jason Isaacs in the head. Me and Gary, we were Butch and Sundance on that day. It was just fantastic. I had a lot of fun, definitely.
Rupert Grint: In the last one, Ron’s been a bit of a wimp and he’s sort of stayed away from the action. This time, it was quite cool that he got to be a bit tougher. And he got to fight. It was kind of neat.
Question: Have you guys seen the version of the film that is in IMAX 3-D?
Daniel Radcliffe: I haven’t seen it that way. I have heard about it. It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to be terrifying.
Emma Roberts: I was about to say, it’s scary enough as it is.
Daniel Radcliffe: There’s one scene where Voldemort sort of appears and he comes from the side of the screen. He sort of pushes forward and suddenly appears. That’s gonna scare people. That’s going to be hysterical. It’s great. I’ve not seen it though, no.
Emma Watson: People will jump. Honestly, people will be jumping out of their seats.