Thursday, 7 July 2011

Fansites Interview with Daniel Radcliffe

Back near the end of August, as filming was wrapping on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” several fan sites, including FictionAlley, were invited to participate in a press conference with the Boy Who Lived himself, actor Dan Radcliffe. Most of the questions centered on the final volume of Harry Potter’s chronicle, soon to be presented in two parts. Now that Part II is about to hit theatres, we can share with you some of our questions, and Dan’s answers: Q: What was it like to film the scene with the seven Harrys (using polyjuice)? DR: It was somewhat easier to impersonate some of the actors than others. Mundungus was easiest to imitate, but Rupert was very difficult because … when you analyze it, he has a wiggle in the hips when he walks, so it was slightly trickier, but it’s going to be a great scene because of the polyjuicing. We did it cleverly so that everything can overlap and seven Harrys on screen at one time! The girls were very funny. I think the crew was worried that I was walking a little too confidently in Fleur’s heels, but it was good fun. Q: What about the scene where Helena Bonham Carter is playing Hermione polyjuiced into Bellatrix? What was that like to film? DR: It was fun. It was Helena Bonham Carter and Warwick Davis and me on the cart. They’re both hysterically funny. I basically became her PA. I kept asking: Do you want me to hold that coffee? Do you want it in the shot? She’s mad, it was great fun. Also when she transforms back, that was funny. Q: There’s a rumor that the film will be split right where Voldemort gains possession of the Elder Wand. What do you think of this choice? DR: I think you mean Entertainment Weekly’s article. That’s a bit preemptive because we don’t know ourselves! It seems appropriate but it isn’t decided yet. It’s between a few scenes, but I won’t say in case I’m proved wrong. There’s a rumour that it’s right before Malfoy Manor? There is a rumour, but it could be ten scenes to either side. Q: Part I is really mostly a “road” movie and has a really different feel to the other films. Was it a really different experience playing Harry when he’s not at Hogwarts? DR: Absolutely, it’s very different, but funnily we weren’t aware how different it was when we were filming. We weren’t thinking about it. But when I saw the trailer and some of the extras, it just struck me how different it will be because we’ve never seen them in this context before, stripped of their comfortable, safe surroundings, and out in the wilderness together. You learn more about how those characters function and it’s an exploration of their relationships. Harry and Ron fall apart to some degree. It’s got a very different feel and hopefully people will be very excited by that. Q: What were the most challenging scenes, physically and emotionally? DR: Physically, underwater stuff is always pretty tricky. There’s a big fight scene in the frozen lake with the sword and the horcrux. Hopefully it’s a pretty terrifying semi-homage to the Omen, dragged up to the ice and torn around by the locket. Pretty challenging. Stuff in Gringott’s bank, in the Lestrange vault, where the treasure is multiplying, that’s hard because I’m having to scale a moving platform on the set, so that they would move up and would have to struggle onto each level. My calf muscles never worked so hard! Emotionally? All the stuff early on in the first part with Rupert. It’s very hard, as I’m sure you all know, to hate Rupert Grint, so that was a challenge, but hopefully some really good things will come out of it. Also in Godric’s Hollow where Harry sees his parents’ graves. And I see Harry as battle-hardened, and emotionally shut down. Mainly how he survives is to suppress and be stoic, so it’s challenging to combine those. Q: Could you talk about the Final Battle and the emotion of the scene and the performances when he comes back to the courtyard to find everyone fighting and Hogwarts on fire? DR: It wasn’t the courtyard scene, it was seeing the Great Hall destroyed and turned into a field hopital that was more shocking. Seeing it destroyed is bizarre, it’s such an iconic set. It brought home the fact that the films are coming to a close, it gave us an awareness of how much we need to get this right, as well as a huge motivation because we’ve been there 10 years and don’t want to go out any way other than spectacularly. We owe it to everyone to make this the best we can. Q: For filmgoers who haven’t read the books, do you think their reaction will turn against Dumbledore? DR: I hope so: that’s kind of the intention. It’s about faith, and how far one’s faith can be tested. Harry’s a Job figure in the first film, he starts to really question why he’s going on this insane, demanding mission which costs his friends and will eventually cost his life. Hopefully at the end of the first film, people should be very much wondering what is Dumbledore’s real agenda? While on the topic, it’s interesting that as Harry loses faith, Ron and Hermione lose faith in Harry. I was also comparing him to a Roman emperor in the last days of the empire, becoming paranoid and cutting himself off, and I’ve always thought that Harry does have a kind of martyr complex, when he doesn’t want to reach out when in fact he should, and he’s endangering his mission and the good of the magical world by not asking for help and not accepting help. Q: What was your favourite scene and why? DR: There are so many to choose from! And we filmed over a period of 17 months so I’ve forgotten some of the ones at the beginning. But here’s two: one is when I go into the forest and see the ghosts of my parents, Sirius, and Lupin, and they give guidance and comfort in my final moments. I’ve always felt that was one of the most moving moments in the books. And also, I missed Michael Gambon on the set very much, so King’s Cross when we meet there was a favourite. Also it’s a cool set, more surreal than other sets than [we’ve] done before. Q: Now that it’s over, have you kept any mementoes? DR: I’ve got two pairs of glasses, one from the 7th film, the lenseless ones, and also a lensed pair from the first film, which are just tiny little things now, but they both have pride of place. That was the only thing I wanted. Didn’t want the wand, certainly not the broom. Those were the only things. Q: If you had the chance to take Harry’s journey in real life, would you and why? DR: I think I would, because if I had the same responsibility that Harry has in the film, I’d like to think I would be as selfless and brave as he can be. I think we all would like that, and recognize the importance of all he has to do and all the people he has to protect. But I don’t think any of us are as brave as Harry. [Optional Questions to include: Q: It’s been reported that Kate Winslet turned down Grey Lady. Who’s playing the part – and what was it like playing that pivotal scene? DR: It hasn’t been announced yet who’s playing the part, so I can’t say. Rest assured, it is a wonderful British actress who is held in high esteem by lots of people. I was thrilled to get to work with her and she’s wonderful and brings both loneliness, sense of isolation, and the embittered anger that the character has to have. I hadn’t heard about Kate Winslet; if that had come to fruition, I don’t think I could have looked her in the eye. I’m sorry I can’t tell you more. Q: What’s your favourite Harry Look? DR: I’d say either the third film or the DH part we just finished. The hair’s the most right. I look best covered in mud and sweat. It’s hard to achieve in day-to-day life, but it’s how I look strongest. And it helps get into scene if you’re covered in all that stuff. Q: We’re all waiting excitedly for the films, of course, but some people are already looking beyond them to the next interpretation. At Infinitus we saw some pretty incredible examples of fan films and even fan musicals. What would your reaction / response be to a project like Harry Potter: The Musical? DR: Honestly? Pretty negative! Harry Potter’s a book and now films. I think a radio play could work. I don’t know how it would be done in a musical. I’m ready to be proved wrong, but in my opinion, it’s not a good candidate for a musical. It doesn’t lend itself to the medium. But I’m ready to be proven wrong!]