Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part Two Special Coverage: TF Interview: Daniel Radcliffe

This a continuation of the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part One coverage that I did for Total Film Indonesia magazine. This Daniel Radcliffe interview is part of the Deathly Hallows press junket that the magazine attended (but we weren’t allowed to publish it until last month). The rest of the Deathly Hallows cast interview can be found in the archives.

THE TOTAL FILM INTERVIEW: DANIEL RADCLIFFE

Jack Kipling. Alan Strang. Arthur Kipps. J. Pierrepont Finch. And, of course, Harry Potter. After 10 years, Daniel Radcliffe’s journey as the young wizard whose name is on the mouth of every people in the world will end in July 2011. “I actually miss Harry,” said Radcliffe of his on-screen alter ego, “like you would miss a friend who you haven’t seen for a while. I do feel the fans’ pain.

In early March 2011, Total Film Indonesia has its eyes glued to a YouTube video of the 21-year-old Brit actor Daniel Radcliffe singing “I Believe In You”. The song, from Broadway musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, is beautiful and not only owns the song, but he should be able to own the world with it. Or, at least, should he ever feel inclined to join the reality TV show, he could really impress the judges of American Idol.

A month later, Radcliffe and his fellow How To Succeed cast performs live at The Today Show, this time singing “Brotherhood of Man”. Agile and acrobatic, Radcliffe sings and dances as if he was born for it. It is now wonder, then, that Rob Ashford’s How To Succeed gets nine Tony Awards nominations and a generally positive reviews from all corners. And surely the Harry Potter alumnus will not be begging anyone for jobs after the Warner Bros. film franchise ends its run on multiplexes.

The young actor has proven he can work in any media: he’s a live action film actor who has done TV (Extras), stage (Equus) and even animation (as the voice of Edmund, a parody of Twilight’s Edward Cullen in The Simpsons‘ “Treehouse Of Horror” episode). What next? Forming a band and releasing an album with Rupert Grint, Tom Felton and Matthew Lewis? “No. I would not be good in a band. I don’t think I particularly have a rocky kind of sounding voice.”

That’s what he said to TFI when we interviewed him last year in August in Claridge’s, London, a couple of months after the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows shoot wrapped up. Radcliffe had waited for us with a firm handshake and a warm greeting and, like a good host, offered us a drink as we sat down. On that day, the actor who was born on 23 July 1989 did not resemble any character he has played. But despite his jeans-and-t-shirt-clad slight frame and completely fluffy hair, he still manages to exude poise, presence and professionalism.

Radcliffe may sidetrack himself and tell an unrelated story but he always remembers the original question at the moment you find yourself about to despair. Then he returns to it unprompted. His stunningly blue eyes will be focused intently on you as he answers your question. During our chat, he faltered – very slightly – only once, when he forgot the name of his ‘eldest son’, which we had to remind him of. But on the whole we found it was quite impossible not to fall at least a little bit in love with the charming Mr. Radcliffe…

Very soon all the Harry Potter fans will experience withdrawal syndrome. What do you suggest for them to be able to deal with it and how would you deal with it?
I’m fortunate because of course all my friends worked on it as well, so we sort of… we talk a lot so I don’t have to miss it too much. Because the thing I miss most is hanging out with the people. So I think I’d just maybe read the books again. That’d probably be a good thing to do. I think they might do that, anyway. I suppose, treasure it for what it was, while it lasted. It ended at the right time, I think.

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Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part One Special Coverage: TWINSPEAK

TWINSPEAK

James and Oliver Phelps are England’s most popular twin actors today. But how do they deal with the separation of their characters, Fred and George, in Deathly Hallows? Total Film Indonesia finds out.

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Just like in the movies, the Phelps twins are nearly indistinguishable in real life. We know that Oliver, who plays George Weasley, was born thirteen minutes earlier than his brother James, who plays Fred. We also know they support different football teams from their hometown of Birmingham – Oliver is an Aston Villa supporter and James is a Birmingham City fan. But that’s all TFI knows of what sets them apart. When they entered the interview room, despite wearing different clothes, they still managed to appear completely identical. They also spoke with the same level of enthusiasm of the Weasley twins’ dramatic journeys in similar baritones. All of this might be the reason why James and Oliver Phelps are ecstatic with the directions their characters are taking. That is to say, in two separate ways…

We really have to ask you about what you think of the one scene everyone has been talking about, the Seven Potters. What was it like filming it, with Daniel Radcliffe studying you?
James Phelps (JP) Yeah, it was quite intense. I mean, the whole of that scene just went on… it was a two week shoot. It was night shoots, as well, for most of it, so we were just drained by the time we did it. Because literally you’d act what you’d do anyway and then Dan would come and David Yates and yourself would kind of direct Dan on what to do. It’s proper scrutinising yourself, because it’s like… apparently I stand like I’m pigeon-toed. I stand weird or something. I never realised it until then. And my facial expressions, when I’m concentrating or something, were a bit odd. So, that was a bit weird, but Dan really did… We saw that scene, a couple of weeks ago…
Oliver Phelps (OP) The special effects, as well, and the visual effects… they’re pretty new technology…
JP Even the fact of how the faces change and everything… that was pretty cool!
OP I don’t know how Dan did it. It took something like 120 takes or something. It was something ridiculous, like that, to get every single one. That’s a testament to Dan’s character and stamina, that he would keep going, and do it. When we saw it, it looks fantastic.

Oliver, don’t you lose an ear in the first movie? And what sort of ear would you like to get to replace that one you lost?
OP That scene was pretty cool – I always wanted to be a bit battered. In all the films, playing Quidditch and everything, you never see a scratch on Fred and George. And it was cool, watching the guys in the creature effects department… you really see how they earn their money because it’s fantastic. Without going into too much detail and taking too much away from the people watching it… it was really, really interesting… beforehand, they had to take a full cast of my head and shoulders, to mark the ear, and how they’re gonna do it. Basically, when you go to the dentist, and you get that paste they put in your mouth, to mark out your teeth… but here they put it all over your whole head for fifteen minutes and you’re breathing through straws. And, any ear I could have? Gosh… uh… maybe, like a Simpsons ear, you know, just a little thing.

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Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part One Special Coverage: KICK-ASS, HOGWARTS STYLE

KICK-ASS, HOGWARTS STYLE

Every hero needs a sidekick, but Neville Longbottom is nobody’s sidekick. He’s Kick-Ass, the Hogwarts version of it.

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Matt Lewis’ appearance outside the Hogwarts uniform his character, Neville Longbottom, wears is far from what we see on screen. The young man – born in Leeds, 27 June 1989 – is tall and has a longish face. He also has a tattoo, an ‘XI, written on his arm. “It’s my lucky number,” he says. “I’m not superstitious in the slightest. Ever since I was young and playing football, I’v always worn the number eleven.” Football, of course, is one of his hobbies. It’s no secret that he is a big supporter of his hometown club, Leeds United. “In fact, there’s an actual true story,” he continues. “There’s a Leeds United player called Eddie Lewis, who was an American, who played on the left wing. He wore the number eleven and it was really easy for me to go into the shop and say, ‘Can I have Lewis 11 on the back of my shirt?’ And so from then on I always wore eleven and I wear it for everything.”

Lewis is also confident – a far cry from the rather clumsy Neville, although his character will have a golden moment in Part 2 – and is able to eloquently converse on many topics outside Potter. TFI‘s conversation with Lewis started off randomly – about Lewis’ other favorite sport, cricket, and dining in Leeds. Deeper into the conversation, we began to seriously think that if Kick-Ass, the wannabe superhero of Mark Millar’s titular comic book, needs a partner, he would do well to team up with Neville, the ultimate ass-kicking hero of Hogwarts, or even Lewis himself…

Hi. You sound like you got a sore throat?
Yeah. I don’t know why. I just woke up with it yesterday and it hasn’t gone yet.

Have you been cheering at cricket too much?
Mmmh, might be. Did you watch yesterday? It was pretty good, wasn’t it? That’s what cricket is all about. [the England vs Pakistan match took place the day before this interview]

We saw your sad Tweets at @mattdavelewis that you couldn’t be there…
Yeah, Especially because it’s in Leeds. I’d very much like to be there.

Speaking of, since you’re obviously very familiar with the city, is there anywhere in Leeds you could recommend for a nice meal?
Oh okay. There’s an Italian place called Bibi’s. Very old school, 1930s Chicago style…

Thanks! So now we start… can you tell us how making Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 are different from before?
It was filming both films – not back to back – but simultaneously that was kind of difficult, because you had to remember which part of the film you were at and what was known at the part where you were acting, because we were going from Part 1 to Part 2 and Part 1 again and it was all a bit all over the place and that kind of was confusing. We’ve never had to do that before, so this was the first year that I’ve had no idea what it’s going to look like whatsoever. You know usually you can get a vague clue, because you’ve been following the script all the way through, but this year I’ve no idea. I don’t remember half of it, because we started what, filming February 2009… so it’s going to be weird. But it was great, you know the crew were fantastic, as they have been every year and we really couldn’t have done it without those guys. We’ve got such a good bunch there, who knew exactly what they had to do, and the schedule could have been a bit of a nightmare if we’d not had such a great bunch of people behind us, so that was all right.

Neville’s so heroic in the end, which is wonderful, so what’s your definition of a hero and who is your hero?
Well, the Leeds Rhinos [his favorite rugby team] were my heroes, last night! I don’t know if you caught the game; they were unbelievable. But no, my real definition of a hero is… obviously, all the people who are in the Middle East right now. You know, those guys are the heroes. I don’t personally know anybody who’s out there, but I know friends of friends that are and it’s shocking. It’s wholly shocking that in the twenty-first century, that sort of thing still goes on. Those guys are out there, doing a job, and they don’t wanna be there, but they are, and I think that’s courage and heroic.

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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part One Special Coverage: THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH MAGIC

THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH MAGIC

Evanna Lynch is living the life she used to dream of: this Irish Harry Potter fan gets a role as Luna Lovegood in her favorite series.

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She was chosen out of 15,000 contenders who joined the audition for the part of the kooky Ravenclaw. Her audition drove producer David Heyman to say, “Many people can play Luna, but Evanna Lynch is Luna Lovegood.” Although she was without previous acting experience prior to joining the Potter cast for the first time in Order Of The Phoenix, the 19-year-old doesn’t really need to pick her character’s brain. After all, Lynch is the resident Potter expert on set.

Her involvement in the production of these films that began in 2007 didn’t just stop at acting. She also pitched ideas for the unique design for fashion a la Luna in the movies: radish earrings and lion hats. We’re rather curious about her Lady Gaga-esque fashion sense so naturally our first question of Lynch was…

With her fashion sense, she’s a bit of the Lady Gaga of Hogwarts…
(laughs) Lady Gaga has nothing on Luna!

So, if she met Lady Gaga…
She was there first!

That’s very true. Well, if she met Lady Gaga, what would she say to her? Would she say, “I was here first”?
She wouldn’t… nothing shocks her, you know. Some people are like, “what are you wearing?” Luna would admire it. She’d be interested. She’d like diversity in everything. To be honest, I wouldn’t wear her things. Her clothes are fun to wear but I would feel too much looked at. But Luna is not doing it to make a fashion statement. She thinks radishes look nice on earrings so she’ll wear them. So I wonder what Lady Gaga would think of her. To be honest, I like Lady Gaga, but I think it’s more of an act. She does it for show business. Luna wouldn’t. That’s just herself.

Have you ever met anyone who copies her clothes?
No. Luna’s colour scheme is like purple and turquoise and I think it’s just something you have to be really confident wearing, really. Luna’s not over confident; she’s just secure. I think most people my age, they’re either doing it to make a statement, like, “I’m going to be looked at”, or else they don’t care. I would like to be like that but to be honest, I’m a bit shy… I don’t like to be stared at, so much.

Anyway, in Deathly Hallows, there’s Luna’s dad…
Yeah! That was nice. It was nice that everyone was back, everyone had their moment… You do feel it’s the whole Potter family all coming together… [Rhys Ifans] was fab to work with. He was great. I like that they showed more of Luna’s story because everyone’s like, “Where’d she come from? She’s so different!” And I also like how, at the very end, they’re forgetting who’s fighting with who… Harry and Malfoy have a moment where they understand each other… it’s nice. There’s a bit of Luna, at the end, who is sort of out of character as she has to shout at Harry a bit…

Luna, Neville and Ginny are leading the resistance at Hogwarts. Can you tell us a bit about that? Did you enjoy that character journey?
Yeah, that was really fun. I love how they sort of take over… when Harry comes back, and he and Ron comes into the Room of Requirement, and they’re like, “Oh, look at what they did!” It’s sort of like, um, I can’t remember … boys in a tree house and they have all these sleeping bags and these little statues in it… it’s really exciting. Harry’s the one who’s always taken the initiative. Harry, Ron and Hermione, they’re like… “we have to fight”… but now they’re gone and Luna, Neville and Ginny, they do take over. They realize, they can do something, and what they do is very valuable. All their contribution… so that was nice. It’s not like in the fifth book, where we’re just introducing her. Oh, look that’s Luna, she’s kooky, she’s fun. Luna’s just not in the background. She’s there, she’s helping and she’s fighting.

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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part One Special Coverage: BONNIE & BEAUTIFUL

BONNIE AND BEAUTIFUL

The hero gets the girl. That girl is Ginny Weasley – brave, loyal and resourceful. The actress who plays her is just as special.

Bonnie Wright won’t turn 20 until next year on 19 February, but she has definitely attracted plenty of attention. The girl who plays the future Mrs. Harry Potter on screen is stunningly gorgeous. As if the limelight that Potter brought upon her is not enough, she is creating another sensation by dating one of the new Potter actors, who has also worked in Twilight, Jamie Campbell Bower. And the paps are certainly eating their relationship up. Not only that, this tall and thin actress just signed a modeling contract last October with Next Models, which will ensure she will have a post-Potter career.

But before she goes on to tackle modeling, TFI is curious about her experiences as one of Hogwarts’ warriors and asks her about her behind-the-screen interests…

So Ginny, Luna and Neville are leading a resistance against the Death Eaters’ tyranny at Hogwarts. What was that like to play?
It clearly takes courage. This is the thing those three characters step up to, beginning in the fifth film, with the Ministry of Magic and Dumbledore’s Army, and they really take on the responsibility. They’re the only ones left continuing this resistance. Obviously Hogwarts becomes a completely different place, it becomes incredibly threatening and stands for everything it didn’t stand for before, such safety, and everything we had there is completely gone. Because we have new headmasters and all these new rules.

Are they going to succeed?
There’s an amazing scene in the second part, where obviously Harry, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts, and the other three have made this kind of hideout and haven, continuing Dumbledore’s Army in their own little way. I think that their dedication is pretty amazing, to keep that going, and I think that’s why people kind of love the three of those characters, really.

You’ve shot the Epilogue. Have you gone through an aging process?
Yes, it was a very bizarre thing to go through, really, to be able to have that chance to be suddenly made up to look mid-thirties. It’s was an exciting day but bizarre. Obviously, for me, it almost felt like a real cycle, because I started on that same platform, at the same age that Lily Potter, the youngest daughter of Ginny and Harry was, so it’s almost literally like looking back at myself.

How does it feel to have three kids?
The three kids who played the children were just… they just epitomised all of us, when we were that age, so it was lovely to look back. They were so excited on the day, it was a massive dream come true, and they’d been through such a massive process of auditioning. I think it was probably the most auditions any person has been through to get a part in a film. In the auditioning process Dan and I sat down with different children and talked to them, because obviously the dynamic is incredibly important… to try and portray the idea that they are this family unit, that they’ve spent every living moment together, since they were babies in their hands to how they are now. It was challenging to get that warmth with someone you’ve barely met and some children don’t want to get close to someone they don’t know. But they understood it was incredibly important to make the scene work, so they were very giving to the situation.

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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part One Special Coverage: THE TALENTED MR FELTON

THE TALENTED MR. FELTON

Tom Felton is multi-talented man: he can act, play the guitar and ride an ostrich. After a decade of blondness, he is ready to move on.

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Tom Felton felt a sense of relief when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows filming ended. Like his fellow actors, he is sad to let go of his role as the saga’s most complex characters. But he’s also glad to be able to move on with his career and do the things he previously couldn’t do with much freedom. Like lying around in the sun and getting a tan, for example. And he is certainly ecstatic not to have to bleach his hair anymore. But before he bids adieu to Draco Malfoy, this charming and talented actor looks back on his childhood on the set of Harry Potter and his unique character…

How do you feel now that this has ended?
It’s hard to sum it up, it’s hard to sort of conjure the words to describe it. It’s been a lot of fun, obviously. A little hard work has gone into it – hard work, if you could call it that. Great relationships have been struck up certainly in the last four years. A lot of people have made friends for life. I’ve certainly been invited to a lot of weddings and so forth since the last three years… So, yeah, it’s hard to say one thing about what’s been good about it. The whole thing has been a roller coaster of emotions, really… mostly good. It’s a shame that it’s all over.

Has these films influenced you greatly over the years?
Yeah. Massively. I like to think that those years – 12 to 18 – you’re very influenced and very susceptible to what people are saying, certainly from adults etc. And usually those years you spend at school with your peers and so forth, they can influence you in one way and I think you end up quite different if you’re influenced by a whole different set of people, and most of those people have been adults. You spend a lot of time around all different walks of life, which I feel very grateful for, the fact that I haven’t just spent my childhood with other children of my own age in a fairly similar environment. We’ve also had the benefit of meeting, you know, electrical guys from London, and meeting producers from all over the show, from America and so forth. So really it really has brought… having the opportunity to really talk to different walks of life. Also, the musical influences, film influences, you know, the recommendations are very different from adults as they are from children so you’re watching [movies rated] 18 at 13!

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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part One Special Coverage: GRINT ON FIRE

GRINT ON FIRE

Rupert Grint talks trees, kissing Daniel Radcliffe and being on fire. And these are all facts from England’s most laid back young actor…

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When asked what kind of relationship with Grint, Tom Felton does not hesitate to say, “‘Rupert is the most laid-back person you’ve ever met. You might tell him that his scene has been pushed back for three hours and he’ll be fine and mutter: “I’ll just play ping pong for a few more hours. He’s unfazed by the fans and the fuss but he remains a ferociously talented actor. He has expert timing and delivery with no effort whatsoever.’

“It’s really hard to hate him,” adds Daniel Radcliffe, who also explained that while Grint used to be a chatterbox when they first met in Philosopher’s Stone, these days he’s not a man of many words.

When TFI came to interview the actor who created some controversy by appearing in Cherrybomb (released earlier this year), a journalist that had a turn before us reported that all of her 35 questions were answered in 15 minutes. But before we could panic, we were called in. Inside, Rupert sat on an armchair. He rose to shake our had. We greeted him cheerfully because, honestly, this was the interview we had been waiting for. This immediately put him at ease. It’s true that he doesn’t rattle off 650-word answer to a question, a la Radcliffe, but our questions made him laugh.

So here’s the trick: don’t ask 35 things that will make him feel interrogated by the police. Make him relax. Pepper the questions with “oh really?” and “surely not?” and he will sit back, fiddle with the laces on his beloved Converse, while giving us the most interesting facts and anecdotes…

What was it like having Dan study you, to mimic you for the Seven Potters?
Yeah, it was really good, actually.

James and Oliver Phelps said he discovered things they never knew about themselves…
I know, I’m the same… I’ve got quite a complex about it now, actually. He discovered the fact that I kind of really move my hips, my pelvis, when I walk… I never was really that aware of it until he started kind of mimicking it… yeah, it’s really a… kind of Elvis kind of movement.

And this time around you have a whole new Weasley, your big brother, Bill. What was it like, acquiring Domhnall Gleeson?
Oh, yeah, it was brilliant. Domhnall, it’s quite an unusual name. He fitted into the family. He was great. It was surprising that we haven’t kind of met him earlier on, really. I suppose he’s been away but it was great to finally meet him. It was quite strange kind of how… to try and create that illusion of a relationship that’s like I’ve known him all my life. But he’s such a nice guy. We have a kind of chemistry, I suppose… He kind of looks like all of us, as well.

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