A Cavalcade of Franchise Talent Talk All Things HARRY POTTER

[A final thank you to Diva Velez for her coverage from the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part Two DVD release at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida. What follows are highlight from the press conference with actors Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Jason Isaacs (Lucious Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Warwick Davis (Prof. Flitwick/Griphook), James Phelps (Fred Weasley) , Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), David Bradley (Argus Filch), Stanislav Ianevski (Viktor Krum), George Harris (Kingsly Shacklebolt), Nick Moran (Scabior), Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley), director David Yates, producers David Heyman and David Barron. This is being cross-published on The Diva Review.]


The Lady Miz Diva:  As we're all here for the home video release of the last film of the series, can you tell us what are some of your feelings or memories are as you gather together for this final celebration of over a decade's work?

Rupert Grint:  Yeah, it's weird since this is going to be the last kinda thing.  It's been such an amazing ten years and it's hard to put it into words, really, but it's been kind of my childhood, really.  I haven't really seen a Harry Potter film all the way through for a long time.  I catch glimpses on TV and it's very surreal seeing that person; it feels very different, cos we've changed.

Mark Williams:  Was it you?

RG:  {Laughs} Yes, I think it was.  So, yeah, it's a very special moment.

Warwick Davis:  People have been saying to me today, "Is it sad that it's all over?"  And I don't know whether sad's quite the right word.  I mean, it's sad the paychecks aren't coming through anymore.  I suppose, the thing that might be sad is not seeing everybody so often; we were all used to going to work and hanging out, certainly members of the cast together and also the fantastic crew that we had at the studios and going that place every day.  It felt secure.  Life as an actor is a kind of funny one, because you're never used to a nine-to-five consistent job, but I suppose being on all of the Harry Potter films was as close as you could get to having that sort of existence.  But I think overriding all of that is a sense of pride and achievement of having been part of these eight huge movies and can now sit back and know there's a legacy to leave behind when you have such things as Blu-Ray DVDs and Ultraviolet digital copies floating around the stratosphere in a cloud that's there forever, so that's a good feeling.

MW:  People have asked us that question and we hesitate to reply and I think the reason is that this has never been done before and we're kind of struggling to understand what's been achieved.  But I think that "celebration" is a good word, I'd go with that.

David Barron:  Yeah, it's true.  I think all the time we're making the films we only looked as far as the film that we were making because they are big, involved and complicated things to do.  And it's very hard when you're that involved to step back, to think, 'Ooh, this is quite a big thing.'  And we've left a legacy sounds a bit sort of boastful, somehow, but I guess there is a legacy, and ... umm... I've forgotten exactly what the question was cos Warwick talked for so long.  {All laugh}

It's really nice.  It's like a college reunion.  We all had a great time working together and we haven't seen each other for nearly a year for a lot of people.  Actually, that's not true; we released the film and saw all the people then, but we haven't worked together for four or five months now, which is the longest we've been apart for years and it's lovely to see everyone again.  And I do have great pride in the work we did, but not boastfully; I'm just happy that people seem to like it.

David Yates:  There was always a very family atmosphere when we made these movies; a real sense of community and I think that's what we'll all carry forward with us as well as the pride in the work.  It's hard really to get an angle on it; we're so close to it.  It was such an extraordinary amount of work that we did together; it's hard to really contextualise it at the moment.  I think Rupert used the word "surreal," it feels little surreal at this point, as we're that close to it.  But I think we'll see each other and whenever we pass we'll always be grateful for the experience and there'll be relationships that continue beyond this.

Stanislav Ianevski:  Well, I was very lucky to be part of Harry Potter to start with, to be part of the whole family thing.  To be honest, it's very difficult for me to take in the moment that it's come to an end.  And I'd rather believe that's it's never going to come to an end, because Harry Potter and everything that's been done over eleven years now, I think is going to live on forever in people's hearts.  So, I'd rather think that we're going to live with them in their hearts forever.

Domhnall Gleeson:  {Long pause} Damn!  {All laugh}  I hate these people! I never wanna see them again. No. Yeah, what he said.  It's lovely to see everybody again.  It's amazing.

David Heyman:  For me, I just feel privileged, to put it really simply, I feel privileged. I've had the good fortune of working for the last twelve years with the greatest people in the entertainment industry working behind and in front of the camera, in an environment filled with pride, with no ego.  Where people felt safe to push the boundaries, where we all grew together into a family.  It sounds corny, it may be corny, but it's true.  I think, for me, the hardest part of Harry Potter being over is that the family is gone its separate ways, and that fantastic group of people who you would come to work and see every day are off doing their own thing, which is great.  And what's really exciting is that we all move on and embrace new challenges, but that time, those twelve years, for me -- it's fourteen, fifteen years since I first read the book -- but those twelve years have been really fantastic.

George Harris:  I grew up in a little island called Grenada in the Caribbean, and I always imagined that I wanted to be a film star.  David Heyman, David Barron and David Yates gave me the opportunity to be in one of the biggest movie franchises in the world, is like bingo for me.  One of my fondest memories was with Emma Thompson:  I was doing this scene and I was so pleased that I'd completed the scene because I was nervous for two or three days before, and so I filled my mouth with a lot of nuts as soon as I'd finished the scene.  I was chewing and I came offstage and I saw Emma and she ran towards me, and we embraced and with my mouth full of nuts I went to say, "I love you, baby," and all the nuts flew in her hair.  So, the little boy from the Caribbean was trying to pluck the nuts out of her hair without her seeing it.  It was like being in kindergarten; every time I'd go to work, it was an exciting day, being with my mates like Jason and the twins and Michael Gambon and people like that.  Oh, it's a dream come true for a little boy from the Caribbean.

DH:  And when he talks about being in kindergarten, really, in so many ways we were all like kids and incredibly immature.  Especially him {points to Harris - All laugh}

Oliver Phelps:  The cool thing about being on it from the very start is I think we knew when we were getting into it that this was going to be a huge thing, but it certainly grew bigger than I think any of us ever thought it would do.  And I don't think we quite appreciate how big I think it is, being so close to something.  But the cool thing about being able to travel promoting these films, I think what really strikes me is when we go to countries that don't speak English, or have totally different cultures to what we're used to, and to see them embrace the Potter lifestyle and everything to do with Potter totally blows my mind.  It's really fabulous.

James Phelps:  It was our first gig ever, so I can't thank David and Chris {Columbus} and J.K. Rowling for giving us the chance eleven years ago to play these characters.  We literally learnt on the job every day, start to finish, how a film was made.  The memories, there's so many to put into ones that stand out; the final premiere last year was something I'll never forget.  There were guys who had been camping in Trafalgar Square for five days just to see us walk past and say hello.  So, that was pretty special, but the whole experience has been fantastic.

Nick Moran:  {To Jason Isaacs} Watching you put that beautiful blonde wig on, something I'll never forget, Jason. {All laugh}  Me and Jason are old friends and we kept getting told off for gossiping too much in the make-up chairs.  Yeah, that was my highlight, definitely.

Jason Isaacs:  There were the young actors in it, like James and Ollie and Dan and Rupert and Tom and Emma and Evanna, for whom this has been an amazing experience, but those of us who have some perspective on it, who worked before -- I was working for fifteen years before, and hopefully, I'll carry on working -- I think I understand more than them what an anomaly this is, like David said, that in my working life there will never be an experience like this.  I've been in some big films, I may or may not be in them again, but this was a pocket, an island of something entirely magical and positive.  And most of the enterprises; films, television programmes, whatever I've been involved in, there's a current of fear and tension and conflict around: People are terrified if they're making the right thing, if they've made the right choice, should it be greenlit, should I have done this, will anyone buy a ticket, will anyone tune in?  And we were telling these stories that we all absolutely loved and honoured.  And it's a very hierarchical business -- all business is -- it's the least hierarchical working environment I've ever been in.  We all felt like we were in service of this magical, fantastical, intangible world.  We all felt like we were privileged to go to work there. I would pinch myself, look around and see this cast of people I would queue in the pouring rain to watch read the phone book, and they were my working colleagues, and there was a succession of brilliant directors and at every stage, we knew we were telling a story that people wanted to see; characters that we loved.  It's odd when you're asked by the fans, they come up and they go, "I'm Harry Potter's biggest fan."  No, the biggest fans of Harry Potter that I've ever met are at this table.  We all feel just blessed to have been part of this, and whatever else happens the rest of my working life, no one will be able to take this away from me, so I just feel gratitude.

Evanna Lynch:  I think gratitude is the thing I'll take away from it.  Because I had such a unique perspective coming on to the film; I came from the fan world and I feel so grateful that they let me in because so many of us fans are crazy.  It was just so cool to come on to it.  When I first came on, I remember being so petrified of everything; it was all just so overwhelming, and I couldn't at first separate the family, the acting part from the big phenomenon.  I remember how they welcomed me: I remember the first read-through, they were trying so hard to be nice to me and I couldn't say anything to them. Over the years, I've kind of become part of it and gotten used to it, but last night, I was watching TV and Chamber of Secrets came on and that fan instinct in me goes, 'Oh, it's Harry Potter. I have to watch it,' {Laughs} because that's one I'm not a part of and I remember sitting in the theatre and being so excited about that.  I'll look back on it to see how far I've come and it's so great to look at these films and say I was a small part of that.  It's awesome.

David Bradley:  Just watching the young actors grow.  I don't know how you can tell when you meet a ten-year-old kid whether they can carry everything off right through to the age of twenty, or twenty-one, or whatever they were when they finished.  I thought maybe it's a wonderful, intuitive piece of casting, I don't know, but to watch them develop as actors, not only Daniel, Rupert and Emma, but all of them; to deal with issues of childhood, then through adolescence into young adulthood and deal with them absolutely brilliantly and really carrying the film.  Meeting them when they were ten and you'd come into the studio and say, "Good morning, Daniel and Emma. How are you?" and they'd say, "Very well, thank you. How are you?" Then ten years down the line, you say, "Morning," and they're giving you high fives.  It was just wonderful watching them develop.  And the technology with each film as it went through, it got more and more sophisticated and that's all very impressive and the sets and everything, but in the end, it was the performances of young ones that carried the body of the films.  We just came in and out now and again, folks like myself and Maggie {Smith} and Gambon and we'd do a few weeks, but they were at it twenty-four/seven with their schooling and everything.  Their whole education was there and their whole upbringing.  So, that's what I was most impressed by.

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