Warwick Davis Talks HARRY POTTER & New Show LIFE'S TOO SHORT

[A hearty thank you to the Diva Velez, aka The Lady Miz Diva, for the following interview with Star Wars/Harry Potter veteran Warwick Davis. This interview was conducted during the press conference for the DVD release of 'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2' in early November at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida. It is being cross-published at The Diva Review. Keep an eye out for a chat with director David Yates later today, and highlights from the press conference with Rupert Grint, Jason Issacs and producer David Heyman tomorrow.]

The Lady Miz Diva: You've been a part of the Harry Potter film series since the beginning.  What are your feelings now at the release of the final DVD?
 
Warwick Davis: People say, "Are you sad?"  I don't know whether sad is the right word, really.  You feel like, 'oh, it's a shame that we're not going to be working together again as a group, a cast.'  I won't be working with the crew anymore; the people I got to know over ten years.  At the same time, you have the sense of it's a job done.  We've accomplished what is quite an impossible task: It's creating that many films of that quality within ten years is quite something.  You know, these were no ordinary films. There was no expense spared; the attention to detail was second to none.  So, I have a sense of accomplishment and achievement and I feel quite proud to have worked with so many artists, the directors, the other actors.  We're lucky as actors, we're at the top of the tree; we're the people who are the face of all of this.  You mustn't forget everybody who is working tirelessly to put us where we are, into costumes that we wear, holding the props that we hold.  And that's what's nice when you get the DVD, you get to see some of the things that go on behind the scenes and how these sequences come to the screen.  The Gringotts goblin scene that's on the DVD, it's quite interesting to see, to realise how many people make that scene happen.  It's only a few minutes in the movie, but it's over a year's preparation for that.
 
 
LMD: In Deathly Hallows, Part 2, you play Professor Flitwick as you have in the previous films, but now we see you as Griphook, the goblin banker.  What was it like to play someone so different from the Flitwick character in the same film?
 
WD: It was good.  It was perfect for me.  As we approached the last film, I was like, 'Griphook's in it a lot, so I wonder how we're going to do this?'  Of course, Verne Troyer played the physicality of Griphook in the first film, though I provided the voice for him.  In the first film, because he was tiny, I pitched it a little bit higher, but when we came to do Deathly Hallows, Part Two, I think the character's matured a bit, but at the same time, he's a lot darker than anybody had envisaged he would become at that point.  When we did the first film, you didn't know what the journey was; it hadn't been written.
 
 
LMD:  Did you enjoy playing Griphook's intensity?
 
WD:  When we did the scene in Shell Cottage, David {Yates, director} said, "This is like a poker game. You and Harry, you're psyching each other out. Neither of you trust each other."  It was a really great scene and it works amazingly well.  It's quite a decision for a filmmaker to take to not open with a big action sequence in a movie.  Normally, your opening act is a big, big number.  Just two people talking is quite an interesting way to open a film.  Griphook has a real journey; he starts off with that scene of negotiation. You don't know whether you trust him.  He has an important part to play in the plot of Deathly Hallows, which I've never had with my other characters.  They've been around; they've been the comic relief sometimes with Flitwick.  They've been lovely to do, but it's nice doing that last movie to get to do something that had a bit more meat.
 
 
LMD:  When you were preparing to play both Griphook and Flitwick, did you use the J.K. Rowling books as reference?
 
WD:  Oh, yeah, very much so.  It's important you do that 'cos I feel a responsibility when I'm up there on screen to do justice to everyone's imagination.  You know, you read the book and you picture the character in your mind.  I think it was probably more valid with the first film, because we were establishing the characters.  But I think as the films have gone on, I think people often read the books, but visualise our interpretations of the characters and things we created in the film, it became a little bit easier then.  But I knew enough about Griphook from what J.K. Rowling had written.
 
 
LMD:  I would love to hear about your next project.
 
WD:  Life's Too Short is my comedy series created with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.  I play a fictionalised version of Warwick Davis.  I talk about the career that I've had; the Star Wars appearances, Harry Potter, Leprechaun, Willow, etc.  The personal life I have in the series is very different; Warwick is going through a messy divorce.  He had a great career, but now it's on the slide.  He's not getting any work. He's got a huge tax bill.  Yeah, it's not going great.  So, he invites a documentary crew to follow his life and that's the catalyst for some embarrassing moments.  We just watch this poor man's life falling apart.  He's his own worst enemy 'cos he's got a huge ego; much bigger than I have, if that was at all possible.  He craves fame and attention and gets annoyed when someone doesn't recognise him from a film he's been in.  It's what you expect from Ricky and Stephen.
 
 
LMD:  Is it a spinoff of your appearance on Extras?
 
WD:  Well, not really.  There's a lot of meta levels of reality.  We see some characters that we'll know from Extras in Life's Too Short, but they're actors and they're sending themselves up in the same way.  It's interesting, there's quite a lot to blurring between the lines of fiction and reality in Life's Too Short.  I'm really proud of the series.  The first episode just aired last night in the UK.
 
LMD:  When will we see it here in America?
 
WD:  February on HBO. It's a little while to wait, but it's worth it.
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