memory Lane for Daniel, Emma and Rupert? © Warner Bros

We continue from yesterday’s report from the July 9 meeting of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton and Bonnie Wright…

Daniel, Rupert and Emma, are you able to watch the earlier films and see yourselves acting at that age? Do you cringe or critique?

Memory Lane for Rupert, Emma and Daniel? © Warner Bros
Memory Lane for Rupert, Emma and Daniel? © Warner Bros

Rupert I haven’t watched one all the way through for a long time. They’re on TV occasionally and you kind of flip through them.  It is quite surreal seeing that because it just doesn’t feel like me. I feel quite detached from it. It’s quite weird. But it will always bring back good memories because it was quite an exciting time in my life and it’s nice.

Emma Really, I find it easier to watch the earlier films which might surprise you because I had the whole bushy hair, chipmunk face, big teeth thing going on which wasn’t a great look for me. But, actually, I find that easier to watch because I can completely disconnect myself. It feels like such a long time ago. I don’t really identify myself with that girl. Whereas ones from one or two years ago, it’s a little bit close.  I’m only a couple of years younger and I find that much, much harder to watch. I’m very self-critical anyway so it’s not a very nice experience. I think a lot of actors don’t watch their work.

Daniel I haven’t watched any of the films after they’ve been done. No.  I think it would be an almost entirely destructive experience for me if I was actually to watch that. I become, as Emma says, far too critical. I remember we were having a conversation on the fourth film and I said to Emma something like  ‘God, I can’t believe I saw a clip from the first film the other day. God, I can’t believe how bad I am in it’. I think I said something to the effect of ‘Why on earth did they cast me?’

The only reason I remember it was on the fourth film that we had this conversation is because Mike Newell in his massive booming voice from the other side of the set came back [he leans back from the mic and yells]  ‘because you are absolutely bloody charming!’ [laughter] But, in answer to the original question, I have not watched any of the films back.

What was the process of reading the books and so knowing what the characters would be doing in the upcoming two films?

What will happen next? © Warner Bros
What will happen next? © Warner Bros

Emma To be honest, I’m such a geeky ‘Harry Potter’ fan, genuinely. I know the books inside and out and have read each of them at least three times and could probably answer any question you come up with and any plot detail you might care to ask, and so when I read the books I just read from the perspective of someone who’s dying to know what happens generally before I even think about Hermione. I’m just not thinking of it like that. I’m just desperate to get to the end of it and am very excited to read it. That kind of comes second for me.

Tom I’m quite the opposite. I read it and I revel in the pages when I see Draco’s name I think ‘oh, my God, this is it! This is cool. This is what I get to do’. So, when the sixth one came out I think I probably read it within 12 hours of it coming out. I didn’t actually cue up outside but I have a friend who was doing it for me. So. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Bonnie I think also, with the relationship from my perspective with Ginny, reading the epilogue in the final section, I think, in order to make the relationship work in the sixth film, you kind of have to block that section out, obviously because no one knows their own destiny if you’re playing a character. So I think you’ve just got to forget about what happens in the final one.  Obviously, we knew, all of use knew, we’d read it so we knew what happens but you have to just be in the moment.

Tom And take one at a time, yeah.

Daniel My reading of the books was always like, ‘God. Another one of us is dead. Another death scene. Oh, God.’ I always would be very much able to enjoy them when they came out, but I would also get nervous when I read them about whether I would be able to do justice to certain aspects of them which is probably not the healthiest mindset to be in when you read them. I couldn’t help it though.

Tom, you were brilliant as Draco in this. How did you approach taking him from cocky to more vulnerable throughout the movie?

Draco at his worst © Warner Bros
Draco at his worst © Warner Bros

Tom Thank you. I was terrified before starting the film about approaching him in this whole new light. He’s always been very two dimensional in previous years and we had to sort of take a new angle with it and David was very clear and concise with what he wanted. This sort of ghost-like image would glaze over his eyes constantly. He did some rehearsals with Michael and Allen and stuff which I was shitting myself massively before doing but he was like a father almost and he carried on and made sure that it was all okay so, certainly, any praise I get is down to his great direction.

Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy © Warner Bros
Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy © Warner Bros

Daniel I’ve said all this to you, privately.

Tom Oh, don’t embarrass me, mate.

Daniel I think for Tom to come in on this film, having, if we’re honest, not been asked to do a great deal for the last few years, to come in a give the performance he gives in the 6th film is remarkable. It’s a fantastic performance.

Dan, can you describe the effects sequence in the water?  Was that CGI or you were actually underwater in a tank?

Daniel I was holding my breath, certainly. To be honest, it was quite easy going, this particular underwater scene in comparison to what we did on film four where I was underwater for about 41 hours over the course of a month.

This one, I was only under maybe two days with the filming underwater. It was a stunt woman who was wrapping herself around me. It was actually one of the coolest moments of my career, bursting through the surface of the water being surrounded by this circle of real fire. They have a little pipeline just underneath the surface of the water which shoots up bubbles of kerosene, or whatever, propane. Then they kind of ignite it just on the surface.

So the surface of the water goes just black with soot and it’s kind of horrible but it’s also great fun. Then I get to climb up onto to the kind of central island where I look up and see Michael Gambon there looking like God or Moses, with fire swirling high around his head. It was one of those moments where, it does not matter how many more films I do, I will never have this scene or anything like ever again.

Michael Dan and I got on very well together and we have to in this film because he sort of takes over and I get weaker. That’s the way it works. We do a take and then we take a break and go outside and laugh and then we go back and do another scene. It sounds a bit churlish but I’ve deliberately developed a relationship with Dan in order to achieve some harmony between us, some contact. I think that’s the only way to do it.

More tomorrow…

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.