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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Daniel Radcliffe turns his attention to the directors of the movies

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - Daniel Radcliffe and Bonnie Wright
Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ginny (Bonnie Wright) kiss in the Burrows Kitchen © 2010 Warner Bros

We continue our interview with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. In Part One he discussed the influences on his acting style and how he honed it for the filming of the last, two-parter, film. Now he turns his attention to the directors of the movies.

What were the advantages of having one director, David Yates, handling those last four films? There had been some speculation that a different director would be brought in.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - Daniel Radcliffe
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) © 2010 Warner Bros

I always thought – and I think if you spoke to [producers] David Heyman and David Barron they’d agree – that whoever directed the sixth film had to direct the seventh and eighth.

We obviously changed things before – and that was great, keeping the series fresh and alive. We’ve been very good at taking perceived risks in terms of directorial choices. I don’t think many people expected Alfonso Cuaron to direct the third film. I don’t think many people expected David Yates to come on for the fifth.

What we’ve been very lucky about, in terms of the directors, is that they all brought their own style to a film. It’s never been such that it becomes distracting and doesn’t feel like it’s not a continuation from the last movie.

The Deathly Hallows is different enough already. It’ll take people enough time to adjust to the fact that we’re no longer in robes; we’re no longer in Hogwarts. So if you had on top of that a totally different style of direction, that would have possibly been distracting, and taken away from the movie.

And specifically, why I think David Yates is brilliant, and particularly for the last movie, Parts 1 and 2, is that David is a bit of a genius at plot. I’ve always said it’s like he can see the whole film in one frame in front of him, and he will relate things from Scene 350 – because we get far beyond that in scene numbers for these two films – to something in Scene 8, and he will link it up beautifully. He has such an understanding of the arc of the story, and on a film this big you need someone with that kind of clarity of vision about the story, and about how he wants to tell the story.

So how do you feel it worked splitting up the last book into two films?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - Daniel Radcliffe and Ralph Fiennes
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) © 2010 Warner Bros

The first part is very different from the second. The first is an exploration of character and how these characters react to each other in a totally different environment. When Jo [Rowling] was writing the seventh book, she wrote to me, ‘I’m writing the Deathly Hallows, and at the moment it’s like a very weird road trip.’ And that’s kind of how we saw it, going in.

The second part sort of starts out as a heist movie and turns into a war film. So there are many different phases to the book, but I think the progression is so natural and also exciting. I don’t think too many people will be distracted by the fact that the film does move from so many different environment and so many different kind of tones and feels to it.

I don’t think people will be too distracted by that in the film. I think that’s actually what will make the film exciting and so different from the other films.

What was the hardest part filming Deathly Hallows, Part 1?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - Daniel Radcliffe
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) © 2010 Warner Bros

Emotionally… all the stuff with myself and Rupert [Grint as Ron], where we’re fighting and hating each other. That was hard because it’s very hard to hate Rupert Grint, even in acting. There are scenes where Harry goes and finds his parents’ grave. There are so many deeply emotional scenes that it is hard to pick one, but if I got 50% of them right when I did them, then I’ll be very, very happy. I mean, there are so many tough scenes in the film that it’s hard to pick one. Also, to be honest, a lot of scenes I’ve completely forgotten about.

You film something for 18 months, and if there’s something in the trailer from the first month of filming, you think, ‘Oh my God, I’ve totally forgotten about that.’ So there was a lot of that happening. I’m sure that when I see the film I’ll be able to give you a much clearer answer on that. But there were plenty of emotionally-challenging scenes.

So tell us about your souvenirs from the films.

The only thing I wanted was  the glasses. I didn’t want the wand. I definitely didn’t want the broom. I actually ended up getting two pairs of glasses! Often the glasses we wear on set are lens-less because of camera reflections. And they’re the ones we used a lot of the time. So I got them from the 7th film, but I also got the lensed versions that we had from the very, very first film. I didn’t even know they still kept them, but they did. So I’ve got two pairs of glasses, one from the first film and one from the last, and I’m very happy. And they’re both in a private place…