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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 – Daniel Radcliffe and his enduring memories

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) prepares for the final battle... © 2011 Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved

This last week we’ve seen the premiere of the last Harry Potter film, with all the excitement, and sadness, that has followed it around the world. So we’ll start our interview with a question rather relevant to the recent event…

Would you ever date a Harry Potter fan?

Um… I… I wouldn’t date them because they were a Harry Potter fan – that I think would be the height of egomania. But yeah, it’s something I tend not to do generally – particularly at premieres! It could create something of a hysterical atmosphere. But if the person in question were able to see me as something other than Harry Potter, then I would have no problem – but to tell the truth, most people are Harry Potter fans, so it’s hard to avoid them. Even girls I’ve been out with in the past have liked the films, and loved the books. But it’s certainly never been the focus of a relationship.

But let’s hear about Radcliffe’s own emotional ride through the filming of the last two-parter film…

In terms of my own personal emotions, it was a very, very long film. It was very exciting. It was, at times, very hard work. But that’s why we do it and that’s why we love it. I didn’t have any of the more dramatic emotions that Harry had, but towards the end it was very, very emotional. On the last day, I think I’ve been quoted recently as saying we all cried a lot, and we did. Since then, it’s been very odd.

The first month away was very strange, but luckily there were lots of times over that period where I saw people who worked on the films. I was at Pinewood the other day, prepping things for The Woman in Black, and I bumped into at least 30 people, some of whom worked on the last film, but some people who I hadn’t seen since the third or even the second movie.

I’ve always said about Harry Potter that it’s like the Mafia. Once you’re in, you’re never really out. So I will know these people for the rest of my life, no matter where I go or what happens. There is some sadness in leaving it, but also now I have gotten to the point where I’m excited about the future. I’m also very excited to see the films. The journey is not over yet in the sense that people still have to see these movies and make their own opinions. And I’m excited to see what people think.

And what was the hardest scene for you to film in Deathly Hallows?

Daniel Radcliffe and Ralph Fiennes
Physical encounter for Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) © 2011 Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved

I suppose getting beaten up by Ralph Fiennes in the second part was physically quite demanding, because what I love about that scene is it’s the moment that I’ve kind of been wanting to happen for years, but that never has, and I’m actually glad it hasn’t, because I’ve always wanted a moment when the magic is not enough, and he just tries to kill Harry, physically, just by beating him up. It would have been totally wrong to do it any earlier than the seventh film. So, physically, that was a challenging scene. But there were a lot of physically challenging things in the film.
I loved getting involved in running up and down, and falling over and getting hit. I love all that.

Is there one standout memory throughout those years of making the films?

The one thing – it’s not necessarily my favorite memory because that would be too hard to choose – but one of the moments that I had where I had to step back and think, ‘No matter how long you act for, in the rest of your career you will probably never get something like happen again,’ was when I got to burst out of the water in the sixth film, surrounded by a ring of fire. I think for a few years I’ve taken for granted the fact that I get to play an action hero, and it’s very rare that actors get to do that, and it’s a lot of fun. So I’ll miss that certainly.

Is there anything you did do or would like to do that you weren’t able to do because it conflicted with your character?

Not particularly. I mean, I haven’t even really cut my hair since we’ve been filming. It’s just been growing and growing. Because I’m starting Woman in Black so soon, I want to sort of leave it. I don’t want to style it or do anything to it in case they want to do something completely different with it. So no, not particularly. To be honest, I was always less constricted than Emma [Watson ] has been probably in that respect.

Emma had a great party– did you go?

The dinner party? It was lovely. It was fantastic. Emma cooked and she was very impressive, and she was very much the ‘hostess with the mostest’. I never had a dinner party in my life. The idea terrifies me. I would have been so intimidated by the idea of that. But yes, she got sort of the core of the young cast members and we all went round to her house, and it was great. It was a really nice, very dripping with nostalgia, all reminiscing about the early days, and how young and cute and innocent we all were. Yeah, it was a really, really good night. To be honest with you, if you talk to me and Rupert, neither of us would have had the wherewithal to put together a party, so the fact that she did was really appreciated.

This is the end of an era, but if Jo said “I’m writing another book” – would you want to star in that next movie?

‘Probably not’ is the answer, I think, because 10 years is enough. I think the films have reached a rather perfect and wonderful conclusion, and I think to do any more at his point would be gilding the lily, rather unfortunately. But I have had assurances from her that she will not be doing that.

What do you walk away with, as an actor and as a person, from the experience?

It’s 10 years. It’s everything. I will never be able to watch one scene in any of these films without immediately connecting it to the memory of that day on set or to the memory of what was happening in my life. I walk away with a wealth of experience that actors who go to drama school would kill for in terms of the people I’ve been able to work with, and watch and learn from. And I walk away most importantly with a love of film, of film sets, and the most amazing group of friends anybody could wish for. I’m not just talking about the cast. So many of my best friends are in the crew, and you know these are people I will know forever now, and I feel very, very lucky.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - Ralph Fiennes and Daniel Radcliffe
The final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort © 2011 Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved