Tag Archives: Emma Watson

Ron and Draco of Deathly Hallows 2

Watch my interview with Rupert Grint and Tom Felton here.

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Emma Watson on Farewell, Fame and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Of all the actors discovered for Harry Potter, none’s faced a more complicated path from youth to stardom than Emma Watson. Originally ambivalent about success — at one point stating she might leave the series, then trying to juggle a college education — Watson seems to have settled into life as an actress and newly-minted glamour girl, even signing on as a new “face” for L’Oreal cosmetics. With her newly-shorn locks evoking memories of Jean Seberg or Mia Farrow, Watson met the press in New York in a feathered Givenchy dress to talk about the end of Harry Potter, global stardom and what’s next.

On her last day and last shot for the series:

The last shot we did was this strange moment where we dive into the fireplace in the Ministry of Magic. It was actually for ‘Part I,’ not ‘Part II.’ Dan, Rupert and I, one by one, jumped onto these blue safety mats, basically; that was the shot, that was it. It seemed like a strange one to go out on, but David made the point that we were leaping into the unknown. It was a perfect metaphor for what we were about to go into. It’s so funny, I can’t tell you how I felt when we were shooting it — I think I was numb.

On when it hit her the hardest:

It’s so funny; this film obviously was incredibly challenging for me. It really pushed me as an actress, but at the same time, I was able to use a lot of my own genuine emotion that I felt about loss and all of it coming to an end. I was able to bring how I was feeling to the role. A perfect example of that is the scene when we stand on the bridge after the battle and before we flash forward. I remember really feeling exactly how Hermoine would be feeling, which is, ‘Wow, this is all coming to an end; look at everything we’ve achieved.’ The set was built looking out over Leavesden studios, which is where I grew up, essentially, and spent the last 12 years. Not much acting required, really. It was all there for me.

On what she had in common with Hermonie then and now:

Not so much now, but I guess an earnestness, eager to please and do the right thing, terrified of ever getting into trouble. I’m very heady in the same way that she is, constantly thinking 3 or 4 moves ahead. I try and intellectualize a lot, which she does as well, obviously. She’s very determined; I am as well. I like to think I’m very loyal in the same way that she is. I’m a bit of a feminist in the same way that she is; I will speak my mind in the same way that she does. It’s hard to say, really. I feel as though so much of me went into her and so much of her went into me, I can’t really differentiate too much anymore: It’s all a bit of a blur.

On how she’s changed in the past 10 years:

It’s hard to say, because obviously when you go through the ages of nine to 21, that’s when you change that are inevitable that are just part of growing up. It’s hard to say what isn’t just that natural process and what else has happened. I went from being a nine-year-old schoolgirl to having a job. I’ve learned how to be an actress and how films are made and how to do interviews — hopefully. I always had quite a strong sense of who I am, but it’s nice coming through this and feeling like I have still managed to maintain my own sense of identity away from something that potentially could have overwhelmed (me). I’m glad that I had that. I was quite the stubborn young girl.

On her favorite films in the series and what’s next:

The last two, ‘Part I’ and ‘Part II’ for me really stand apart from all of the rest. Their quality is amazing, and the role and the depth and how much darker they get really gave me a chance to stretch myself as an actress and really feel like I was an actress, like I was acting; for the first however many years, I didn’t really feel as though I was doing much acting at all. It’s nice, I feel like I can say I’m an actress and really believe in that. What’s next for me, I’m going to travel this summer, I’m actually really excited about. It’s obviously scary — change is always scary — but I feel really excited; I feel like I’m entering a new chapter, like I get a fresh start, and there’s something really exciting about that. I’m going back to school in the fall; I’ve got two years left until I complete my degree. I’ve just made a film called ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower,’ which was the most incredible experience — I had the best six weeks. I’m very excited about that movie. Having an experience like that outside of ‘Harry Potter’ is what really convinced me that acting really was what I should be doing and that I was good at it — It really solidified that for me. Now: Reading, reading, reading, and trying to find the next thing that really speaks to me and that I really care about, finding great directors hopefully who will keep teaching me so I can keep learning. I’m excited about the idea of being an actress now, in a way that I wasn’t so sure of when I was younger.

On when she realized she was no longer just Emma Watson:

It was when I was in a shantytown in Bangladesh, and a boy stopped me in the street and said, ‘You’re the girl from “Harry Potter.”‘ There’s nowhere in the world I can go that isn’t somehow touched by this film franchise. It’s absolutely amazing; it reaches the furthest corners of the earth and the least expected places that you’d expect. I was like, ‘Wow, I really can’t go anywhere. This is incredible.’

From my article at The Hitlist

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Tom Felton — aka Draco Malfoy — on Harry Potter, Evil and Facial Hair

With this week’s release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2″ closing out the Potter saga, it feels like as good a time as any to remind ourselves that no matter how you feel about Christopher Columbus’ skill set as a director, he certainly deserves praise for finding a set of child actors who, each and every one, grew to become actors — especially Tom Felton, cast as bad seed Draco Malfoy. With his shock-blonde hair and sneer, Draco was a kid you loved to hate – even as later events in the series challenged both our view of Draco and his view of himself. We spoke with Felton in New York.

This film series will never be out of your life, but when’s it going to be off your schedule in that you’re doing this last press tour? When does it stop being something you think about every day?

Felton: It will be a while, I imagine. We’ve been looking forward to this last film for so long. Of course, there’s going to be DVDs that come out of it, and I’m sure 3D, and 4D and “On Ice”  and musicals and all the rest of it. It’s something that I’m not looking to shake. I hope to be remembered — all of us are going to be remembered, I think, for these characters for the rest of our lives. Obviously I’m hoping to develop things as well, but I’m definitely not looking to shake it any time soon.

When they announce ‘Harry Potter on Ice,’ you won’t be stretching and lacing up?

Felton: I’m actually developing the choreography of that myself; it’s my show. We’re working on a few different things. I doubt I would — I’m a terrible skater.

The great thing about your character is that this is a film where, while there’s conflict between good and evil, people aren’t necessarily one or the other all the time: If one character speaks to the humanity of that, it’s Draco. He’s torn, he’s conflicted, he’s caught up. Did you appreciate that acting challenge while you were given it?

Felton:  Yeah, I was terrified — and a little nervous. It was hugely rewarding after: Faith was entrusted in me by David Yates and I obviously had a great cast around, which makes it a lot easier. Yeah, I was nervous, but ultimately things that are nerve-wracking usually end up being the most fun.

The action sequences are incredible and gripping; there’s a level of special effects here, it’s the first time Hogwarts is fully CGI. What’s it like being in the middle of that? It’s got to be like shooting a war film.

Felton:  It definitely was. A lot of it, we dubbed it “The war of Hogwarts” for the last half. It did seem (as if) all the world was running around with thier hair on fire and blood. It was crazy, and it was not like what we’d ever seen previously. Even stranger was after we’d seen it — a lot of the things weren’t there when we shot them, and all of a sudden all this other stuff is picking up, so it was great. It was very exciting — and at the same time slightly devastating to see your home of 10 years being blown to smithereens as well.

Do you ever go back to the older films and look at them — not as works of art or to get notes on your performance, but because they’re —

Felton (laughing): A lot of big performance, as you know — there’s a ton of performance when you’re 11 years old.

There was, but at the same time these movies are what you have instead of a high school yearbook. Do you go back and watch them for sentimental reasons?
Felton:  I haven’t yet, but I definitely will, and I’m sure that will be on the release of this film on DVD. I imagine, I can see myself sitting there one day and plugging through all 8. That would probably be the day I realize what we actually took part in, because I haven’t really: I’ve seen the films at the premieres and occasionally on TV, bits and pieces, but never actually back-to-back as a fan should.

In the films’ final flash-forward scene, we get a little glimpse of the older Malfoy … was that like looking in a mirror? Not scary, but …

Felton:  It was very scary. They said, ‘We’re going to take on 19 years,’ I think. I saw myself: ‘Oh good grief. If I’m here in 19 years …’ I think they were trying to paint a message to the kids that crime doesn’t pay regardless: The evil guys age incredibly. It was fun, it was nice, it was cool — lots of prosthetics on your face and wigs and beards, all sorts of stuff like that. It was even funner to get (it all) taken off; that was the real rewarding bit of that.

From my article at The Hitlist

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Emma Watson on Harry Potter: 'Everything Is at Stake'

With her cropped hair evoking ‘Rosemary’s Baby’-era Mia Farrow, Brown University’s most famous (and wealthiest) undergraduate, Emma Watson, laughs when I ask her if the escapes and chases her character, Hermione Granger, faces in the first part of “Deathly Hallows” represented a high point in on-screen action for her. “Oh, no. The best is yet to come,” she says. “‘Part 2′ is much more action-y. But you’re right: I did do a lot of running. I would come home in the evening after filming and be unable to work. I was so sore. We did so much crazy running. It’s not just any running; it’s like running for your life kind of running, so it was pretty exhausting.”

With grisly murders and brutal torture, “Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ nicely demonstrates one of the more intriguing things about the Potter series, which is how series creator Rowling transitioned children’s books into young adult novels with more action and increasingly dire consequences as the characters aged year by year, book by book. I ask Watson if she appreciated that slow-but-steady upward trend of risk and action in the series. “I think there’s definitely an awareness in this movie that everything is at stake,” she says. “You really get a sense of that right from the get-go. It’s very intense.”

And yet, even in the chases and fights, director David Yates finds moments of grace, like a scene where Harry and Hermione, in exile, dance to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “O Children.” I ask Watson if those moments were not just nice but, in fact, essential. “Absolutely,” she says. “I think it’s a reprieve from the darkness and the danger and everything. To have that fun moment of us having this dance and him cheering me up and us just being innocent and silly and kids … it’s a really important scene.”

And for all of Watson’s time in the limelight — and her status as 2010’s best-paid actress, with a $30 million-plus payday for “Deathly Hallows” — she’s still enjoying her youth, and she smiles when I ask her what Potter props she intends to take with her. “I was a good girl — I asked permission — but I took Hermione’s time-turner and her wand and her cloak,” she says. “I got those three. Maybe I’ll pull that out for Halloween one year.” And, I note, go out dressed as herself, which is either ‘vain’ or ‘awesome.’ Watson laughs. “Yes, I’m not sure. It’s a fine line.”

And while Watson can see the finish line approaching with next July’s release of the second half of “Deathly Hallows,” her closing remarks to me make it clear that while she’s aware of the Potter series ending, she’s also aware that the Potter legacy is just beginning: “It’s funny, it’s kind of ending for me in stages. It’s kind of gradually ending, which gives me lots of times to process it. Next summer, when the last movie’s released, that’ll be when it’s really put to bed. But I think — I hope — these movies will keep getting praise for years to come, so it wouldn’t ever really be over; films last years and years and years and years.”

From my article from The Rundown

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Harry Potter Director David Yates on Risk and Rewards

After talking to the leads of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ I had a chance to sit down with director David Yates, the man who’s been responsible for  and the final four films of the Potter saga. I asked him what happened every time one of the Potter books, hot off the presses, arrived in the mail. “You know what we do? My partner in all of this is (screenwriter) Steve Kloves, and Steve dives straight in and he starts the adaptation,” he said. “Steve does the first bash through; equally, I’ll go through the book and note certain set pieces that I love, all the secrets that I think are important.”

Considering the scope and sweep of Rowling’s final Potter novel, that wish list got fairly full fairly fast. “That’s one of the reasons we made two movies, because I did the list of things I’d like to put in the film, and we budgeted those,” he said. “The budget went through the roof, so by spreading the cost across two movies, I’m able to bring as much as possible to the audience — which, for me, is important, because I got hammered on the fifth film (‘Order of the Phoenix’) and the sixth film (‘Half-Blood Prince’) by some fans for not including, say, Quiddich in ‘Order of the Phoenix.’ It was the right thing to do in the adaptation of ‘Order of the Phoenix’ because the rhythms of that film didn’t need Quidditch, but they missed it — this is going to be the last-ever Potter experience for them, and we wanted to give them as much as possible.”

I mentioned to Yates how much I liked how the saga’s Ministry of Magic, under Lord Voldemort’s new management, looks oppressive and fascist. Did “Deathly Hallows” give him a welcome opportunity to layer some grit and darkness on the Potter universe? “That was one of the joys of (‘Deathly Hallows: Part 1′), the fact that it gets quite intense,” he said. “It’s edgy; it’s a thriller; it’s a road movie. The subversion of the ministry, the way that the Death Eaters and Voldemort ultimately start to creep into that — I found that really fun. There’s something quite Kafka-esque about the whole Ministry of Magic to begin with: When it gets turned into producing pamphlets which are basically propaganda about how dangerous Muggles can be and how important it is to turn in any ‘impure bloods,’ those are very key part of themes in the movie.”

And, luckily for Yates, his cast weren’t just willing to go into the darkness, but were even pulling him behind them in some cases. “There’s a wonderful moment Emma Watson came up with, actually, which I thought was terrific, which kind of summed it up,” he said. “We were shooting a scene in Malfoy manor where Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) is torturing Hermione. It’s quite an intense scene, and I shot it for about five minutes. It’s an improvised scene; there’s only about 20 seconds from it in the movie. Helena and Emma really went for it. I remember the crew, we sat there and were filming it, people were looking at me saying, ‘When’s he going to stop this? When’s he going to cut it?’ Because I’m always looking for a moment that absolutely chills. Emma wanted to give everything, and Helena wanted to give everything. Emma came up with this beautiful idea which I just thought was brilliant: She said ‘Is it all right if Helena writes ‘halfblood’ on my arm in blood?’ That kind of summed up one of the dark themes in the film … and that’s what we showed.” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ opens nationwide this Friday.

From my article at The Rundown

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