HPPOA Press Conference Coverage
DanRadcliffe.com was at the press conference for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in New York City on Monday May 24th, and had the opportunity to pose questions to the cast and crew about the movie. Click the read more link below to read the transcript with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in it from the roundtable sessions. (Many thanks to Bob for representing us.)
Daniel Radcliffe: Hello!
Emma Watson: Hi!
Q: Could you two start off by commenting on how much you think you’ve changed and developed through the course of these three movies?
EW: Well, we’ve just been getting older… maturing…
DR: I think we probably have changed as actors as well, but I’m not conscious of myself changing. You don’t pick up on it. I haven’t watched the first film in about three years now so I can’t really compare it to the third because it’s not very fresh in my mind.
Q: Were you more confident this time around when you were doing it?
DR: Yeah, I think so. Definitely…
EW: We get more and more confident every time, really.
DR: … just because we have more experience with different directors.
EW: And it’s nice because a lot of the crew who was on Harry Potter 1 is still doing Harry Potter 3.
DR: Exactly. And now 4 as well.
EW: It’s great.
DR: It’s like a family, basically.
Q: So you mentioned that you are maturing. Are you finding out as teenagers and as the books go on and on, you’re going to be experimenting with a little, you know, more teenage stuff? Have you noticed more attention from members of the opposite sex? Can I ask you about your love lives? Dating anyone?
EW: Not really.
DR: No, sorry to disappoint you. Yeah, obviously I’m sure both of us have noticed members of the opposite sex because we’re now, both…
EW: I’m fourteen.
DR: We’re both fourteen, so we’re just going though what any person who’s thirteen, fourteen is.
EW: What every other teenager is going through.
Q: Are you getting any attention from the opposite sex?
DR: Um, maybe a bit, yeah. I’m not complaining.
Q: I have a quick follow-up to that. Adolescence is so taxing to begin with and here you are experiencing it in the public eye. So, talk about that aspect of it.
DR: For me, certainly it hasn’t affected me. I’m just going through what every other teenager goes through, but with posters really. It’s not as different as people would expect, I don’t think, for me anyway.
EW: Yeah, I agree completely.
Q: How was it adjusting from Chris [Columbus]’ style to Alfonso [Cuaron]’s style?
DR: Basically I think everything that we learned with Chris, we were now able to put into practice with a different director and I think the reason Alfonso was able to do longer takes and was able to do more complicated shots was because with Chris we just didn’t have the experience or the focus to do that kind of stuff. And so, with Alfonso we were just getting the shot. And it is harder, it’s more challenging – which is good because if we’re getting older and we’re not being challenged, then there’s no point in doing it, really. But I think it’s just that we learn more with each director, I think. And now, with the fourth film, with Mike Newell directing, I think we’re going to learn even more there as well.
Q: Were you able to teach Alfonso anything about your characters?
EW: Yeah. Actually, one of the first things that he did when we first met him was he asked us to write an essay about our characters – not just to help us, but also to help him to see the character through our eyes. And he gave us a lot of freedom with that as well, which was really good.
DR: I think it’s quite important to mention that when we did the essay, we basically did exactly what our characters would have done in the same situation. So, I wrote a page. And it was fine, it was OK, it wasn’t great, which is what Harry does. Rupert didn’t do it, Rupert forgot to do it. And I always get the figure wrong. Emma, how many pages did you write?
EW: Well it actually gets a little bit more every single time, but I…
DR: About eleven?
EW: I have big handwriting and I leave big spaces.
DR: But it was a really quite amazing essay as well though because Alfonso read it to us.
Q: How do the two of you both feel about the commitment to being in the series now? You’re doing the fourth film; when you both started out, everybody kept saying, we don’t know how long you’re going to do it for. You, Dan, you always seemed a bit reluctant about the process…
DR: Did I?
Q: Are you committed to wanting to do Harry Potter until the movie series is finished?
DR: We’ve already started on the fourth.
EW: Yeah, we’ve done two weeks of that.
DR: So, we’re definitely doing the fourth. But after that… each film takes a year to do, so…
EW: Yeah, one film at a time… Whoa!
Q: Do you feel like you’re giving up something, like your school life?
DR: I do better at school when I’m on set, quite a lot better. I still see all of my friends all the time. I get to see my friends without having to do the work at the same time I see them so I don’t think I’ve lost anything.
EW: No. I wouldn’t swap it for the world either.
Q: Emma, you must be satisfied with your participation in this film. What do you think about that? And can you talk about giving Malfoy what he deserves?
EW: I loved it! I loved every single second of it. Girl Power! It was great. I would have done it for a whole week, but, you know, we got it in a couple of takes. And I’m like, “Well I want to do it again! Let me do it again!” No, it was fantastic. It’s great.
DR: It’s a great moment.
EW: It is a great moment. And it’s cool.
DR: It’s one of those moments like, in the premiere, everybody cheered when she did it.
Q: Why don’t you each individually speak about how this has affected your ambitions or maybe enhanced your ambitions? Now that you’ve conquered the film world, are you going to be politicians by the time you’re 18? Could you each speak about how your ambitions have changed or grown or become more focused?
DR: God help the nation I’m a politician for! I really enjoy acting, I really love acting. I think it’s really something I would like to go on to do in later life but again there’s loads of other stuff that I’m interested in as well, mainly music and writing and things like that. But we’ll see, hopefully – I’d love to continue acting, I really would.
EW: I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to be in such a fantastic film and worked with so many talented people. My ambitions couldn’t even have dreamed of the scale and greatness that Harry Potter is, and so I feel really lucky about that. But as Dan said, I love performing, I love being creative. There’s so many different aspects of the film world that even if I didn’t pursue acting, then I might end up doing something in it. So, whatever gets thrown at me, I’m just going to go with the flow and see what happens.
Q: Did you get to have any personal ambition fulfilled, such as meeting somebody you wanted to meet? Anything? Either of you?
DR: There’s a really cool band called Feeder, who I got to meet because they were playing, they were shooting a video in the stage next to us at one of the studios. And that was really amazing. And I got to meet some of my favorite actors, like Gary Oldman I actually got to work with, who I’ve always loved since I started acting and I’ve always watched his films. Tim Robbins and Ben Stiller. I have got to meet some fantastic people.
EW: Someone I was dying to work with… I was so pleased when I heard that Emma Thompson got cast as the part of Professor Trelawney, because I love her. I think she is such a great actress. And she did a really great job with Professor Trelawney. She is hilarious. She’s so great.
Q: Was there a scene in the book that you liked that wasn’t in the movie?
DR: There was one scene in the third book… I can’t actually remember what Harry said in it, but it was something like – I may have this wrong because I haven’t read the book in quite a while – but it was something like he comes out of Lupin’s office and basically sits down, and it’s almost him slightly despairing, but telling himself that he’s got to get it together if he wants to fight the Dementors. That’s all I can remember actually. Other than that I think I got to play out most of the great scenes in the book.
EW: I think they did a really good job in this one. A lot was cut, but they did a great job of making sure that everything that was put in the film is really relevant to the plot. One of the things I think is really noticeable about this film is that it’s really fluid; it’s really fast moving and I think they did a really good job of getting everything that was important in there.
Q: What was cut that was in the book? (Prompts from the audience – “Some scenes with Ron?”)
EW: My goodness. Yeah, there were a couple of fights with Ron that were cut.
Q: (Prompts from the audience – “And a hug?”)
DR: That was in, wasn’t it?
EW: Actually that was cut.
DR: Was it?
DR: I obviously wasn’t paying attention.
EW: No, obviously not, Dan!
EW:There was an awkward hug with Ron that was cut.
DR: Really, was that cut?
DR: I really haven’t… oh, OK.
Q: Why was it awkward?
EW: Why? I think, on the exterior, Hermione and Ron spend the whole film just arguing with each other, because Ron is convinced that Hermione’s cat, Crookshanks, has eaten his rat. But I think it’s a bit of a cover-up really, because they have a bit of a soft spot for each other and it’s one of those classic love/hate relationships. You always tease the ones you like.
Q: Getting back to the Girl Power in the film, have you gotten a lot of response, either online or though letters from fans, regarding your character being so strong as a female character?
EW: Well, I suppose that the film is really newly released, so I haven’t heard anything for this film, which is really her Girl Power film. But I hope I’ve done justice to her character, because it’s my favorite book and it’s such a great part for her in the third book. And I hope that I did her justice and she’s what they all thought she’d be.
DR.com: Dan, Alfonso mentioned that you really pushed yourself to the limit during some of the more intense scenes during production. How did you, as an actor, prepare yourself for those scenes, and was it difficult to shake it out of your system afterwards?
DR: Basically because Harry, being a teenager, has the same feelings as every other teenager. But because of his past, I think he feels these feelings of anger or loneliness. Because of his past I think he feels more strong – more strong? (Audience: “Strongly”) Thank you! Sorry – jetlag! So, that was hard for me, but because I obviously am feeling the same things as him, I just took what I was feeling and basically just exaggerated it and listened to music or anything to get me into the right state of mind for the filming. And then just hoped for the best once I was in there really.
EW: Yeah, I have to say Dan just focused so hard on a lot of the scenes in this and in one of the scenes that he did, he was so into it that he almost fainted. He was really great.
DR: It was one of the Dementor scenes, where it’s me and Sirius by the lake and I have my soul sucked out. And I do this stupid thing where I forget to breathe properly and I hyperventilate.
TLC: You have gotten to work with some of the most amazing actors of our time. Can you talk about working with them, and if you took tips from them, and how it has affected your acting?
EW: Well, this time round, there’s Emma Thompson, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis..
DR: Timothy Spall…
EW: Timothy Spall.
DR: Michael Gambon as well, as Dumbledore.
EW: What a cast!
DR: It was amazing because, ever since I’ve started doing the Harry Potter films, I’ve been watching films a lot more and I’ve watched, probably, I’d say 90% of Gary Oldman’s films. I have so much respect for him as an actor. I think that he’s one of the greatest actors of his generation and it was a complete inspiration to work with him. He’s actually the nicest guy as well – he gave me a bass lesson and he’s a really great bass player. And it was so amazing for us to be working in the same room as Gary, David Thewlis, Timothy Spall and Alan Rickman all in one go. It was unbelievable.
EW: Dan almost bit my head off at the beginning when he said, ‘Gary Oldman’s been cast as Sirius Black’, and I went ‘Who?’
DR: My face just kind of dropped!
EW: And now I know that is the most terrible thing that I could possibly say ever. But even though I didn’t know him, just working with him, he did such a good job. He’s great.
Q: Did you guys learn any Spanish from Alfonso? Did he teach you anything about Mexican food, or anything?
DR: I was going to say, none I can really repeat! No, really! We’ve both started studying Spanish.
EW: We’re starting to learn Spanish at school.
DR: And please don’t anyone test us because we’ll try and fail miserably.
EW: Please, seriously…
DR: Or I know I will. Obviously, he is very patriotic about Mexico and it’s great. He did teach us quite a lot, he just talked about it a lot.
Q: We talked about working with Gary Oldman and Emma Thompson and David Thewlis and all those other wonderful British actors. Were there any lessons that you learned from them specifically and anything that either of you did, acting-wise?
EW: Working with Emma Thompson, I had such a good time with her. I had really good fun with the scene that we did because she was very creative and she was very involving with me and she said, “Oh, why don’t we try this? Why don’t we do it this way?” or, “Wouldn’t it be good if we said this line here?” It was really flattering for her to involve me like that. It was really great and I had a really good time with her on it, and I hope it gets some laughs.
Q: This time it seems Hermione had her own storyline and it was great to see it pop in and out. How did you enjoy coming into your own and being one of the key players in helping this movie to end well?
EW: Oh, I loved it! It’s my favorite book, my favorite script and it’s such a fantastic part for Hermione. She really comes into her own and I think you see a different side to her than you have in the other two. I think it’s much more personal and this film has really tested and challenged me and I definitely enjoyed it the best out of the three because of that.
Q: We know already you’ve only signed up for the four films and you’re only doing one at a time but how would either, both of you feel if you couldn’t do this, if you couldn’t do the fifth film and somebody else were playing these parts?
DR: I don’t think there’s any point in lying – it would be very hard to watch someone else play the parts. I don’t know. We are getting older than the characters because there’s a longer gap between the third and the fourth. I’m now 14 and turn 15 in a couple of months so I might not do all of them anyway… We’re taking it one film at a time and if they do want me to do it after five, well then we’ll just have to see then, I suppose.
Q: Two questions for you, real quick. You’re growing up in the business, obviously, with your fame and fortune and I’m just wondering about your family backbone – the structure of your family and how you are learning about what to do with your finances and the need to have people behind you. And the second part of the question is obviously, growing up, your hormones are going crazy. A lot of times, you just want to get out of there, to be alone and blow some steam off, so what do you do? When you were on set, where did you go?
EW: Dan listens to a lot of rock music.
EW: I have to say, in Hair and Makeup every morning, he’s out, jamming away in his chair.
DR: Yeah… Hormones are interesting things! But I think that Emma’s right, the music does help let off a lot of steam, definitely.
EW: I think that Dan and I are both lucky enough to have very supportive families. I supposed I’m trying to do exactly what I did before I even started the films. Between every single film, I go back to school, I see all my friends, I do everything that I used to do, I play sports, I go to the normal teenage parties, all of my money is locked away in a bank until I’m 25 and I’m never going to see it until then. And I suppose I just have good friends and family who just keep my feet on the ground.
Q: Do either of you have plans to do anything beyond the Harry Potter movies? You’re interested in music, do you want to cut a record or something like that or do other movies while you’re still doing this? And can you talk about the death of Richard Harris and how it affected you?
DR: Two slightly linked questions, OK…! First part first. I’d love to go on and do other films. I’d love to maybe form a band. Whether I’d actually get that together, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’d have the organizational skills to get me and some other guys together but no, that would be amazing. I’d love to make a record but whether it will happen or not… Films are definitely something I’d love to carry on doing.
EW: Yeah, I have a lot of ambitions that I want to fulfil.
DR: And Emma is actually a really quite fantastic singer as well. (To Emma:) I know you won’t mention it yourself!
EW: I would like to maybe do some stage work. I love to sing and dance. I love the adrenaline you get when you’re right there on the stage with an audience responding to you so maybe… I don’t know.
DR: As for Richard’s death, it was awful but I have what I think is the supreme, amazing honor of – I think, I’ve not got this confirmed or anything – but I think that I may have had the honor of being in Richard Harris’ last scene that he ever shot, which is just amazing to be able to say that. I don’t think Richard’s the kind of guy who would have wanted us to mourn over him and be sad. I think he would have literally wanted us to be happy and just remember him for all the times he made us smile and just laugh.
Q: What do you think of Michael Gambon?
EW: Obviously, it’s very hard to follow on from Richard Harris, who a lot of people thought, wow, he was a perfect Dumbledore. But he did a really, really great job because instead of trying to make himself look exactly like Richard Harris, try and copy him, do the same kind of thing as him, he did his own thing with it. He’s still Dumbledore, he’s just put a different spin on it. He’s done something different with it.
DR: He’s certainly a much more mischievous Dumbledore.
EW: Yeah, kind of more… what’s the word…
(Publicist announces that it’s time for the last question)
Q: I had a question. I was actually at the premiere yesterday and it turned out it was a bit crazy…
Q: You’ve quite a fan base and I was wondering, what was the funniest thing that you’ve experienced with the fans?
EW: Dan’s had a couple…
DR: Probably the best one to tell is the one where I went to MTV. (We’re about to go there again actually!) It was the first time I’d ever been there and they’ve got the huge windows all around and Carson Daly took me over to one of the windows and pointed down and there was a girl down there – you’ve all heard this story before because I’ve probably told it at every interview I’ve ever done! – a girl standing down there wrapped in a towel and nothing else and just holding a sign saying, ‘Nothing comes between me and Harry Potter’. It was a “Harry Potter” towel as well – that made me feel better!
DR: Thank you very much, everyone.
EW: Thank you very much!