HPOOTP London Premiere
Our staff were invited to attend the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix premiere. You can read our premiere report and see the interview transcripts by clicking on the read more link below.
The day of the July 3rd London Premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix dawned pleasantly enough: a partly cloudy sky, a bit of a breeze, and a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’ in the air. A wee bit of magic, perhaps? My mum (who came with me to take the photos on the red carpet) and I decided to head over to Leicester Square around 10 a.m. to see what was happening there; of course, fans had already gathered ‘round the outside perimeter of the Square and were eager to share with me that they’d arrived that morning at six, seven and even four a.m. in the case of a small group of Japanese fans. We snapped a few shots and, since we were scheduled to attend a press screening of Order of the Phoenix at one p.m., we returned to our hotel to gather up our cameras and recording equipment before heading back over to the venue. So far, so good! The Warner Bros. PR representatives were courteous and helpful when we arrived at the Empire theatre, and we had a chance to meet and chat with a very nice reporter from ITV news and a friendly young man from Harry Latino while we waited to be ushered in for the screening.
The movie ended a little late, and we were soon scurrying like rabbits across Leicester Square to pick up our press credentials at the Odeon West End. Here, of course, is where we encountered our first snag: we had no assigned positions in the press pit! We were waived in the general direction of the area where we had to stand behind a small barrier where most of the spots were already taken (presumably by people who didn’t attend the screening). We made our way around and proceeded to set up at the very left-hand side of the allotted area in the only space that was still available. Of course, it had rained (no, poured) while we were in the theatre, so we promptly took root in about an inch of mud and wet grass. The platform that had been laid down to prevent people from having to stand in the grass did not extend as far as our little corner of the premiere world!
There was an upside, of course: We were flanked on one side by a couple of really friendly (and really good looking) guys from Digital Spy, and on the other by our new-found friend from Harry Latino. What more could a girl hope for? Well, the answer to that question came really quickly: more space to stand in! At least the sun was shining gloriously, and we only had a half-hour to wait before the first celebrity arrivals. At five p.m. sharp, two things happened almost simultaneously: a group of actors dressed as Death Eaters made their way into the center of the square, and the sky opened up, and the rain started to fall in buckets (with the added touch of rumbles of thunder, just to keep everyone entertained).
Amidst a flurry of umbrellas and a plethora of soaking-wet WB reps, the celebrities started arriving, stopping in front of a large set recreation of the Ministry of Magic to give interviews for the live broadcast of the event. They then ambled off in no particular order to speak to the various media representatives on their way; contrary to the New York premiere of Prisoner of Azkaban, there was no pre-set path for them to follow.
I was not able to interview Rupert, who was spirited away before he got to me, but I did have the chance to speak with the always entertaining Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), the very charming Alfie Enoch (Dean Thomas), the wonderfully fun Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), the sweet and soft-spoken Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) – looking like a fairy princess straight from the pages of a children’s story book in a flowing royal blue gown, the lovely Katie Leung, Emma Watson in a stunning blue mini-dress with beaded straps, David Heyman and David Yates, both fascinating to speak with and equally charming, and of course Daniel Radcliffe himself.
Looking conservative, yet elegant, in a dark blue suit, white dress shirt and a blue tie, Daniel seemed a bit tired by the time he reached us (no doubt a bit jet lagged after his recent trip to Japan for the world premiere of Phoenix). However, he was courteous as always, if a little less verbose than usual, and it was lovely to be able to exchange a few words with him.
From where I was standing (by now completely wedged up against the barrier and soaked through), I noticed that some of the celebrities did go up to the fans to sign some autographs to everyone’s delight. J.K. Rowling herself was also on hand. My mum just managed to snap a photo as she left the square on her way to the Odeon for the gala screening of the movie.
The end of the event was almost anti-climactic, with only the very friendly security personnel who stayed behind with the volunteers sent over to pick up the mountains of garbage left by the departing fans.
It was 7 p.m., and it had stopped raining.
Transcript of Celebrity Interviews
Coralie: “If you had two extraordinary scripts that came to you, one for a film and one for a stage production and you can only choose one, and they’re both extraordinary scripts, what would you choose?”
DR: “Hhuuumm… Probably film.”
DR: “I think, maybe yes. I don’t know, just I think possibly film.”
Coralie: “Did you have for Equus… you and your fellow cast members, a ritual… a good luck ritual?”
DR: “No, but I’d listen to particular songs. I’d listen to a lot of Radiohead songs. I’d listen to Paranoid Android…”
Dan was now being ushered away
Coralie: “OK, thank you!”
DR: “Thank you very much”
David Heyman, Producer
Coralie: “With the seventh book coming out, are you nervous about how it’s going to affect the industry?”
DH: “Not at all. I am very excited! I can’t wait to read it. The only thing that I’m nervous about is that I am anxious to read what happens in the end. And to me it’s an amazing thing. There are so many things in our culture that is predictable, and I’m immersed into the Potter Universe and believe there are so many people who love it, know it, and yet nobody really knows what’s going to happen. It’s not predictable! It’s an amazing thing! No I’m not nervous, I’m excited to read it!”
Coralie: “Even if Harry dies?”
DH: “I think even if Harry dies. I know Joe will make the choice and it will feel organic and real even if Harry dies. We all know there won’t be an eighth book!”
David Yates, Director
Coralie: “Did working on this film bring out the inner child in you?”
DY: “The inner child has always been there in everything I’ve ever made… so it looks as like it’s always been there.”
Evanna Lynch, Luna Lovegood
Coralie: “How did you enjoy making this film, what was your experience like?”
EL: “It was amazing! There was never a dull moment. It was always really exciting. It’s not exactly like on the film (I think she meant like in the book), but it is exciting in its own way.”
(She assured us before leaving the Online section that she’ll be back in the next movie.)
Tom Felton, Draco Malfoy
Coralie: “How would you like Draco to die… in gruesome detail?”
(Tom is tickled pink and laughs)
TF: “Oh wow! What a question!”
(He thinks a bit… then…)
“A climactic battle with Harry would be good! I think I get a lot of negative feedback about Hermione punching me in the third film. I think a rematch is in order really. Boxing Ring … and that possibly should be the way he dies.”
Coralie: “I saw you singing and dancing in the rain kind of, are you planning on maybe doing a musical?”
(Laughs and blushes)
TF: “Not particularly, no…. I’m massively fond of music. So… you never know.”
Alfie Enoch, Dean Thomas
Coralie: “You’ve grown so much! When you look at yourself in the first films, what do you say, think?”
AE: “Actually, I did… I saw a bit of the first one the other day and I thought I can’t believe I was that small and when I looked at that I thought my cheeks were so chubby! Everybody says I haven’t changed, but I have… I like to think I look a bit older.”
Coralie: “If you were sorted into a House in Hogwarts, which would it be?”
AE: “I don’t want to flatter myself, but I like to think Gryffindor”
AE: “Well… Maybe not so brave, but I’m getting a bit easy on myself, but yeah… I think I’m very rebellious, break a few rules at school, but nothing too serious. (Laughs) So I’d put myself in Gryffindor.”
Katie Leung, Cho Chang
Coralie: “If Hogwarts really existed, what house would you be sorted in?”
KL: “I think Ravenclaw, I think the majority would say Gryffindor, It’s great and everything. Yeah, I think Ravenclaw.”
Warwick Davis, Professor Flitwick
Coralie: “It’s priceless the scene where you go “YES!” when Professor Umbridge gets attacked by all the Weasley Twin’s gadgets.”
WD: “Yeah! I mean Hogwarts is under her spell, her authoritarian attitude, and she really wanted everyone to perform… that’s what I think people during the film will be thinking and I probably express their thoughts. It will be interesting to see how it will all fit in!”
Coralie: “Is she the character you love to hate?”
WD: “Absolutely! I mean, I think she’s so brilliant! And yeah… you’ll love to hate her. Because she does such a brilliant performance! She’s a lovely lady! I’m looking forward to seeing her again later on. And I’m almost as tall as her as well, which I like!”
Emma Watson, Hermione Granger
Coralie: “I overheard you saying that you predict that Ron and Hermione will end up together, but if it was not the case, what would be your second choice for her?”
EW: “Ummm…Probably single. She’s got to be with Ron. It has to be Ron, that’s all I can say!”
Each and every person who stopped to chat with me was gracious and friendly and an absolute joy to speak with!