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Order of the Phoenix Set Report

by ClaireJul 15, 2007

Our staff had the opportunity to visit the set of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. With this visis comes a wonderful set report and some great audio from cast interviews. Click on the read more link to read the transcript of the interviews.

Listen to the cast interviews

Read set report via ACED Magazine


Daniel: Yes. This is all makeup and things for the final sequence of the film, which we are filming today.

Daniel: Okay, yes. And um so that, that fits basically. That’s all there is to say about the blood on my face.


Question: You have a __ girlfriend, didn’t you?

Daniel: Yes, that was it. And she was beating me horrifically. No, um. Any questions? Well I assume so. (Laughter)

Eric: I’ll go first. Eric with ___ News and um one thing from reading the books Harry in the Order of the Phoenix is much grumpier than in any of the other ones. Are you finding it difficult at all to keep the character sympathetic?

Daniel: Um, no. I think it would be very easy. I think there are different ways of playing anger. I think a lot of times when you see actors playing anger and shouting and that can be very boring and that’s when I think you lose an audience. But actually what is great about Harry is that he is this, he is quite introspective. And yet he feels all this stuff but he actually keeps it inside most of the time. And actually this film is sees the first sort of release of any sort of rage and anger that has built up over the last you know, his entire life really. And um, but so I think, particularly when you take into account what Harry thinks, he’s very easy to sympathize with because his anger seems not like petulance but more like a natural reaction to the stuff that has happened in his life. So hopefully I won’t lose the audience.

Eric: Thank you.

Kevin: I’m Kevin from Dan Radcliffe….

Daniel: Oh… (laughter)

Kevin: How do you think Harry’s evolution as a character in the Harry Potter series has helped you to prepare for the non Harry Potter roles?

Daniel: Well, I mean, um. I mean I think obviously Harry changes so much in each film that it is almost like playing a different character each time we come back to it. But I mean I think um, it’s less the playing of Harry himself than actually being on a film set and experiencing such intense sort of filming for ten months has I think hopefully ____ going off and doing other things and working other films because I’ve got a, I’ve learned about the film process so much with people that I know and I am really good friends with so I am never afraid to ask questions about it for fear of looking stupid I don’t think. Um, because ____ there’s no secret. As far as um, you know, it’s um, I think that’s the reason the _____ left in actually. I don’t think having played Harry will necessarily affect how I play other characters in the future.

Journalist: Can you talk about the way your acting; you say your acting is changing?

Daniel: I think its getting more detailed. I think its, getting, I think obviously in the first you know _____ it was very much um, it was quite a general performance. But you know I was eleven so… Well I thought I would be forgiven but now I saw Little Miss Sunshine the other day and a girl of about ten in that gives one of the most detailed performances I’ve ever seen. So I now feel quite ____. So yeah I think, some…Hopefully I think it’s true working with David it’s become, my acting has become more detailed and it has become more interesting. I’m finding different levels to the character and actually, because when if you think about you know just having a conversation with somebody there’s so much going through each person’s head just as they’re talking. And they could be talking about anything but in the back their head there will be all of this sort of _____ consciousness going that can, you know that can include what you plan to have for dinner, you know a round you had with your partner, anything. And David helped me to sort of try and capture as much of the stuff that’s going on in the back of Harry’s head all the time. And even when it’s not actually you know, even when its not playing on the front foot to have it there all the time because it does build the character and make it more real and more multidimensional. I think that’s one of the most articulate I’ve ever been.


Daniel: Um, so I think I suppose, hopefully that’s the main change that people watching will see.

Question: How is David compared to Alfonso?

Daniel: Well you know my, we’ve gone from having the totally the loudest director in the world to one of the quietest. You know Mike was very larger than life, sort of John Bull type character and just more English __ and then you know we’ve got David Yates who is just very, very quiet, you know very soft-spoken. And they have a different way, they look for different things. I mean actually Mike, obviously all directors are after a great performance and things, but I think it for David that outweighs anything else. I mean he did say the other day I edit around the performance, you know I don’t, if I have a choice between a great shot that looks amazing and a really good piece of acting I will always do the piece of acting because it tells a greater story than it looks really nice. And so I think, I suppose David is even more focused on performance than probably previous directors think. Um and yes, I mean I’m having probably, because I’m at the stage in my development as an actor where I’m good, I don’t want to say good enough, but I you know I am able to be pushed further, I think and David is willing to push me. It __ and that’s why I’m sort of having the most fun that I’ve had on this one.

Question: Has it occurred to you that making these films with the different directors and various co-stars you’ve had is like public acting school in a way?

Daniel: Yes! Yes I suppose it is. I mean some, although some of the actors over the, um I mean although I’m working with Gary, Gary Oldman which is incredible and just the most amazing feeling ever….

(Background noise)

Daniel: Shush!


Daniel: It is just the most sort of incredible, incredibly exhilarating… Normally when you work with an actor and you sort of you just sit there and you watch him work and its great but when you’re with Gary there’s actually something genuinely exhilarating about watching him act and actually figure it out if he’s going, not as he’s going off because he comes in with a great idea but he develops it all the time and refines constantly. And so that’s what is fantastic to watch. But no I suppose you’re right, it is a bit like being in sort of like, it’s like being in a company I suppose isn’t it? Yeah I mean it is sort of, yes I mean it’s a very strange world. But it has been wonderful. In fact we’re really good friends. So I suppose yeah for this length of time as well.

Question: How odd was it when you went to Australia to film December Boys with a completely new crew and cast and…?

Daniel: I was so nervous. I was really, really, I mean just terrified. Because I was getting on the… And you sort of know that whenever you, you know, whenever you meet new people, especially in the film industry where there is a lot of cynicism generally, you – I always go into it with the attitude of oh I’m going to be up against the sort of preconceived notions of child actors. Um, and so you go in with that worry. But actually the crew was so nice and just they clearly hadn’t really had, they hadn’t got a picture in their minds of what I was going to be like, which I was incredibly grateful for. So it was not, I had a great time. I was thinking I was very nervous and it was a very different experience doing a film in six weeks and doing fighting today. I mean we’ve been on one scene now for a week and a half, which couldn’t ever happen on December Boys. I mean at the most, the most I think we’ve probably spent on a scene was three days and that was probably a big scene so I was shocked. We shot more or less and entire storyline on the last day of filming, which is mad. And I mean it was great but it was just um, it was a very different experience. But I think that is actually one of the great things I, you know about, no disrespect to any other countries, but I think it was fantastic that I did it in Australia because there is this sort of laid back sort of, I don’t know. Its’ very hard to define. But there is a sort of, I don’t know, there is something, to me as an outsider that they seem less judgmental than other nations. They seem just more just willing to accept everything. And so, yes that’s why I was very, I think it was a good thing that I did it from there.

Question: I just wanted to hear a response. I mean I have kids, because I’m a teacher as well. I have kids who come to me and say well ask him if he likes the book. You know to me that seems self evident but what do you seek from the book?

Daniel: I mean, you try to read it with an as objective sort of point of view as you can, but ultimately you do find – I cant help but read it with myself and the other actors in mind when I read it. I mean I, there are moments… When I read the fifth book I was really scared because I was thirteen and I still – I was thirteen or fourteen – and I was still sort of quite inhibited about doing things like the kiss and things and you know I was pretty worried about all that kind of stuff. And of course I got there at six a.m. thinking fantastic. But it was um, yes I mean I don’t, I try ____ you think of them as a sort of to do list and I don’t want to put it in that sort of point sterile terms. But in a way you do start ____ I’m probably going to wind up doing this in a few years time. And sometimes as I said that can be very scary and sometimes it can be very exciting. At the stage where I am at now where I am less inhibited and I really don’t care about you know, because the thing is when you make a fool of yourself on set in front of the camera it normally looks very good on screen, when everything else is added and you’re not, because it is a very strange atmosphere. So if you start going around like, I mean just the other day I had to do this thing, me and _____ from _____ we were all in there, we were in the bail room and we have to do this thing where we sort of have to writhe around on the floor and there is this very quiet set filled with smoke and you writhing around on the floor looking like a complete idiot, but you know that actually when that happens they are going to add this black swarm of sort of almost locust-like, its not locusts it’s a death scene and ____ but um, and so it will look fantastic. I’m less inhibited now so I don’t really care about doing that kind of stuff____ exciting. But um, and so yes I now look ahead to the future but it is with more excitement than trepidation.

Question: Does Joe give you a lot of input into your character or…?

Daniel: You see on this film, for the first time she did actually. She, I don’t know what she ____.


Daniel: But she was, she just basically came out on set and I got to spend about an hour with her, which was fantastic. It was a real privilege. And I just talked to her about Harry, we talked about other books and we talked about Harry specifically in this film because I was asking her questions about [Dumbledore’s?] army and the relevance of it. And she gave me some very interesting answers, which I can’t reveal.


Daniel: And um … But she told me how important it was and I think Harry is going from a sort of you know, the journey. And so this is quite a, I think this is probably the bleakest of the films. There is humor in it definitely, but it, its tone is much darker. And what is great about that whole storyline is that it is really uplifting and it is a real bit of light in the film. Because Harry goes from being this little quite shy uncertain teacher, reluctant teacher, to being a sort of Henry V character. At the end where he’s just, you know, he’s completely exhilarated and spurred on by these people, by his students’ improvement. And its, so its um, it’s a great, yeah I mean I think it is a fantastic storyline. And she gave me some basically confirmed things I had already thought that Harry would be feeling.

Question: The hair, your choice?

Daniel: The hair. Yes, the hair was…

Question: _____ any longer ____.

Daniel: I know. It got too long last time. It got to the point where I was sort of… And it is bizarre because it, someone said to me what’s it like having short hair. Because when I first got it cut I got it cut really short I mean and um, they said what’s it like having short hair. I said it’s colder. I was used to this sort of insulation 24/7. And so it, I like it more in this film. I like this. I think it’s slightly cooler. I think Harry would be at this stage sort of trying to impress girls so it just, naturally he would want a look that is slightly mature really rather than the sort of sixties throwback, like the thing that he had in the last one. Which was very good and really cool and looked fantastic in the action sequences because you had all that seat and blood matted onto it and it looked great. But um, that’s a look ____ isn’t it. And um, but yeah no, I think um, I wanted it basically to feel like Harry went home and in some sort of fit of rage just chopped into his own hair. And it looks slightly more coiffured than that but I mean that was the sort of thing we were going for.

Question: Can you, I’m sorry yeah I did, thank you. When you are not shooting what _____? I heard there’s some driving going on.

Daniel: Not for me. That was ______. What do we do? A lot of table tennis. Rupert’s got a table tennis table and I’m getting rather good actually. I’ve beaten him, he’s beaten me a lot more than I’ve beaten him, but I am starting to beat him. But I do lose a lot as well. And what else? Um…

Question: Whose trailer do you hang out in the most? Who’s got the coolest trailer?

Daniel: Rupert. Rupert’s got more like a games room. Rupert’s got X-box, DVD player, Play Station, darts, tables, sneaker table, table tennis tables. No, not darts tables that would be very strange. (Laughter) Darts table, that would be…you’d have to get onto the ceiling. No um, and but I generally hang out ____ in my own little time and just either read or write or do things that aren’t very interesting to most people but after me and um, yeah, that’s probably it really.

Question: The Harry that’s supposed to be _____ really interesting and –

Daniel: Okay!

Question: But also can you talk about the complicated, because it is very much like a complicated relationship you’re having with Sirius in this film and how that, yeah.

Daniel: Yeah, that, I think the main um, I got caught with another interesting ___


Question: You don’t have to be serious.

Daniel: Okay, uh, well Richard the Third—no.


Daniel: No, there was, I think the thing about Sirius and Harry’s relationship is it’s actually a quite sad one. Even when ____ they absolutely, you know they love each other. And there is something deeply unhealthy about it because they are the connection between them the only connection is forged by death and it’s the death of James.

You know to Sirius, Harry represents his old best friend and to Harry, Sirius represents his dead father. Um, and that’s all they…I don’t think that if Sirius had met Harry, just, he hadn’t been ready to change, he would have necessarily given him the time of day because Sirius is quite an arrogant person. And I think Sirius wouldn’t necessarily have given any thought by Harry. But um that’s why I think it’s a really interesting relationship and at…but there is a moment in the final sequence, there’s two, one ___…one where really Harry does feel Sirius is slightly deluded and then the other where I force ____ something on Sirius, when Sirius arrives, and he takes me aside and says uh, “you know, you’ve done beautifully” and its that thing that Harry…at that point to me, I said ____ character obviously but yeah, it’s that moment of feeling, God, you know he’s proud of me! He’s not proud of me for being my father’s son, he’s proud of me for what I’ve done and I think that’s a really beautiful sad sentiment.

Um and so yeah, I mean, that’s what I think…that’s why I think it’s the most interesting relationship in the film. That him, Sirius and Umbridge I think are the most interesting relationships.

Question: Did Gary ___________?

Daniel: Oh yes, I was just, I realized that he—oh yes, thank you. I don’t know. He, Will Melling, who plays at Nigel in the first year…he looks like a young Rupert Grint. (Laughter) It was like I had never noticed it before. Sorry, go on, the questions…?

Question: Andrew from ____.com. One thing uh, that the fans always look forward to the most is seeing the new actors. Especially in this um, _____. Um what’s it been like working with them? How are their acting abilities with yours? Because you do a lot of interaction with them.

Daniel: Yes. Imelda (Staunton) is incredible. Imelda, the two people that I’ve, in six years love to work with the most have been Imelda and Gary Oldman. Imelda is not only an absolutely exceptional actress; she’s one of the most delightful women that you’ll ever meet. She’s just so nice. And (inaudible) quite, so I know! Very start ____. And you know, I say nice. I don’t like how it sounds quite _____ but, but, she’s just a really great person to be around. And um, and that’s what, that’s where you see how good acting is but you know she’ll definitely have you talk about you know, anything. (Mumbles) I can’t remember ____. And then she’ll go into torturing you.


Daniel: And it seems, she’s just and without even, you know, she’ll just do it. I mean it’s incredible and she’s focused and you know and I’ve never seen her, ever, in six months of the eight months filming and um, you know with big, big scenes and big speeches I’ve never seen her forget a line. Or get a line wrong. Even in rehearsal. Which is more than I can say for myself. (Laughter) Um, and Evanna (Lynch) is fantastic. I mean Evanna just knows the books, and the characters inside out. And so sort of you know, we were in the ___ room the other day and she said, I said you got the set Evanna” and she said “There’s supposed to be stairs there” (Laughter) and I’m like, “well, yeah, you’re right. You’re absolutely right”. You know, and I find myself…because like kids come out and say oh like, you know they start asking questions about the books and things. I still go “Oh!” I go yes, probably you’re probably right. And I shouldn’t, I know the book and I know the character really well but details about things and that’s where it sort of whenever there’s a kid on the set I always like to have Evanna by my side (laughter) because she can field any questions that I won’t know the answer to. And um, but she’s lovely and I mean you know, it’s her first film and she’s never been in front of a camera before this film. And she’s very good. She you know, I can’t…she so knows Luna. And she’s so good at playing Luna. Um, I mean I would have to say that you know, that she’s certainly better than I was when I started when I first got in front of the camera. You know she’s…I have nothing but admiration for being to just come on and do it. And also she knows her lines which is again, brilliant. (Laughter)

Question: We have time for a few quick questions.

Kevin: Oh um, I remember you saying that when you were preparing for The Prisoner of Azkaban you watched um 400 Blows and then from Goblet of Fire you watched about North by Northwest.

Daniel: Yes.

Kevin: I was just wondering what um, is there any particular genre or something that David Yates got you into or—

Daniel: There was one specific moment in this film where Harry gets, where Snape is not torturing Harry but when he does the Legitimens Spell and gets inside Harry’s mind…um, he gave me a few films to watch. The most… because he wanted it to be like electroshock therapy. He wanted that sort of moment when Snape suddenly, you know, gets into my mind um to be like that. And so he gave me Angel at My Table and Angel at My Table was an Australian film which is harrowing! Um, so it’s very, very ____. And also he gave me a 1984 film with John Hurt when John Hurt gets tortured in the (inaudible) just before 101 when they’re turning there, when he’s stuck to the table there. I mean it’s not…I didn’t think it was as good as the book but it’s still a great film actually.

Question: Gary from the _____UK, do you have any favorite new sets?

Daniel: Um actually the one at the moment is pretty spectacular; the ____ is great and very haunting. And not how I imagined it at all but much better because I have a very visual imagination. Um, and um, the one that I’m told looks brilliant though I haven’t seen it is the Atrium um, which is apparently great but the one, my least favorite new set, I know you didn’t ask but I’ll tell you (laughter) was um, the (mumbles) the Room of Requirement; not because of how it looks, because it looks fantastic but it’s mirrored. There’s under-floor lighting and there’s a raging fire and lights from overhead and also I always can complain because I’m an actor and (laughter) just get on with it…but I mean if it, and they also, because of the mirrors they might do a shot where they have to have a couple of fires because they want you to see that there was a fire so they have, sometimes they have about four fires on in the room and then they’ll ____ and we’d be coming off there going, sweating bucket loads and also some very embarrassing ____ about that because you have to walk on um, when you go on the floor is such that it, you scuff the floor very, very easily so you have to wear these sort of blue plastic shoes, worn, the type of shoe worn in wards and things and um, so you have to wear these blue plastic shoes and I hadn’t checked my shoes. I just put the blue ones on and they…I’d got on. And I thought something felt a bit strange and I got on and I was doing a big scene where I was supposed to be a very respected uh, sort of revered leader and somebody called out, very loudly that I had my shoes on the wrong way around. And that was a moment where I felt incredibly stupid but I laughed and that was it really. So yes, so that’s why didn’t like that set. (Laughter)

Question: Okay, that’s about all the time for today.

Daniel: Okay. Thank you very much (inaudible). Oh no, I think I’m doing something else yes, of course. Yes.

Question: Dan, could you please sign this for me?

Daniel: Oh yes, absolutely.

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