Wild About Harry
By Bonnie Laufer-Krebs for Teen Tribute (Canada), Summer 2004.
Daniel, Emma and Rupert tell Teen Tribute what it’s really like to star in Harry Potter!
Is being a star still overwhelming, or are you so used to it now that it doesn’t faze you anymore?
DR: No, it always still fazes me. The moment I stop being kind of surprised by it or overwhelmed, is a really bad moment, ‘cause you know, it’s a really strange thing getting out of a car, and there are all these people screaming. But it’s amazing, it really is.
You guys (Emma, Rupert) must be like brothers and sister by now.
DR: Yeah, that’s it exactly. I mean, Emma is just completely like my sister now. Rupert is such a great friend.
So what do you guys do off set?
DR: We kind of just hang around. Most of the time when we’re off set, we’re tutoring. Rupert’s got a pool table in his room, so sometimes I go in there and play badly.
Now, you’re known as a big prankster, but I understand you were on the receiving end of the pranks. Your co-stars have caught on!
DR: Yeah, I was the victim this time.
So what was the worst thing that happened to you?
DR: They put a fart machine in one of the sleeping bags in the great hall. I was sitting there, and it was a scene that takes place at night, this really calm scene. We’d done probably eight takes and we were just going for our ninth one, and then it was Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore) who had the actual thing that operates it. And it was kind of under Alan Rickman’s (Professor Snape) instruction, and he set it off just at the end of the take, and everyone in the great hall sat up and turned to me!
What was the most challenging scene in this film?
DR: The most difficult, without a doubt, is when Harry faints from seeing the Dementors for the first time. Having to act, having just heard your mother’s dying scream. I never experienced anything like that, thank God, touch wood, so I kind of had to somehow find out how to do that, and hopefully I did ok.
Did the scene with the Hippogriff live up to your expectations?
DR: It did actually. It was just as completely strange as I thought it was going to be, so it was really me on the back of what was a complicated mechanical bull. And then when I’m not flying on it, it’s just a guy holding a pole with a beak on the end of it.
Have you started shooting The Goblet of Fire yet?
DR: We’re doing bits, but we start shooting officially in mid-July.
You must be looking forward to going full force on that?
DR: The script is unbelievable. The third book is my favourite book, but the fourth script is my favourite script. It’s unbelievable. Really is.
Now that you’re an old pro with the Harry Potter films, is all of this still overwhelming?
EW: It’s still completely overwhelming. I kind of see every film as a new film, a different film. I see them really separately as well. So every time, it’s a new experience, a new script and different actors. It’s changing all the time. It’s great.
What was going through your mind this time about playing Hermione?
EW: Well, actually one of the first things that the new director, Alfonso Cuarón wanted us to do, was write an essay about our characters. You know, what motivates her, what she’s scared of and all that kind of stuff. I read the books and I always thought about Hermione before, but I never really got into such detail about her. It really made me see her in such a different way and in a lot of depth, and I think in this film especially, you really get to see completely different sides to the characters. Harry, we are much more sensitive towards him. Your heart bleeds for him. You feel so bad for him. And Hermione kind of gets past the whole nerd, bookworm type thing. I think this film is much more personal.
The scene with Draco when you punch him, was that tough to do, or has it been building up?
EW: I loved it! I absolutely loved it! I would have done it for weeks on end. I had such a great time doing that scene.
In terms of the stunt work, you really get knocked around a lot.
EW: Well, Hermione, she’s doing everything in this film. She does much, much more action in it. She is being thrown around by the Whomping Willow, she’s being chased by werewolves, flying on the hippogiff. She’s very rock and roll.
If you could choose any dream co-star, after you’re done with all the Harry Potter films, who would it be?
EW: There are so many people I want to work with. I’m so lucky, ‘cause I got to work with loads of them on Harry Potter, but Brad Pitt. He’s my absolute dream!
When you started filming Azkaban, did you find it was a lot different than the first two that we saw?
RG: It’s a lot more grown up. Obviously, we’ve all grown up as well. Our voices are breaking and we’ve gotten a bit taller. So physically, we’ve grown up as well. And we have a new director that made it quite different too, so yeah, it was really cool.
How has it been working with Emma and Dan over the years?
RG: We’ve gotten along really well, ‘cause we see so much of each other. We’ve gotten to know each other quite well. So yeah, it feels like going back to school every time we start a new film.
What was the most exciting or challenging scene to film?
RG: There’s some really cool stuff in there. Like during the final scene in the Shrieking Shack, that was really long. It took us ages to film that. That was quite hard. And the stunts were quite cool. That was one of my favourite bits as well.
How did you feel when Alfonso Cuarón took over as director?
RG: Me, I was shocked that we were going to bring a new director in, because Chris Columbus had been doing the first two and we’d already got used to him and got along with him really well. But when we first met Alfonso, he was really a nice guy, really, really fun. He was really into us bringing our own personal perceptions into our characters. He asked us to change our ties, or something to customize it to our own character. He also told us to write an essay, which I didn’t do.
RG: I forgot to do it. But luckily he didn’t get angry. He thought it was quite like my character. Lucky that got me out of it.