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‘Harry Potter’ stars look back on nine years of magic

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Life after ‘Harry Potter’

London, England (CNN) — They might have been trained to ride flying broomsticks and mix potions but life after Hogwarts is still a riddle for the young magicians of the Harry Potter series.

With filming in the last part of the series –“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” — well underway, the cast of the multi-million selling franchise seem bound to look back and reflect on their nine-year-long magic ride.

“It was September 29, 2000,” Daniel Radcliffe, now 20, told CNN with a hint of nostalgia about his first day on set in Goathland railway station in northern England.

“Me, Emma [Watson], and Rupert [Grint] had all traveled up that day in a minibus, and we sat on the back seat — which was undoubtedly my influence — pretending that we were DJs on a radio station.”

Surely, not many of those present at that first shoot could have predicted Harry Potter’s unprecedented level of success in the coming years.

It will be very, very sad to think that I can’t come here every day and work with my best friends all the time.
–Daniel Radcliffe

The film series, whose sixth installment “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on December 8, has become the most successful franchise in history, smashing several box office records and amassing billions in revenue.

The first six Harry Potter films have grossed $5.4 billion according to the Guinness Book of Records, making it the most successful film franchise ever.

The figure is expected to rocket still higher when the seventh chapter hits cinemas in November 2010, followed by the eighth and final installment in the summer of 2011.

After initially beating more than 40,000 young hopefuls to their roles, the series’ wide-eyed stars have spent nearly half their life casting spells at Leavesden Studios outside London, where the Harry Potter sets are housed.

“I’ll never forget walking through those amazing doors for the first time, as we have done many a time since,” Tom Felton, who plays Harry Potter baddie Draco Malfoy, told CNN.

“I also remember auditioning here. The crazy thing about the audition was that, at my very first audition — when they had thousands of kids in, day in day out — Emma Watson was standing next to me and we did it together. And I came back in two weeks and she had been cast!”

Looking ahead to the future, you don’t have to be a wizard to guess that sentiments will run high on the Potter set when director David Yates shouts “cut” for the last time.

“It will be very, very sad to think that I can’t come here every day and work with my best friends all the time. I spend 90 percent of my time here laughing every day and it’s wonderful,” said Radcliffe.

Shooting on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” is expected to finish in May 2010. It will mark a momentous change of chapter in the life of the saga’s young stars.

“Before this film you never really thought about it ending, you kind of just thought it was going to go on for ever. It’s going to be quite a moment I think because my whole childhood is really in this place,” said 21-year-old Rupert Grint, who has spent the last decade playing Harry Potter’s loyal friend Ron Weasley.

But Grint quickly goes to stress that he is ready to leave Hogwarts’ gates behind him and move on to new ventures — this time without the help of magic potions. “I think I’m ready to move on and get out into the real world and see what it’s like,” he told CNN.

All the young stars seem excited about what the future holds for them, helped by the fact that they have roles in the world’s biggest movie franchise under their belts.

“It will be very exciting to not have to say, ‘Sorry I’m not available for the next three years, can you wait?’ if a fantastic script comes in,” said Radcliffe who has used his breaks from playing Harry to take part in projects on Broadway and West End.

The end of the Harry Potter series is surely not the end of the road for the saga’s global stars, although they admit they may not have dry eyes as they leave set for the last time.

“Tears will be shed, I’m sure,” said Felton. “Tears of joy and tears of leaving it all behind as well. I know we’re all very excited to see what’s going to happen afterwards and where we’ll all going to go.

“But saying that, I think most of us right now are just trying to appreciate the time we have left.”

Original article found here at CNN I December 9th, 2009

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‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows’ Set Is ‘Absolute Madness,’ Daniel Radcliffe Says

‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows’ Set Is ‘Absolute Madness,’ Daniel Radcliffe Says

‘We’re terrified we’re not going to get it right,’ actor says of splitting final book into two movies.

As the DVD of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” hits shelves Tuesday (December 8), the first peeks at the next and final films in the series — the two parts of “Deathly Hallows” — have begun to hit the Web: two photos and even a teaser trailer.

Behind that pristine multimedia, however, lies a production still very much in flux, as the cast told MTV News in recent interviews. Perhaps “flux” is even putting mildly, compared to star Daniel Radcliffe‘s characterization.

“It’s chaos and it’s fear and we’re terrified we’re not going to get it right, and it’s absolute madness with rewrites and script changes and scripts not being written and then coming,” he said with a smile. “It’s just mad.”

But Radcliffe and the “Potter” cast and crew have been this way before, and it all seems to work out in the end. The six films in the franchise have grossed more than $1.7 billion domestically.

“Amidst all that, something wonderful hopefully will emerge,” Radcliffe said. “That’s what I quite like about the film industry. Chaos bears something so cool and great and polished out into the world.”

As the craziness of a film production swirls around them, the “Potter” cast — the nucleus of which has been in place for almost a decade — has been enjoying the chance to reunite on camera and after shooting wraps each day.

“It’s been amazing to keep the core group of us here since the beginning,” said Bonnie Wright, who plays Ginny Weasley. “No one’s been left or changed. I think that dynamic has developed year to year. There’s a safeness when you come back to the film. It’s like coming back to school.”

Exactly, and sometime schoolmates dole out a bit of good-natured name-calling to one another, as is the case with Rupert Grint, following his much-publicized illness this summer.

“It’s been great seeing Rupert again, whose nickname is now Pigboy Heart Attack, after his bout with swine flu,” Radcliffe laughed.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.”

Original article found here at MTVI December 8th, 2009

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Rupert Grint’s Onset Musical Playlist!

How does a boy wizard get pumped up for a serious Quidditch match? What about a confrontation with the Dark Arts of Lord Voldemort? Next time you see Harry Potter, ask him for us, OK? Until then, we’ll settle for how Daniel Radcliffe — the 20-year-old behind the wizard — prepares for scenes in “Harry Potter.”

“Lots and lots of Radiohead,” the actor told MTV News while filming “Deathly Hallows,” the two-part finale of the series. “Loads of stuff. I often come back to stuff like Radiohead and Hope of the States for those harder scenes.”

Based on recent, early morning experience, co-star Tom Felton confirmed Radcliffe’s pre-shoot music obsession. “Daniel loves it in the makeup room,” Felton said. “He thumps it out — we’re talking 6 in the morning — some ’60s ska/punk band. It’s like, ‘All right, man!’ He loves it.”

Does Felton listen to anything to get psyched up for his scenes as nefarious Draco Malfoy? Yup, but not exactly the genre you’d think. “I’m more of an earphones guy,” he said. “I like my chilled acoustic music. Big fan of Jack Johnson.”

Rupert Grint revealed that he’s been listening to a lot of instrumental music from bands like the Black Lips and, while reading the “Deathly Hallows” script, Mogwai. But on set, it seems, the king of blasting tunes remains Radcliffe. Another favorite of his is the Godspeed You! Black Emperor album F♯A♯∞.

“[It] does get you into a deep, deep place of fear and sadness and anger, which is helpful sometimes,” he laughed.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.”

Original article found here at MTV I December 8th, 2009

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USA Today Rupert Grint Deathly Hallows

By Claudia Puig, USA TODAY

In the next Harry Potter film, most of the action takes place outside the hallowed halls of Hogwarts Castle.

The seventh, and last, book in J.K. Rowling’s series about the boy wizard –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows– is being broken into two films, the first part coming out next November, the second part in 2011.

The first installment finds young wizards Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) struggling to find their way in the Muggle (human) world, with their own lives in the balance and the fate of the magical realm in their hands.

“They’re paranoid,” says Grint. “It’s quite a scary world because the Snatchers and Death Eaters are running around everywhere. Harry, Ron and Hermione are just camping out in random places, living rough, in regular clothes.” Snatchers and Death Eaters are minions of the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

Grint adds, grinning: “Me and Dan actually have some stubble.” His facial hair served as a kind of invisibility cloak for the lanky, redheaded Grint, who went unrecognized by fans recently while on location in the Welsh countryside. Dubbed a “road movie” by producer David Heyman, Hallows was envisioned by director David Yates as more grounded in reality than the previous Potter movies.

“It’s going to feel very real,” Yates says. “We’re going for a vérité approach. Being away from Hogwarts, they’re like these three refugees on the run. They’re out in the big bad world, facing real danger, unguarded by those wonderful benign wizards at Hogwarts. They don’t have a home to go to.

“We’re kind of pulling away from the magic a bit and bringing more reality to it,” he says.

Original article found here: USA Today | November 30th, 2009

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It’s a king of magic

Written by John Hiscock

As the fifth film is released and the last chapter of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is unveiled, will the future spell success for its young stars, asks John Hiscock

They have spent almost half their lives on Harry Potter film sets, growing up in the magical world of Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But now, as the final book of JK Rowling’s seven-part series is about to be released and the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, arrives in cinemas next week, a world without Harry Potter is looming for the films’ three young stars.

Just 17, Daniel Radcliffe has already briefly shed his Harry Potter wizard robes for a well-received West End stint as the troubled young man who blinds

horses in Equus. He has a film, The December Boys,
awaiting release and is due to begin work on My Boy
Jack soon.

His height – 5ft 6in – means that he’ll probably never be an action hero, but then his ambitions lie elsewhere. He has a keen sense of humour and a quick wit and has his sights on dramatic and light-comedy parts.

“It was fantastic to do Equus but I’m not under the false impression that doing one different role will make people suddenly see me as an actor in my own right rather than the actor who plays Harry Potter,” he said.

“I think if I continue to do other interesting roles, hopefully people will start to see me differently.”

Despite having been in the eye of the Harry Potter storm for most of their childhoods, Radcliffe and his two co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint seem remarkably well-adjusted and down to earth.

“People ask me if I think I’ve had a normal childhood – and if a normal childhood is being healthy and happy, then I have,” says Daniel.

“The other day, somebody said the last Harry Potter film will probably be released in 2010. If that’s the case then that will have been 10 years of my life and that’s a huge chunk, so I’ll be sad because it will be the end of an era in a way. But I equally imagine it will be quite exciting to be out of that world.”

Daniel is as interested as any of the millions of Harry Potter fans in finding out Harry’s fate when the seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is out on July 21.

“I have no idea what will happen,” he says. “There’s certainly a possibility that Harry might die. I’ve been told that people in Las Vegas are placing bets over whether he’ll live or die, which is hilarious. Will it make me sad? No. I think if Harry dies in a heroic way, it’s a good way for him to go.”

At 16, Emma Watson is the youngest of the trio. While she sees a lot of her Hermione Granger character in herself – “We’re both very stubborn, determined, loyal, academic feminists” – she believes any acting talent she has is instinctive and is unsure whether it will be enough to carry her on after Harry.

“I’ll feel a bit lost when it all finishes, I guess,” she says. “It’s hard to imagine life without Harry Potter. It’s made up such a big part of my life and dominated so much time.

“Never having done an audition before and never having done any professional acting and going into the biggest film franchise of all time, I’ve kind of come from nowhere and gone straight in at the top.

“I feel like I need to backtrack and work my way through again. I’d be really interested to kind of train properly because I feel I shouldn’t be here. I should have done so much more.

“I got thrown in the deep end on the first one, but the Harry Potter films have been a pretty amazing acting school,” she says.

Watson is being paid a reported £2m (€3m) for each of the final two films in the series, but insists that her drawn-out contractual negotiations were not money-motivated.

“It was more about juggling my A-level exams, going to university and doing the movies,” she says.

Apart from clothes, her biggest expense so far has been a laptop, although she will be buying a car as soon as she has passed her driving test.

“I’m taking lessons, but it’s so hard,” she groans. “I had no idea.”

She, too, is eagerly awaiting the final book. “It feels as if I’ve been waiting for ever.

“I really want to know what happens. There’s a guy who claims he’s been able to hack into J K Rowling’s account, and he’s saying that Hermione’s gong to die, and I found myself getting sad. I had-n’t contemplated her dying.”

Watson plans to take a gap year, to go to university. And then, if things go as planned, with Hermione Granger behind her, she will return to acting.

“I’m still growing up, changing all the time, and I hope I’m talented enough to take on another character. I guess that will be a test of whether I can really act.”

Of the trio, 18-year-old Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, appears the least concerned about the end of the franchise.

He has appeared in two other films – Thunderpants and Driving Lessons – and, since leaving school at 16, he has spent much of his time on the golf course when not on the Harry Potter set.

“Cool” is his favourite adjective; it applies particularly to the ice cream truck he has bought and drives around Hertfordshire,”I don’t know why I bought it, but it’s really cool,” he says. “It’s got a bell that plays a tune. It’s really cool.

“If I can, I’d like to sort of carry on with acting.”

For the happy-go-lucky Grint, a death scene for Ron Weasley in the final film would also be “cool”, but it is not something that he has thought too much about. It’s going to be really sad when it all ends, and it’s going to be weird because it’s been a big part of my life.

“But I’ve got to do other things after Harry Potter so I’ll just see what happens. I’ve still got my ice cream van if it doesn’t all work out, so I’ll be all right.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is released nationwide on July 12

‘It was hard not to laugh all the time because it was such fun’

When actress Imelda Staunton was invited to join the cast of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixas Dolores Umbridge, Hogwarts’ latest sadistic Defence of the Dark Arts teacher, she did not know whether to be flattered or offended.

“In the book, she is said to be very ugly and toad-like, so when people would tell me, ‘You’d be great in the part,’ I’d say: ‘Well, thanks very much’,” she laughs.

Her Dolores Umbridge is a pink-wearing control freak who, with a sing-song voice and honeyed smile, terrifies the students and staff at Hogwarts, as she carries out her mission as Inquisitor for the Ministry of Magic.

Imelda worked closely with the film’s costume desighers. “We had a lot of fun creating this sort of little round person. It was important for her to appear soft and warm because, of course, she is neither.”

One of the film’s creepiest scenes involves her torturing Harry, whom she forces to write lines which appear etched in blood on the back of his hand.

It may be unusual for an Oscar-nominated, Olivier Award-winning actress to make such a memorable exit from a film as Staunton, who is last seen being carried off by a horde of angry centaurs, but she enjoyed every second of it. “It was very hard not to laugh all the time because it was such fun,” she says.

Original article found at I July 3, 2007

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