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Fan Expo Saturday Stars – Harry Potter, Gotham, Mads Mikkelsen

Fan Expo had its busiest day on Saturday, with panel after panel packed with adoring fans. They were not disappointed, as each star came on stage to loud applause and entertained everyone by answering questions about their respective films and shows.

Highlights of the day included a trio of stars from Star Trek Voyager, Ming Na Wen of Agents of SHIELD, Robin Lord Taylor from Gotham and Jason Momoa, Mike Tyson, Danny Trejo and Mads Mikkelsen. The last event of the night was a Harry Potter reunion with Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, and Oliver and James Phelps.

The cast of Star Trek: Voyager that beamed in for this event were Robert Picardo, who most may know as the holographic doctor, Jeri Ryan who played the former Borg drone – Seven of Nine – and Ethan Phillips, who, with lots of make-up would be recognized as Neelix. This cheerful group got along great on set, and are still friends – so much so that they felt like they were entertaining themselves as much as the audience.

The deepest, most serious question for the group was their opinion on pockets in the future, and how they got around not having them in their futuristic uniforms.

Jeri Ryan’s costume was obviously very form fitting, and didn’t leave much room to carry anything. Robert Picardo had a few stories of instances before takes, where he would have to hide a piece of paper in his sleeve, and one time, a pencil had to be quickly hidden, which then flew across the room with an arm gesture. There were lots of pranks on set, even within the confines of a serious Star Trek show, and most of them seemed to be directed at Tim Russ, who played Tuvok the Vulcan. Ethan Phillips recounted the times he would hide under Tim’s bridge control panel and attempt to make him laugh during filming. Jeri Ryan’s favorite moments of the show were the chances to explore her humanity. Many of those lessons and themes, along with the show itself, hold up to this day.

Danny Trejo has been acting since 1985, and has played many tough guys. He began by telling of his early life troubles with drugs and crime, but he has been clean for a long time now and works as a drug counselor to this day. He recounted how he got into acting, mostly by accident, in the film Runaway Train, which starred Jon Voight and Eric Roberts. He was paid $50 to be an extra on the film and was told to act like a convict, something he jokes he didn’t have to try hard to do. Then he was offered $350 to train Eric Roberts to box, although he admits he would have done that for another $50. Then the director saw the tattoo on his chest, which he had done in prison, and decided to give him a larger role in the movie.

During his first few years in the film industry, he often played characters such as “Inmate #1″ and that suited him just fine. Trejo’s roles in Heat and Con Air were some of the most memorable he’s had. Working with Robert DeNiro in Heat was a great experience, and the set of Con Air was akin to a tough guy competition, where each star was trying to out-do each other by showing off their ability to do push-ups and lift weights.

Danny’s roles are usually violent, and in many cases, he ends up dying, but he made up for this in the first 12 minutes of Machete where he kills about a dozen people, and then had to shoot love scenes with Jessica Alba and Amber Heard. His next projects include possible expansion of the Machete franchise, possibly in a TV show, or another feature film.

Agents of SHIELD star Ming Na Wen delighted the audience with her smile and personality – a stark contrast from her stone-faced character Melinda May on the show. Ming Na is talkative and emotional, while Melinda is quiet and reserved. Her career has spanned decades, starring as a doctor on ER, voicing the Disney character Mulan, and of course, her current role on the Marvel series Agents of SHIELD.

What else would Ming Na like to do? Appear in the Star Wars franchise of course! She claims to be a huge nerd, and appreciates the fans because of this, and works hard to please the fans. She has wanted to be an actor since third grade, when she played a bunny rabbit in a school play. Now, on her current show, she is known as “The Cavalry,” and the reason for this has been a mystery until late in the second season. The reveal, she thinks, was done very well, and lived up to the hype and uncovered the trauma and PTSD that Melinda May had after the events in Bahrain. You can catch Melinda May and the rest of Coulson’s team when Agents of SHIELD returns on September 29th.

Mads Mikkelson’s career in television and films is extensive. Fans know him from playing the main antagonist in the James Bond film, Casino Royale, and more recently, as Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal. He knew that when he first started the show, they would be doing a different version of Hannibal and Mikkelson plays him in a way that has fans rooting for him.

Mads mentioned that the empathy for Hannibal comes from the writing which makes him into a charismatic character. He joked that he “plays him sexy” and that Canada is an extremely cold place to film a TV series. Mads will also be seen in the Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which he will begin filming next week. Ironically, he admitted he has never seen Star Wars.

Jason Momoa is not just an actor, but a director, writer and producer as well. He is best known for playing Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones and Ronon Dex in Stargate: Atlantis. He spoke of the uncomfortable scenes in Game of Thrones that he had to do with Emilia Clarke, and to get through them, he loved to make her laugh. The beard he sported for the part of Drogo in Game of Thrones is fake since he could not grow a beard that long. Replying to a fan’s question on who should sit on the Iron Throne, he replied “Daenerys, with the Imp by her side and her dragons surrounding her.”

Recently it was announced that Jason would be playing Aquaman, making his first appearance in the Superman vs Batman movie and then a solo movie in 2018. He said Batman was his favorite superhero and joked that he was playing Aquaman to put food on the table.

Mike Tyson came in from China where he was filming a movie with Steven Seagal. He didn’t give many details about the film, but said they will definitely be fighting each other in it. He now considers himself an entertainer, rather than a fighter. He is still in good shape, but the exact shape he is in depends on who he’s fighting.

Mike enjoys doing comedy roles nowadays, and has a cartoon being released soon that he says is going to be awesome. He’s best known in recent years for his role in the Hangover franchise, and thinks that this new persona suits him and his new life following his retirement as a boxer. In the midst of his fighting career, he says he never dreamed of being the kind of character he is now. These days, Mike Tyson is still not someone you want to mess with, but he says spending time with his children and watching movies like Home and Frozen is what makes him happy. His personal favourite film is The Other Side of Midnight.

On the subject of MMA fights, Tyson said he didn’t think he would do very well in this type of fight. He lamented that he had bad feet, and that the second someone stepped on his foot, he would likely tap out. So don’t expect to see Tyson in the ring any time soon, but you will be able to see him in all kinds of film and television roles in the future.

Robin Lord Taylor has brought to life one of the creepiest and tormented versions of the notorious Batman villain The Penguin on the hit series Gotham. He is so happy to be able to put a new spin on this classic character. His main inspiration for his character was the comics, and he read many of them to bring his character to life. He is having a lot of fun on the set of Gotham and considers it a dream come true. He even demonstrated how to walk like the Penguin with a limp, by turning his right foot outwards and acting that there was a constant pain in his leg. His costume, makeup and hair all help him get into character.

When asked if there were plans to either fatten him up or give him a monocle to be more like the classic portrayal of the character, Robin said he did not know of any such plans, but that they may need to make a fat suit because he is such a skinny guy. He said to look forward to great tension between his character and that of Gordon in the next season coming this fall.

Rupert-Grint-600x900The main ticketed event of the night was the Harry Potter reunion with Oliver and James Phelps (George and Fred), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Tom Felton (Draco). All four actors were surprised at how big the fandom is and how it seems to be continuing to grow.

The four of them joked around and said they missed working together and would love to work on a film together again. Oliver and James said they didn’t pretend to be each other’s characters except once, when they switched places in one of the shots. When the switch was discovered, they had to reshoot the scene.

A fan asked what they would do if they had the Time Turner from the third film. Rupert replied that he would go back to the fourth film and rethink his hairstyle. James Phelps joked that his least favorite character was the Whomping Willow, saying it was a nasty thing for no reason.

This was Rupert’s first convention and he said that if he was to Cosplay, he would be “My Little Pony” and added he would like to play James Bond – he feels the world is ready for a ginger James Bond. It was clear with the joking and teasing around that these four actors truly enjoyed being in each other’s company.


Original article found at tribute.ca September 6, 2015

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Harry Potter star Rupert Grint: The ‘ridiculous’ money I was paid tested my friendships

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Swapping higher education for Hogwarts, pocket money for pay packets and school corridors for red carpets, Rupert Grint’s childhood was anything but regular.

And after 10 years in the hit Harry Potter movies, the young star earned enough money never to have to work again.

Exactly how much money, though, is a good question – Rupert says he doesn’t have a clue.

While he and his co-star Emma Watson are estimated to each have been paid around £25million for the eight films, he still, to this day, reckons he does not know the full amount.

“It was kind of ridiculous what we got,” he says.

“And I must admit I don’t actually know how much I earned – the exact number.

“I’ve always known it was kinda ‘there’, and I’ve got quite an active involvement in stuff like that now, but I don’t really know the exact figures. And I’ve never really wanted to.

“I’m quite a laid-back person and not overly ambitious, really.”

He may have no burning desire to top the annual Forbes rich list but Rupert has not done too shabbily for a man of 26.

With two multi-million pound companies to his name – Clay 10 and Eevil Plan Properties – he probably won’t be claiming benefits any time soon.

But with overnight childhood celebrity, came teenage angst.

He struggled to weed out genuine friends from hangers-on and, similarly, he got stung by girls who only wanted to date him for his fame and wealth.

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He says with a sigh: “It was a tricky thing. You’d always worry whether it was a genuine thing – and I think that goes with any kind of relationship, even friendships.

“It took me a while to figure out whether someone was genuine or they had ulterior motives.

“I’ve had a few bad experiences and it was tricky because I left school at quite a pivotal time, in Year 7, when you’re just making friends and stuff.

“So whenever I came back, bonds I had made before had all got a little bit weird.

“I did lose a few friends but on the whole it’s all been pretty good.”

With three homes and a bank balance most of us can only dream of, the down-to-earth star reluctantly admits he need never work again.

So why does he? And why choose the stage which, as every actor knows, invariably pays the Equity equivalent of minimum wage?

“I just love what I do, trying new things and scaring myself once in a while,” he explains.

“I loved doing the Potter films but it’s so nice to try different characters and explore different things. It’s been weird since Potter finished, adapting to life now. It was such a huge part of us.

“For now I am just enjoying being free. It was a bubble world, and quite suffocating. A bit like a school, really. Now I’m out I still feel there are things I want to do.”

One of these things, of course, is make his debut on Broadway.

On Thursday, the Essex-born star, incredibly polite and gentle-mannered in real life, takes to the stage in Terrence McNally’s farce It’s Only a Play.

Starring alongside such Tony and Oscar-winning luminaries as Matthew Broderick (Mr Sarah Jessica Parker), Homeland star F Murray Abraham and The West Wing’s Stockard Channing, he is, understandably, a little nervous.

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Living out his formative years on the big screen, and becoming a household name in the process, Rupert also feels burdened by the weight of expectation.

“It’s very scary,” he admits. “Broadway does feel like a much bigger event and I know there’s a lot of expectation.

“I do feel under pressure. I feel like I’ve got quite a bit to prove. I am out of my comfort zone here and am the least ­experienced out of everyone on stage.

“During the first few days in rehearsals I was really intimidated because it’s quite a group of people. But there are no big egos. Being on stage is a real team thing, and everyone has been great, really cool. I
just feel really lucky to be a part of it.”

Playing Frank Finger, a barnstorming wunderkind theatre director, his latest role is a world away from amiable, bumbling Ron Weasley. “I basically play a psychopath,” he says. No doubt Professor Snape would have had a field day.

Rupert had no formal acting training but was cast in Harry Potter: The Philosopher’s Stone at 11 after sending in a video of himself rapping to children’s show Newsround. He made the final movie, The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, when he was 22.

In 2002 he won his first leading role in British comedy Thunderpants, four years ago he co-starred with Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in Wild Target, then his first major post-Hogwarts project was a 2012 anti-war film, Into the White.

Last year he made his West End debut in Jez Butterworth’s play Mojo and his latest movie, Charlie Countryman, is out at the end of this month.

Despite the obvious lure of Hollywood – and he is chatting from a rented apartment in Manhattan – Rupert has no plans to up sticks and leave the UK for good.

“I like England – it’s my home,” he says.

Helping him feel at home in the Big Apple is a new addition to the Grint household – a tortoise called Madeleine. She’s not named after anyone in particular (no money-grabbing ex-girlfriend?) – she “just looked like a Maddie”.

When I ask him about a current girlfriend, there is an awkward pause.

Refusing to crack, I stay silent until poor Rupert fills the silence with a giggle and “Erm, no… well, not really, er, yeah…”.

When I suggest it’s early days, he laughs, and confirms, “Yes, early days maybe”. Rupert is not your typical former child star. With no stint in rehab or quarter-life crisis, he is by all accounts incredibly popular with anyone he has ever worked with.

In the words of his co-star Broderick: “He is really sweet… so hardworking and diligent, and to see a young fellow get his first Broadway shot is just a pleasure to watch.”

But now that he is all grown-up, the actor is busy getting serious. Despite attending a Catholic primary school, St Joseph’s in Hertford, he has recently been toying with different religious ideas.

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He’s read evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins’s bestseller The God Delusion and says: “Religion is something which has always fascinated me. I went to a Catholic primary school but I’m not a Catholic.

“But I was quite a god-fearing little boy. They instilled it in me. I mean, the stories were always so terrifying.

“And then when I grew up a bit I kind of realised there are other things out there, and other theories.

“What I believe now changes all the time but I’d never say I was a complete atheist, or unaccepting of anything.

“I’m kind of struggling with that. I don’t know, it just fascinates me, the universe in general.”

Speaking of exploring the planet, Rupert is keen to take some time off next year and head off on holiday.

“I’m exhausted,” he admits. “But at the moment, I can’t really think much beyond this time next week.”

So how does he switch off?

“Drawing,” he smiles. “I’d like to go into animation one day. I draw a lot, a lot of disturbing cartoons – it helps me unwind.

“I also have a couple of weird, pre-show rituals which I’ve only recently noticed. I blow bubbles.

“You know – those little pots of bubbles you got as a kid. Blowing bubbles is just the most relaxing thing before a show.

“My character also wears a lot of make-up so putting my eyeliner – or guyliner – on has become a bit of a ritual too. I’m getting quite good at it.”

As he is at this whole acting lark, it seems…


Original article found here:mirror.co.uk | October, 3rd 2014

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Let’s Go

WAITING FOR HARRY

translated by Silvia

Do you remember Ron Weasley? Harry Potter’s best friend? And Hermione? Well, if Harry – Daniel is working in a theatre, what are the other two actors doing?

Rupert Grint – Ron didn’t want to stay away from a movie set for long, so he filmed another movie, very different from Harry Potter… And while going around and promoting it, he realised he really had a place in his fans’ hearts: he had to sign a lot of autographs!

Emma Watson one the other hand, while still thinking about her future at the university, did a lot of shopping – nothing better to cheer yourself up! She also discovered her passion for football (soccer), and so she went to see a few matches with a friend.

In the mean time the Harry Potter’s producers are already working on the last movie. Rupert said he’s pretty nervous…sooner or later he’ll have to kiss Hermione.

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Rupert Grint Admits ‘It Will Be Weird Not Playing Ron Weasley’

Actor finding it hard to move on from ‘Harry Potter’

Rupert Grint has confessed he is worried about moving on from ‘Harry Potter’ after playing Ron Weasley for 10 years.

The 23 year-old actor is about to start his first post-Potter project and admitted that it is going to be very different from Hogwarts.

“I’m really looking forward to it and it’s very different, it’s weird moving on from Harry Potter because it’s been ten years playing the same character.” The ginger star told the Press Association.

“But it’s exciting to move on and do new things.” He added.

The movie, a music biopic ‘The Drummer’ will certainly be a different direction than what Rupert is used to, with no magic wands or flying brooms in sight.

He explained: “It’s about Dennis Wilson and his life after the Beach Boys went solo. I play a guy who works for an agency and I befriend him. It’s a really great script.”

The movie, co-starring Aaron Eckhart and Chloe Moretz will give fans a chance to see a more grown up Rupert as he tries to shed his potter past.

The actor has taken his time to pick his first project. Fellow Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have already started life after the wizarding saga, Daniel starred in ‘The Woman In Black’ while Emma had a supporting role in ‘My Week With Marilyn.’

Rupert really doesn’t seem to be able to let go of ‘Harry Potter’ and recently revealed he even stole a few props from the set.


Original article found here: entertainmentwise.com | April 3, 2012

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Grint: Strange to not play Ron

Rupert Grint has admitted he feels strange playing a character who is not Ron Weasley any more.

The 23-year-old Harry Potter star has played the boy wizard’s best friend in the hit films for the last ten years, but he is about to start work on new music biopic The Drummer.

Rupert said: “I’m really looking forward to it and it’s very different, it’s weird moving on from Harry Potter because it’s been ten years playing the same character.

“But it’s exciting to move on and do new things.”

The red-headed star will play agent Stan Shapiro in the film about Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, which will also star Aaron Eckhart, Vera Farmiga and Chloe Moretz.

Rupert said: “It’s about Dennis Wilson and his life after the Beach Boys went solo.

“I play a guy who works for an agency and I befriend him. It’s a really great script.”


Original article found here: independent.ie | April 3, 2012

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Rupert Grint talks about love, hair & life after Harry Potter

IN the last ever Harry Potter movie Ron Weasley finally gets the girl.

Soaking wet in the Chamber of Secrets at Hogwarts after yet more world saving antics, Ron and Hermione’s will they/won’t they? love story comes to a climax with a passionate kiss.

But off screen, even now the phenomenally successful series of movies has come to an end, actor Rupert Grint says he has to be wary about female attention.

Rupert is single and isn’t actively looking for a future Mrs Grint.

The 23-year-old occasionally parties in London but prefers to stay with his family and old friends around Watford.

And he admits he has to be careful about the intentions of new people he meets.

He says: “I am not dating at the moment. I guess I get a bit more attention than I would do anyway. It’s weird being recognised most places you go. That has been a learning curve over the years, trusting people and working out what their intentions are.

“It’s cool though. I am enjoying myself and enjoying being single.

“I am never on the hunt for girls. If it happens, it happens. It’s not something I am consciously looking for.

“I go local and go out in London. I like going out clubbing occasionally but I really like karaoke. Beastie Boys and Summer Loving are my favourites.”

Rupert effectively grew up on the set of the Harry Potter films.

But the months since he finally said goodbye to Hogwarts, Harry (played by Daniel Radcliffe) and Hermione (Emma Watson) have seen him on an emotional roller-coaster as he comes to terms with life after Ron.

The cinema premiere of the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, in July was one of the biggest Britain has seen with a red carpet in the heart of London which stretched from Trafalgar Square to Leicester Square. But after the last big party came the hangover…

“I do remember waking up after the premiere and thinking there is no more Potter,” he says wistfully. “It felt like the premiere was closure, I felt this is really it. It has taken me a while to come fully to terms with that. I felt it a lot on the last day of filming when they said cut for the final time, it was a massive moment because it really has taken over my life.

“I can’t remember before the time before the Harry Potter films and suddenly it was all over.

“It was such a long time, half my life, and suddenly it all came down to one scene – and we never came back.”

Leavesden Studios, near Watford, Herts, where all eight movies were filmed, is to open next year as a £100million attraction with all the props and sets to create a lasting reminder of the series.

A new state of the art studio is also being built next door which will make it a hub for film-making. We took Rupert back to the studios where he first started playing Harry’s sidekick aged just 11. “It’s a bit weird coming back,” he admits.

“I’ve seen all the plans and drawings and stuff. I think it is going to be amazing.” The relentless filming schedule saw the Hertfordshire lad spend most of his life at the studio. Luckily, his family lived nearby and in the few weeks off from shooting he often spent it shooting low-budget films – Thunderpants, Driving Lessons and Cherrybomb.

But the end of Potter saw him finally take a long break. “I have not been in too much of a rush to do anythingreally,” he says. “It has been nice to catch up on a few things and have a bit of freedom. I did a film earlier this year called Comrade, a Second World War movie set in Norway – that was pretty cool. Apart from that I have just been relaxing.

“I haven’t been on holiday for a few years so I just did normal things really. But having control over your life is good – and having control over your own hair is great – not that I’ve done anything with it. Emma changed hers though. We all keep in touch and we text each other. We’ll always be close.”

The cast so very nearly got a permanent reminder of their time together. “There was talk between us about doing something like a tattoo,” he says. “It would have been something subtle like Harry’s lightning scar. It would’ve been a great way of marking the end of filming.”

Though the franchise has been lucrative, Rupert doesn’t live the life of a young multi-millionaire playboy. He has now left home and bought a house near Watford – not in a fashionable part of London – which he has kitted out.

“I haven’t gone for the big London bachelor pad, not yet. Maybe in the future. I have got a few cool things in the house and I kind of collect weird antiques. My most recent was a Victorian artificial limb with three attachments for a hand. It’s a bit freaky but it’s cool.

“I love cars. I have three but they are not like super-cars or anything.”

After his break, and this final interview ahead of the release of the last Potter DVD, Rupert is ready to look for work.

So what about the biggest role of all, James Bond?

“A ginger Bond? Why not? That would be cool. But I can’t really see it myself.”


Original article found here: mirror.co.uk | November 29, 2011

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Interview with Jessie Cave

SnitchSeeker: Is this your first time here, in the Wizarding World?
Jessie Cave: Yeah. I’m definitely coming back.

SnitchSeeker: What was your first impression walking into the park?
Jessie: Well, it’s so lovely because everyone’s in such a good mood, because they’re here on holiday and here to see people they like, like cartoons. So it transports you to being a child. It’s lovely. Even for adults, it’s a really great place. And I’ve never been to Disney World or anything like that, ever, so it’s brilliant for me to live that out – and I’ve bought so much ridiculous stuff.

SnitchSeeker: How does the park compare to working at Leavesden, as they have similar sets?
Jessie: Well, it’s really nice to have something you can actually touch, be a part of and see that it’s real, and it’s got four walls and a ceiling. And that was never going to be in the place when you were filming. It’s kind of made things more 3D for me.

SnitchSeeker: What was the first thing you thought when you saw Hogwarts and everything there?
Jessie: It was just so natural, it felt like I was walking into Hogwarts. It was really lovely. It was really good for me to just think that I could bring my kids here. It’s a journey of my whole Harry Potter life, coming to such a nice conclusion here. And a new beginning as well, because it’s got a life of its own.

SnitchSeeker: What was your favourite part of the park?
Jessie: I think the Harry Potter shop because you can buy something and it’s theirs, and it’s so important to me to have something to take away. And I think, just as a Harry Potter book, it’s associated with the memory of being here, and that day.

SnitchSeeker: OK, let me go back to Lavender. There was an open casting, with thousands of girls [for Lavender Brown in Half-Blood Prince]. Did you participate in that?
Jessie: No, no, I didn’t. I had the week before – because I was at art school, I do art, Pindippy stuff – an audition for something like shaving cream. And the week after, I had this call from my agent, you want to audition for Harry Potter. Five months later, I had a screen test – but in the midst of that, they announced they were doing open calls. And at that point I thought, ‘No chance.’

SnitchSeeker: So you were actually called in before the open casting?
Jessie: Yeah, yeah. Way before, and then I thought, my chance is over, but apparently, what I’d been told, there were a couple [of girls] that they liked from auditions, that they liked from the opens, and they made it fair for everybody.

SnitchSeeker: I have to say, Rupert [Grint] usually steals the show, but you actually took it from him in Half-Blood Prince. What was it like working with him in the sixth movie?
Jessie: He’s such a lovely guy, he’s so normal and grounded, and is just going to work forever as an actor, and I think that’s really admirable, because in a world where he’s so different, he’s his true self. He’s funny, and really lovely, and genuinely down-to-earth.

SnitchSeeker: What are your best memories of filming Half-Blood Prince?
Jessie: When me and Rupert were going into this room, when Hermione was upset and crying and Harry’s consoling her, before we run off, it was hilarious. There were like these steps, and I was trying to make Rupert laugh – I remember that moment so clearly, it was lovely.

SnitchSeeker: Let’s talk about Deathly Hallows. In the book, it’s sort of ambiguous what happens to Lavender. So what did you expect when you read the book? Did you think she’d died?
Jessie: I didn’t think she had died, but I was glad when I read the script because it’s nice to have answers, and see something that had an impact. I was glad when we came to film it because it was fun to have blood. We don’t know if she’s dead or not; J.K. wasn’t explicit.

SnitchSeeker: What were your best memories of that final battle?
Jessie: The atmosphere when everyone was filming because it was so different from any other experience on any other day. And I really took note of how everyone’s was preparing, like David [Yates], Emma and Rupert, they had a different feel. It was really good, they treated it like it was a big deal.

SnitchSeeker: What was it like watching Ralph Fiennes?
Jessie: I always just missed him on set, but I’m working with Ralph now on Great Expectations. I’m really excited because I don’t have any scenes with him, I’m in a different part of the story, but at the read-through for Great Expectations, he was so amazing to watch. He’s got this huge beard because he’s in The Tempest at the moment, but it’s staggering, he was magnetic to watch. And Helena [Bonham Carter], as well… basically everyone from Harry Potter is in this, which is brilliant. Helena is just fantastic, and I’m thrilled – she’s just my idol.

SnitchSeeker: When do you start that, actually?
Jessie: I’ve done half my stuff, and then I do the rest in December. But, what I’m doing at the moment is setting up my Pindippy shop, which is opening on Monday!

SnitchSeeker: So, Pindippy – break it down for people who won’t understand, as there’s a lot going on the site.
Jessie: Basically, I’m a comedy writer, and it’s basically like a female prepubescent Funny or Die. But is also for my illustrations. Now it’s for my designs, and I’ve got a couple to show you. But yeah, it’s a creative site, and it’s colourful and fun, and it’s hopefully going to be picked up for a TV series – which is wicked – aimed at young audiences, because I think it’s inclusive of that young. And the Harry Potter thing’s been brilliant because it has a great number of people going on it. It’s nice that they can see Lavender making fun of Lavender, so there are a couple of sketches written like that.

It’s so great to include everybody. I can tell you that Katie Leung, and Alfie Enoch are being in it, and Rupert! They’re going to be cousins – Katie’s going to be Cousin Penelope; Alfie’s going to be Cousin Pygmalion; and Rupert’s going to be distant Cousin Gwyllem. And I’m just so excited – and Matt [Lewis] as well wants to do it – so I’m just thrilled.

SnitchSeeker: You’re just getting everybody now!
Jessie: I know, because it’s so fun and different. The main series I do is the Flat White series, which is a series about Tasmanian cousins, and it’s just great for us to do an accent. Katie’s character is just wicked, the total opposite of what people would think. And Rupert, as well, is so keen to do it, and it’s just the opposite of what people would think. And it’s fun, it’s short, it’s quick and easy. And it’s so nice because people feel like they can relate to it in a funny way, and I’m just lucky to be able to do it.

SnitchSeeker: So when are Rupert, Katie, and Alfie going to start filming?
Jessie: I would like to film them as soon as possible and to grab people when we can and when they are in London, but by the new year. Katie and I are already working it out, and Rupert is whenever we can get him, really. So I’m going to speak to him more about it. What’s so nice is that he wants to do it, I’m actually really touched. It’s fun, it’s really easy for them to do. Like I’m not going to make them anything they don’t want to do. I’m going to put them in very, very funny costumes. I think it’s really nice that they’re really keen – and Evanna, as well – it’s so nice, and she’s so good. I think she’s shown that she’s got lots of talent now, comedically, and it’s really lovely of her to do it.

SnitchSeeker: I’m looking forward to it!
Jessie: Yeah, I’m really excited about it! That’ll be in the new year, after Christmas. But there’s loads more coming up at the moment, it’s hopefully going to be geared towards a younger audience.

SnitchSeeker: There’s a bit of swearing, though…
Jessie: No no no, there’s not going to be any of that, yeah. It’s got the colour and stuff, and is dreamlike, not real.

SnitchSeeker: So, after Great Expectations, do you have any other projects lined up?
Jessie: I’m going to Edinburgh next year, I’m starting to do some live comedy. So I’m going to start being myself on stage. Which is actually really scary, actually thinking about it makes me kind of sick. I’m looking really forward to doing it. I’m taking me and my sister Bebe, who’s also in Great Expectations, We’re taking my show up to the Edinburgh Fringe festival, and we’re already starting to think about that and getting a venue. Lots!


Original article found here: snitchseeker.com | November 14, 2011

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We Explore The Harry Potter Studio Tour With Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Warwick Davis And The Weasleys

Harry Potter, the most successful film franchise of all time, has kept fans thrilled for decades and now Hogwarts is set to open its doors to the millions of Muggles who want a piece of the magic, by way of an authentic studio tour.

For a first look at what it will be like, The Huffington Post UK were invited to the place where JK Rowling‘s phenomenal books were brought to life – Warner Brothers’ Leavesden Studios, just outside Watford.

This is where all eight Harry Potter films were made, plus the place the young stars grew up with their characters.

We met Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) in their previous on-set classroom. With them were their older co-stars Warwick Davis (who played both Professor Flitwick and Griphook), Nat Tena (Nymphadora Tonks) and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), to talk about the making of the films and how they feel about the studios turning into a world famous attraction.

Over 100 million pounds has been invested in turning the studios into a place capable of receiving the millions of visitors who want to see a piece of magical movie history. And some of the most memorable sets from the films will be on show, including Dumbledore’s office (home of the Sorting Hat and the Sword of Gryffindor), the boys’ dormitory (where the child actors outgrew their beds and could only be filmed sitting up in them in the last films), the Cupboard under the Stairs at 4 Privet Drive and the Great Hall.

All of the sets have been painstakingly moved across from old buildings on the site, including the Great Hall, with its heavy wooden doors, statues, and real York stone floor, which had to be un-laid and pieced back together, like a jigsaw.

However, the studio at present is still very much a building site, so with a hardhat and high-vis jacket adorned, we made our way around cautiously. But even when the building work is finished, visitors shouldn’t expect to enter the world of Harry Potter as it appeared on screen.

“You only usually see what the camera shows in the films and people assume what’s behind the camera is the same thing, but it’s not. It’s usually a bunch of people drinking tea and coffee and this tour paints that whole picture, which I think is really important”, explained Felton, who at the age of 24 knows more about film-making than most adults.

The studio tour plans to be a gritty, realistic behind-the-scenes look at the scale and detail of the sets, costumes, animatronics, special effects and props used in all eight films. The scaffolding will be left up and the prop cages won’t be hidden, plus there will be green-screens and rigs to show how Quidditch was really played.

If you thought the pupils at Hogwarts could fly, you might find yourself a little disappointed.

Talking about the labour that went into creating the sets, Davis said: “There’s things people will have never seen having watched the film, but if you come down to the studio tour here you can actually see stuff up close, like the parchments actually have things written on them.”

Davis was right. Walking around Dumbledore’s office, we learned that the old, intelligent-looking books lining his walls had great detail on them, even if they had been made from old phone books, as our guide explained.

Felton, who is thankfully very unlike his nasty character, said: “Even things they knew for a fact would never be seen on camera would be detailed, the designers were so passionate that they wouldn’t leave it, they would do it for their own satisfaction.”

Praising the people behind the film, who made it possible for the young inexperienced actors to feel like they were in a magical world, even if they didn’t get the same red carpet adoration as the franchise stars, Davis said: “A lot of the time it’s like real magic, the set is built and then these people come in and dress it and transform it and we walk in to film on a set like that and it’s all there in place.

“They’re the unsung heroes and I think that’s what the studio tour is all about, this is their time to show off their work.”

For the Potter actors at the press launch it was the first time they’d been back at Leavesden since the final film’s wrap party.

One-half of the cheeky Weasley twins, James Phelps, said: “The last scene we filmed here had the bulldozers waiting outside to get started and when we came in today it’s totally unrecognisable.”

Although the buildings and the layout of the studios have changed, Felton reassured us: “The sets are just as I remember them.”

Tickets to the tour will cost about the average for a theme park, at 28 pounds for adults and 21 pounds for children. However, there won’t be adrenaline-packed rides to match, so what do the cast think is the most impressive part of the tour?

For James Phelps it’s the Great Hall. “That’s the part that people always think of in Harry Potter,” he explained. “When we walked in there today it was really surreal, I remember going in there one day and thinking that they were knocking it down and that was it, it’s still really impressive.”

Davis agreed: “The Great Hall is so impressive and for me, who has worked on the film, there’s a lot of memories there. But for people like yourself who’ve grown up with the film it’s kind of iconic, you think of Hogwarts you think of the Great Hall, so many things have happened there, from the feasts, the sorting hat, a funeral, the Yule ball. In the last film you see it partially destroyed, so it’s quiet nice for us going back in there and seeing it restored.”

Grint, who, along with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, worked across most of the sets in the studios, said: “The ministry of magic is really impressive too, you get the sense of the size.”

Wright, who played red-haired Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter’s love interest and the envy of plenty of teenage girls globally, added: “We’ve only seen a bit of what’s being created they’ve still got to put in our kitchen and there’s going to be a room celebrating all the things that creature effects and the art department did.”

Returning to the place where fantasy became reality must bring back some great memories for the cast?

“I remember the first time I walked into the Great Hall and it was all floating candles, I think Dan actually hyperventilated,” mused Grint.

Williams, best known as the Weasley’s father Arthur, confirmed the young actors’ amazement: “You could see it on their faces when they were little, there were plenty of times, particularly on the big sets, where they weren’t acting. They came in and you could see them go ‘wow, we’re in this film’ on their faces.”

For Felton, being back on set reminds him of his Potter family, “I think everyone assumes that it was a fed Warner Bros. line, us saying we’re all a family and get on very well, because it sounds like something they would tell us to say.

“But in my experience it’s very true and I really think fans will feel that when they come here. It wasn’t just a place where the films were made, it was a real place of joy and happiness for the 500 people that got to work here everyday.”

A more skeptical mind might think Warner Bros. are creating this studio tour purely for financial reasons – they know they are going to make millions from visitors for years, if not decades, to come. However, the cast all seem extremely pleased with the venture and see it as a place for all the fantastic things that were achieved over the ten years of Harry Potter production to be sealed in history.

“This as an extraordinary piece of investment and commitment from Warner Bros. and it’s right and proper, considering what the Harry Potter franchise has done for them. It has happened very quickly and has needed no prompting, so that’s a very heartening thing. There’s no bad feeling there,” Williams reassured us.

Harry, Ron and Hermione’s magical story might have come to an end on the big screen, but the fans’ experience of Hogwarts is only just beginning, as Felton explained: “The kids faces are going to be priceless.”


Original article found here: huffingtonpost.co.uk | October 14, 2011

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