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Backstory: Casting the ‘Potter’ Kids

Assuming you ignore the annoying financial detail that is inflation, the “Harry Potter” movies constitute the highest-grossing film series of all time. (Adjusting for inflation, we believe first place is “Rock One” and “Rock Two: The Boulder,” produced in 47 B.C. and grossing three fish and half a puma’s claw.) Much of that is because of the quality of the source material of course, but it’s difficult to argue the producers didn’t make the most important decision when they chose their Harry, Hermoine and Ron.

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint weren’t even 11 when the producers cast them. Think about how wrong that could have gone. They could have found cute kid actors who aged into dull, inexpressive adults. One of the kids could have sprouted a foot taller than the other ones. One could have developed a drug habit. The good fortune of having three mature, decent, relatively normal kids, who then developed into quality actors, seems like cosmic kismet. So how were they cast?

Grint was the most random story. He was not a professional actor, in any capacity; he was a bellring at his church and had only been in school plays, most “notably” as a fish in a reenactment of Noah’s Ark. He was a fan of the “Potter” books and had red hair, so on a whim he sent a video to an open casting call of himself “rapping about how much [he] wanted the part.” Somehow, it worked. This is not how Wallace Shawn’s career started.

Emma Watson had a bit more acting experience. She’d never been in a film before, after spending the first five years of her life in Paris, but she spent the next five years in Oxfordshire studying with a theater teacher. That teacher recommended her to casting agents, and they were impressed, which makes sense: Watson has the wise eyes of an elderly woman. Watson has always said she has loved the experience of being in the “Potter” films, but that if she had known just how massive they were when she was a kid, she might not have done them. To be fair: Everything is massive when you’re 10.

The most widely told — and most apocryphal — involves Radcliffe’s casting as Potter himself. Producer David Heyman had been looking for his Potter for months and, with just a month before filming was set to begin, he hadn’t found one. He then went to go see a play in London and, at intermission, ran into an old friend, a casting agent named Alan Radcliffe. He was introduced to his son, and whammo, then he knew: He had his Harry Potter.

This is only partly true. Yes, Heyman did meet Radcliffe then, but the boy was already acting; he’d appeared in two films by that point. Heyman’s telling implies that he “discovered” Radcliffe, but the 10-year-old had earned plaudits from critics and other producers alike. The only reason Radcliffe hadn’t auditioned yet to play Potter — whom he clearly resembled — was because his parents didn’t want him to sign on for a (then)-six-film series. But once he decided to do it, the role was his. Like the rest of them, he was a perfect fit.


Original article found here: Yahoo! Movies | November 18th, 2010

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Hot Sidekick: Rupert Grint

Watch an old video of Rupert Grint, age 11, freckle-faced and adorable as he describes in awe the dream-come-true of being cast as Harry Potter’s best friend. That was almost a decade ago and Grint, now 20, has grown into a man. In his role in Irish indie film Cherry Bomb, Grint plays a liar and a thief. And he’s the badass who beds the girl.

Grint has spent almost half his life on the set of the Harry Potter films, and he’s got two more to go (along with some work on a theme park set to open in Florida next year). So you could forgive him for having a slightly skewed sense of what life is like in the real world. “It’s been exactly half of my life,” he says with wonder after a day of filming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh in the series, in London.

When Grint was just a kid with no real acting experience, he was so crazy about the Harry Potter books that he hsowed up at the auditions, made up a rap about himself and — like magic — became a wealthy world-famous movie star. “It has been really weird. I feel like I’ve completely changed really quickly. I was going to a regular school, and then suddenly I did this audition on a whim and then — well, it just sort of happened.”

With the next Harry Potter coming out this summer, and the final two films of the series set to be released next year, Grint has had to start to imagine his life outside Hogwarts. “I don’t quite feel 21. I guess I still think I’m 16.” But his rabid fan base — there are countless blogs devoted to his “ginger” beauty — can’t wait for him to grow up.


Original article found at Rollingstone | May 28th, 2009

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Harry Potter’s World of Magic Will Keep You Enchanted!

FIRST it was The Lord of the Rings. Now it is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Hollywood is back to fairy tale world with wizards and witchcraft and that anything-is-possible mould. In the case of Harry Potter, however, it is a cute beginning with poor little Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), a modern-day David Copperfield always at the receiving end of the stick from his foster family: his bullying uncle, callous aunt and spoiled sick and greedy cousin. So when he finds a way out of his misery the audience is all with little Harry.

In fact when his obnoxious uncle tells Harry that “there is no such thing as magic,” it is a hint of the shape of things to come. Not for nothing does Harry have an owl delivering him an invitation for his eleventh birthday. But when his foster family keeps the invites from Harry, Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), an enormous giant, takes it upon himself to meet Harry personally and give his guardians (hardly the right term) a dose of their own medicine.

Thus begins Harry’s entry into the magic world of Hogwarts, with shades of the Middle Earth of The Lord of the Rings. But J.K. Rowling’s popular children’s novel, on which the film is based, is so enmeshed in never-ending action that the message of love is quite lost in the bushels of chaff.

There are some clever touches like Harry choosing the wands, magic wands that is. The wand selects the wizard they say and not the other way around and that not all wizards are good, some go bad. As for the entry to Hogwarts, it is graphically achieved and when Harry meets wizards-in-training Hermoine (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), it opens new vistas in this quaint new world which bewitches the mind and ensnares the senses.There’s Prof Dumbledore (Richard Harris) of the flowing white beard, Prof McGonagall (Maggie Smith) of the Jane Broody school of thought and Nearly Headless Nick (John Cleese) and many others to provide variety even if they have sweet nothing to do. So far so good.

But despite the innovative screenplay by Steve Kloves and the creation of the right ambiance by Chris Columbus it is the inordinate length of the story that tends to undo the initial euphoria. Like The Lord of the Rings it goes on and on endlessly, testing the attention span of both the child and his parent. That brevity is the soul of wit is unwittingly forgotten or simply ignored. That the young trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have the potential to take them places is an understatement but their seniors, Maggie Smith apart, are essentially academic. Perhaps the best part of the film is the ambiance created by some enchanting visuals. But these are drowned in so much of super action. If only they could have used the Bunuellian formula, what a world of a difference it would have made.


Original article found here: The Sunday Tribune | April 28th, 2002

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Harry Potter Matures Into a Wilier Wizard

Written by Claudia Puig

LOS ANGELES — His voice is deeper, his manner more assured and he engages in more adolescent high jinks. Meet the nearly teenage Harry Potter. In the second installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, opening Nov. 15, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and pal Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), both 12, have lower voices and a bit of a tougher attitude. They even drive a car, which can also fly.

33tjdoj“They’re becoming men,” says Annie Tippe, 14, of L.A., who saw the movie Monday at Warner Bros., which is distributing the film. This week, select screenings were held for journalists and studio employees and families.

And while teens count Harry and his magical pals at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as part of their crowd, the younger set admires their cool maturity. “They’re growing up,” says Alex Salas, 9, of Santa Clarita, Calif., with a touch of awe in his voice.

Secrets— based on the best-selling book by J.K. Rowling about the adventures of an orphaned wizard — now seems aimed at slightly older kids.

Last year, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which raked in $318 million in North America, was the most anticipated family movie of the fall. Its main competition, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, another film about magical events, grossed $313 million and attracted a slightly older audience of teens. A similar box office contest will take place this holiday season (with more audience overlap) when The Two Towers, the second Rings epic, opens Dec. 18.

Secrets hopes to outmatch even its own predecessor with more action, humor and thrills. “It’s more suspenseful than the first,” attests Rosie Krieger, 14, of L.A. And teens like Tippe say they are “ecstatic” about the romantic plotline. “It’s developing slowly,” she says.

But don’t discount the fantasy element. In Secrets, Harry eludes armies of eight-legged attackers and tangles with an 85-foot serpent. Some of the action scenes even make the wizard look like a budding Bond. In fact, director Chris Columbus says he urged Radcliffe to say one line “like Clint Eastwood.”

Also captivating are the fast-paced scenes of Quidditch, an aerial sport that is a cross between soccer and basketball — while dodging foes and a heavy careening ball from atop a broomstick.

“We improved the special-effects rigs and the visual effects to get more (high-speed) movement,” says Columbus, who fulfilled last year’s promise to do so. “The goal was to make it a lot more exciting and a little more violent.”

Theater owners who saw Secrets Tuesday responded favorably and predicted the film would probably gross more than $250 million. But some found it less “magical” than the first, and balked at the 2-hour, 42-minute length (nine minutes longer than Stone).


Original article found here: USA Today | October 22nd, 2002

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Wizard School Without the Magic

By ELVIS MITCHELL

THE world may not be ready yet for the film equivalent of books on tape, but this peculiar phenomenon has arrived in the form of the film adaptation of J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” The most highly awaited movie of the year has a dreary, literal- minded competence, following the letter of the law as laid down by the author. But it’s all muted flourish, with momentary pleasures, like Gringott’s, the bank staffed by trolls that looks like a Gaudí throwaway. The picture is so careful that even the tape wrapped around the bridge of Harry’s glasses seems to have come out of the set design. (It never occurred to anyone to show him taping the frame together.)

The movie comes across as a covers act by an extremely competent tribute band ? not the real thing but an incredible simulation ? and there’s an audience for this sort of thing. But watching “Harry Potter” is like seeing “Beatlemania” staged in the Hollywood Bowl, where the cheers and screams will drown out whatever’s unfolding onstage.

To call this movie shameless is beside the point. It would probably be just as misguided to complain about the film’s unoriginality because (a) it has assumed that the target audience doesn’t want anything new and (b) Ms. Rowling’s books cannibalize and synthesize pop culture mythology, proof of the nothing-will-ever-go- away ethic. She has come up with something like “Star Wars” for a generation that never had a chance to thrill to its grandeur, but this is “Young Sherlock Holmes” as written by C. S. Lewis from a story by Roald Dahl.

The director, Chris Columbus, is as adept as Ms. Rowling at cobbling free-floating cultural myths into a wobbly whole. The first film from a Columbus script, “Gremlins,” had the cheeky cheesiness of an urban legend written for Marvel Comics. Mr. Columbus probably felt like the right choice for “Harry Potter” because he has often used the same circuit boards as Ms. Rowling to design his fables. His “Home Alone” movies, “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Stepmom” employ the theme of abandonment by parents as if it were a brand name. And like Mr. Columbus’s films, Ms. Rowling’s novels pull together archetypes that others have long exploited. This movie begins with a shot of a street sign that will cause happy young audiences to erupt in recognition, as the dry-witted giant Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) and Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) drop a baby at the Doorstep of Destiny.

Years later Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), sporting the jagged thunderbolt scar across his forehead, is living there with his terrors of an aunt (Fiona Shaw) and uncle (Richard Griffiths).

Harry is the kid all kids dream they are. His special abilities are recognized by people other than the ones who have raised him. Hagrid returns to rescue him from his tiny room under the stairs and clues Harry in about the boy’s inner force, which is why he doesn’t fit into the world of Muggles, the nonmagical and nonbelievers.

Harry is shown the way to Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards run by Professor Dumbledore (Richard Harris), where Harry pals up with the gawky but decent Ron (Rupert Grint) and the bossy, precocious Hermione (Emma Watson). The instructors, who rule the classrooms with varying degrees of imperiousness, include the acid Snape (Alan Rickman) and the mousy stutterer Quirrell (Ian Hart).

The casting is the standout, from the smaller roles up; it seems that every working British actor of the last 20 years makes an appearance. John Hurt blows through as an overly intense dealer in magic equipment, schooling Harry on selecting his tools. While shopping for his magic equipment, Harry comes across the Sorcerer’s Stone, a bedeviled jewel whose power affects his first year at the enchanted school.

Mr. Radcliffe has an unthinkably difficult role for a child actor; all he gets to do is look sheepish when everyone turns to him and intones that he may be the greatest wizard ever. He could have been hobbled by being cast because he resembles the Harry of the book cover illustrations. It’s a horrible burden to place on a kid, but it helps that Mr. Radcliffe does have the long-faced mournfulness of a 60′s pop star. He also possesses a watchful gravity and, shockingly, the large, authoritative hands of a real wizard.

The other child actors shine, too. Ms. Watson has the sass and smarts to suggest she might cast a spell of her own on Harry in the coming years and, one supposes, sequels. Mr. Grint has a surprising everyman quality, but the showstopper is Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. This drolly menacing blond with a widow’s peak is Harry’s plotting foe, and he has the rotted self-confidence of one of the upperclassmen from Lindsay Anderson’s “If.” There has never been a kid who got so much joy from speaking his oddball name.

Ms. Shaw and Mr. Griffiths are enjoyably swinish, the most resolute of Muggles. Mr. Rickman, whose licorice-black pageboy has the bounce of a coiffure from a hair products ad, is a threatening schoolroom don who delivers his monologues with a hint of mint; his nostrils flare so athletically that he seems to be doing tantric yoga with his sinuses. The mountainously lovable Mr. Coltrane really is a fairy-tale figure that kids dream about.

The movie’s most consistently entertaining scene features a talking hat, and that’s not meant as an insult. The Sorting Hat, which has more personality than anything else in the movie, assigns the students to the various dormitories; it puts Harry, Ron and Hermione together.

But the other big set pieces are a letdown. The Quidditch match ? the school sport that’s part polo, part cricket and part Rollerball, played on flying brooms ? has all the second-rate sloppiness of the race in “Stars Wars ? Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.” It’s a blur of mortifyingly ordinary computer-generated effects.

Given that movies can now show us everything, the manifestations that Ms. Rowling described could be less magical only if they were delivered at a news conference. And the entrance that may be as eagerly awaited as Harry’s appearance ? the arrival of Voldemort (Richard Bremmer), the archvillain ? is a disappointment, a special effect that serves as a reminder of how much he stands in Darth Vader’s shadow.

This overly familiar movie is like a theme park that’s a few years past its prime; the rides clatter and groan with metal fatigue every time they take a curve. The picture’s very raggedness makes it spooky, which is not the same thing as saying the movie is intentionally unsettling.

No one has given Harry a pair of Hogwarts-edition Nikes, nor do he, Hermione and Ron stop off to super- size it at the campus McDonald’s : exclusions that seem like integrity these days. (There’s no need for product placement. The Internet is likely to have a systems crash from all the kids going online to order maroon-and-gold scarves, which Harry and his dorm mates wear.)

Another kind of exclusion seems bothersome, though. At a time when London is filled with faces of color, the fleeting appearances by minority kids is scarier than Voldemort. (Harry’s gorgeous owl, snow white with sunken dark eyes and feather tails dappled with black, gets more screen time than they do.)

Mr. Columbus does go out of his way to give a couple of lines to a little boy with a well-groomed head of dreadlocks. This movie may not be whiter than most, but the peering- from-the-sidelines status accorded to minorities seems particularly offensive in a picture aimed at kids. It’s no different in the books, really, but young imaginations automatically correct for this paucity.

A lack of imagination pervades the movie because it so slavishly follows the book. The filmmakers, the producers and the studio seem panicked by anything that might feel like a departure from the book ? which already feels film-ready ? so “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” never takes on a life of its own.

Someone has cast a sleepwalker’s spell over the proceedings, and at nearly two and a half hours you may go under, too. Its literal-mindedness makes the film seem cowed by the chilling omnipresence of its own Voldemort, Ms. Rowling, who hovered around the production.

The movie is so timid it’s like someone who flinches when you extend a hand to shake. This film is capable of a certain brand of magic: it may turn the faithful into Muggles.

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is rated PG (Parental Guidance suggested), probably so that kids older than 12 won’t think it’s baby stuff. It includes scenes of magic someone must have found intense and threatening and a soupçon of strong language.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE

Directed by Chris Columbus; written by Steve Kloves, based on the novel by J. K. Rowling; director of photography, John Seale; edited by Richard Francis-Bruce; music by John Williams; production designer, Stuart Craig; visual effects supervisor, Rob Legato; produced by David Heyman; released by Warner Brothers. Running time: 146 minutes. This film is rated PG.

WITH: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley), Richard Harris (Professor Dumbledore), Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell), John Hurt (Mr. Ollivander), Alan Rickman (Professor Snape), Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley), Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall), Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley), Zoë Wanamaker (Madame Hooch), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley), David Bradley (Mr. Filch) and Richard Bremmer (Lord Voldemort).


Article found here on NYTimes I Published November 16, 2001

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A Chat With Emma Watson and Rupert Grint of “Harry Potter”

A Chat With Rupert Grint and Emma Watson

Written by Ethan Aames

As Rupert Grint and Emma Watson walk into the press room in New York City, all of the eyes of the press members point downwards, as the two co-stars of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” quietly take their place. Like most kids their age, they’re less than five-feet tall in height. Needless to say, however, their energy and excitement for the film has them standing taller than anyone else in Hollywood.

11-year old Emma Watson jumps into her first actor role as Hermione Granger, friend to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley at the Hogwarts School of Magic. Hermione is perhaps the most decorative character, for she’s the most bossy and arrogant, and at the same time, the nerd of the group. When asked if she found this similarity with Hermione, she laughs and simply commands “Ask my brother!” Regarding school, Emma says modestly, “Um…no. I don’t enjoy studying. I enjoy school, but I’m not obsessed with school, that’s kind of the difference between us.”

13-year old Rupert Grint knows Harry Potter’s confidant, Ron Weasley. He is Ron Weasley, or so he tells us. “Well when I was reading the books, I always thought I could relate to Ron because we both got red hair, we both like sweets, both scared of spiders, and we both got lots of brothers and sisters.”

At such a young age, it is unquestionably a daunting experience seeing oneself on the big-screen. “For me, it was just so scary seeing myself that big on the screen,” said Rupert.

Regarding her first experience, Emma says, “The first time I saw it, I was like, ‘Oh my God’ and I literally felt weird for a few seconds, cause it’s weird seeing yourself on screen. And then the second time I watched it, I enjoyed it a little. The third time I watched it, I actually picked up how they had done it and I really enjoyed it.”

Both Rupert and Emma have had their taste of Harry Potter fandom. In fact, they were fans of the books themselves before the movie was even a concept. “Oh yeah, I was like the biggest Harry Potter fan before I even knew it was going to be a film,” said Rupert.

“I was already in the middle of the third one when I started auditioning and finished the fourth before I had the role so I was like a major Harry Potter fan,” answered Emma.

So why has the Harry Potter series gripped both adults and kids alike? “Um, I reckon it’s because it’s for all ages,” says Emma. “Because, in a way I’ve seen just as many adults reading the Harry Potter books as I have seen the children, and it’s kind of got a mix of everything – comedy, adventure, it can make people cry. J.K. Rowling describes everything really well [because] you kind of feel like you know the characters. I reckon it’s just as popular in Britain as it is in the United States. Not even just that, but around the world.”

Both children find themselves under the direction of Chris Columbus, who has directed countless other family/children films as well, such as “Home Alone,” “Stepmom,” and “Bicentennial Man.” Emma comments, “He is such a cool director, so nice. I haven’t worked with any others but I’m sure he’s one of the best (laughs). He would say [the scene] himself and say ‘How do you want to do it?’ He wasn’t really bossy and he wasn’t telling us what to do, or say, or how to act. He is a fantastic director.”

It is late in the afternoon at the interview, and despite doing hours and hours of press, they still find time to be kids. When asked about the perks of being in the “Harry Potter” movie, Emma still finds a way to be clever.

I’d say going to different places. We went to loads of locations which was really fun, met some new people, and it was fantastic acting with really good co-stars, ie. Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Zoe Wanaker, Julie Walters, and it was just a great cast.

Rupert: And for me, probably the sweets.

Emma: (Rolls eyes) I say a long sobby speech, and he says…’sweets’.Evidence that they still maintain their youth can also be found from some of their answers to other questions. When asked if they could have one magical power from the Hogwarts school, what would it be and why, Emma responds, “I think I’d make myself invisible so I can go into movies for over 15 [year olds]!”

Rupert agrees but has an ulterior motive. “Yeah, I’d be invisible but I’d sneak out of detentions.”

Their experience with Hogwarts isn’t over yet: Both are committed to do at least one more film, entitled “Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets.” Emma reveals that both Rupert and Dan have started shooting their scenes already, but that she will be joining them in December. “Oh yeah, it’s going to be real fun,” Rupert chimes in. “I can’t wait to cough up slugs!”

The sun has set in New York City and both kids are visibly exhausted. Emma takes out her chapstick and starts playing with it, while Rupert slumps lower in his chair. So how have they handled being asked the same questions, over and over again, by different reporters? Emma presents her solution in an outburst.

“That’s the good thing about them! They all ask exactly the same questions and you can say exactly the same answers! You don’t have to think, you can just stand there like a broken record going LALALALA…”

Laughter erupts among the group of reporters sitting at the table with them. As the two rising superstars exit the room, the energy of the room leaves with them. They’re adorable, they’re charming, and by far some of the most brilliant actors you could ever chat with. But one simple fact remains: They are kids. And they’ll grace their presence on screen for many, many years to come.

“Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone” opens in the U.S. and the U.K. on November 16th.


Original article found at Cinema Confidential | November 14th, 2001

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The Golden Snitch Awards: 2001

Thomas, 12, was one of the first people to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – and presents his Golden Snitch awards. And the award winners are:

Best adult actor:
Alan Rickman (aka Professor Severus Snape). His dramatic, terrifying style of acting is obviously just the thing for a Slytherin.

Best adult actress:
Maggie Smith (aka Professor Minerva McGonagall). A bit older-looking than I imagined but still strict, firm and typical teacher style.

Best child actor:

Rupert Grint (aka Ron Weasley). Not quite how I imagined Ron, but all the better for it – he gets the edge over Harry due to his superb style.

Best child actress:
Emma Watson (aka Hermione Granger). Perfectly annoying, extremely clever and a know-it-all, she wins hands down.

Best special effect:
Fluffy. It was a tough choice, but he moves very well and looks good, while the Quidditch match isn’t quite up to scratch.

Best addition from the book:

The extremely funny, improved “Dudley and the snake scene”. He falls into the water and after being paralysed with fear, ends up trapped in there. Stupid boy.

Most disappointing thing to lose from the book:
Peeves the Poltergeist. A comic, mad and all-round mischievous character, he would have looked good on the big screen rather than the cutting room floor. Oh, well.

Funniest part:
It’s a good night for this scene. Once again “Dudley and the snake” wins. Great acting from Dudley and a great idea.

Most frightening part:
The chess match. Very violent and Ron’s sacrifice adds up to a pretty darn scary bit for a young audience.

and finally…

Best Scenery:
The Great Hall of Hogwarts. Actually an abbey, the ceiling, floating candles and pumpkins become the most spectacular place in the film.


Original article found here: CBBC Newsround | November 10th, 2001

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Rupert Grint: ‘Film won’t ruin books’

Rupert as Ron Weasley in the film



Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the new Harry Potter movie, has given his first major interview to CBBC’s Newsround.


And he says the forthcoming film will live up to the magic of the books.


“I am a really big Harry Potter fan,” he says.


“I’ve seen the film and the sets and I don’t think they will destroy the books at all. It’s really spot on”.


Dream come true


13-year-old Rupert revealed in his interview with Newsround’s Lizo Mzimba that he got the dream part after reading about the auditions right here.




The chess scene from the film
The chess scene from the film

“I saw it on the Newsround website and then I did my own video, pretending to be a drama teacher and rapping and making the script up.”


The Great Hall

But even the excitement of getting the part didn’t compare with the start of filming.


“When I walked into the Great Hall for the first time, it was absolutely incredible.


“There were all these effects, with all the candles floating, food on the table, all the flamboes were lit – it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Chess scene




Harry and his friends in the Great Hall
Harry and his friends in the Great Hall

And you won’t be so surprised to hear that Rupert’s favourite part of the film is where Ron gets to hog the limelight for a while.

“The chess scene was pretty difficult – there was loads of dust everywhere. But all the way through the film, Harry’s been doing all the brave stuff. So Ron was really happy, because that’s his fave thing – chess.”


The movie has its world premiere on Sunday and opens across the UK on 16 November.



And we’ve got more exclusive interviews with the child stars coming up: Hermione on Tuesday and Harry on Wednesday. Don’t miss ’em!





Original article found here: CBBC Newsround | October 29th, 2001

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Coke and Harry Potter Join Forces

Daniel Radcliffe (centre) with co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft drink group, has won the global marketing rights for the first Harry Potter film, at a reported cost of 103m. The deal includes a pledge to fund community-reading schemes, as requested by Potter author JK Rowling, and is thought to be one of the largest ever marketing link-ups with a film.

Coca Cola will fund community reading initiatives

Under the terms of the deal the face of the young wizard will not be shown on cans or bottles of Coca-Cola but “Harry Potter-related images” will appear.

Rowling is said to be keen not to overly commercialise her world-famous character and asked Warner Brothers and Coke to respect children’s imaginations.

‘Power and magic’

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone is being filmed at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire and at locations around the UK.

It also stars John Cleese, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Dame Maggie Smith and Zoe Wanamaker and is due to be released on 16 November.

A spokesman for Coca-Cola said: “This is going to be about the Harry Potter ethos as opposed to a buy-one-get-one-free type of thing.”

“It was tremendously important that we create a partnership that would have the ability to globally support the power and magic of Harry Potter,” Brad Ball, president of domestic marketing at Warner Brothers said.

‘One on one’

“The key to our plan will be about relationships, local communities, connecting with people one-on-one and looking at the things we traditionally do in a whole new way,” said Tom Long, Coca-Cola’s UK division president.

The marketing deal will see Coke ditch traditional marketing strategies for films such as giveaways at fast food outlets.

Filming on the Potter movie has run behind schedule and film bosses have had to ask school authorities for permission to keep Daniel Radcliffe, who will play the young wizard, out of school for longer than was planned.

Radcliffe and his young co-stars Emma Watson, 10, and Rupert Grint, 12, have been receiving lessons from tutors while on set.


Article found here on BBC.co.uk I Published February 21, 2001

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Potter Film Needs More Time!

The makers of the Harry Potter movie are seeking permission for the film’s young star Daniel Radcliffe to be allowed to stay away from school to continue filming.

Warner Bros Pictures have overrun on their filming schedule for The Sorcerer’s Stone due to bad weather.

They have had to approach 11-year-old Radcliffe’s local London council to ask for the original deadline of the end of March to be extended to mid-July.

Filming on the much-anticipated movie, based on the first of the four best-selling Harry Potter children’s books by JK Rowling, began in September last year.

Radcliffe goes to school in Kensington but lives in Fulham, west London, which comes under the authority of Hammersmith and Fulham council.

‘Exceptional’

Permission for a minor to stay way from school has to be granted by the council authority governing the area in which you live.

Council spokesman Kevin Batt confirmed that Warners were seeking permission to extend filming.

“We are currently looking in to the request and the exceptional circumstances involved,” Mr Batt said.

“This film is going to launch Daniel into the stratosphere of stardom. It would be highly unlikely for us to suddenly put a stop to that.”

However, Mr Batt dismissed reports that Warners had asked for an extension to try to make two Harry Potter movies back-to-back before Radcliffe’s voice broke.

“They would have asked for much longer,” Mr Batt concluded.

Although Radcliffe and his young co-stars Emma Watson, 10, and Rupert Grint, 12, are not attending school they are receiving lessons from tutors on set.

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone is being filmed at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire.

It also stars John Cleese, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Dame Maggie Smith and Zoe Wanamaker.

It is due to be released on 16 November.


Original article found at BBC News I February 19th, 2001

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