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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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Tom Felton pranks Rupert Grint by posing as fan at stage door

Tom Felton tried to fool his Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint this week – by disguising himself as a fan of the actor.

Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Potter films, arrived at the stage door of the Broadway theatre where Grint is currently acting in It’s Only a Play opposite Matthew Broderick.

He proceeded to disguise himself in a hat, wig and glasses and wait at the stage door with fans for the Ron Weasley actor to emerge.

Felton posed as a fan called Bob and asked Grint for a photograph, before Grint realised the man’s true identity.

Felton’s disguise was captured by Instagram user eajobson, who uploaded the photo to their profile.

Grint previously attended the premiere of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in which Felton starred, wearing an ‘I Heart Tom Felton’ T-shirt.

Felton responded by wearing an ‘I Heart Ron Weasley’ shirt while promoting the Harry Potter Studio Tour.


Original article found here:digitalspy.co.uk | November, 16th 2014

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Ed Sheeran Wanted Prince Harry For ‘Lego House’ Video

24th December 2011, 09:00

The singer-songwriter admits he wasn’t sure how much the Royal acts so opted for Harry Potter star Rupert Grint instead.

Ed Sheeran has revealed he would have loved to have got Prince Harry to star in the music video for ‘Lego House’.

Speaking to Capital FM, the ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ star said he wanted to get a “really cool ginger” person to take the role, which was eventually filled by Rupert Grint.

Discussing Rupert’s role, he said: “It was like I wanna get a really cool ginger to play me and kinda poke fun at the fact that people say I look like Ron Weasley. It was either him or Prince Harry and I don’t know if Prince Harry acts.”

The collaboration came from another Harry Potter star, Tom Felton, who helped get the pair together after calling in a favour.

Ed admitted he would have loved to return the favour to Rupert and star in one of the Harry Potter films and is disappointed the film series has come to an end.

“I was speaking to one of Rupert Grint’s people and you know, it could have been cool to be a stunt double, but now it’s all over I can’t. I wouldn’t have minded jumping off stuff,” he said.

Meanwhile, ‘The A Team’ singer revealed recently that he was hoping to save up enough money to buy his own train.


Original article found here: capitalfm.com | Decemberer 24th, 2011

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Ed Sheeran’s Celebrity Pals Help Make New Video…

EXCLUSIVE | Find out which Harry Potter star helped with Ed’s promo..

Ed Sheeran has revealed Harry Potter star Tom Felton is responsible for Rupert Grint’s starring role in his video Lego House.

Ahead of winning the Breakthrough Artist gong at this year’s Q Awards, Sheeran told MTV News’ Laura Whitmore that Grint didn’t ask for a penny and Felton helped make it all happen.

“Tom is a fan of my music and started tweeting me, so I just took a chance and he hooked it all up,” explained The A Team singer. “It’s all down to him.”

“Rupert Grint is the nicest guy you could possibly meet – he’s lovely and did it for free, which shows how nice he is.”

In the video, Grint is seen impersonating Sheeran before being tackled by security for being an impostor.

Sheeran added: “It was really fun to make and at my gig everyone went nuts when he came on-stage, which was funny.”


Original article found here: mtv.co.uk | October 24, 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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Actors tell all

From egos to evil, ‘Potter’ cast answer pop quiz from fans

“Harry Potter” fans Ally Martin and Mackenzie Fitch got to spring a pop quiz on the star pupils at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The 11-year-olds from Olcott, N.Y., near Buffalo, brainstormed questions for the Associated Press to ask during interviews with Daniel Radcliffe and other stars of the “Harry Potter” films.

Along with Radcliffe, who stars as teen wizard Harry, the girls relayed questions to Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who play Harry’s pals Hermione and Ron, and Tom Felton, who plays his rival, bad boy Draco.

The final film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” opened Friday.

Daniel Radcliffe

Q.Do you like the movies being pretty much all about you? Did you like all of the attention?

A. Well, yes, I am a massive egomaniac. … Do I like it all being about me? Well, I can’t really say ‘no’ … I suppose it’s a nice feeling to know that you’re an important person on the set. But to be honest with you, I think any actor that views actors as the most important people on the set are so deluded, because there are literally millions of actors all over the world. There are many more actors in the world than there are Steadicam (camera) operators, so we are, logically speaking, a lot more expendable. So no, I don’t say I like it all being about me. It’s just the way it was. I was just the one that looked the most like Harry when they were auditioning people.

Q.Are you like your character in a lot of ways?

A. It was funny, when my mum read the sixth book, she said, “It’s weird. It’s sort of like Jo (“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling) does sort of know you a bit now. … When Harry argues and he gets on the defensive, he becomes really irritating like you do.” So I think in that way, when we’re on the defensive, we both tend to get more belligerent. … Other than that, we’ve both got a lot of curiosity. We both put a lot of value in our friends. I think we’ve both got quite the sense of humor.

Q.Is it hard for you to end the series, because most of your acting career has been as Harry?

A. Having watched these amazing actors for 10 years, having learned so much, it’s now kind of time. My education is complete, and it’s now time for me sort of to be released in the wild and see how I function in the real world.

Emma Watson

Q.Does it get annoying when the main characters are boys and you are the only girl?

A. When I was younger, I did struggle. I wished for a girl on set a lot, actually. There are times when I did feel really left out.

Q.Because you bossed Daniel and Rupert around in the movies, did you ever do it accidentally in real life?

A. Oh, all the time, all the time! Definitely. They’ll tell you that I definitely bossed them around at times. Sometimes, I accidentally found myself directing, giving them direction on a scene that we’re doing together. I’d have to catch myself, because I’m like, that really isn’t my job. I really shouldn’t be telling them that.

Q.Since you had a cat in some of the movies, do you actually like cats in real life?

A. I love cats. I’m such a cat person. I actually miss my cats so much. I grew up around them. … Being around cats, it really calms me down.

Q.Do you wish you were your character? Do you wish you were magical and could get away from the real world?

A. These questions are brilliant. I don’t know, actually. Having watched this last movie, the magical world is pretty dark. It seems quite scary. I don’t know whether it would be fun. Do I wish I was my character? No. I’m pretty happy being Emma. I’m pretty content as Emma.

Rupert Grint

Q.Do you like the character you play? Is he like you?

A. I’ve always been quite fond of Ron. Always felt a strong kind of connection to him when I was reading the books. … When you’re playing a character like this for so long, you do kind of bring a bit of yourself into him. I think we’ve merged into the same person over the years. It’s quite hard for me to kind of separate us now.

Q. Would you change him if you could?

A. He’s always been quite cool. I suppose maybe if he was a bit braver, occasionally. A few more heroic moments would be quite cool.

Q. Do you think the movie Ron or the book Ron is more like you?

A. I suppose the movie Ron, really. It was – it is me, really.

Q. Is it hard for you to end the series, because most of your acting career has been as Ron?

A. Yeah. It’s going to take a while to kind of get used to that. I think there’ll always be a bit of Ron in me. It’s just not having that routine, I think, is going to be the weirdest thing. Just not seeing these people and going in every day is going to take me a while to come to terms with. But I’m ready to move on.

Tom Felton

Q. Is it hard for you to be nice in the real world when you’re so mean in the films?

A. I think it actually makes me slightly nicer. I think I get to vent my day-to-day frustrations and annoyances through this Hitler-like child, and by doing so, it seems to be quite therapeutic. And hopefully, I’m a slightly friendlier soul.

Q. Are you a bit like your character in a way (no offense)?

A. I’m glad they said no offense, because I get a lot of genuine journalists saying, “How similar are you to your character?” … God, I hope I’m not anything even remotely close, other than in the way we look. I think we’re polar opposites. I like to think of myself as a fairly un-Draco-esque character.

Q. You played a major role in Dumbledore’s death but didn’t actually kill him. How do you feel about that?

A. It was never in Draco, really. The task was never going to be performed by him. … Granted that he set it up and that whole journey led him to where he is now, where he thinks, I don’t want to do this anymore. And as fixated as he was on becoming this chosen one of the dark side, it was that one event, actually, I think, seeing Dumbledore going before his eyes. I really enjoyed the shots of afterward, where you see the sort of evil team leaving Hogwarts, with Draco as sort of this lost child, looking at things around him, thinking, I don’t want to leave here. This is my home, this is my sanctuary, or at least somewhere I feel safe. And from that day onward, he’s banished. So it’s a real sad time for Draco. I feel deeply sorry for the poor boy.


Original article found here: journalgazette | July 19th, 2011

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‘Harry Potter’ Finale: Why Did Rupert Grint Walk Out?


Spoiler alert: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” is a tearjerker.

While fans already expect to walk into the theater Friday with a box of tissues in hand, the “Potter” stars were a bit surprised to find that watching the final film in the series could bring them to tears — or at least make them choke up. Viewers will likely find the movie emotional on two levels, because the story itself has tragic elements and because its release marks the end of a decade-long film series.

Even though the actors finished filming the movie more than a year ago, they said there were still scenes in “Deathly Hallows, Part 2” that made them fight back tears. Rupert Grint said that, despite the fact he’s seen the movie twice, he had to walk out of the theater during the London premiere last week.

“I caught a bit. It is really sad,” he told MTV News.”There’s a scene where all three of us are on the bridge after the battle, the castle is on fire … there’s a weird parallel between that and our lives. That always gets me.”

For Tom Felton, it was the epilogue scene that concludes the movie that almost brought him to tears. That scene has especial emotional resonance for him because his real-life girlfriend, Jade Olivia, plays the wife of his character Draco in the flash-forward sequence. But it was actually Daniel Radcliffe’s scene between Harry and his children at King’s Cross station that affected him the most.

“There was something really nice about seeing Daniel with his kids at the end. I really thought Daniel did a marvelous job of being older. I got a bit emotional about that,” Felton said. “Even though it’s funny, it was really quite sad to think that, ‘Christ, our lives have flashed before our eyes. We’re old!’ ”

Radcliffe also told MTV News that he found scenes in the film “heartbreaking,” especially Alan Rickman’s performance during Severus Snape’s flashback sequence.

Beyond the film, Felton said he nearly cried during Radcliffe, Grint and Emma Watson’s heartfelt goodbye speeches at the London premiere last week. He had to talk himself through it, saying, “Just keep it together, Tom, just keep it together,” but according to the “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” actor, it was a close call.

“[The speeches] were really quite special,” he said. “I was really touched by that. I could have easily let myself go.”


Original article found here: mtv.com | July 11th, 2011

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Interview: Harry Potter Cast and Crew Say Goodbye at Final Red Carpet

It all ends here. And here, this week, was New York City, where Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the cast of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 walked their last red carpet for the final Potter premiere … ever. FilmCritic.com was lucky enough to be on the carpet where we tossed questions at the Potter creative team as they posed for pictures, signed autographs for fans, and prepared to say farewell to this beloved film franchise after 10 magical years.

Q: Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy scored a Best Picture Oscar on its final try. Would it matter to you if the Harry Potter franchise managed to do the same?
Rupert Grint: It’s never been something that really mattered to us. This [gesturing at the screaming fans] is a good enough kind of award, just seeing the enthusiasm from our fans. It’s just as pleasing to us as it is to them.

Harry Potter producer David Heyman: Yes, this is our Academy. We are making films for an audience, and this is as rewarding as it gets. Academy recognition would be wonderful, but that’s not what it’s about for us. It’s about these people out here, some of who have been camping out for 6 days. At the London premiere, people traveled from as far away as Brazil and Japan, camping out in the rain to show their support. They are amazing.

Q: Rupert, do you remember the very first scene you filmed as Ron Weasley?

RG: Oh yeah, I remember it clearly. It actually was the very last scene of the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And I remember it being so sudden. One week, I was in school reading the Harry Potter books, and the next week, I’m on a film set. It was just crazy, and such a high for me.

Q: David, you had such a key role in the casting of these iconic roles.

DH: Well, Emma Watson was always much more beautiful than the way Hermione was described in the books. [Laughs] But you know, [Deathly Hallows director] David Yates said something beautiful the other day, and it’s true. He said that in some ways, we are all standing on the shoulders of [original director] Chris Columbus, because it was he who cast Dan, Rupert and Emma. He cast Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith. I helped and I supported, but it was mostly Chris at the time.

Q: For parents introducing their kids to the Harry Potter franchise for the first time, should they use the movies or J.K. Rowling’s books?

Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves: Start with the books. Well, OK, it depends on how old your kids are. But I would sit every night and read one or two chapters with your kids. That was a great joy that I had with my daughter. And then one of the little deaths of my life occurred when my daughter could read on her own, and she started reading the books without me. But I loved that time, reading Jo’s books with her.

Q: Can you recommend a similar literary series Potter fans can use to fill the void now that the franchise is ending?
SK: Well, actually, the thing that’s different about Potter is that in a way it wasn’t a franchise. We had one long tale written by Jo Rowling. We didn’t end up with Harry fighting Nazis on the moon. [Laughs] I think there will be other decent series out there, but there’s not going to be another Potter because there’ll never be another Jo Rowling.

Q: Any parting words to Harry Potter fans?

Tom Felton: Just a thank you. Every year, they have surprised us with their support and passion, so thank you so much.
DH: Yes, thank you, thank you, thank you. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you very much, Potter fans.


Original article found here: filmcritics.com | July 11th, 2011

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‘Harry Potter’ class graduates without child-actor woes

LOS ANGELES — If the young cast of the “Harry Potter” films received report cards for their school days at Hogwarts, they’d all probably earn the notation, “plays well with others.”

Cast as impressionable children in Hollywood’s biggest fantasy franchise, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and their many young co-stars have maneuvered through 11 years of fame — and the temptations it brings — without any whispers of Lindsay Lohan-style meltdowns that can derail child actors.

They’ve grown up smart, humble, polite and professional, eager to balance modest private lives with productive acting careers rather than leap into the party-till-dawn celebrity lifestyle.

The actors and the headmasters of the Warner Bros. franchise say it wasn’t magic that kept the kids on their best behavior. It was the luck of the draw when the youngsters were first cast, good parenting, mindful shepherding that resembled the rigors and care of the finest boarding schools, and a sheltered workplace outside of London, far from Hollywood’s madding crowds.

“It’s very different doing it in England,” said Radcliffe, who was 11 when cast in the title role as the boy wizard for 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and turns 22 the week after the mid-July debut of the final film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

“In America, you’re treated as an actor first and a kid second. Here, you’re very much treated as a kid first and an actor second. In fact, you’re not really treated as an actor. You’re treated as a kid on a film set, which is how it should be, because that’s all you are at that point. No one’s an actor at 12.”

And with the performers so young, their parents were instrumental in steering the children through busy working lives and the madness of instant celebrity.

“We couldn’t have done it without the family support that’s kept all three of them and the supporting cast all lovely, lovely people,” said David Barron, a producer on most of the “Harry Potter” films. “They’ve got very strong families who kept them really strongly grounded.”

With tens of millions of “Harry Potter” fans to please and billions of dollars at stake, Warner Bros. went to great lengths to protect and nurture the stars through eight films and a decade of hard work.

Sets to create author J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and other Potter locations were built at Leavesden Studios northwest of London, giving the filmmakers a controlled environment where they could work and essentially help raise their young charges.

“It’s been a bit of a bubble, and it’s been very self-contained, and I think we just have good people around us,” said Watson, who was 10 when cast as Hermione Granger and now is 21. “We’ve just been lucky that we haven’t been exploited in any way.”

Radcliffe, Watson, Grint and such co-stars as Tom Felton, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch and Matthew Lewis had tutors on set, along with armies of studio publicists to help coach them through the media circus of almost-annual premieres and press junkets to promote each film.

The filmmakers say Leavesden became a kind of Hogwarts boarding school for the cast.

“It was a place that was just us, nobody else,” said David Heyman, a producer on all of the “Harry Potter” films. “That has enabled us to sort of cocoon ourselves in an environment, in a way, that I think is a supportive and a safe one.”

The actors developed strong work ethics, and the filmmakers saw traits in their stars that mirrored those of the characters.

Like Harry, Radcliffe assumed a solicitous leadership role, sort of a goodwill ambassador on set. Like Hermione, Watson was studious, hurling herself into her education. Like Ron Weasley, Grint had a playful humor and the support of a large family.

“You felt people are just kind of waiting for us to fall into that stereotype of, I suppose, child actors,” said Grint, who started on “Potter” at age 11 and turns 23 a month after the final film opens. “But I’ve always been quite busy. Never really had much time to go too crazy. I come from a big family, as well, and that always helps you to know who you are.”

Director David Yates, who made the final four “Harry Potter” films, said he wondered a few years back whether some of his stars might turn into a handful as they reached the rebellious late-teen years.

“Because, they have every right to kind of get angry or frustrated,” Yates said. “They carry a lot of responsibility. They’re under tremendous pressure. They have enormous temptations. The world is at their feet. They get paid enormous amounts of money. But they haven’t gone over the edge, and I think it’s the people around them. I think there’s something ingrained with them. It’s their family.”

Many child actors have trouble landing more adult roles once they outgrow their cute and cuddly phase and can get sidetracked into drugs or alcohol, such as Lohan and others before her, including Danny Bonaduce, Corey Feldman and Macauley Culkin.

So far, the key “Potter” stars have remained focused. Radcliffe has done Broadway with “Equus” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and stars in the upcoming big-screen thriller “The Woman in Black.” Watson is studying at Brown University and has a role in the upcoming Marilyn Monroe drama “My Week With Marilyn.” Grint did a couple of independent movies in between “Potter” films and stars in the upcoming war saga “Comrade.”


Original article found here: htrnews.com| July 10th, 2011

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