ComingSoon.net talked to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) in Los Angeles today about the highly-anticipated fifth installment in the franchise:
Q: Daniel, how does being naked in Equus compare to the kiss in “Potter”?
Daniel Radcliffe: Well, I did the kiss first and I think the reason that it wasn’t a problem or a sort of worry in the slightest was that in the back of my mind, I was thinking I’ll be naked on stage in six months, I’ve got to get over this. Because if that’s a worry, then the whole [nude blinding horses] would be a greater worry. But really, the kiss was sort of more of a big deal than perhaps… everyone sort of assumed it was a really big sort of moment but it’s sort of just like doing any other scene really, which is very disappointing for people to hear I know but that’s unfortunately how it was.
Q: Did you relate to the issue of revolution in this film, being a punk rock fan?
Radcliffe: Yeah, I love doing all that stuff to do with Harry in this film because [director] David [Yates] kept referring to it as Dumbledore’s army as being like the French resistance, which was a metaphor that really appealed to me. And also, Harry as a leader and a teacher was able to show off his wizarding skills. That showing off stuff was really, really fun to do. So I don’t think I brought a tremendous amount of punk music into those scenes. It didn’t seem to require it. I was mainly listening to Radiohead for Harry in this film. Somebody did ask me yesterday if there was one album that could be Harry’s soundtrack during this movie. I think it would be “Okay Computer” by Radiohead which I think tells you all you need to know about his character.
Q: Talk about growing up over the course of these five films?
Emma Watson: I remember, especially with the earlier films, Dan and Rupert had grown like a couple of inches by the end of shooting because it was so long, or by the time the film was released. That was kind of crazy. I know on the second one I was still losing teeth, so that was interesting. One scene I kind of like a full set to a couple out.
Radcliffe: Not a full false set of teeth. It was one tooth. It wasn’t like the whole mouth.
Watson: No, I was saying I had a full set of teeth and then I’d lose one.
Radcliffe: Oh, right, okay, I thought you said, “I had a false set of teeth.”
Watson: Oh my God, no.
Watson: So it was kind of a weird experience, to make the whole growing up process rather smoothly. We kind of had to do it without anyone realizing. But I don’t know, I think we don’t really think about it. Everyone always asks this question. “Is it really hard growing up on screen?” I’ve never grown up any other way so I don’t know. That’s the way it’s always been and you just kind of deal with that. I mean, we’ve been doing it since we were so young so I can’t really remember what life was like before, so I don’t know.
Rupert Grint: Yeah, for me it’s just been one long experience really because it doesn’t really feel like that long ago. It’s only when you look back on the first ones you sort of realize how much we’ve grown up I guess. It’s been really fun. I’ve enjoyed sort of every moment of it so it’s been really cool.
Radcliffe: I don’t think you realize when you’re growing up. I think it’s just one of those things that sort of just happens to you and somebody shows you a photograph of yourself when you were 10 and you recoil in horror. To us, as Emma was saying, we’ve just grown up. We don’t think of ourselves as having grown up on screen. But yeah, it’s been great. It’s been really good fun. We’ve met some of the people who we’re really, really good friends with through these films who we probably wouldn’t have had the chance to meet had we not done them, so it’s been fantastic.
Q: How will it feel to have your prints at Grauman’s Chinese theater?
Watson: I was amazed they asked us. I was like, “Wow.” I couldn’t believe it. That’s such a big deal. I was really, really, really flattered. It’s just amazing to be doing it.
Radcliffe: Yeah, but when you see those other names, I think we all were like…
Watson: Really? Us? You sure?
Radcliffe: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s amazing. It’s absolutely just fantastic. I think we’re all just a little bit in shock that we’ve been asked. It’s amazing.
Q: Did you do Equus to prove you’re more than Harry Potter? Do you look ahead to after Potter?
Radcliffe: I do give a lot of thought. That question was asked to me in a rather more brutal way the other day. I think what they meant to say was, “Is there life for you after Harry Potter?” But what they said was, “Will you live after Harry Potter?” on the red carpet which was slightly, I don’t know what they’re planning for me after the seventh film. But yeah, Potter’s never something I would want to distance myself from because I’m incredibly proud of it. It’s given me the most amazing opportunities and I’ve met some of the most fantastic people and got to work with these brilliant actors. But I certainly also want to establish myself as an actor in my own right rather than being just the actor who plays Harry Potter. And as you say, it’s just as much if not more to prove to myself that I can do it than to be able to prove it to the audience. Because there will always be people who see us as our respective characters no matter what we do. But ultimately that’s more their problem than ours because they are not the people who are going to be stopping us from doing other different things.
Q: What was Evanna Lynch’s reaction being such a fan being on the set?
Watson: It’s really funny. I guess like the fifth time around, Dan, Rupert and I were just kind of… It’s quite a surreal experience working at Leavesden Studios. You’ll be going along on your… the studio’s so big we have little golf carts. Anyway, we’re going along and they’ll just be like… I mean , we’ve had like a giraffe, we’ve had… no.
Radcliffe: We did?
Watson: No, no, no. Maybe not giraffes but we’ve had like goats, we’ve had bats.
Radcliffe: We have had goats and bats.
Watson: Armadillos, that’s why you’ll be going past and it’s like, “Oh, yeah, yeah.” And we’re sort of past the stage of really… I don’t know. It doesn’t really affect us. Like a giraffe could go by and I wouldn’t care.
Radcliffe: That almost happened. We’ve obviously been so adjusted to it we’ve not even noticed.
Watson: So anyway, the point is that when you step on set, these amazing sets, we kind of take it for granted at this point. And when you see Evanna Lynch’s face every time she steps on set, it kind of comes to you again and it makes you realize just how amazing the whole experience is. It stops you from getting…
Watson: And taking it for granted. It was really nice to have someone who’s so genuinely, genuinely just completely excited and just in ecstasy every time she saw something new. It was really nice.
Radcliffe: We did have one moment though where it was very, very hard to present an idea to David Yates if Evanna was standing next to you because if you said something and it was even slightly wrong from the technicality of the book, she would not…
Watson: She would be looking at you like [scowling].
Radcliffe: And you would be in deep trouble. So you’d sort of have to be quite careful. Whenever I talked about the wording of the prophecy and she was there, I’d just be like, “Where’s the book?” But no, it was fantastic to have Evanna around because she is such a massive fan of the books and the films so it was lovely to have that enthusiasm.
Watson: I remember actually after watching the film, the person I was most nervous about finding out their opinion was Evanna. I go up to Evanna just like, “What did you think?” It was really, really scary. But she loved it so I was like, “Okay, as long as she likes it, we’re good. We’re all good. That’s good.”
Q: Where did you go to play the darkness? Did David Yates share ideas about this role?
Radcliffe: I mean, I don’t know, I think everybody’s got that side of them which they can draw upon when they have to if they’re trying to act it. So yeah, David was fantastic. I think the two people in this film that were most brilliant were obviously David Yates was just incredible throughout the film and what was remarkable about David was that he had the same enthusiasm on the last day of filming as he did on the first. Which on a 10 month shoot is quite an achievement. So working with David was fantastic and I can’t think of some specific notes that he gave me in terms of how he started this. I just remember him coming up with very, very real, accurate direction the whole time. For instance, there was one scene very early on in the film when Harry’s asleep and he’s having nightmares and then he wakes up suddenly. I was doing a lot of that sort of movie type of Ah! Sort of waking up. And David just says, “Dan, no one does that. Just open your eyes.” Yeah, you’re absolutely right. You do see it in films a lot of the time when people are lying straight down in bed and they suddenly sit bolt upright. If you try and do that, it’s incredibly difficult to do, let alone when you’re half asleep. But yeah, so working with David and also working with Gary Oldman in terms of the scenes concerning [SPOILER], sorry if I spoiled that for anybody. You’ve all read it. But in terms of those scenes, he was just a fantastic person to be around. There was the one bizarre bit where he said to me, literally the moment [SPOILER] and my immediate reaction to it we were filming. He said, “Dan, in this next one, do you mind if I do something a little more physical.” And I was thinking, “Maybe he’s going to give me a hug” or something like that. And he grabbed me and shook me violently for 30 seconds while screaming at me. And then he sort of backed away slowly and you suddenly regress and I just started to cry. It was this really weird thing but he obviously knew it would work. I don’t know if he’s done it to people in the past but certainly it worked then. He was amazing. That was a very, very long answer. I’m sorry.
Q: Do you have an inside track to reading the last book, and how to the book releases affect you?
Grint: Yeah, it’s quite exciting, particularly this one because there’s so much hype about it and everyone’s got their own little theory of who’s going to die. That’s the big question. I don’t know really. I’m really looking forward to it.
Radcliffe: Who do you think’s going to die?
Grint: I think it could be you actually.
Radcliffe: Oh, man. I mean, I do think absolutely there’s always going to be that hype around it but the thing is, with the books and the films, it’s not just hype. It’s deserved because they do get better and better and more exciting. My favorite book is the fifth and my favorite film is the fifth as well. To be able to say that five movies into a franchise is I suppose quite rare. But also, I don’t know how the book releases affect us. I think you’re very, very anxious about what’s going to happen. I don’t think we get totally distressed by it, do we really?
Watson: I get a bit distressed.
Radcliffe: Do you?
Watson: I get really stressed. I remember us doing this interview and I’ve always just been convinced that Hermione’s going to make it. Apparently this hacker has been claiming that she’s going to die. This interviewer sat down and she was like, “Well, this hacker is claiming what’s going to happen and she’s not going to make it and she’s the one.” I was just like, “No, no, no. You don’t understand. She’s meant to be with Ron and she’s meant to just…” I just have all these ideas in my head about what was going to happen. It was just all weird and horrible but I guess from an acting point of view it would be good to have a death scene or to die. I mean, we obviously have like hugely invested interests but I think mostly we’re really big fans ourselves.
Radcliffe: Yeah, exactly, so we are looking forward to finding out with the rest of the world as well. We certainly don’t get any inside information.
Watson: Yeah, no sort.
Radcliffe: No, we don’t. That would… apparently, when I saw Jo at the premiere the other day, I just said, “How many people worldwide have read the book?” And considering that at this point it’s under two weeks before it’s released and under 10 people have read it still which is pretty incredible. But could you imagine being one of those people? How fantastic would that be? My God.
Q: How much fun was it getting to kick butt with magic?
Watson: Yeah, definitely. Ron and Hermione kind of took a bit of a backseat on the last one, watching Harry do all the tasks and stuff so it felt really nice to kind of be back in the action again. I mean, nothing major. We had a couple of stunts to do, a couple of harnesses and that sort of thing which was really fun. We actually had a dance choreographer in. All the different spells had different choreographed specific movements that went with them. So we had a couple of classes like that which was really good fun. I think this is the first one that you really see the craft behind magic and you get to see the craftsmanship. I know, it looked really impressive.
Q: Was it fun for you guys too?
Q: Anything hard about it?
Radcliffe: I found the dance lessons quite tricky actually. I found I was getting really frustrated with myself when I couldn’t get the moves right. But yeah, no, it was. It was good. I think that was a brilliant idea that David had was to actually make it so that whereas before, it’s just been point at something, say the word. Now he was starting to build the sort of art just to show a distinction because when it came to the film, we didn’t really do a lot of the stuff that we learned in the [class] but all the adults were. And it just made it so that there was actually a distinction between the adults and the young kids in terms of the skill. But no, it was good. It was fun. One of my favorite lines in the film is when Gary says, “Get away from my godson” and then punches Jason Isaacs in the head. I think that’s such just like… and with me and Gary, we were Butch and Sundance on that day. It was just fantastic. So no, I had a lot of fun, definitely.
Grint: Similar to everyone really. In the last one, Ron’s been a bit of a wimp and sort of stayed away from the action side. This time it was quite cool that he got to be a bit tougher and got to fight so it was kinda neat.
Q: Who do you admire at the Chinese theater, do you have your own want for the imprint and what do you like about Los Angeles, like at the premiere?
Radcliffe: You asked four questions in one breath! It’s incredible! I think John Wayne’s there so that’s pretty cool. My favorite John Wayne line, it’s a really early John Wayne movie and it was obviously improvised because nobody could have scripted this. As he walks out, he walks out of a saloon I suppose, because they were saloons then, not bars. And he walks out and he’s walking through the square and he’s quite young, and there’s all these birds in the square and he walks in and they all fluster away and he goes, “Get outta my way, pigeon.” Which is just fantastic. So if I can have my handprints next to that man then that would be awesome.
Grint: LA is really cool, yeah. It’s been really fun. It’s just really different to everywhere else. I really enjoy it. It’s been really, really good, hasn’t it?
Watson: Yeah, it’s really funny. There’s lots of things, like when I came the second time to LA, there were so many things I didn’t know about it. Apparently my dad went to like the tar pits yesterday which I was just like that was so weird.
Radcliffe: What’s he doing at a tar pit?
Watson: It’s this massive tar pit which basically loads of animals basically fell into.
Radcliffe: Oh God, that’s horrendous!
Watson: Yeah, it’s nice that he actually had a day yesterday when I was able to actually see LA which is really cool.
Radcliffe: That’s deeply disturbing.
Watson: It’s not. It’s really cool. It’s like history. You can see it.
Radcliffe: I was about to say that LA’s very clean.
Watson: Let me finish my answer. So it’s been really nice and the reception we had yesterday was amazing. I’ve had a really good time here and everyone’s been really friendly. It’s been really fun. It’s been really, really good.
Radcliffe: It is a strange town I think. It’s totally different from I think anything we’ve really experienced before and I don’t know, it’s hard, it’s very spread out and I don’t know, it’s just hard to get my head around fully really. It’s just like nothing I’ve ever… nowhere I’ve ever been really.
Watson: It’s very distinctive.
Watson: You know you’re in LA.
Radcliffe: Yeah, certainly.
Watson: The weather’s nice.
Radcliffe: That is.
Watson: We’re all enjoying that.
Radcliffe: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That’s the first thing you notice because it’s warm. Coming from England where they have storms and things recently.
Q: Have you gotten to see it in 3D IMAX yet? How do you think it will be?
Radcliffe: I haven’t seen it that way. I have heard about it. It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to be terrifying.
Watson: I was about to say, it’s scary enough as it is. In 3D, people will be like…
Radcliffe: Also, there’s one moment where Ralph as Voldemort sort of apparates and he comes from the side of the screen, sort of pushes forward and suddenly appears. That’s gonna scar people. That’s going to be hysterical. No, it’s great. I’ve not seen it though, no.
Watson: People will jump. Honestly, people will be jumping out of their seats. There’s enough moments as it is where…
Radcliffe: Would they have the glasses?
Radcliffe: I don’t know, maybe they give you a visor or something. Or like the guy in Star Trek who had the thing.
Q: What would your characters’ personal ads to each other be?
Watson: Hermione’s quite serious. I think she takes everything a little bit too seriously sometimes. That’s why I think that if Hermione and Ron do end up together, I think they’ll be really good because they’re really different and they’re really mismatched but they kind of balance each other out and kind of complement each other like that. So I guess Hermione’s ad would say: someone to make her laugh. I don’t know, just like a good kind of caring guy I guess.
Radcliffe: I’m actually just thinking of the personal ad that you would write to Rupert. Not Rupert, Ron. That’s not a story. I don’t know what Harry’s would be at all. Cursed male seeks, I don’t know, uncursed female I suppose. Yeah. Bookish 16-year-old seeks quirky redhead. There we go, that’s the advert [for Hermione].
Q: In book six, Ron gets a girlfriend. Did you learn anything from Daniel’s scene?
Grint: Yeah, Ron does get a girlfriend in the next one. I think it’s a little bit intense so I don’t know. I did a little kiss, I did another film called “Driving Lessons” and there’s a little kiss in that. It was quite an uncomfortable experience, on this tiny set with all the crew watching. I didn’t really enjoy it too much but we have to wait and see. It’s going to be interesting.
Q: Emma, your character says it’s exciting to break the rules. How does that apply to your life?
Watson: Yeah, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m deeply uncool really. I really never break the rules. I’m kind of me and myself, just not… I don’t know, I just never really have a problem with… I don’t know, I’ve never really. I mean, I’m not scared to say what I think or if I really disagree with something then I’ll say it, but I’m not kind of like a born rebel. That wouldn’t be a description of me. I guess it was fun to play her like that, definitely. Really fun and I think, I mean, the film’s quite dark and I think that kind of element added a light read. It’s just kind of like, what is up with Hermione? What is going on?
Radcliffe: It got a fantastic reaction yesterday.
Watson: Yeah, it was really nice. In the film, that kind of got a good laugh so I’m quite jazzed at that. No, it was fun playing her. I guess just I was able to do things from such a young age that I never would have been able to do. Always traveling and being given all this responsibility and freedom, so I’ve never really had any barrier to break I guess. I don’t really have anything to rebel against. I’m quite lucky really.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix opens in conventional theaters and IMAX theaters starting 12:01am Wednesday, July 11.