Yesterday, we shared a few thoughts from Jason Isaacs aka Lucius Malfoy about the grand finale of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which you can read here, and today, we have a couple of anecdotes from two of the new people joining the cast: Ciarán Hinds, who is playing Professor Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth, and Rhys Ifans, who plays Luna Lovegood’s father Xenophilius.
During an exclusive interview for his new movie The Eclipse, a wonderful supernatural romance drama set in Ireland by playwright Conor McPherson, Hinds told us about his experiences being allowed into the system.
“It’s strange,” he told us. “I was made to feel very welcome, but I was there for a specific part that required just one scene and then pop up once with a wand, but apart from that, it’s just one scene with a little dialogue to give some exposition about Dumbledore’s past life. I had the joy of sharing the scene with three… well, they’re not kids anymore… Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. They were very charming, very gracious, made you feel very welcome and you’re aware. Here I am at a certain age with all my experience and these kids really know what they’re doing, they know their characters and here I am saying, ‘Who the hell am I… apart from Michael Gambon’s brother?’ It’s a lovely experience and the director is a very soft Yorkshire man, he’s not one of these guys, ‘Come on!’ It’s very considered and thought about. I saw him working with the younger ones, giving them little pointers, never pushing, just suggesting about development, and here I am, part of what everyone has to offer. You really have to say they’re confident and they know who they are, they know what they’re doing and we have to ask if we’re alright.”
While doing interviews for Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, in which he plays the former bandmate of Ben Stiller’s title character, Rhys Ifans was at first was hesitant to say anything about Xenophilius Lovegood, the editor of The Quibbler, excitedly proclaiming, “This is the first film I’m not allowed to discuss… I’ve made it, man! I’m loving it!”
After considering his stance, he relented and told us insight-fully:
“Harry Potter has a history. They’ve read the book and they’ve got kids to answer to, these people. That’s a different kettle of fish, it’s like being called up. You get a phone call, and they’ll say, ‘Listen, the Queen’s a bit lonely tonight. Fancy popping over in your favorite underwear?’ It’s like the call-up, and it’s so funny. You get on set and you see all these actors who you’ve either admired from afar or more often than not, actors you’ve worked with before, all sitting there, dressed up as wizards, having wand-offs, and then bitching about other actors who didn’t get the call-up. It’s just such a surreal situation to be in. I was really genuinely proud to have been invited to be part of that whole machine.”
Issacs (who we talked to separately) said essentially the same thing about his experiences in the franchise:
“There’s nothing greater than sitting around on a Harry Potter set when you’re not filming and listening to the likes of Julie Walters and Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon and Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent tell stories, and watching everybody chew the scenery up in the few moments you get on screen as well, trying to out-ham each other. It’s magnificent.”
Look for our full interview with Ciaran Hinds (along with director Conor McPherson) sometime before The Eclipse comes out on March 26. Greenberg comes out in New York and L.A. a week earlier before expanding wide on that same date.