On the Set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

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The end of the “Harry Potter” franchise is sadly coming, but ComingSoon.net has your last sneak peak for the final film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. We were invited to the England set one more time to get details on the movie and to chat with the cast about their take on the last installment in the long running series. As always on any “Harry Potter” set visit, there was a press tent ready for media with displays of wardrobes and décor from the film. This is where the majority of our interviews were done and the first place we were taken to.

While waiting to be shown around the different soundstages, we checked out the various memorabilia set up for us to look at. On the wall was a tattered poster of Harry that read “Undesirable No 1.” There was also a costume of Harry’s on a mannequin – jeans, a burgundy T-shirt with dirt stains and a gray zip-up sweatshirt with blue stripes down the sleeves. In addition, there was a cabinet that showcased Lily’s letter to Sirius, Luna Lovegood’s necklace, Ministry of Magic ID cards, Hermione’s book collection and a wizard radio.

After a few minutes of hanging out in the press area, we were escorted to the Room of Requirement. This is where Dumbledore’s army hides. It was set up to look like several people were camped out there. Hammocks hung from the walls, pillows and blankets were folded on the floor, dishes and silverware were placed on boxes, scarves from the different houses decorated the room which symbolized people coming together in unity for the showdown, and there was a desk with a chalkboard with extravagant symbols of locations and coordinates. It looked like a game plan for the final battle scene.

We went to the creatures department next where we saw some of the coolest and creepiest props. One of the first things we noticed was Dumbledore’s body. It was a dummy, but looked so real it was incredible. The attention to detail on his face was unbelievable. You would have thought it was a real person. He was lying on a shelf and was wearing a pale green robe with slippers.

Amy Robertson, the unit publicist on the film explained why the creatures look so amazing. “Any eyebrow or an animal or a spider – anything made with hair is all made individually.” There were teams of people working countless hours for months on a prop, but the end result is well worth it as you’ve seen in previous movies. We also saw a dummy of Harry. It was in a body bag and the prop had blue dots over the face for special effects. This dummy was used in the final battle when they bring Harry to Hogwarts.

Another interesting thing we saw in the creatures department was The Monster Book of Monsters. The cover had four eyes and nostrils you could barely see until the book started breathing. It was startling at first considering we didn’t know it was going to breath on its own, but it was so fascinating. In fact, we got left behind for a few minutes because we couldn’t stop looking at it. There were also teeth and rotting gums with a long reddish-brown tongue that sticks out to the side. The book actually moves up and down when it breaths and it’s covered with fur.

We then talked to director David Yates about the style the film and what we can expect.

Q: Do you want Part 2 to start off with a bang?
Yates: I think what’s really potentially fun about Part 2 is I always feel these movies carry a lot of freight where you need to remind the audience where you’ve been and where you’re going. I always think the first acts they tend to be slightly tricky because you’re always setting things up. I love the notion of parachuting straight in. I love the notion that the audience has experienced six or seven of these movies and they don’t need an intro. They don’t need a big bang so the notion where you parachute in from the first minute I think is really fun. Steve [Kloves] wrote a first draft of the second part with that spirit. When I first read it I said, “Steve this is great. It doesn’t have a beginning. It just goes.” You’re in it and you’re just off. I really like that. So that’s kind of the spirit of how we’re approaching Part 2.

Q: Do you lose that vérité style in Part 2?
Yates: Yeah, we do. It’s a different dynamic actually. The style of Part 1 suits Part 1 because we always say these films are slightly coming of age, but when you take these iconic characters out of that framework of Hogwarts and you put them in a dangerous world. They have to bury their first body for example. There’s a moment in the film where Hermione and Harry dance for the first time. It’s full of proper sexual tension because they’re both teenagers and they’re both at that stage where Ron has left and there’s this sort of intimacy between them. There are all sorts of corners that you turn because they’re young adults. Turning those corners in the real world is actually quite fun and interesting. The vérité style seemed to suit that.

Later that night, we watched a brief scene with Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith), Flitwick / Griphook (Warwick Davis) and Neville (Matt Lewis). It was outside in a courtyard where the final battle takes place. We see McGonagall racing through the halls and out the doors of Hogwarts bringing statues to life to participate in the battle. The statues are a new element of the Great Hall which is the longest standing set. Neville tells her the bridge has been attacked and she tells him to go and defend it by blowing it up.

“Let me get this straight, you’ve giving us permission to blow up the wooden bridge,” Neville asks confused.

We talked to Davis about his role in the scene and he told us, “It’s time to lock down Hogwarts. I go out into the courtyard with McGonagall and Mrs. Weasley and a few of the students to basically kind of set up the perimeter guard against Voldemort. We know it’s almost a bit frivolous because we know he’s going to get through this, but it’s a stalling thing.”

“It’s quite a heroic moment for me,” Davis continued. I have not been involved in anything quite so heroic before in the films so it’s quite nice. I had a bit of Death Eater action before this.”

You can read our interviews with Daniel Radclife, Matt Lewis and Warwick Davis using the links below!

Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter

Matt Lewis – Neville Longbottom

Warwick Davis – Griphook/Professor Filius Flitwick

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opens in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D theaters on July 15.