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Old 02-19-2011, 03:13 AM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Post Exclusive: SnitchSeeker interviews Deathly Hallows I & II Death Eater, Jon Campling

SnitchSeeker recently chatted with actor Jon Campling, whom many Harry Potter fans may have spotted playing a notable Death Eater in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, as photographed below. Campling discussed how he got his Death Eater role, which required several rounds of auditions, finally leading up to the final go with director David Yates.

Campling also mentioned that he will be seen in the final installment of the series, Deathly Hallows: Part II, alongside a disguised Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, Helena Bonham Carter as Hermione Granger, and Warwick Davis as Griphook at Gringotts, where his Death Eater will once again be trying to halt the dubious acts of the three heroes and their goblin companion.

As a new actor on the set of the films, Campling gave his own personal experience of being embraced with ease by the cast and crew around him, especially Helena and Warwick, and how easy it was to work with David Yates. More on Campling's experience on the set of Deathly Hallows, including bumping into Daniel Radcliffe, and unfortunately laying dead as Voldemort cried out some of his harsher threats to his enemies in the eighth Harry Potter film can all be read and heard in our interview below.

SnitchSeeker: Is this your first Harry Potter movie – Deathly Hallows? Have you worked in previous movies?
Jon Campling:
No, this is first time for me. It’s all extremely exciting and new and special.

SnitchSeeker: How did you get cast? How did you first get involved?
It all began with a phone call from my now old agent – I just changed agents – but my old agent not last year but the year before. He played it down really nicely. Found that I had an audition. It was for a Harry Potter movie. “It’s a small part, nothing to get excited about. Not even a script to read at the audition.” I would just be going on for an interview. Really, really low key, which is quite good in the end. So I did the interview. It was low key and I actually forgot about it.

In hindsight, I can’t even believe that I did, but I actually managed to forget that I auditioned for Harry Potter. Until about a month later when my agent rang me out of the blue and said, “Oh yeah, you got the Harry Potter gig.” I was like, “The what? The what gig?” “You remember, Harry Potter? The thing you did a month ago?” “Oh yeah.” I was actually shopping with my mother and my girlfriend at the time. My phone rang and I popped out of the shop just to answer the phone and popped back in again, the biggest smile on my face you’ve ever seen.

SnitchSeeker: You’re in the first part, obviously. Will you be featured in both films? Will you be in Part 2?
Well, I certainly filmed stuff for Part 2. I don’t know if you remember, I was bizarrely lucky to be featured in the trailer for Part 1, which means I knew really early on that I was definitely going to be in Part 1, which was really cool. But since there’s no trailer out yet for Part 2 … even then I don’t know if I’ll be in the second trailer. I won’t know until I go and see, I suppose. I’m probably only in it for three or four minutes again. It's the same amount; I'm doing a similar thing, weirdly enough – raising my arm.

SnitchSeeker: How did you get chosen for the role of that particular Death Eater?
There are so many and obviously they’d literally been the second round of auditions. So the first of audition, the one that was just a read through with the casting director Fiona Wier that means you’re going to be a Death Eater. But then I had to get to Leavesden Studios and be re-auditioned by David Yates for him to decide which Death Eater. So I had to do the classic ‘stopping the train’ hand movement – my signature move. “He can raise his hand and affect thee.” I did that and then obviously I get the hair and the beard I had at the time. David must have thought, “Yeah, that’s a guy who can stop a train.” So they were the second audition to decide which Death Eater.

SnitchSeeker: Can you give us a preview of what you did for Part 2?
What can I say? I have to work out what I’m allowed to say and what I’m not allowed to say. Especially since there’s two movies. So obviously I can say anything I want about the first movie. It’s out there now. But the second movie …

SnitchSeeker: Can you say who you worked alongside with?
I probably can, yeah. I did a little bit alongside Helena Bonham Carter, though not necessarily alongside Bellatrix. I also worked with Griphook. I can’t remember the actor’s name who plays Griphook.

SnitchSeeker: Warwick Davis.
Yes, exactly. My biggest fear in these interviews is that there’s certain massive memory hemorrhage. Noooo! Yeah, with Warwick. I was raising my hand, not to stop a train, but to stop Warwick Davis.

SnitchSeeker: So you worked with Helena and Warwick, did you get to work with Rupert and Dan as well?
Rupert, very briefly. But alas, not Dan, although I did meet [him]. On the day I was working with a scene that he's in but he didn't need to be there for the filming of it - "he said, dancing around the plot there, slightly." But I was in another scene where I'm dead and covered, COVERED in blood. They really were throwing it around by the bucketloads. When I went to get cleaned up I didn't even realize that he'd turned around. The guy at the sink before me, washing the blood off his hands, was Mr. Radcliffe.

SnitchSeeker: Was this a battle scene?
He was filming somewhere else. We were doing second unit shoots in Malfoy Manor. Just a bizarre coincidence, by the time we'd wrapped and Dan had wrapped wherever they were filming, we both ended up at the same sink. He was just ahead of me, so I had to wait behind him. Not really paying any attention until a very polite young man turned around and said, "Oh hi ... there ya go, mate." And I said, "Oh," washing my hands thinking, "That was Mr. Radcliffe."

SnitchSeeker: Did you get a chance to work with Ralph Fiennes?
I was in the same room with him while he was giving his all as a most, MOST disgruntled Voldemort. But I was, unfortunately, dead at the time. So it was quite bizarre. I spent about three hours, laying in blood listening to Ralph bellow and wail and cast aspersions upon his many enemies. Which is a scene I cannot wait to see because when the CGI and everything else is added to what Ralph was doing in the room it is going to come across as quite astounding. 'Manic' is possibly a word that I can use. It was quite something to behold.

SnitchSeeker: What was it like working with Helena, Rupert and Warwick, since you worked with them specifically?
They were fantastic. As a new actor coming in to Harry Potter for the first time at this very late stage when its such an established entity and a family, the warmth struck me almost immediately. From my interpretation of being very nervous as an actor coming into to it, to immediately have that taken away because everyone – and I know it’s not what people want to hear – really is just so nice. Everyone taking it upon themselves to make, especially new actors coming into it, just feel so at home.

I had a nice chat with Helena and she was just dancing around. She was very approachable, very game, just like regular folk. I never got a chance to speak to Rupert. He seemed to be very serious on the day that I was working, very into his own thoughts. So I decided not to encroach upon those thoughts. Whereas Helena was being very outgoing, very chatty.

SnitchSeeker: And Warwick?
Warwick, again, is easy to work with. It’s really odd because I don’t know what to say other than these people are just great to work with. They give you everything you need. Especially if you’re the new actor, they offer help, support – everything that you’d wish it to be, really. I’ve worked in other films, lesser films, where there are issues and you come away from some thinking, “Wow, that actor just made my life easier.” And yet it’s great when you step up to something as big as this to find that everyone has got their feet on the ground and wants to get the job done. A bit more so than ever would be back to a constant sense of this last book, these last two films, it’s all riding on that, really. You want to go out leaving the fans happy and we all have to concentrate and do our best. There’s no room for people’s egos or attitudes getting in the way. It's the long answer to your question.

I was very jealous of [Warwick's] Segway. Saw him skipping around Leavesden on his Segway and just thought … you know the little bikes... I just thought if ever there were a scenario where they were destined to be useful, it's at Pinewood or at Leavesden, at a film studio, much cooler than a bike. Faster, surprisingly fast, actually. The first time I’d seen one up close, I was surprised at how fast they are.

SnitchSeeker: Is this the biggest production you’ve been a part of? Were there any challenges because of the grand scale of the Harry Potter films?
It was, by far. Very few people would say they’ve been on a bigger production. The budgets were $250 million per film. As far as I can see, from IMDb, and all that. The week before I was shooting on a low budget British independent horror film called Hard Shoulder, shooting at a smaller studio in London. I literally had the two contrasting. I finished on the Friday at Three Mills and was met by a car from Warner Bros to drive straight off to Scotland to do the train stopping scene. So the contrast is just stunning, quite nerve racking, actually. Right up until the following Saturday morning, when I actually did my first filming and found my feet. Quite terrifying, I have to say. Quite daunting – the extreme.

SnitchSeeker: What was it like working with David Yates?
He’s just lovely. Completely so, again - trying find new words to say the same thing. He’s lovely. He’s nice. He’s friendly. People had told me beforehand, when I was booked to re-auditioned for him, people said, “No worries. He’s just such a nice guy.” No trappings to being a film director. Not in the way he acts or dresses. Sometimes you get film directors who want to look like film directors and behave in a certain way. With David you get the straight up nice guy, which was a real pleasant surprise.

But I think, as well, it fits in perfectly with the whole attitude of the Harry Potter shoots. I think I had my most daunting moment and my most exciting moment – I got them both out of the way on the first day in Scotland on that Saturday. After that I’d gotten a handle on it. Within three hours of waking on that Saturday, I’d had my most terrifying moment and my most amazing moment. And I thought, "Wow, everything is just going to be in between that from now on."

SnitchSeeker: What was your favorite experience?
The most amazing moments for me, was the one I was just mentioning actually, on that third day. I had quite a strange start in the morning. I had a bit of a costume hiccup fit in the morning in a strange locale in Scotland. So the day started, just for me personally, quite weird. Then about four hours later I found driven to where they keep the Hogwarts Express, the actual train. The crew and myself all got on the train and that’s when I realized in order to get to the location in the middle of the wilds of Scotland we were actually going to travel on the Hogwarts Express. It was a couple of hours journey. That was just surreal.

I remember thinking, “If I look out the window, I can see Hogwarts soon. I can see the scene that you see in the films in Scotland. BUT I'M ON THE TRAIN. This is as close to going to Hogwarts as anyone could ever get. I’m actually on the train itself.” It was just a bizarre thing. When people ask me about it, one of the things that makes their jaws drop – especially fans – is when I say I actually traveled to work on the Hogwarts Express that day, and back again. And then the next day again. That was a bizarre moment. That and I then found out that I was the only actor with a hundred crew. I went back to being terrified again. I assumed there’d be less crew and some more actors. But my production assistant laughed when she said, “No, it’s just you, Jon.” I went quiet for about fifteen minutes.

SnitchSeeker: What do you hope the fans will get from watching the last film as an actor in this production?
I sense strongly that at the end of it the fans are just going to appreciate that with these two films, the truth of the book was realized as well as you could do, given some limitations to how long the films can be. The fact that the book was split and went into two films and because of that they’ve been able to be far, far truer to the book than they have been previously, will just mean that the whole Potter experience goes out on a massive high. Everyone will feel that it came to a conclusion in the right and proper way. No one will feel let down. Everyone is just really feeling that will be the case.

More information on Campling can be found on his official site, as well as his official Facebook and Twitter. Campling is currently working in a horror version of Alice in Wonderland, in which he plays the Mad Hatter, called In This Style. The somewhat-matured-themed story "explores Lewis Carroll's somewhat inappropriate relationship with Alice Liddell, the real girl Alice in Wonderland is based on." Campling also has brief roles in the upcoming and recently released features Hard Shoulder, The Eagle, and Reverie. Finally, Jon would personally like to say a big "Thank you!" to all in years 3 at the William Bellamy Junior School for making his recent visit so amazing!

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be rewritten or redistributed without proper accreditation.

The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I Blu-ray and DVD sets, out on April 11, 2011 in the U.K. and April 15, 2011 in the U.S., can be pre-ordered on the WB Shop or Amazon.

US Deathly Hallows 1-disc DVD | US Deathly Hallows 1-disc Blu-ray | US Deathly Hallows 3-disc Triple Play DVD/Blu-ray
UK Deathly Hallows 2-disc DVD | UK Deathly Hallows 3-disc Triple play DVD/Blu-ray | UK Deathly Hallows 3-disc Limited Edition Triple Play Steelbook
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