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masterofmystery 07-23-2013 12:13 AM

Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch, Katie Leung, Matthew Lewis, more talk Harry Potter films
 
Several of the young cast of the Harry Potter series, outside of the main three, recently discussed with the Independent their experience in the film series, and how it molded them all to move on to have proper acting careers. The list of costars who talked about their time with Harry Potter and new projects included Bonnie Wright (Ginny), Evanna Lynch (Luna), Matthew Lewis (Neville), Jessie Cave (Lavender), Harry Melling (Dudley), Katie Leung (Cho), and Frank Dillane (Tom Riddle in Half-Blood Prince).

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Bonnie Wright, who just finished her first West End role this month in The Moment of Truth, and will begin promotion of The Sea later this year:

Quote:

"My brother had read the first two Harry Potter books and said I would suit the role of Ginny, so I asked my mum to get me an audition. My family had nothing to do with entertainment, but she phoned the publishers, then the casting directors – and we sent off a few pictures and a little note. I can't remember what I wrote in it.

"I was such a curious person on set, asking 'what does that button do?' and wandering into the costume or prop room. I learnt about film-making, and that had a huge impact. I didn't keep any of my costumes. They all went into the WB archive. Hopefully I can get something back one day – like a Hogwarts jumper.

"Seeing everyone progress is lovely. We're all acting because we enjoy it, rather than because we fell into it. It's a weird experience, so the moment you meet up with a cast member it's an unspoken thing you share – like having gone to the same school."

Evanna Lynch
, who is currently in rehearsals for her first play, Houdini:

Quote:

"I've always been a big fan of Harry Potter. I'd dress up and queue for hours to buy the books on the day they came out. When I was 11, I was ill with an eating disorder and Harry Potter seemed to be the only thing that was there for me. It was my whole life. So I wrote to tell J K Rowling and she wrote back. We sent letters for a while and she was really supportive.

"In January 2006, they held an open audition for Luna, so I got my dad to take me to London, from Ireland. Luna was my favourite character; I wouldn't have played anyone else. She speaks to young people who have been bullied or have self-esteem issues. I had an audition and got called back the next week for a screen test. It all happened so fast, I didn't have a chance to write to J K Rowling to tell her. When the producers told her they'd cast me, she couldn't believe it.

"I had such fun filming – it never felt like work. The only difficult part for me was the fame thing. Joining on the fifth film, I was starstruck by the other actors. It was difficult to see myself as the same as them, when I'd written them fan letters. When the films ended, I struggled. Did I want to continue acting? What should I do with my life? I had to grow up a second time. The good thing was that there were so many others on set going through the same thing.

I saw J K Rowling a few weeks ago; she's very supportive of everything I do. I thought The Casual Vacancy was very brave. She has amazing compassion and her style is unique – but I have to say that book made me miserable."
Matthew Lewis, whose movie Wasteland (The Rise), was just released in the U.S.:

Quote:

"I led two lives while I was working on the films. I had one life where I could meet famous people, go on red carpets – and then I'd come back to Leeds and hang out with my mates. It was just a thing I did outside of school. Other people played rugby or football, it was never a big deal. I still go to the pub quiz at my local with my brothers and my dad.

"In the last few years, I've been trying to get away from Harry Potter, but I'm under no illusion that many of the auditions I get are off the back of it. It was quite difficult when I first finished, because before I could convince people I could play a character, I had to convince them that I wasn't Neville Longbottom. People might expect me to do another Hollywood film, something bigger than Harry Potter. But that's impossible: it was the biggest series of all time.

"I saw Daniel [Radcliffe] a couple of weeks ago. When we first started filming, [Harry Potter producer] David Heyman had tickets for the wrestling in Sheffield and invited me, Dan and Rupert. We sat ringside and my dad still has pictures of us at McDonald's afterwards. Dan has French fries up his nose, and no one's batting an eyelid because they don't know who we are. Then you fast forward to the premiere of the last film with all those thousands of fans going crazy… I love the fact that we're still really good friends."
Jessie Cave, who is taking her show Bookworm with her sister on the London stage, and working on writing her own Big Talk sitcom:

Quote:

"When I was 19, I dropped out of art school and didn't know what the hell I was doing with my life. My mum suggested I could be a model and I got into a kids' agency because I looked young. I wore pink jeans to all my auditions and got a Nokia advert and a part in Inkheart. My third audition was for Harry Potter. I had to do a screen test with Rupert Grint and make him laugh. We really got on. It felt like winning the Lottery.

"Playing Lavender was a catalyst. It made me realise that I needed to work out what I have to offer and that jobs weren't just going to come to me. I still have to audition. Your life doesn't change because you get one amazing job. I've worked in coffee shops, and I've earned money from drawings and videos, but now my job is writing – and writing for money is incredible.

"I saw Daniel in Soho a couple of months ago, but he was surrounded by three bodyguards. He didn't recognise me to start with and thought I was a crazy fan, which was awkward, but then he did. I'm still really close friends with Evanna Lynch and Katie Leung. Katie helped me to flyer in Edinburgh last year and came to my show. There were some Potter fans in who freaked out. I'm constantly stunned by the love for Harry Potter. It's an escape for people. That interests me and it's why I love acting, writing and comedy. It helps me to key into something that isn't real. It's really OK to live in a fantasy world for a little bit of the day."
Harry Melling, who is currently on stage in the West End in the production of The Hothouse:

Quote:

"Harry Potter took 11 years of my life, from 10 to 21. I loved it, but transitioning from primary to secondary school while shooting the first film meant that I had to catch up with the social stuff later than most people. Afterwards, I went to Lamda. The films were a great learning experience, but I wanted to do theatre, get better, to have a process.

"Changing my image might have been an unconscious move, but I knew I didn't want to be stuck as Dudley. It's lovely that people don't recognise me now. Especially after playing such a vulgar, fat, hated person, I felt like I wanted to move on – maybe play Hamlet one day, or have a career like Benedict Cumberbatch's. I think every actor has the fear of being typecast. My dream is to be in an independent British film, directed by Steve McQueen, John Crowley or Rufus Norris. Something serious that really stretches you, makes people sit up and take you seriously. Another big movie franchise wouldn't do that – although at the moment I'm not in a position to be picky."
Katie Leung, whose series Run broadcast last week on UK's Channel 4, and who will be starring in the fall London production of The World of Extreme Happiness:

Quote:

"People say there was a lot of hate mail after I kissed Harry, but I wasn't affected by it. Now and again I'll be recognised, get the occasional 'Are you the girl from Harry Potter?' Sometimes I say 'yes', sometimes 'no'. I still find the whole thing very strange.

"Before Harry Potter, I didn't have any ambitions. I was just enjoying painting. I'm quite an introvert, really. After doing Wild Swans I realised I needed training. It was very challenging. You have to be so much bigger in your gestures. I just didn't have it. In Run (below) I played an illegal immigrant. It's different from Cho Chang, kind of grim, but I can't limit myself as an actor. I wouldn't mind being in a zombie film, you know."
Frank Dillane, who just completed his West End run in the play Candida, and who is in negotiations to star in director Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea:

Quote:

"Harry Potter was my first job. I went along and auditioned with everyone else. Although I grew up around movies, I don't know that I assumed I was going to be an actor. But back in the day, if your father was a tailor then you would usually be a tailor, too.

I only appeared from the sixth film, so I wasn't too attached to it in the way Daniel Radcliffe was. I could do it, then leave, unburdened by all the other stuff. I've been recognised once, I think, but I look a lot different in the film. I was mainly locked away with Jim Broadbent [Professor Slughorn] while filming – an absolutely great person to be locked away with, but I didn't have scenes with anyone else and I don't keep up with any of them.

After the films, I took a gap year, during which I sat in a caravan in my back garden and did absolutely nothing. Then I went to Rada. Arriving in an establishment where everyone is better than you, you can't uphold any kind of arrogance for very long. My favourite part so far has been playing Peter Pan at Rada. I did a bit of flying and I loved it. Theatre's a whole different beast to film. It requires a lot more of you. Candida was difficult, stimulating but very wordy."

MudInMyBlood 07-23-2013 01:57 AM

This is greatness! I had no idea that Evanna had an eating disorder. JK writing her back and then Evanna getting cast. How awesome! Poor Jessie, Dan didn't recognize her at first. Could you imagine? Hey Dan... it's me Jessie...you know Lavendar from Harry Potter. I also love how Matthew just goes homes and doesn't even act like he is a major star. I love it all. Great stuff this is! :D

sidnandragin 07-23-2013 05:15 AM

Bonnie looks great! As usual, I am glad that her curiousity got the best of her and propelled her to move forward within the film industry.. Yay! Glad to see that the rest are doing as well as they are and living the dream!

hobesan 07-23-2013 01:34 PM

Matt Lewis talking about McDonalds when they were little was funny. It is good to know they have opportunities coming their way and are happy with their lives.

I hope Jessie wasn't trying to make Dan seem like a jerk. Not recognizing someone happens to everyone. If you see someone unexpectedly or out of context. Sometimes it doesn't register when your mind is on something else. I don't think he has bodyguards for the fun of it. Face it that boy is extremely wealthy and there are greedy dangerous people in this world.

I am probably happiest for Harry Melling. I have a feeling that guy will have real staying power throughout his career.


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