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Old 12-27-2021, 11:24 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
 
Post 'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts' reunion cast interviews, BTS

Warner Media and HBO Max released some fun interviews and behind-the-scenes look at the 'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts' reunion show, set to air this Saturday worldwide.

Included in the interview soundbites are Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch, Tom Felton, James and Oliver Phelps, Alfie Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Mark Williams, Helena Bonham Carter, Gary Oldman, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Isaacs, Ian Hart, and director Chris Columbus, all of whom reminisce on their best times at Leavesden Studios and the film series.









SPOILER!!: "cast interviews transcripts.
DANIEL RADCLIFFE

On returning to Hogwarts and reuniting with the cast…

We’ve seen even more how much it means to people, and what a part of people’s lives it is. I was never not happy to be a part of that, but it means even more now. I’m able to appreciate how special that is. It’s a nice thing. It has been lovely to see everyone. It really has. I didn’t know if it would be. I have a very mixed relationship with nostalgia. It’s just so much feeling that it can be weirdly painful sometimes, because there’s so much of life to take in that happened in those ten years. But seeing everyone again and going “oh yeah, we’re all doing great.”

I think the thing that scared me the most when we were coming out of it was the implication that the most meaningful thing in our life was done. And there’s something so joyous about seeing everyone. And it wasn’t though. We’ve all gone on to other stuff. We have wives and kids and lives. There’s something really lovely about seeing that.

On growing up alongside Harry Potter…

My one bone to pick with Mike Newell is that every year when we finished a film they said, “Don’t cut your hair over the summer; we’ll cut it when you get back and we’ll decide what they want to do.” And me and Rupert both dutifully grew our hair for months and then came in, and he’s like, “Oh, yeah, great!” And we’re like, “No… no, no, no, no. You’re not leaving us like this? We’re supposed to be becoming teenagers and dating girls in this film! That’s not what it’s going to be, is it?” So, I think we were pretty devastated as we realized that it was. But I still love the man.

Emma reminded me the other day of the amount of passing of notes in classrooms – in sets that were classrooms. It was very sweet. We did a lot of the stuff that you do in actual school, but just in a facsimile of school. We had a lot of those experiences still, but in this slightly bizarre way of through a set.

I’ll always be happy to talk about it. Again, I think that people expect me not to want to talk about it. But that’s like somebody never talking about their childhood or their teenage years. Every part of my life is connected to Potter and to Leavesden. My first kiss is connected to someone here, my first girlfriends were here… it all spirals out from the Potter set somewhere. Everyone also says that “you grew up on screen,” and it’s like “Well, yes and no…” We actually did our growing up privately still; we just did it on a film set. And we did it with each other. And that’s bizarre.

On stunts…

I will never get to do the kind of stunts that I did on Potter on something else. Because of the level of trust that the stunt team had in me. Because we worked together for so long that they were like, “we know that you can do this and you’ll be fine.” It takes a long time for a stunt coordinator to develop that trust in an actor – and rightly so.

On working with legendary actors…

All these people. Everybody. If you point to a background person in Harry Potter, they probably won an Olivier Award. It’s nuts. I use the example a lot of David Bradley playing Filch wonderfully in our films, funny and awful and horrible, and he was playing Henry IV at the same time at the National, and going back and forth. We really did have some of the greatest Shakespearean actors of their era. And getting to watch them every day.

Imelda Staunton, she can be talking to anybody about anything – someone she’s known for a while or not known - and she’ll be having a lovely chat, and then, they’ll say, “Turn over,” and she’ll turn and do a scene and be incredible, and then just start chatting again. It doesn’t have to be painful. Some people have a process, and it is painful for them and that’s part of it. But there’s also an option of having a really nice day and also just doing some acting while you’re here. It was really cool to watch.

On getting the part…

I heard the phone ring. My dad went to answer it. Heard him having some sort of conversation with them. Then he came upstairs and stood in the doorway of the bathroom – my mum was there and my dad was facing me. I can’t remember how he phrased it. But he said “you got the part” or “you’re playing Harry” or something. I’m pretty sure I cried… but I don’t know why! [laughs] Looking back at that, I don’t know what that was, really. They were happy tears. But to acknowledge that almost feels as if I knew on some level how momentous it was, and I really don’t think that I did.

On his first autograph…

Somebody asked me for my signature on that day. I was standing with David Heyman at the time. And I wrote down my full name – which is still my signature – I just write my full name. And he was like “you’ve got to get a shorter signature.” And I was like “it’s not going to be a problem. There’s not going to be a huge demand. If I do my initials, there’s loads of DRs in the world, that could be anyone.” It was a bad choice; I should have taken his advice; I should get a better signature; it’s still shockingly bad.

RUPERT GRINT

On reuniting with the Harry Potter cast…

It was amazing to see everyone again. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any of them. But I think about those movies all the time. And I remember a lot. But it was such a weird time to finish something that had been our lives. So I think coming out of it, it was always important for me to figure out what I was doing, who I was… It’s been nice to have that time. This is the perfect time to sit down with everyone and reminisce. It’s so nostalgic and it’s everywhere. It’s never really left me. It’s found so many different new lives. Even the music can stir it for me. There’s so much nostalgia threaded into these movies. It’s a really important part of all of our lives and it’s great to see everyone again.

On what drew him to his character…

I was always attracted to Ron. Reading the books, I just always saw myself in him in quite a deep way. He’s just very real. He’s kind of an outsider in many ways. He wants to be seen and recognized. He’s kind of in the shadows of a lot of things around him – Harry and his family. So, yeah, he’s always been a very interesting character for me. He’s got a lot of humor, warmth. It’s very weird talking about him. I really do feel that throughout those movies, we became the same person. It’s strange. I feel like a fictional character a lot of the time. But it’s fun.

On relating to Ron Weasley…

I think Ron is a very relatable person. He doesn’t have the glamor… I mean, Harry’s the chosen one and things like that. People can relate to that. He’s in the shadows a little bit, but still with so much to give. He’s such a key part to them as a group. He’s great.

On growing up alongside Ron Weasley…

For me, it was amazing growing up. I got involved with it because I was a fan of the books. I was obsessed with this world and escaping into it. To suddenly dive into the books and be on the sets and live it for real is indescribable, really. It was an absolute dream. Just very surreal. You had to really pinch yourself in some moments because it just didn’t feel like it was really happening. As the films got on, it wore off a little bit [laughs]. Not in a bad way. But it became more real, and you just felt hugely grateful to be a part of it.

On his fondest memory from the first film…

The first time walking into the Great Hall was pretty mind-blowing. And actually, our first day on set, we were on the platform. It was the last scene of the film when we were going back home. And the train was there, and Hagrid was there. It felt like we were in the book, and it looked like we were on the cover of the book. And we were there. And that was pretty amazing. Just the friendships we made and all the people, the family that was created over that course of time… it’s hard to sum up in one anecdote, but it was amazing.

On the most challenging scene from the first film…

There’s quite a few. A lot of them involve keeping a straight face has always been challenging for me. And it’s usually the most serious scenes. They’re the ones that get you. I remember the train carriage scene does stand out because that just took days and days and days. Me and Dan really couldn’t look at each other. So they’re always difficult. A lot of physical stuff as well. Like Quidditch was pretty challenging on the body. But that was the great thing about it, it was always a new challenge and you were constantly learning something new. It was something I really loved.

On the impact of Harry Potter…

Obviously because I was a fan of the books, I knew the books had such a huge following. They were really important to people. They were with people through their hardest times, and they’ve been a real support for so many. And such an integral part of people’s childhood as well. They grew up with the books and grew up with the films. It makes you really proud. It’s an amazing feeling to have had that impact on people.

On the fans of the Harry Potter film series…

The fans are amazing. And so surprising as well. All different demographics and ages. It’s amazing. And so much enthusiasm. I do get shouted out things quite often. Like “get your wand out!” [laughs] is a pretty common one. It’s great to see people get excited. It just makes it even more fun, and I really enjoy that.

EMMA WATSON

On returning to Leavesden and reuniting with the cast…

I honestly didn’t know how I was going to feel this morning. And then something happened where it was just like the comfort of the people that I’ve known for such a long time and the history that we share and that sense of safety. And then, once I started feeling really safe, enjoying everything that we made and that we created and feeling like we could kind of celebrate and just enjoy being together. Some of us haven’t seen each other for years. So, it’s just been a joy. An unexpected joy. I really didn’t know how I would feel. I felt quite overwhelmed this morning. I’ve just been really pleasantly surprised by actually just getting to relive it all.

HELENA BONHAM CARTER

On returning to Leavesden…

It’s been really touching, it’s strange, slightly disembodying coming back because it’s been for me probably over 11 years, so a lot has changed.

On one of the highlights of her role…

One of the highlights of my part was when I had to pretend to be Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix. So that meant I got to not only act with Dan and Rupert looking at me as if I was their age, which was really fun, but also, I really got to know Emma because she gave me tips on how to be Hermione and her.

ROBBIE COLTRANE

On reuniting with the cast…

This has been like a family reunion, literally. You got to remember, when they started they were about eight. I think the oldest of them was 11 and now they’re big grown-ups with their own lives. Grint’s had a baby, Grint’s now a father. It’s just astonishing, the change. Watching them growing up is kind of like watching your own kids grow up. It was never really an issue how young they were. The great thing is that an awful lot of the crew were parents themselves, so everyone was on their best behavior. There was no fighting or swearing on set. And I was always astonished at how fearless they were because I remember walking to the Great Hall and I’ve been doing this for 30 years and thinking, “Dear, Lord…better get this one right,” and they were just kind of, you know, the way kids do. I do have enormous happy memories of this, I’d say. I think we all do.

On why Hagrid has resonated with audiences…

Everybody in the world would like a really big, huge, strong, good man on their side – it’s simple as that. I mean, that’s the attraction to Superman and all these things…that you wish there was a powerful good in the world that was irresistible to the bad guys. Hagrid was always obviously the good guy, wasn’t he? And the way he looked after Harry…he was the guy who told him he was a wizard; he was there from the start. So it was a lovely part to play for that reason. We had a lot of fun with it. He’s, strictly speaking, not allowed to do magic but he does occasionally just because he can’t resist it [laughs]. His pink umbrella was a nice touch because you don’t often see a man who is 8-foot-6 with a pink umbrella, do you? [laughs]…not in my life anyway.

JASON ISAACS

On why Harry Potter became a success…

Well, I don’t know if fans would resonate with my character any more than any of the other characters. I think the entire encyclopedic landscape of it all has burned itself into the fans’ minds and mine. We were all fans. One of the reasons the films turned out so well, I think, is that all of us on the set were as big of fans as you could find outside the studio. We all got the books as soon as they came out. We all devoured them. We all knew that something special was going on.

On why Lucius Malfoy resonates with fans…

Obviously, I had the best hair, and I had some real snazzy outfits. If there’s anything memorable about Lucius Malfoy and why he sticks in people’s minds, it’s we all have a terror that we might be that desperate. He’s not only deeply unpleasant and a bully, but it’s because he’s so insecure and he’s absolutely begging for approval and status all the time – desperate, putting on airs and graces, but really, he hates himself. And he’s terrified of everyone. And I think there is something that echoes and scares people because they see some part of the worst idea of themselves in him.

On what he liked about playing Lucius Malfoy…

God, what didn’t I love about portraying Lucius? First of all, I liked the fact that when they put a wig on, in order to keep the hair straight, I’d put my head back, I’d look in the mirror and there was an instant character – looking down my nose and I didn’t even have to do any acting. And then I loved that he had a journey. He started off as this incredibly arrogant, supercilious, terrible bully, which he remained, and he ended up this broken, alcoholic, shell of a man, rejected by his Lord, rejected by his wife and son with no real future…just the money to protect him, as ever.

On how he wanted to portray Lucius Malfoy…

I worked backwards from wanting to explain to the audience why Draco was such a bully at school, where that level of anger and frustration in him comes from. So I wanted to create a world where there was no love in his household, the worst was expected of him, he was never given any praise. And then I wanted from the outside in to make the most annoying person you could ever meet. I wanted you to hear his voice and for the hackles to go up on the back of your neck. Just wanted every second of his existence to be like fingernails on a blackboard.

On his favorite Bertie Bott’s Beans…

Oh, the Bertie Bott’s flavors, I quite like the disgusting ones because the other ones taste like sweets, but when you eat something that tastes like condensed sewage, you know that you’re in a special place.

On what magic element he wishes were real…

If I could pick one magic element from the films in my life, I wouldn’t mind a Time-Turner. It’s all been a great adventure, I wouldn’t mind doing it all again.

On his favorite spell…

I didn’t know any spells. I didn’t really get to do any spells. And when Dobby was presented with a sock, it said in the script that I lift my wand and I get knocked off my feet…I remember turning to someone in grip, going, “Do you know a spell?” And he went, “No, mate.” I said, “Nothing? I’m meant to do a spell…” and he said, “Avada Kedavra, or something?” So I started to say “Avada Kedavra,” and I got knocked off my feet. I got a mail back from thousands and thousands of people. People are still annoyed about it. “How dare you, you were going to kill Harry Potter!” I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Just let it be.

GARY OLDMAN

On returning to Harry Potter set and reuniting with the cast…

It was a long time ago, and yet, it’s all just incredibly familiar. All the memories of working here come flooding back. It was like it was last week.

It is a weird experience because you met them as kids and now some of them are married and they’ve got kids of their own. My memory of them is locked – it’s sort of locked in. Obviously, they’ve grown up.

On Sirius Black resonating with fans…

Sirius, I mean apart from his name, which is a wonderful name, there’s a cool about Sirius that I think fans attach to. But he’s a good guy at the end of the day.

On fan feedback…

Back in California, I had a dentist, and his son was a huge fan of Harry Potter…and we met at a campsite. At Thanksgiving, I used to take the kids to this campsite in California, and a lot of people actually referred to it as ‘glamping’ because it wasn’t quite roughing it in tents, but it was these little cabins. And I ran into this dentist, and he said, “Oh, my son is over there. Tom. Would you go over and just introduce yourself, and say hello? Because he’s a huge Harry Potter fan and loves Sirius Black, and it would just make his day.” So I said, “sure, I could go over there.” And there were a couple of kids sitting around a bench around a campfire. And I walked up to Tom, and he looked at me and I looked at him, and I said, “Hi, Tom.” I said, “I’m Sirius Black.” And the kid said, “No you’re not, you’re Commissioner Gordon.” [laughs]

The great thing about the Potter experience was that a lot of kids couldn’t see the type of movies that I made. And then my fanbase was then suddenly, it shifted from like four years old and up. So a whole new kind of fanbase opened up for you.

On working with Dan, Emma and Rupert as kids…

The kids – Rupert, Emma and Dan – were just extraordinary young people. I was impressed by their sort of commitment and professionalism at such a young age.

On favorite Harry Potter scene…

One of my favorite scenes that always, always stuck with me was the Boggart in Azkaban, with the whole thing with the wardrobe. The imagination behind it is just incredible…that you could disarm the Boggart with laughter and humor, that scene is always sort of stuck with me.

TOM FELTON

On reuniting with the cast…

It feels rather strange to be back here in Leavesden, to be honest with you. It’s been a while and it’s been great seeing everyone. All the familiar faces. It’s bizarre, actually, how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other and how short amount of time it took for us to be all chummy back again, so yeah, good times.

On his favorite memory…

It’s hard to pick one memory, really. I suppose any time with Chris Columbus getting as excited as he did was always a fun thing. I suppose the Great Hall, I’ll always remember that. The first time I walked through the Great Hall, and it still gives me the same sort of tingles as it did then.

JAMES & OLIVER PHELPS

On returning to Harry Potter set…

OLIVER: It’s been quite a few years since we’ve seen each other, so to come back to where it was actually taking place…albeit it’s been a bit more glamorized since when we were here before…but it’s still really special, like being in the Great Hall with everyone earlier was just incredible.

JAMES: And also, there were a couple guys on the crew who were on the crew when we were filming, so that’s also cool. No one ever speaks enough about the crew that made it as well, so that’s cool too.

On why the Weasley twins resonated with fans…

OLIVER: I always think that Fred and George really became fan favorites really because of the way they were, in terms of, they’re always having their laughs. They were very much the comic relief to a lot of the storylines. But also, I think people always thought, “I’d love to be pals with those guys.” [Laughs]

On what they would tell their younger selves on the first day of shooting…

OLIVER: Change their haircut.

JAMES: If I could say three things to myself, I would say: insist on a different haircut; have a lower voice, a lower tone of voice, because now I’m forever reminded – especially in the first movie – my voice was really, really high, like I’d had helium or something; and I think third one, take more pictures…or write things down more. I always remember my grandfather saying, “make a scrapbook,” and I was like, “oh, no, I’ll be okay.” But looking back it’s quite nice that it’s documented as it is, but I know that there’s things that I completely forgot about, so it would be good to remember all those things.

On favorite scene to film…

JAMES: I will always remember the first day of our shoot, we were in Goathland, in Yorkshire Moors. The first thing we ever shot was the last scene of the movie, of Harry getting back on the train. And I remember that was the first time I learned that films weren’t shot in sequence. And I just remember everybody coming together for that. We took over this tiny little village and I think that month of location shoot really did make everyone very close. So then when we came out to shoot at the studios, we all knew each other, and we all had a great atmosphere when we were here to shoot. But my overall memory of the first movie would be when we first walked into the Great Hall for the first time because it was exactly like the scene when Harry and Ron are walking in and everyone’s looking around with their mouths open – it was exactly like that.

On toughest scene to film…

OLIVER: The Quidditch in the third movie, I remember being one of the hardest days ever filming because it was in the rain. So not only are you wet, but they also spray you with more water when you get up on the broomstick. And there’s a giant fan making it look like you’re flying, so it’s giving like a wind effect and it being absolutely freezing. That would be my one memory of anything being tricky. That would be it.

On working with the other actors…

JAMES: We were spoiled with everybody here – not just the adults but the younger members of the cast, shall we say. Although we had a good laugh, everyone was very professional, and I guess that did stem from the adult actors. Having Julie Walters and Mark Williams as our parents in the scenes and all the movies definitely was a great experience because we could always just chat with them for any bit of advice. And another person which I didn’t really work so much with in a scene but spoke to off set was Michael Gambon. He was always so giving with his time. I can’t speak highly enough of him. If I told him that I was doing a show, a different production somewhere else, he’d ask if I had the script, and if I did, he would sit down and talk me through it. You don’t expect things like that from people, but that always stayed with me.

MARK WILLIAMS

On what it’s like being back on set…

Leavesden’s totally changed, it’s not what it was at all because it was an old aircraft factory. It was still the old conning tower. Not a conning tower, it’s a submarine. There was still a runway and the flight shed where Gringotts was filmed…various other places…and there was the traffic control tower, which we used to play in. And the boys used to have a driving range on the runway. But now, it’s a new, modern electronic facility, so it feels completely different apart for when you get on set – on the studio tour. Because they were the original set. So that just feels like being back.

On reuniting with the Harry Potter family…

People have been asking me if it feels weird to see the family and, no it’s not, it’s 20 years ago and they’ve all grown up, as they should. It would be really weird if they were still the same age.

On playing Arthur Weasley…

When I read the books, I was thinking about Arthur Weasley, and I thought I knew what I’d do with him. He’s slightly different to Jo’s Arthur, who’s more reserved. My Arthur is a bit more extroverted and a bit more jolly hockey sticks, which is an English phrase meaning enthusiastic!

BONNIE WRIGHT

On returning to Leavesden…

It’s an almost out-of-body experience being back here at Leavesden. So much of it is familiar but then also so much of it is kind of slightly different because obviously it’s been turned into this wonderful tour. So it’s kind of those elements to the sets with a sort of slightly different kind of layout. Not exactly the same door that we walked in when we used to for 10 years when we arrived on set every day. But then you see everyone’s faces and it just brings so many memories back and it’s just lovely to be here and to share this anniversary together. It’s been really special, and I think my brain is still computing everything that’s going on and taking it all in.

On her fondest memory from the first film…

I think my fondest memory…I mean, I was only in the one scene in Platform 9 ¾ and I didn’t have a line in the script to the point, and then Chris Columbus gave me a line on the first day so I was very excited to suddenly be saying, “good luck,” as Harry goes through into the Platform. And it felt like just such a lovely kind of addition on that day. I felt like I didn’t get too nervous because it was just happening in that moment. And another really special moment for me was Julie Walters, who played my mum. She really just took me under her wing. She probably saw that I was totally out of my own depth, and I was sort of wide-eyed everything, so she really just looked out for me and that kind of carried on through the series.

ALFRED ENOCH

On returning to Leavesden…

It was very strange getting in the car and going back to Leavesden Studios, that’s something I haven’t done for a long time. It was a bit of a surreal start to the day, I suppose. The other thing that struck me is how much everything’s changed. It looks completely different to what it looked like when we were here shooting. But still as you start realizing, “oh, yeah, that’s where the runway used to be…I guess that’s the flight shed,” it’s funny these things start coming back. Same thing being back with everyone, I suppose. We’ve all been shooting stuff today, so most of us have sort of either snatched little moments with each other before we’ve gone off to do this, that or the other, or had a little catch-up now during lunch, which was really nice. It’s nice to have the opportunity to come back and see everyone and take a trip down memory lane, I suppose.

On his fondest memory from the first film…

The thing that really stays with me from the first film is just how much fun it was to be exposed to this world, to get to be part of a story which I knew and loved. I’d read the first two books by the time I was involved in the first film, and I loved them, so to get to be part of this world that I had been conjuring up in my mind as I was reading those books was a real luxury. So it’s more the feeling of the thing rather than a kind of any specific individual moment.

IAN HART

On returning to the Harry Potter set…

It’s really kind of strange when you drive up because it was once just a field because it had obviously been an airport…not an airport, an RAF testing base is what I mean by that. It felt like it because it had a runway still, which is where they built the Dursley’s house on the runway. So it feels kind of strange because now it feels very formal.

On memorable fan feedback…

I’ve seen someone did a knitted version of me. No, not even knitted, what’s it called? Felting? Where you stick bits of wool until it binds on itself. There’s a felted version of me, which I thought seems so soft and cuddly for the character who’s quite dark.

On favorite scene…

There’s a bit where my character flies, when he’s revealed himself to be Voldemort. And he flies toward Harry Potter to try and kill him. I remember thinking, “how am I going to do this?” Here I am thinking, “what’s the technical and physical aspect of doing this?” I was so interested to see that kind of flying mechanism. I just enjoyed flying. It was as close as you’re going to get.

MATTHEW LEWIS

On returning to the Harry Potter set…

It’s hard to put into words, really. I went on the Great Hall set earlier and we shot a bit for this. It’s all dressed and they’re doing this incredible dancing, and everyone’s in costume and it’s all set for a ball, and I kind of just walk straight in and did my bit without really looking around, as if like it was back to work, which is weird 10 years later. I just suddenly thought for a moment, “hang on, just recall where you are right now, just take a moment.” I’m quite bad at just having a moment and taking things in around me, I kind of get tunnel vision quite a bit in life.

I took a moment to just sort of look around the Great Hall and sort of take it in and try and think about the significance of it, of being back on there.

On seeing everyone again…

Seeing everyone was wild, it was really cool. It was really surreal in that it didn’t feel like it was…it wasn’t unusual, it was great and it was cool, but it was like, “oh, we’re just back here again.” It very much felt like that. Even though it was 10 years ago since we finished, it still feels so close, to me anyway. Time-wise it feels very close.

On his character Neville Longbottom…

I think Neville, well, he meant a lot to me growing up. Not least because I played him, obviously, but just what he stood for, really…the goodness in him. The fact that through all of life’s challenges, whether he was bullied at school or the things that happened in his childhood to his parents, he never veered from the path. He always stayed true to his ideals, to what he believed in, and what was the right thing to do. That’s kind of hard, I think. People do get rocked by a lot and Neville got rocked by a lot and he never let it shift his morals, his ethics. I think that’s important. He could’ve been forgiven for holding some bitterness and resentment at life…for everything that happened to him. And he never did. And he worked tirelessly to fight the good fight. And that’s the incredible strength of character. He’s a beacon of light in the story, I think, and an inspiration for us all.

EVANNA LYNCH

On returning to Leavesden…

It’s lovely, I mean, the whole studio is obviously much more glossy than when we filmed on it, so it feels different. And also, it just feels really nice to come back as an adult and with the maturity and, I suppose, wisdom that you’ve gained in 10 years. I think as a teenager I often felt quite anxious on set and felt self-conscious, so to come here and feel more grown up and more relaxed, it’s lovely. I wish I had felt this relaxed when I was younger, actually.

On what drew her to her character…

It was her calmness, her self-acceptance, that Luna never judges anyone because she has that total self-acceptance within and it just enables her to appreciate everyone in the world in all its diversity, which I always loved. Her spirituality as well, I think. I know people often see her as the comic relief for the series, but I’d say she has got a real wisdom and stillness and strong connection to the spiritual world.

On why Luna Lovegood has resonated with audiences…

You know, we all want to have that connection to something magical. I think we all sense that there is more than just this Muggle world, there is more than just the world of form, and that the Harry Potter world is so rich, so textured, and so beautifully drawn by J.K. Rowling, really. And yet, the main characters are all very relatable people. They have these special powers but they’re normal teenagers who are struggling with the same sense of inadequacy, insecurity and questioning what their purpose is in the world, and just figuring all that out.

CHRIS COLUMBUS

On returning to Leavesden…

I hadn’t been back to Leavesden in 18 years, so I remember the last day of shooting “Prisoner of Azkaban,” I said goodbye to the three kids. I was very emotional, and I walked out, and yesterday was the first day I came back here, so it’s changed quite a bit. We had a stage that was a former Rolls-Royce factory, we had a lot of leaks and rats, it was not an ideal shooting situation, but we loved it – we had a great time. Now it’s a museum, so it’s very emotional.

On reuniting with the cast…

I’ve seen Dan Radcliffe throughout the years, every time he’s in a play or does a film, I definitely see every play he’s been in, so we see each other backstage. I’ve kept in touch with Dan probably more than anyone else, but I hadn’t seen Emma in years…still haven’t seen Rupert in years, so it was really emotional to see everyone.

On memorable moments from the first film…

Oh, God, every day was a memorable moment because every day as a director you were on these incredible sets. You walk into the Great Hall one day and you walk into the Chamber of Secrets, and as a director, it’s the greatest playground in the world.


The special will broadcast New Year's Day in the U.S. on HBO Max, in the U.K. via Sky Max, Sky Showcase and streaming service NOW in UK & Ireland, and on Crave in Canada. Check local streaming services for regional air dates.
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