Poor Narcissa Malfoy. If it wasn’t bad enough that she had to stand by as her son, Draco, was charged with the task of murdering Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, during the course of Deathly Hallows she’ll see her home used as Voldemort’s headquarters and her family placed under house arrest by his Death Eaters. For Helen McCrory, the actress charged with bringing her to life on the big screen, though, the seventh and final part of the franchise — split into two movies — will be as exciting as anything that has come before.
Talking exclusively to Rotten Tomatoes from the set of her new film, Noel Clarke‘s 220.127.116.11, she said that her work on Deathly Hallows was going well and promised an epic finale for Potter fans. “It’s got a full stop,” she told us. “I think up to now, every director who has done a Harry Potter has had to do a dot-dot-dot. They know it’s a sequel, they know there’s another film coming out. But with this one, we can actually make everything have an epic ending. It’s going to be final. And it’s going to be huge. There doesn’t have to be any more pauses or dot-dot-dots. So they’re letting out all the stops with this one.”
For McCrory, this change in tone is evident on set, where many of the cast and crew are getting ready to say goodbye to decade-long era. “We finish in April and it does feel different on set actually,” she explained. “Some people have been doing it for 10, 11 years. It’s part of their lives. So although I’ve just joined them at the end, a lot of people have a huge emotional commitment to it. There are children that have grown up with the people on the set, like the directors and the costume designers backstage. It’s a very big occasion for those people.”
Despite the magical challenges faced by Harry and co. as Voldemort continues to gain power, McCrory thinks that what makes director David Yates‘ time on the series so special is his attention to the more human aspects of the franchise. “[Half-Blood Prince] was definitely filled with teenage angst, and you remember how violent teenage angst is. There’s nothing romantic about it. You’re thinking, Oh my God, what am I going to do for the rest of my life? You’re starting to make decisions about the rest of your life. I think [David Yates] really summed that up in a very real way, and a very serious way.
“I think with these next two films, he’s looking at this character becoming a man. And that again, is quite an epic story. That’s Ulysses. Rites of passage. It’s exactly what Noel Clarke did, in a way, with Kidulthood. We still watch those stories, whether they’re set in Hogwarts or New Cross.”
McCrory told us she was due for a table read of the script for the second part of the film today. “You don’t know what to expect until you get there,” she said. “Something written down on paper could be completely different on the screen. On Monday we’re just going to sit down with various people around a table.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I arrives in cinemas in November of next year, while Part II is set for a July 2011 release.