RT-UK: Daniel; Harry gets angry in this film, did it make him more challenging to play without alienating the audience and making him unsympathetic?
Daniel Radcliffe: Very good question; that was the overwhelming response to this book, a lot of people said that they didn’t like Harry because they disliked how angry he was. I talked to Jo Rowling about that and she just said, well, frankly, if people say they don’t understand why Harry is angry in the book then they don’t understand what he’s been through in the past five years; he has a right to be angry.
But I think you’re right, for me it was possibly just as interesting to play the more reflective side of the anger and where it comes from; the loneliness, and feeling misunderstood by everyone, rather than the out-and-out shouting that people might have interpreted was what was in the book.
RT-UK: How did working with David Yates inform the experience?
DR: I think what David managed to do, which is fantastic, is that he took the charm of the films that Chris [Columbus] made and the visual flair of everything that Alfonso [Cuaron] did, and the thoroughly bombastic, British nature of Mike Newell’s fourth film, and he’s added his own sense of grit and realism to it that perhaps wasn’t there before. It’s the film, certainly, that I’m most proud of, and I think we all had a wonderful time working with David.
Emma Watson: The thing about David that I feel is that this is the most genuine of all the films. This is the one that has a great sense of realism to it. The word that I connect most with David Yates is truth. He always wanted to find the truth in all the characters, and in every single performance. He had high standards, but I think Dan, Rupert and I really relished that because it stopped us from getting complacent the fifth time around. I think we all really learnt something from him.
RT-UK: You get to fight alongside Gary Oldman in this film, Dan, and you seem to have developed a friendship with him.
DR: In this film, more than any of the others, Gary and I got to do some really hardcore emotional scenes together and so I loved it. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time and I think anyone would be hard-pushed to name another actor whose body of work covers so many different areas. I think he’s incredible and if I was to emulate somebody’s career I would try – and probably fail – to emulate Gary’s because I think he’s just a remarkable actor. We get on really, really well and in spite of the fact we won’t be working together again on Potter, we’re keeping in touch and that’s great, he’s a fantastic guy.
RT-UK: Imagine yourself a few years on, a new set of young actors, 11 or 12, are about to start acting in a long series of films; given your experience what advice would you give them?
EW: That’s very hard to answer. I think if someone had said to me, you know, this is what it’s going to be like, a) I wouldn’t believe them and b) you just can’t–
DR: You just can’t handle it until you’re there, to be honest, it’s very hard.
DR: Particularly with something like “Potter”, which is so huge and really is a global phenomenon. It’s very hard, even for us now, to see the extent to which it reaches, but I suppose just helping them to make sure that when they’re starting out to tell the people around them to be completely honest with them, so that there’s no room for sycophants to trickle in. I think that’s what makes the difference, growing up in front of media, is that if you have people around who are honest with you and don’t just say what you want to hear then you’ll be well adjusted.
EW: I think the first thing my parents did for me was just, as far as possible, and in a way I think it’s quite extreme; I’ve managed to live exactly the same life that I did before I got the role. It’s really kept me sane and it can be so easy given how busy I am doing this to lose touch with the friends I had before. My mum said, “No, always ensure that you stay in touch.” Just making sure you have an identity outside it and in the gaps in between is important. Valuing your friends and the people around you, trying hard to have time for everyone you knew before, is the key.
Rupert Grint: Definitely, yeah. I’ve got a really big family and it really helps; when you’ve got sisters it really helps to bring it back down to earth! That’s really helped me.
RT-UK: How would you like the Harry Potter saga to end?
DR: None of us know how the story’s going to end and I honestly don’t have any specific theories because I know that anything I could sit here and talk about, Jo’s going to come up with something far more interesting and exciting that anything we could hope to imagine. But if you were after theories, then I would say that Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna, is certainly the person to talk to.
EW: There’s this theory that Hermione is going to die and I really didn’t have that in my plans for what she would achieve! I really want to see her putting her intellect and her naturally very caring nature to some worthy cause. I want to see her in another country protesting for the rights of house elves! Continuing S.P.E.W. or just generally making the world a better place and hopefully settling down with Ron and having some babies!
RG: [laughs] I don’t know about Ron, I think it’s really hard to say. Everyone’s got his or her own little idea and I’m just not sure. If Ron had to die it wouldn’t be so bad because it’s the last one anyway!
RT-UK: Wouldn’t you like to see him play Quidditch professionally somewhere?
RG: That’d be quite good, yeah!
DR: No, trust me, Quidditch is a painful experience; you don’t want to go through that!
DR: Mine is already pre-ordered from Amazon. And I’m hoping I get some free vouchers for mentioning that!
RT-UK: Will you skip right to the back to find out what happens to Harry and the gang?
DR: I’ll read it all the way through. My grandmother does that and it’s a terrible habit!
RG: I’d be very tempted to have a little flick at the back to see if Ron’s still there!
EW: It’s really hard; I can say now I’ll read it page-to-page and be really good and everything but it’s hard to say. When it’s late at night, you’ve just got your copy… I’ll do my best, I’ll definitely do my best.
RT-UK: Emma, Hermione has a scene trying to explain to the boys why Cho was crying while she was kissing Harry; is that something you’ve found is true of boys in real life, that they just don’t get it?
EW: [laughs] I’ll have to be slightly careful in this company! I love that scene, though, I really love that scene – probably most of all – because I think it kind-of reflects a genuine relationship that Rupert, Dan and I have in real life. I think it is funny, I can’t put it totally on the guys but I have to say that sometimes I think, what on Earth is this guy thinking?! I think both sexes at this age are just slightly bemused by what’s going on. I think it is very true to life – I have a lot of brothers and I’m friends with a lot of guys and I do think, how do you not get this? How do you not understand what she must be feeling? It really made me laugh, that scene. It plays brilliantly on the differences between boys and girls.
DR: That’s not true at all! I don’t know what she’s talking about! [laughs] I think, in very general terms, I think both sexes have trouble understanding each other, and will probably until the end of time remain a mystery to one another. But I have to say I don’t think it’s all on one side…
RT-UK: Kissing Katie Leung (Cho)… Was it awesome?
DR: [laughs] We were both a bit nervous because we did know everyone was talking about it, and there was a knowledge that this was a highly-anticipated scene. Everyone has been waiting for this scene in some ways… I don’t know why I said that last bit because that is what highly anticipated means! [laughs] Erm, so we were a bit nervous but I think after the first few takes it was fine… We suddenly realised we were enjoying ourselves!
RT-UK: And how many takes were there, Dan?
DR: Well, no, OK, hold on a second! [laughs] This is the thing; a while ago I said it took thirty takes. Now, what I meant was that thirty takes was spanning over about six different camera set-ups over a significant period of time. But that has been misconstrued as meaning that I requested I do thirty takes on the kissing scene. Which is a lie!
RT-UK: Did you allow Emma and Rupert to come and see you in “Equus”?
DR: I didn’t ban anybody from coming to see me! Being on stage and doing “Equus” was fantastic, a great experience, and once you’ve been on stage naked in front of a thousand people you really do feel like you can do anything; there are no more inhibitions. It was an amazing experience for me and it was something I’ll be very, very proud of doing for the rest of my life, I think.
RT-UK: How weird is it playing the videogame?
DR: Very strange, I think.
RT-UK: Have you played yourself in the game?
DR: Very good choice of words! Very sensible, too! [laughs] Yeah, I’ve played all the “Potter” games and I have to say I got really competitive with my eight year-old god-brother over the “Quidditch World Cup” game; it was slightly ridiculous! I’ve played them, I’ve enjoyed them, but the stakes aren’t quite so high as when you’re making the film, obviously.
RG: It’s really weird; I think all the merchandise is quite strange. And it’s all getting more realistic; especially the game. I’ve even got my voice on that.
EW: There’s a classic bit of merchandise for me. I was in Waitrose the other day and I was flicking across the shelves and there was something like “Hermione’s Magic Muffins” with my head on those little sticky things you put on top of cupcakes. That was a new one! Honestly, every time around there’s something new…