PotterCast Episode 6 (September 2005)
LD: Time to put on our Extendable Ears. Listen in on Potter-talk from the people making the magic.
Our new celebrity. (Snape)
Melissa Anelli (MA): So let’s talk a little bit about Movie 4 cause I don’t even think we’ve touched on it.
Matt Lewis (ML): Okay.
MA: You’re done filming, clearly. How was it? How was working with Mike Newell?
ML: Yeah. That was a lot of fun. He’s really, really funny. He’s great. It was different from Alfonso and Chris Columbus again. I really enjoyed it. It was good. I think it’s going to be really a great film. I really do. I think his whole idea of it… It’s not too drastically different, but he’s got his own appeal, and I think it’s going to be really, really good.
MA: How was he different? How was he different from Chris and Alfonso?
ML: Well that was the thing. It was sort of… I come from… he was really different from Chris in that he was really crazy and wanted to have fun with it and try different ways and stuff like that. But again, he was somewhat equipped. He sort of… He still wanted to get… He didn’t want it to be too dark. And although there was the death, Cedric’s death, he sill wanted it to be about friends, not just about the whole darkness and evil bit. It’s quite a nice balance between the friendship and how all the characters Neville, Ron, Hermione, and how they all work hard to help Harry with the Tri-Wizard Tournament. And then there’s the darkness and Voldemort… The graveyard scene is going to be immense. I’m really looking forward to see that.
MA: What was the buzz? I know when people work together, they get excited about certain elements. So the buzz was about the graveyard scene? Mostly?
ML: Yeah. I saw the set once. I didn’t even walk onto it; I just saw it. It looked amazing. Everyone was talking about how just filming it was scary. And so, I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve got… I can bet it was so much fun.
MA: I can imagine. What about the Yule Ball?
ML: That was good. That was good. That was a change of scenery again. I mean, the Great Hall looked different, and we’re all wearing smart clothes, tuxedos, etc. It was an interesting change. We had a lot of fun doing it, learning to dance and all that. It was cool.
MA: We had another interview with somebody who saw the movie, who saw the fourth film, and they told us that you and Ginny have quite a moment.
ML: (laughing) Yeah. Yeah, I won’t go into that one, but it’s pretty cool. I really, really enjoyed learning to dance. And Ginny was good. Huh, Ginny… Bonnie who plays Ginny, she was great. She picked up a lot faster than me. I don’t know whether she’s danced before, but she’s very good. And it was good fun; I enjoyed it.
MA: It’s nice to see Neville sort of break out of the clutz role a little bit.
ML: Yeah, and in this one he sort of… and this is his thing, in spite of Herbology, dancing is the one thing he really, really liked. He comes out and really shows that in this one. He works hard at it and when he finally gets to do it, you can see just how much he loves it, and he really enjoys it.
MA: Cool. Um… I’m sorry; I lost my train of thought. Cause I’m thinking about Neville dancing. (laughing) It’s just the cutest thing. We heard that he comes into the Common Room afterwards and he’s just… he’s the last one to come in and he comes in dancing. (ML laughs) Do you still dance? Do you still take those steps and use them on your own?
ML: In what? Like in real life?
ML: Ah no. I, ah, I did it for… I’m not a dancer. No. I think that if I tried I could probably still dance it, but ah, no, not me. (doorbell sound) Uh-oh, the doorbell’s going.
MA: What is that?
ML: The doorbell’s going.
MA: What is that? Oh, is it the doorbell? (laughs)
ML: Yeah, it’s my doorbell. (laughs)
(noise of people in background)
ML: We’ve got another Wicket and Cricket. My dad and my brother are shouting. I think they’re a little crazy at the moment. England needs two more Wickets. We were doing so bad earlier, but now we’re not doing too bad at all.
MA: You’re ten ahead?
ML: Yeah, we’re ten ahead. We were at two…
MA: So, how into Cricket are you?
ML: Well, I only used to watch International. I don’t like the county Cricket. Because my dad used to play Cricket, he’s a big Cricket fan. I used to watch all the internationals whenever they were on. Although I like watching them, I was never like “This is great.” Like if someone asked me, then I’d go do it. But now when I’ve gotten a little bit older, I can understand it more. I started to really get into it, actually it was this year… I’m into a whole lot more, and all my friends are, and it’s just great.
MA: Football, though, is still number one?
ML: I don’t know. I don’t know. I think so. Cricket has…
MA: I don’t know a single thing about Cricket.
ML: You don’t know anything?
ML: (laughs) Well, England’s a two, not a three now.
ML: England was a three and went up today. We’ll see. I doubt it. There’s two days left. And like you said, there’s one of each to play. I think this one will be a draw. For England, they’re going to win two-one. That’s my prediction: a draw and then a two-one win for England.
MA: Okay, we’ll have your prediction down. So, you also told us a little bit about some workshops that Mike Newell put together.
ML: Yeah, that was good for us. See, we had so many new people come into the film. There was Joe, Ann, Robert, and all these new people coming in. So, we thought it would be a great idea to sort of… Well, we’ve been away for a long time and so he thought it would be a good idea to get everybody back to know each other again and meet the new people. So we had these workshops where we had a bit of fun like training our voices, improvisations, that sort of thing. And we got to know everyone. And it was a great idea. Because everyone, it made them fit in perfectly. And getting to know them before we started filming was a great idea.
MA: What kind of exercises did you do?
ML: We learned stuff like… We had a chair and we had to have one person sit in the chair and one person try and get that chair off them. And the chair could be a part of you for any reason. They could want the chair for any reason at all. It was an improvisation technique. And it was funny, the reasons people would want it or want to keep it. It was great. I really, really enjoyed that. I hope I get to do it again. It was so funny.
MA: What was yours?
ML: I was sitting in the chair and Alfie had to get me out of it. And I claimed it was the original J.T. Kirk chair from the Enterprise and there was no way he was going to sit in it. (MA laughs)
MA: I’m sorry. And what was Alfie’s reason for wanting to get it?
ML: He was feeling really, really ill and desperately needed to sit down. But I said he had been drinking and that it was his own fault and there was no way he was going to sit in my chair when he smelled like booze.
MA: Oh. That’s great. Why aren’t these on the DVD outtakes?
MA: I want to see that. What were some of the other funny ones people came up with?
ML: You know, I can’t remember them. I remember laughing so much that day. I mean, all sorts of things, but… Rupert’s was really funny. I think he was playing some old, old man, but also a geek at the same time. And it some sort of park chair or something that he really wanted to hang on to. But it was so funny. He’s impressions were great. He did this old man who was also a geek… It was great. I really, really laughed my head off at Rupert.
MA: Cool. Had you ever done this kind of acting stuff with each other before?
ML: Not with each other. I’ve done it cause I used to go to Drama classes like every week at my… The agency I was with had also Drama classes. So I used to do it with them, but I’ve never done these particular exercises before, not on set. It was just really, really funny to see people you work with, but never really been able to just mess around. It was just cool. Cause when you’re acting, you’re looking at your own script, and it was just interesting. We also were given a scenario and it was good to see some of the people that were from the comedy side try some of the serious acting. It was good fun to try everyone’s part. And everyone was good. Everyone did it so well.
MA: I also have down that you guys played tag?
MA: You guys played tag also?
ML: Yeah, we do a big game of that. Yeah. I was real good at that.
MA: How so?
ML: I just would get caught every time. I was one of the first on. And I was good at catching other people as well.
MA: Well, Neville…
ML: We have an interesting game as well. You create a big line when you’ve done it, after you’ve been caught, and you link hands. And all the people on the outside edges were the ones allowed to tag. So then you’ve got this big line and you circle the last person and just tag him. And it was all about teamwork at the same time as capturing people. It was really funny. The line would always break. “I’m going for that guy there!” “No! I’m going for this one!” And they would just tear apart in the middle.
MA: So, I’m imagining at the end just a big line of people all running after just this one person.
ML: Well, imagine running after two people, and no one knows which one you’re going to go for. And then it rips apart. It was funny. …cause I had an exam on the last day. It was just so much fun. I can’t wait to do it again, if we do.
MA: So, how did these exercises change your relationship with these people when you actually were filming?
ML: Well, it helped us to fit in, and we got to know everybody. I mean, you’re with these people for a long time, and when you’re shooting in close quarters, and I imagine if it was someone you really, really hated, it would actually be awful. And it was good to actually get to know everybody and not feel uncomfortable when we all got thrown in together. It just helped everybody because you knew how these people, how good they were. And it made me look forward to working with them again. Wow. That was a cracking catch.
MA: (laughs) I’m sorry. Excellent. I just remember when I was in England last, you and John were having an argument over Leeds. John is Jamie Wylde’s agent/handler/friend/family-friend guy. And in the friendships that have come up, John and Matt have formed a very interesting football rivalry between QPR and Leeds. I was lucky enough to witness some of what happened (ML laughs) as a result. It’s funny.
ML: Actually, we did make a bet. I do remember. He said that there was no way that Leeds was going to beat QPR. And the difference in goals to the winning team, would be the amount of times the loser would have to bow to the other. (MA laughs) And Leeds had actually won 6-1 against the QPR. So, he has to bow to me five times.
MA: Did he do it?
ML: He didn’t! He didn’t bow to me!
MA: (gasps) Oh God.
ML: I’m still waiting for that. If you see him, tell him he’s got to bow to me five times.
MA: I will. I spoke to him yesterday, so I’ll bother him. So, Mike Newell… How would he direct? What would he do? How would he get a good performance out of people?
ML: Okay, well we did rehearsals, which we didn’t do much of before. That was good actually. We could be able to go through it and ask questions all the time and not worry about screwing up the scene because of the rehearsals. One thing was that you could try it a whole bunch of different ways and then get to go straight into it and get it right. So that was good. There was also… We worked hard. He kept us a long time. We were used to staying there until seven ‘o clock at night. It was good. I enjoyed it that way cause if you got it wrong, or how you felt you got it wrong, whether he liked or not, you’d always do another one. And you’d be happy with it yourself. And I liked that as well. It wasn’t that drastically different, but it’s his own style. Like I said for example, the fact that you got to rehearse and it was relaxed again. It was good and I enjoyed it. I hoped I answered your questions.
MA: No, that was great!
ML: Yeah, I’m kind of tired. The Cricket’s on and I just want to watch that. Can we do this next? Is that all right?
MA: Sure. Fine. Thanks Matt. (laughs) No, we’ll be back next week with Matt.
Go here to read the transcript of the whole episode and to listen.