PotterCast Episode 7 (October 2005)
LD: Time to put on our Extendable Ears. Listen in on Potter-talk from the people making the magic.
Our new celebrity. (Snape)
MA: Ok. A couple of quick, stupid questions. What’s the best joke that anybody’s played on set?
ML: The best?
ML: Okay. Yeah, I know this one straight away.
ML: Okay. Harry Potter 3. Great Hall. Everyone’s sleeping. Absolute silence except for Snape and Dumbledore walking through the middle, talking. (laughs) Fart machine goes off, hidden in someone’s bag right next to Dumbledore. It was so funny! The silence was… You could hear a pin drop. Everyone was just “What the hell?” (MA laughs) And then suddenly everyone burst out laughing. We figured out, oh, it’s just a joke that Dan had played, and Alfonso, and it was so funny. It was hilarious.
MA: Did any good ones happen on 4?
MA: Did any good ones happen on 4?
ML: Oh, well, people are always being just, like, joking around, but… Nothing like that actually, because you’re just in the middle of a take, as well. It was just so funny. I remember on series – not series. I’m talking like “24” now, – I think it was film one or two… I wasn’t actually there, but Chris Columbus is so calm, and then he goes… Shawn Biggerstaff was doing something on the broomstick – this is just word of mouth, I wasn’t actually there – but apparently he did something wrong and he was like “Oh, I have to do that again.” Chris Columbus comes down, picks up the glass, throws it on the ground and says, “What are you doing! That was wrong! Well, sort that out!” and Shawn Biggerstaff was, “What? This is not right. This isn’t Chris Columbus!” And then eventually he starts laughing and he finds out the stunt guys gave him the glass and it was just a thing of glass that shatters, and it was… Apparently it was so funny because Shawn Biggerstaff was just like “Oh, yeah” It was just not Chris Columbus at all.
MA: Yeah. Yeah, totally, (laughs) He goes, “That’s not him!” I have met him a couple of times. That’s not him.
ML: Yeah, exactly.
MA: It’s easy to tell. He’s a very nice, warm sort of family man guy.
MA: Who were you most excited to meet when you filmed the 4th?
ML: On film 4?
ML: OK, ummm, Alan Rickman.
MA: What’s he like?
MA: What’s he like?
ML: That was the thing, because, he always plays these evil characters, you know? I mean, recently he has done a lot more different sort of characters, but, from what I knew him in, like – well it would have been in around like 2000, 1999 – I knew him as Sheriff of Nottingham and Hans Gruber from Die Hard – that’s what I knew him as. So, to me, for him to be a really, really nice guy was just like, “Wow. This guy’s a good actor” you know? The way he can make me really, really hate him and be really, really terrified of him. But for him to be one of the nicest guys, it was just it was amazing and meeting him was great.
MA: What are some of your favorite movies right now?
ML: I thought Star Wars Episode 3 was great.
MA: Oh, yeah!
ML: Yeah, I really, really liked that. I mean, I know there was some people who felt it was, “Oh, it was real base, and it wasn’t as good as the original.” And, you know, it wasn’t as good as the original, but, I think it was such a huge improvement on Episode 1 and 2, I thought it was just very, very good, and I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD.
ML: What else have we got? I am looking at my DVD collection let’s see what’s pretty good, I like Shawn of the Dead.
MA: I keep hearing about that movie. Everybody says it’s like the best movie ever.
ML: Yeah. It’s very, very funny
ML: It’s a Simon Pegg and Nick Frost through they were two… so funny people, I mean, they do a TV series that use to be on in England called Spaced, which was just really, really funny. Really sort of bizarre type comedy, but it’s really funny. This is a circle of comedians all work together, and it is was very, sort of, Alan Partridge, but at the same time it was, sort of, Glass Eye… That sort of comedy. But it’s just so funny and for them to make a film with the exact same style was just hilarious. I mean, it’s so funny. You’ve got to see it.
MA: OK, I will, you got my word. ummm (laughs) So, okay. Movie 4 behind you, how do you feel you have changed as an actor?
ML: In this film there was also, as well as there being the comical side of Neville, and him being an idiot, and can’t do much too well, and always being sort of a comical characters, there’s also a bit of emotional side in this one, what with Neville’s parents not always having to do the funny thing, but actually getting a bit of a serious side of acting was good. I liked being in that. The opportunity helped me a lot. And now I am looking forward to even more of that in the next one… Because I’ve spoken to the director and he’s hoping to get more emotional side of Neville and his parents in there as well, so, I am looking forward to that. It’s going to be a new challenge.
MA: Tell me about that, what have your discussions been like?
ML: I have met him once. He was great. I really, really liked him and we just sort of spoke, and just put some ideas in about what he’s looking forward to doing in the 5th one, and if I had any problems I should speak to him. Don’t worry about anything. It was just really, really relaxed and laid back, and you really felt that if you did have any problems you could just go straight to him and ask him, and sort them out straight away.
MA: Yeah. Well, you’re also much older now. Do you feel as though you’re sort of more invested in what’s going on now?
ML: Yeah. Absolutely. When we first started, I was only, I think I was eleven, and I was nervous around everybody! I didn’t want to say when I got something wrong, I just got on with it. I didn’t want to say, “Ooo, that was wrong. Can we do that again?” I didn’t want to say “Look, can anyone do anything?” I just wanted to get on with it ’cause this is a big film, and I’m really young, and I shouldn’t really be saying whether I thought something was wrong or not.
ML: But now, you sort of think, well, actually that is a good idea! If I don’t say it’s wrong, and it comes out wrong on the film, I’m going to regret that for a long time!
ML: So, I thought, “No, I should stand up, I should explain where they’re wrong.” And, the first time you do it you think, “Whoa!” But then they just go, “Yeah. You’re right. We’ll do it again.” And it fills you with confidence, and think “Yeah, I was right! We should do that again!” And you suddenly realize that they’re not big scary people! (MA laughs) They’re actually really, really nice people that want you to do it right, as well. You just have to… It just takes a while to get used to that.
ML: But, yeah. Everyone is great! Everyone all wants what’s best for the film, just like you do. So…
MA: Yeah. So, we are going to see the Neville family storyline in Book 5?
ML: Yes, I believe so. I haven’t seen the script, yet, but I believe so.
MA: That’s nice. That’s nice to know, that we’re gonna get that.
MA: It is! Because there are so many Neville fans, and to have that cut would be gutting to a lot of fans.
ML: Yeah. I think it’s good because Neville does have that emotional side. And, it also goes behind the reason that he accompanies Harry to the Ministry at the end…
ML: Because he does want revenge. He does see his parents a lot, and he wants revenge on Bellatrix. That’s one of the main reasons he went with Harry, in the end, and why he stands with Harry so much.
MA: Yeah. And why he attacks Malfoy!
ML: Yeah, exactly!
MA: There’s so much gratification there, for a reader, to see him stand up as his own, strong person.
ML: Yeah, because a lot people can relate to Neville, because he gets… He does get bullied, and he doesn’t get everything quite right, but he tries. And it’s good to see people, that although you can be like that, you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up. You should, you can, you are a confident person, really, you just have to find it. He’s strong! As much as he doesn’t show it, he’s actually a very strong character, and can show that at the end of the fifth book.
MA: Yeah, he is. (sighs) Oh, Neville.
MA: To be part of this during this time, I mean, you’re big part of this phenomenon, now. Do you ever realize what a big deal that is?
ML: Not really. Not until you start reading all these things that the fans do.
ML: You just think, these people really, really do care, and they really, really, like you said, put so much effort in, it makes you think, “Wow! You are part of something that is really, really big and people really do actually care about it.” It’s a really amazing feeling!
MA: Do you think about that at all while you’re filming?
ML: No, it’s… Not until recently! I mean, when I first got the part, I was like, yeah, I know it’s big, but not this big! But, when you just see… I mean, sometimes the sales of the fifth and sixth book, the fact that they’ve sold out before… they become thousands of sales before they’re even released!
ML: And it’s just… You realize just how amazing it is. When I went on filming, I got thinking, “I have to get this right! I have to be what people imagine Neville to be, ’cause I don’t want to ruin it for all these people.” ‘Cause there are so many people who have a perfect idea. I’ve got to do that! That’s my job – it makes you work a lot harder to get it perfect!
MA: Yeah. I think fans will appreciate that.
ML: Well, I appreciate the fans, as well!
MA: So sweet.
MA: No, seriously! (ML laughs) It’s nice. So, speaking of preparation, we spoke once before in an interview that, (don’t ask me how) has never gotten on to TLC, because we’ve all been so crazed, but you said that when you first read Book 5, you were imagining doing it.
MA: And sort of reading along.
ML: Yeah. It’s really one of the most annoying things I do, imagining that, because I remember when I was reading the first one, I could absolutely immerse myself in the characters, and as far as I was concerned they were real people, and I could cut them out (?). I could imagine myself being along side them.
ML: But now, I can’t do it, and it annoys me so much! I can’t do it anymore!
MA: You can’t imagine yourself in the book anymore?
ML: No, I imagine myself as the character of Neville, and that annoys me so…
ML: No, I can no longer be friends with Neville because it’s me, if you know what I mean.
ML: It’s annoying. I can’t see the books as a big, one story anymore. It’s like life, now, for the past five years.
MA: Yeah. Yeah, it’s seriously been a long time now.
ML: Yeah, it’s been very long, I mean… Oh! England just got another wicket! Sorry. (laughs)
MA: (laughs) You’re still watching cricket? (laughs)
ML: Yeah. (laughs) Yeah, it’s been a long time. This is, sort of, going into… I’m going into the sixth (?) of school, now, and I’ve been filming since I started high school…
ML: … so it’s been five, gonna be six years, soon.
MA: Wow. That’s a big chunk of your teen life.
ML: Yeah. Yeah.
MA: So, when you were reading Book 5 – you told me you were practicing the scenes in which Neville has a broken nose?
ML: Yeah. I’m really… I don’t know how they’re going to do that, or if they’re even going to do that into the fifth film.
ML: And that’s going to be tough! I’ve tried doing it, and it just sounds stupid. Without actually putting my fingers and closing my nose, I can’t do it. It sounds stupid.
MA: Do you just, like, what – just (pinches nose) pinch your dose and talk like dis?
ML: Yeah, I tried doing that for a bit, and I thought, “Oh! That sounds good. That’s sounds okay.” But I can’t just do that when I’m filming, so I just… I really don’t know how I’m going to do that.
ML: I am trying.
MA: Would you try for us? Would you do a line or two?
ML: (laughs) Let me go find a book.
ML: (Looking for book) I don’t know where it is. Do you got one?
MA: “Do I have a Harry Potter book,” he asks! (ML laughs; sounds of pages turning) Oh, God! I can’t even read this without getting upset. (ML laughs) Because Neville is such a… oh! Neville! Neville. Okay.
ML: The only way I can do it is by (pinches nose) closing my nose like that. (MA laughs; ML still congested sounding) I don’t even know if you can tell what I’m saying when I do that.
MA: Well, maybe they can voice-over later, you know?
MA: When you’re doing the film?
ML: (laughs) That’s true.
MA: (laughs) Yeah!
ML: Because, not only do I have to close my nose, you have to really, sort of, force it through your nose and then force it through your mouth, like (congested sounding) you know, talk like that, and then….(both laugh) It’s kind of difficult. Yeah, I might ask them to just break my nose! (MA laughs) See if I can do it that way.
MA: (laughing) I don’t think you want that.
ML: (laughs) I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’ll try it now.
MA: Matt’s gonna do a little…
ML: This is work-in-progress, okay! I’ve not practiced at all. Really.
MA: Work-in-progress. But, he’s doing good! It’s gonna sound good!
MA: So, wait. The line is: “Let’s see how long Longbottom lasts before he cracks like his parents… Unless Potter wants to give us the Prophecy-”
ML: (congested sounding) “DON’D GIB ID DO DEM, HARRY!”
MA: (laughs, then groans) Ohhhh! I can’t!
MA: (moan-like squeak) I can’t listen to that!
MA: Neville is one of… Probably, if I had to choose this very moment, my favorite character!
ML: Oh, yeah?
MA: He’s so… oh, he’s just so sweet!
ML: (laughs) He always tries. That’s one thing I’ll give him – he always tries. I was glad, from just a fan’s point of view, that Neville got a bigger part, because, I thought, he’s always worked really hard to help Harry, and he sort of… Although he’s not too good at everything, like I said, he always does try.
ML: So, I thought it was nice to have him, have, sort of, a more responsible role. And, it’s going to be great fun to do!
MA: Yeah. And, that’s it! That’s the end of our interview with Matt Lewis. Listen, Matt, you’ve been really great, thank you! This is… We have so much more information on you, and I’m sure the fans are gonna be really happy to hear it!
ML: Thank you. Thank you, very much for inviting me to do this. It’s always great to do all these interviews, especially when so many people listen to it. It’s great.
MA: Yeah. Any last thoughts for your fans?
ML: Uh… Go watch Harry Potter 4 when it comes out in November! I think it’s going to be really, really good. I’m looking forward to it, and I think you all will enjoy it, and thanks for tuning in!
MA: Nobody’s gonna watch that movie, Matt.
MA: No! You can’t tell ’em to watch…
MA: They’re not gonna watch it.
ML: Fine! I’ll just go now, then.
Go here to read the transcript of the whole episode and to listen.