PotterCast Episode 51 (August 2006)
Melissa Anelli (MA): We’re here with an awesome Extendable Ears guest. We’re so happy to have him back. He was here a year ago and is very beloved…
John Noe (JN): Has it been a year?
MA: …it’s been a year.
JN: That’s amazing.
MA: He’s a very beloved person within the Harry Potter fandom. He plays Neville Longbottom with such care and love for the fans that we all are very appreciative. Hi, say hi everybody… Say hi to Matt Lewis.
Sue Upton (SU): Hello!
Matthew Lewis (ML): Hi guys!
JN: How’s it goin’?
ML: It’s going very, very well. Thank you! How are you all?
JN: We’re doing great!
MA: We’re fine. We’re…
JN: Could not be better!
MA: …thrilled to have you back!
SU: Yes. And notice I’m not squeeing. (SU, MA, and ML laugh)
MA: Matt, Sue said she was gonna squee right in your ear and I told her that David Yates might kill us if you were deaf.
SU: Yes! Yes! So, I’m being good. (SU and MA laugh) But (JN laughs) I’m actually very excited that you’re here Matt. This is great! We’re all very thrilled so, it’s wonderful!
ML: Cool! Glad to hear it.
MA: And you’re where now? You’re all the way up in Leeds, right?
ML: I am, yes.
MA: So should I, should I (JN laughs) start with the taunting about the World Cup or should we just (SU: Ohhh!) skip that till after the show. (SU laughs)
ML: That’s a low blow!
SU: Yeah! (SU and MA laughing)
ML: Although, we did get further than U.S.A. I believe.
MA: You did! (SU laughs) But I’m Italian!
ML: Yeah. (MA: I’m quite…) Well actually I was rooting for Italy as soon as England went out anyway so.
MA: Oh good!
ML: I’m glad you guys won.
MA: I like you very much! (All laugh) You should have seen my house! The banners and the flags and the, oh god! It was crazy!
JN: I didn’t know you’re family was watching the tournament that much Melissa.
MA: Oh you didn’t know they were watching the tournament that much?
MA: I couldn’t even call them! They’re like, “Leave us alone! Leave us alone! Soccer’s on!” (SU laughs) Football, not soccer, football.
JN: Football yes! God Melissa.
MA: (whispers)God! God!
JN: Figure it out!
MA: (whispers) God! So what’s happening now Matt? You’re not filming right now. You’re on a break.
ML: I am, yes. I took some exams last month and sort of coming towards the end of the school year. I break up, well tomorrow actually because I’m going down to London. So it’s my last day of school tomorrow until September which is nice.
MA: Very nice break! And then you go back for filming (ML: Yeah.) tomorrow.
ML: Yeah, well we got the one day on Thursday. We did a bit of filming and then we actually, well I personally properly go back on August 7th I think.
MA: Mm-hm. And that’s full time again?
ML: Yeah, yeah it will be. Yeah, up until October, end of October something like that.
MA: You, as we’ve seen, they seem to be including Neville a bit more. We saw with the Queen’s birthday thing.
SU: Yeah! Yay!
MA: First of all, great time, great time!
JN: Yeah that was fun in that video!
SU: That was awesome!
JN: We loved that!
ML: Ah, okay yes, absolutely! That was strange to be honest. I don’t know if you saw it, but (SU: Mm-hm) when we got the script it was just like, (MA laughs) what?! This is gonna be so (JN laughs), such a laugh to shoot. We had no idea what it was gonna be about till we got it so we’re reading through it and said it was gonna be crazy and we, we got onto the set and we just couldn’t help laughing at every take, every take. Especially when Rupert and Dan were doing the accio lost handbag. (MA laughs)
SU: Yeah! (JN laughs)
ML: We could not keep a straight face! (SU laughs) It was just so funny!
JN: Oh my gosh!
ML: And the actual, the actual show at the palace was just so surreal like having the Queen sat behind us was just, ugh, (MA: When the…) incredible.
SU: Yeah! I mean I can’t imagine that you were… The Queen! Did you turn around and say, “Hey! How ya doin’?” I mean what did you feel like when you were sitting right there by the Queen?
ML: Well, it was weird. I mean when they said that we were gonna be in the Royal Box I was like, well it must be huge then we’ll sort of be at the side and they’ll be cool. But then we get there and there’s about thirty seats and she comes and sits behind us and I was like, (MA laughs) wow you know. The Queen of England sat right behind me! But, no I didn’t say anything to her because etiquette is that you do not speak to the Queen until she speaks to you first (SU: Oh.) so (SU: I see.) unfortunately she didn’t. And I didn’t speak (MA: Oh man!) to her. But that’s alright, just being there was pretty cool.
MA: Who broke it? Who walked up to her and just said, “You Queen! How ya doin’?” (All laugh)
ML: None of our party did. No, no. I wish they had though. That would have been very funny.
JN: (laughing) Yeah! That would have been…
SU: That would’ve been hilarious. Was, Jo, did you get to see Jo Rowling was there, did you get to speak to her?
ML: Yeah, yeah we did. Afterwards, after the show we had, there was a little barbecue just in the grounds and I went and spoke to Jo for a bit who was very, very nice as usual. Just chatting away talking about football and…
MA: She caused quite a bit of ruckus on…
MA and ML together: …Richard and Judy the next day…
ML: …and all this kind of stuff.
JN: Oh sure. (SU laughs)
ML: Yeah, I didn’t actually (MA: Lunacy.) catch the show, but I read about it in the papers the day after.
JN: In every paper pretty much…
MA: Did you get any…
JN: …the day after. (SU laughs) That’s crazy. She can’t say one thing without it getting eaten up every which way by the press these days.
ML: Yeah! Everything she says is torn apart isn’t it?
JN: Exactly. That’s nuts.
MA: All, I mean we just experienced that a director who has never worked on Harry Potter, M. Night Shyamalan, said publicly that he once was offered the film and boom, it hit news everywhere! I mean, when the mere speculation, that’s just, it’s just a huge deal, but when you read all that, what went through your mind about what might be coming for Neville?
ML: I’m not sure to be honest. I mean, I think he’s going to be there when it comes towards the end of the book. You know, still fighting the good fight but I don’t know he could be one of the ones that goes. I wouldn’t mind it so much, I think it would be quite a good way for the character actually. I think it I would be very interesting for the story but I mean it’s whatever she wants to do. There is a number of characters that I can see fitting into the story so well if they were the ones to go I mean… I just can’t wait, as a fan, I just want to read it. I don’t want to speculate I just want to get the book and read it.
MA: Unfortunately we’re going to ask you to speculate. (laughs)
SU: Yeah. Yeah.
ML: (laughs) Yeah, I know.
JN: (laughs) That’s what we do here, that’s what makes it a show. (SU and ML laugh) You have to guess sometimes.
MA: Well, I understand your want for a death scene but, dude, you’re breaking my heart thinking about Neville dying.
SU: I know. (ML laughs)
JN: That would make (ML: I’m sorry about that.) everyone quite sad. That would be cool though if you could die like in a duel, if you were like fighting somebody.
JN: But I don’t (ML: That would be cool.) know, who would you (ML: A heroic way to go I suppose.) like to fight? Who would your big showdown be with do you think in this last one? Who would Neville want to have his big battle with?
ML: I don’t have a clue. (laughs) No, I don’t have a clue.
JN: Do you think it could be Snape or Bellatrix or who?
SU: Yeah… Bellatrix.
ML: I think it surely, surely Bellatrix. (SU: Yeah.) I mean, there has to be something there between those two.
MA: We want you to take her down!
SU: Big time! I think the fandom is rooting for that. (laughs)
ML: (laughing) I’ll do my best.
SU: (laughs) Yeah.
MA: Call Jo, “Hey…”
JN: They are. You probably haven’t met her yet, have you? She’s…
SU: Yeah. Mm-hm. Yes.
ML: …is that right?
MA: That’s correct.
ML: Yeah. I haven’t…
MA: So there’s been no Ministry battle scenes yet?
ML: No, no, not yet.
JN: They’ll probably jump into that…
ML: I bet it’s going to be incredible, I can’t wait to see it.
MA: From what you’ve heard about it, what is your expectation about how it’s going to compare to the book?
ML: Well, it’s going to be huge! Like the Book describes the Atrium being massive, I’m sure it’s going to be right in that respect. They’re never ones for doing things on a small scale.
ML: I’ve not actually heard much about the set design to be honest. I’ve heard a little about the Veil Room which sounds very, very cool. I look forward to working on that, but no I’ve not heard much about the Ministry of Magic. It’s going to be a massive surprise when I get in there.
JN: I don’t know how much of it they’ll build cause they can get away so much with what’s described to be big sets, they can just do so much of them on the computer that I don’t know how much you’ll be seeing.
ML: That’s what I always thought they’d with like the Chamber of Secrets or the Great Hall but they just go all the way and build the entire set. I mean, (JN: Yeah.) the Chamber of Secrets was just the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. From the entrance all the way down past the snake heads, the massive statue on the wall, all the side tunnels, everything was just built in this hanger. It was incredible.
JN: They certainly have the money.
ML: (laughs) Yeah.
SU: …Yeah, they do. (SU and MA laugh)
MA: Matt, we just recorded a Fan Commentary track, that scene… We just made a joke that like at the end it’s like ‘You sunk my Basilisk’ (laughs) at the end, because you just see the Basilisk go ‘vloop’ right down into the water. It’s just such an awesome scene, and as you said… I’ve heard cast members talk about this since… It’s been four years and you’re still talking about the Chamber of Secrets set.
ML: Oh, yeah. By far my favorite set, by far. It was just a shame that I never got to film in it really. I was just so good.
MA: Hey, there is still Book Seven. (ML laughs)
JN: It would have been kind of funny to have you down there just for some random reason, (SU laughs) to see you walking around.
ML: Yeah, just sneaking around, just checking it out.
JN: Yeah. In the background…
MA: “Tom Riddle! (JN: …hey it’s Neville.) Welcome back to life. Oh, hey Neville. Sorry, got to fight now.”
ML: “Hi guys!”
JN: (laughing) Yeah.
SU: Yeah. (laughs)
SU: You were talking about the sets in Chamber of Secrets, what was that like when you filmed that scene when you were… The pixies hauled you up into mid-air and you were on the hook? What was it like for you to film that scene? Was that just a lot of fun or…
ML: That was cool, I don’t think originally in the script it was Neville who got pulled up, it was just a student if I think I remember rightly. (SU: Uh-huh.) They said it was going to be Neville and I saw it in there and I said, (MA, JN and SU laugh) “Oh, right. Okay. Yeah, let’s go for it.” Yeah, and they called the stunt guys come on and do it all and with the creature effects guys with like – they call it Fishing Rods – like holding my ears so to stretch the prosthetic ears they glued on to make it look like as if I was being pulled up.
JN: Oh that’s cool.
ML :It was just… (MA: That was fun.) A lot of fun. Yeah, I really enjoyed that.
SU: (laughs) Cool.
JN: It’s like something seems to happen to you every movie.
SU: Yeah. (laughs)
ML: Oh yeah, it’s great. I love it like that. I mean, I come into the set and I don’t know what I’m going to be doing that day. (MA laughs) The director could just say, “Um, we thought we were going to do this to Neville today.” And I’m like “Um. Okay.” And this is cool.
JN: You’re like the punching bag, but it’s hilarious.
ML: Yeah, absolutely. If they want to get some… If they want to do something stupid and all, if they want (SU laughs) someone to be victimized then, I’m the guy. So it’s going through all that sort of stuff, it’s cool.
MA: You on the Gryffindor side and it’s Jamie on the Slytherin side. (SU: Yeah.) They do something to him… They pull his pants down in every film.
JN: (laughs) Yeah, poor Jamie.
MA: (laughs) Yeah.
SU: Yeah, cause like in Prisoner of Azkaban didn’t the book attack you or something? You got… You’re clothes were all torn. (Everyone laughs)
ML: Yeah, that’s right. And that was a total surprise as well. I didn’t even know the books were going to be doing all that (SU laughs) snapping thing until Alfonso told me that I was going to be attacked by it.
(JN and SU laugh)
JN: How do you…?
ML: So that was cool.
JN: They say you are going to be attacked by a book. (SU laughs) What do you even think when someone tells you that? That doesn’t make any sense.
ML: I don’t even now what went through my head. He just sort of came up to me and said, “Right, you see this book? It does this snappy thing and its going to do it on you.”
ML: And I was like, “Yeah, okay. Uh, what?”
(MA and JN laugh)
ML: And then he sort of showed me the action and the stunt guys came in again and I’m like, “Hi guys.” We know each other quite well by this point.
JN: I can imagine.
ML: And yeah had to do the whole acting thing with the book which was very, very strange.
MA: And then in Movie Four you had arguably the funniest line in the entire film.
SU: Absolutely. Yay! (laughs) It was.
MA: “Oh, my God. (ML: Which bit?) I killed Harry Potter!”
ML: Oh right. Oh yeah, I really struggled with that line. I thought the line was great and it had the potential to be funny but I just didn’t know how to say it. We did so many different versions of it on Second Unit and Main Unit and I just didn’t know how to do it. I think we got so many that eventually they must have just gone through them all for days and said, “Right that’s the (MA: Really?) best one. Let’s take that one.” Yeah. I think it came out okay. I was quite happy with it. There were much, much worse that (MA: Like what?) they could have used.
MA: How did it sound on some of them they didn’t take?
ML: Just rubbish. (SU laughs) Like, that’s not even funny. Like, “Oh, I’ve killed him” really sort of sorrowful. (JN laughs) Like, “Wait that’s not my line.” But it was frustrating because I knew exactly how I wanted to say it but I couldn’t quite do it, but yeah, I think I got there in…
MA: How often does that happen with the constraints of a movie? Because you’re under such scheduling and filming constraints they you really want to get something pitch perfect and you just don’t have the time to quite get there.
ML: It does happen. There’s times when, not so much keeping to the schedule but there’s just times when you’ve said something in a scene and the director’s happy with it and he’ll say, “Right, check the gear, move on.” And there’s times when it’s happened to me and I’ve felt, “Actually, I wasn’t as happy with that. I’d kind of like to do that again.” And every time I’ve sort said it they’ve been more than happy to do it. David Yates especially, he very much believes that no one knows more than that character than the person who has played him for the past five years so, although he gives a lot of advice he always says at the end of the day it’s the actor who gets the last say on what he’s going to say because they know them so well and he’s so good with that. So I think that anytime I can say, “I’m not really happy with that, is it okay if we do a couple more?”
MA: Is he saying, “Well, that’s a great element that you think Neville has or Ron has or Hermione, whatever has but I’d like to see a different element come out in explaining that.” Is he imparting a new vision on any of these characters?
ML: Absolutely. Yeah, he has complete vivid image in his mind of what he wants and it’s just so incredible seeing someone who knows exactly what they want to see. When he makes some criticism he’ll say, right okay, he’ll start off by saying, “What do you think? What do you think he’d say? How do you think he’d say it? What do you think he’d be thinking at this point?” And he’ll listen to your ideas and say, “Oh, that’s great, that’s great. How about this…how about this…” And then although he says it’s my decision at the end, his suggestions are just so, so good and perfect for what I think it needs that I don’t think I’ve ever said, “No, I’d actually like to do it my way,” because he just knows exactly what he wants and it’s perfect.
MA: Awesome. Is there an instance that you can remember where that occurred where you were just like, “Oh, he’s so right.”
ML: There is one, but I couldn’t say it without giving away…
ML: …something, so…
JN: It’s one of those little things.
ML: …afraid not. But, there is one. I can think of it, yeah.
MA: (laughs) He’s like, “I’m thinking of a scene between the beginning and end of the movie.”
JN: Yeah. (laughs)
ML: Yeah, something like that. It’s in there.
MA: Excellent, we’ll ask you again.
JN: Something you might not recognize from the book but it’ll be hilarious anyway.
SU: One thing everyone is looking forward to is – at least for me personally I’m looking forward to – is there a little plant that Neville gets to hold? Do you get to hold the Mimbulus Mimbletonia? Can we say that at all? (laughs) Any greenery?
ML: Well, I’m not… (MA: Oh. Yeah.) I’m trying to think whether I’m going to be allowed to tell you this or not.
SU: Okay, well then we won’t.
MA: Well let’s just (ML: Umm.)(SU: Oh let’s not then…) say this then… Are there major surprises from what we know that happens to Neville in the book or is it pretty much what we know?
ML: To be honest they’ve kept very well to the book but there is a few little things in there that weren’t featured in the book. You see a lot more of the character and he’s been given a lot deeper role. It’s been really exciting and fun to do. I just hope I’ve done it right. It’s been really emotional for the character and it’s the deepest I’ve had to go. So, we just have to see.
MA: Yeah. We see in Book Five he starts to marshall his strength and he starts to believe in himself because he’s spurred on by the reminders of what happened to his parents. Neville really starts to stand on… That’s sort of his book so far. So for you probing into his character this way…
ML: It’s sort of like when you read the book you kind of get an image of what he’s going through and what’s spurring him on and stuff, but it really is like scratching the surface. Until you play the character for six years and you have to get inside his mind it’s so different. I mean, just going through all the time I don’t sort of think, “Well what would I do?” I say, “Neville’s had this, he’s has this, he’s had this; what would he do?” You know, and I guess just doing it for such a long time I’ve got a lot used to it. But it does help, just sometimes not just straight away think, “Right, he’d do this.” Think, “Well, actually, thinking what he’s been through, would he do that?” And it’s bizarre! It’s like a learned process. (MA: Yeah.) It’s cool.
SU: You know what? One of my favorite things in the last movie, in Goblet of Fire – we’re talking about your character – was the scene that you did with Moody. And I thought you handled that really well, when they were torturing the spider. And then, the next scene was when you came down the stairs and your character was obviously very traumatized. Do you think that Neville…? I mean, I don’t know, how much did you have to do with that scene? Did you think that Neville had been tortured? Did he remember it? When you read all these things, do you bring your own thoughts to the emotional level that you put in that scene?
ML: Yeah. Well, I remember that scene in particular. I really wanted to get that one right. Especially the one where he was staring out the window (SU: Yes!) on the stairs.
SU: Yes, that was lovely.
ML: More so than the (SU: Sad.) actual classroom scene. I wanted to get that so right. And Mike Newell gave me so much help with that. And he said, “Look. Out that window is the most horrible thing you’ve ever, ever seen.” And he was sort of, as well as thinking about Neville, (SU: Mm-hm.) as well and what he’s been through, I think. I also sort of thought about what’s the most horrible thing I can see out that window. What’s the one thing that’d really freak me out as a child, and mess me up (SU: Mm-hm.) and make me like Neville is, you know.
ML: I thought about that and looked out the window, and yeah! It just sort of came together. (laughs) Towards the end of it, I was almost in tears! (SU: Yeah.) Thinking, “Oh, that is really horrible! Why am I thinking about that?!” (SU: Yeah!) You know?
SU: But it was really well done, and there’s been a lot of speculation – at least, I thought for me, personally – that maybe Neville had witnessed the torture of his parents. I don’t know. We actually even talked about it on one of our Canon Conundrums segments of our show that perhaps he had been under a Memory Charm. Do you have any thoughts about Neville? Do you think something like that? (MA laughs)
ML: Um, I would say that – and this is no inside information…
SU: Yeah! (laughs)
ML: …this is just me hazarding a guess. I would probably say that he did. Um, like you say, there’s a lot of rumors about him being under a Memory Charm. (SU: Mm-hm.) I think that’s very, very plausible. (MA: Ah.) To see that scene in Moody’s classroom when he’s looking at the…
ML: …at the spider, and the way it was written in the scripts was that he doesn’t know he’s seen it before, but there’s definitely something stirrin’ in his mind and it really just… It wasn’t the idea of it being the Cruciatus Curse, but the fact that he knows it, and he knows it was done to his parents. I think, yeah, he probably has… He did witness it, yeah, definitely.
MA: ‘Cause just like Harry was in his cot, when his parents were killed… I mean, Neville was almost the same age. It seems natural that when his parents were tortured, he was around.
ML: Right! Yeah. It’s sort of in his subconscience, and that kind of brought it forward.
ML: He doesn’t think about it, really. It brought it out of his conscience.
JN: If Harry can recall seeing green light and hearing the voices of his mother screaming, you have to think that something similar is going on with Neville. I mean, it would only make sense.
ML: Yeah, definitely. Definitely.
SU: Oh, we love Neville, but we’re looking to seeing you in the new movie! As you said you’ve been having fun working with the new cast members and seeing all that, again. And Evanna Lynch, I think everyone’s excited to hear your thoughts about her.
ML: Oh, Evanna! Yeah! She’s really, really sweet. She’s um…she’s quite quiet. And (laughs) she plays the character (MA: Oh, yeah?) incredibly well! I mean, like it’s her! You know? It really is. And she’s really, really nice…great to get on with. And she’s fit in really well. She’s made plenty of friends, and I don’t think anyone would have a bad word to say about her, really.
SU: Awesome. (JN laughs)
ML: And I’d say the same about all the other cast members. Imelda Staunton is just incredible. She’s just so, so nice.
SU: (whispers) Wow!
ML: She’s just…
ML: …a laugh with everybody…
SU: (laughs) Yeah! Umbridge nice! (Everyone laughs) Nice!
ML: Yeah! I mean, that is just how good she is at playing that character. Because she’s the nastiest person (JN laughs) you’ll ever meet on the film! (Everyone laughs) She’s just cruel and twisted and slightly mental! (SU laughs)
ML: But she’s just – it’s how she comes off – she’s a comedienne. She’s just so, so funny!
JN: Well, yeah.
MN: I heard Jamie say that she just speaks and you know there’s something evil going on in her mind. You can see it in her eyes.
ML: Yeah! Yeah, just like you can see she’s plotting something. She’s plotting how she’s gonna kill you later on (Everyone laughs) when your back’s turned.
ML: Then she comes off with just the sweetest face you’ve ever seen and is really, really nice. Great to talk to.
MA: Is she all in pink?
ML: Yeah! (Everyone moans) The pink is a pretty horrible pink! (Everyone laughs)
JN: How do they make somebody look like a toad? (SU laughs) Because they described her looking like a toad in the books. Do you think (ML: Ah…) that translates to any toad features? Or did that get lost?
ML: Not really. I wouldn’t say she looked like a toad! (Everyone laughs)
MA: That would probably be wise for you not to say!
ML: But you’ve put me in a …
MA: Yeah, sorry about that!
ML: … total predicament!
MA: Excuse me, Matt. Does one of your cast members resemble an amphibian? We’re sorry! (Everyone laughs)
JN: Not actually! But however they would do it with a costume.
ML: Because I wanna say no because she doesn’t! But if I say no, then people are going to be like, “Oh, my God! They’ve not made her like a toad.”
JN: (laughing) People would get upset. They’re weird like that.
MA: Well, there’s a picture…
ML: Yeah, okay. I’m sorry to upset you, but no. She doesn’t! (Everyone laughs) She really doesn’t!
JN: That’s okay.
MA: There’s a picture…
JN: I’m sure we’ll survive.
MA: Yeah. There was a picture of her that went online around the time that she was – not that she’s toad-like – but in the characteristic toad-like fashion that would that you would think about Umbridge. You know, it’s just that wide smile and like…
ML: Oh, yeah. I think she’s definitely read it very in depth, and just worked and worked, and she gets it perfect. Like you said, that smile, it’s not so much that she looks like a toad, but she does the smile so well, and it’s just so sickly and horrible and (MA:Bleeehhh.) yeah, it’s perfect. (MA giggles)
JN: (laughs) That’s great. Well, one of the things that I… I mean, we kind of touched on it quickly with Evanna, but one of the things that I really liked about this fifth book is that it’s really the point in time where this trio that we’ve been following for all those years it kind of turns more into an ensemble. And you add you know, three more to your gang, all the kids that go to the Department of Mysteries eventually towards the end, with Evanna… I’m sorry, with Luna and Ginny and yourself. Does that… Do you feel that that’s kind of the overall feel of this movie, that it’s really coming into more… We’re seeing a lot more of these characters and how has that changed your feelings on filming this film compared to the other ones?
ML: I think it sort of went that way in the books, really. You know, the first one it was Harry, Ron, and Hermione who went all the way through the trials, but it was Harry who went on to the final chamber, and Harry and the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny, and Harry in the third one, Harry in the fourth one, but it really… I think what J.K. Rowling did in the fifth one is, you know, Harry’s not this superhero. He’s a hero who’ll try his his best, but he’s not invincible. He needs his friends, and it just shows that no one can do it without friends. I think it’s the kind of values that she’s always been trying to put through through the entire story, is that you know, that your friends are there to help you and they come through in the end, and not only the six that go to the Ministry of Magic, but all those in Dumbledore’s Army as well. They’re all there to stand, you know, alongside Harry when it comes to it.
JN: That’s awesome.
ML: And it just happens to be those three that are in the right place – well, the wrong place at the wrong time, however you want to look at it – (JN: Sure.) to go to the fight at the end. But yeah, it just… It definitely changed the feel, but it’s a good way. I think she’s just trying to promote those good values, and at the end of the day, they win the fight, don’t they? You know, it works out.
JN: Absolutely. Has it been a change for you personally, as an actor, being…
ML: Well, I’m working a lot harder.
ML: But, yeah, definitely, it’s been a lot more challenging this year, because not only has he been featured more, but he’s been featured in scenes that have just required a lot more work, you know? Getting to a more emotional level and it’s been a lot tougher, but I’ve really enjoyed the challenge, to be honest. It’s been a lot of fun, because it almost comes through as a different character this year. He’s not the Neville that we all know. I mean, he starts off that way, and then rapidly changes throughout the film, and it’s been a lot of fun. Definitely a change, but definitely a welcome one. (JN: Yeah.) I don’t know what it is. I don’t know whether we’re all just a bit older or what, but this year, everyone has just got on so much better with everyone else. I mean, not that we didn’t get on before, but it’s just like all the friendships have been tightened and everyone’s been doing so much. I think it is because we’re a little older and can sort of see each other outside of the film more, and…yeah. It’s just everyone’s been getting a lot closer. In regards to the six, I’ve been a lot closer with Dan, Rupert, and Emma, and me and Bonnie… Bonnie just started training with the stunt guys at lunch times, which me and Alfie have been doing as well.
SU: Oh, cool.
JN: That’s cool.
ML: So, we’re doing that together, and yeah, I mean, obviously with Ginny being the year below the other characters, and the same with Luna, it’s uh… She’s not been featured in as many classroom scenes, but she’s always there in the Great Hall, obviously… And obviously I’ll get to know her a lot, lot better when we come to doing the fighting, when it comes up in about a month’s time. But we haven’t actually…yeah, we haven’t started all that kind of Ministry stuff yet, so…
ML: So I don’t know, but yeah, I’m sure obviously naturally, we’ll just sort of, the more time we spend together.
MA: That Ministry stuff, of all the things I’ve looked forward to in a Potter film, I think ever, is those Ministry scenes. I can’t wait.
ML: (chuckles) Me neither.
MA: Well, here’s another thing I wanted to ask, speaking of the Ministry scene, I mean. Book Five – I know you’ve read it a bunch of times, it’s… If you’re going to pick one film that maybe would be impossible to turn… One book, you know? Book Five is really, really…
MA: …big! And difficult, and onerous, and…
ML: The fifth one really gave a lot more depth to the character of Harry, you know, sort of being this reluctant hero who’s always there, but he doesn’t want to be anymore, and he’s in his teens and he’s getting moody and miserable with people. I think it was great the way she did it. I know a lot of people didn’t like it, but you know, it had to happen. That’s what it’s like. It gave a degree of reality to the book that I know a lot of people weren’t happy with, but I was especially pleased with it. It made it feel a lot more real you known, like evil’s out there, and although it’s not Voldemort in the real life, everyone comes across it, you know?
ML: And it is. It’s just annoying. It gets in the way, and people don’t want to have to deal with it all the time. But at the end of the day we do, and yeah, I think it’s very, very difficult to put that into a film that is only two-and-a-half, three hours long. But they’ve done incredible. The writers are just… I’m totally impressed. When I first got the script it was like, I mean it’s a big script, but (MA laughs) it was small compared to the book, and I thinking, “That’s going to be rubbish. I mean, it’s taken most of it out.” And I read the script, and wow. I didn’t get confused once, and…
JN: (laughing) That’s good.
ML: …And the story just kept everything that I liked about the book. Yeah, I just hope you really, really, really enjoy it, because…
MA: Well it’s a…
ML: …I loved it. What they’ve done is (MA: Right.) incredible. I don’t know how they’ve done it. It’s like TARDIS or something. (SU: Yeah.) It’s very small and he’s very fit everything in there. I don’t know what he’s done.
JN: Well this is a different screenwriter compared to the previous four movies. Are you saying that you’re noticing a real difference between this script and the previous four?
ML: Not in the sense of difference. It’s just the fact that this one was just so much more difficult than any of the previous, I mean the fourth one was difficult, but this one’s just another level altogether. And he’s just done it, you know? It’s incredible. It’s not so much it’s different, just that he’s been successful. That’s what’s amazed me, the way he’s just been so concise, and put everything that matters in there. Everything that I liked is in there, you know?
ML: Right. Well, he’s American for a start. (MA and JN laugh) Which actually, to be honest, we saw with Steve Kloves, but I don’t know. He wrote in a very English way, Steve Kloves… But the new writer… There were a lot of Americanisms in there that David Yates (MA laughs) has a good laugh about sometimes (JN and SU laugh) and we sort of changed them to be a bit more like the character would say.
JN: Good. Good.
ML: But um…
MA: That’s little, like little casual banter kind of things, right? That an American would just never know.
ML: Well, yeah little stuff like that. (laughing) Like in the first film for example, what was it that Hermione says? Like, “Holy cricket!” or something.
MA: (laughing) Yeah! Yeah.
ML: See, no one actually says that.
(Everybody cracks up)
MA: It’s true.
ML: But there we go.
JN: We can pretend.
ML: But, yeah. As opposed to being like (SU laughs) the very English, “Oh, bloody hell!” and all that sort of thing.
ML: They’ve just been very sort of, you know, “What would you say?” You know? “What do you think Neville would say?” You know? Not so much that we’ve got like the street language in it and all that kind of stuff. (JN chuckles) But it’s just that…just might what would we say in an English school?
ML: You know? It just gives it, again, a bit more believability to the script.
MA: That’s probably…
JN: That’s going to be more real.
MA: …Yeah, I don’t think we can expect… I mean, we expect a lot from the script writers. I…
MA: …I can sort of forgive Michael Goldenberg for not knowing all the intricacies of (laughing) English slang. You know?
JN: Well sure, he’s not an English teenager.
ML: Well, yeah exactly. Exactly. You never expect that. Exactly, from a… I mean we, our sort of vocabulary as a teenager in England is so much more huge, it’s just so much more divided. Like so much you can say and it means something else in a different part of the world and a different part of the country, even. I mean, I can go to London and say one thing, and then they will look at me stupid saying, “Well, you just used that out of context.” But then I’ll go home, and I’ll use it the correct term – in what they believe is the correct term – and then my mates will say, “Well, that don’t make sense.
ML: And it’s a 200 mile gap, which compared to America is nothing, right? But yeah, it just changes. It’s so diverse across the entire country.
MA: You know we have that in America, just to a lesser extent, because there’s been less time for it to be divided. But, you know if I were to go to the South, sometimes it would feel like a different language. So yeah, you know it happens everywhere.
ML: I’ve been studying the English language at AS-level this year, and we actually did language and dialect, and I still couldn’t tell you how it happens.
MA: You had a… You were tested on language and dialect?
ML: Yeah, well… My teacher will probably kill me, but I actually skipped that question.
(SU and JN laugh)
JN: There you go.
MA: We won’t tell.
ML: (laughs) Yeah… We had three essay questions, and you got to choose two of them, and I left out the language and dialect one.
JN: That’s all right.
ML: But, um…
MA: I don’t blame you.
ML: …I just didn’t want to look at the question.
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