Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint On Fire About Harry Potter
by Brad Balfour
Originally posted on November 10, 2005
Obviously the best place to start investigating the fourth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is to begin with talking to the series’ youthful stars – Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione), and Rupert Grint (Ron) – who held a pow wow in London to enlighten the world and a pack of journalists. Since Potter and crew face their most dangerous threats yet with the evil Voldemort’s Death Eaters gaining strength and the Dark Lord trying to rise again–and, since the film’s stars themselves are aging–there may more tribulations with this film than ever before, both on-screen and off.
While this is probably the darkest Harry Potter film, it is also the funniest. Was it hard balancing the two?
Emma Watson: It was quite difficult, mostly for Steve [Kloves, the screenwriter]. Difficult because there is such a huge audience of children and you get such young kids who are so into it and the people who were making this film really felt they didn’t want to make it too scary because [that would] cut out this huge audience who are so passionate and love the Harry Potter films. But at the same time, they wanted to be faithful to the book, which is a dark book. I think they made a really good balance because it is faithful. It is darker, and scarier, but I think that was the best way to go because from the very beginning it has always been, “We are going to stay faithful to what this is about.” It’s not about having huge audiences.
Daniel Radcliffe: It wouldn’t have been so hard for us, as it was for Steve who wrote the script. To adapt something as massive as this whole book, that was huge. I certainly wouldn’t envy that task. He did an amazing job. To me, the humor is actually essential to the darkness in a way because if you had that darkness running the whole way through the film, you’d be tired and it would be completely ineffective, whereas if you’ve got the humor, and what’s kind of nice is, that it might lull you into a false sense of [security.]
Emma Watson: Mike [Newell, the director] never held us back in any way. He really pushed us to make it real — [he would ask,] “how you would react in that sort of situation?” He really wanted that. The other thing about Mike is that he really treated us like adults. He expected us to be professional at all times, whereas before in some ways…
Daniel Radcliffe: We could get away with more.
Emma Watson: Yeah, but he really pushed all of us.
What about the aging of your characters and growing up on film?
Daniel Radcliffe: For me, it’s great because there is so much pressure on the films to get better and better, especially after the third one, which for me was great and there was an awareness that we had to work really hard to go further with it and to make it better. Otherwise people would be very disappointed in it. And for me, it is also loads of fun playing Harry as he is getting older because it is almost as if you go from being… When we started, it was Harry’s 10th birthday, so it’s almost as if in real life, not just in the stories, but with people sort of grow extra emotions, which is partly to do with hormones and the trouble they cause and partly it’s just a thing about growing up. You have other assets so it’s fun playing that in Harry as he grows older. There is always this thing of, “Will you get too old for your part?” Well, people play a lot younger than they actually are in real life. I don’t think it is as much of an issue as a lot of people make it out to be.
Emma Watson: There has been a lot of speculation about whether we’re going to outgrow our parts or that the films will take longer than we will [to grow up,] but, actually, it works out really well because each film takes about a year and, obviously, that corresponds with us doing our year at school. So we’re pretty much growing alongside them. At the same time it’s everything we’re going through. In some case, they actually…
What did you think of your romantic scenes in this film?
Daniel Radcliffe: You know what? That was really awful for me. And that was great and fantastic. I don’t know if Katie had been in and said, ‘God, I hated doing the hugging scenes with Dan’ or something. But, for me, it was great fun.
Rupert Grint: All of the characters are more sort of in the teen-age of life. I think Ron was a bit moodier in this one. He has a few arguments and I enjoyed doing all of that.