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The Harry Potter kids tell all

Lynn Barker is Editor/Entertainment Journalist for the TeenHollywood Web Network and freelances for many other outlets. She has written for television, film and the gaming market. Lynn's WGA television credits include Star Trek: Deep Spa...

Harry Potter in the home stretch

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's cast gathered at the posh Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan -- and SheKnows was there for the scoop on the most anticipated film of the summer!

Seeing the end of Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe at the New York premiere of Harry PotterSheKnows: You hear stories that you guys are filming and people are taking pieces of the set. Has it registered for you that this Harry Potter thing is truly ending?

Daniel Radcliffe: For me, it hadn't until this week. I was actually getting along quite nicely until people said 'well, so, your dream's coming to an end'. But, I think I speak for most of us, we've got a year left on (film) seven. It's a long way to go then we've got to do lots of publicity and meet up with (the press) twice more. So there's a long way to go to be honest certainly for us so I'm not contemplating the end too much these days.

Emma Watson: Aside from that, I think we all feel as if Harry Potter is never really going to die. I think it's so big and so loved and we have the theme park coming out in 2010 and I think kids are going to keep reading the books and new generations of kids are going to keep watching the films. I don't really feel like it's ever really going to go away. I think it's got longevity.

Tom Felton: Yeah. I don't think when they finish filming that will be the end of us portraying the characters. I think always be a little bit inside of us that will always remain so to speak. But I'm certainly enjoying it rather than looking ahead and getting a bit sad about it. I'm gonna make the most of it and certainly cry my eyes out when it's finished.

SheKnows: Dan, how do you weather the world of dating in real life without the benefit of magic or spells?

Tom Felton: Oh, I wanna hear this.

Emma Watson: He doesn't need them.

Daniel Radcliffe: That's very kind of you. I don't know. I don't feel like I'm in the world of dating. I don't feel like a young 20-something in that world. I don't have that sort of life. I'm working. I'm happy to be working. It's not a case of I don't have time to have a girlfriend. I do. People often ask, 'does being Harry Potter help you get girls?' I don't know. I was eight or nine when I started so I didn't have girls so I don't know what it's like to get girls without being Harry Potter (laughter).

Warning: film spoiler!

SheKnows: Okay, we'll be kind and leave the dating subject for now. Could you talk about that great scene when you all raise your wands in salute and what it was like losing Dumbledore?

Daniel Radcliffe: I think the moment when the wands are raised in salute and the dark mark in the sky is slowly eroded by this white light is a wonderful moment. It was a hard scene for me because, at the time of filming, I had never lost anybody close to me. And you can never hope to imagine what that must feel like and so I was, in a way, having to imagine the feelings and I hope if it even came a third of the way close to being real then I'm happy with that. In terms of losing Dumbledore from the series, it's very sad for me because I won't get to work so much with Michael (Gambon) in the seventh film and I'll miss him because we had a great time together.

Back to the beginning

Back to the beginning of Harry PotterSheKnows: For Daniel, Rupert and Emma, are you able to watch the earlier films and see yourselves acting at that age? Do you cringe or critique?

Rupert Grint: I haven't watched one all the way through for a long time. They're on TV occasionally and you kind of flip through them. It is quite surreal seeing that because it just doesn't feel like me. I feel quite detached from it. It's quite weird. But it will always bring back good memories because it was quite an exciting time in my life and it's nice.

Emma Watson: Really, I find it easier to watch the earlier films which might surprise you because I had the whole bushy hair, chipmunk face, big teeth thing going on which wasn't a great look for me. But, actually, I find that easier to watch because I can completely disconnect myself. It feels like such a long time ago. I don't really identify myself with that girl. Whereas ones from one or two years ago, it's a little bit close. I'm only a couple of years younger and I find that much, much harder to watch. I'm very self-critical anyway so it's not a very nice experience. I think a lot of actors don't watch their work.

Daniel Radcliffe: I haven't watched any of the films after they've been done. No. I think it would be an almost entirely destructive experience for me if I was actually to watch that. I become, as Emma says, far too critical. I remember we were having a conversation on the fourth film and I said to Emma something like 'God, I can't believe I saw a clip from the first film the other day. God, I can't believe how bad I am in it'. I think I said something to the effect of 'Why on earth did they cast me?' The only reason I remember it was on the fourth film that we had this conversation is because (director) Mike Newell in his massive booming voice from the other side of the set came back with (he leans back from the mic and yells) 'because you are absolutely bloody charming!' (laughter) But, in answer to the original question, I have not watched any of the films back.

SheKnows: These kids can control their magic but can't control their hormones so how did you reconcile those two principles in this film and how will you reconcile that going forward?

Daniel Radcliffe: I think it's a wonderful thing in the film. I find it particularly endearing with Harry, the fact that he's this very acclaimed wizard and he's crap with women. I think that's a wonderful rather endearing quality that he has. I think this film demonstrates two types of teenaged relationships; one, which is mine and Bonnie's, is that kind of teenaged thing when you're just in love and it's pure and innocent and it's all that matters in your life when you're fourteen and fifteen and you fall in love with somebody and that's all there is. And, the other kind which is much more carnal and energetic which is the one Rupert was lucky enough to have (laughter). But I think that is probably true of most teenagers; a complete inability to control hormones or desire and it's no different with wizard children.

Emma Watson: I think particularly with Hermione, you know, she's such a control freak. She wants to be able to control everything about her life, her destiny, her work, everything. And then, suddenly, she just falls apart in this one. She's just a wreck because she can't control the way that she feels. I think, in her head, if she could have chosen who she would fall in love with, it certainly would not have been Ron. In the nicest possible way, she would have chosen someone much more serious and much smarter and much better suited to her and la, la, la, la. But you can't help who you fall in love with. It's out of your hands to an extent.

Magic moments

SheKnows: Dan, how did you get into character for when you had to take Professor Slughorn's potion and you enter this altered state of mind?

Harry Potter explores Dumbledore's memories in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Daniel Radcliffe: To be honest I just let the more manic side of myself that I suppress for twenty-three hours of every day loose for a while on set and just became a kind of uncontrollable, vaguely irritating but sort of amusing person that I keep hidden. I just let him out and went mad for a few days. It was great fun to do. Actually, it is a kind of side to the character that hasn't really been seen before and (producer) David Heyman leaned over to me, he was sitting next to me at the premiere, and said, 'That's my favorite piece of acting that you do in this film.' So maybe I should've been playing slightly more maniacal all along.

Emma Watson: I know that Dan won't mind me saying, but I think that drugged Harry is closer to Dan's real personality (laughs).

Daniel Radcliffe: If you spent a proper amount of time with me you would probably wonder if I was on drugs. I'm not. I'm just incredibly hyperactive. Manic. I can be quiet and serious at the same time, but like at the premiere in England the other night, my God, I was just this kind of beast that had been unleashed onto the red carpet. It was incredible!

Into the Deathly Hallows

SheKnows: Can you talk about the process of reading the books and knowing what the characters would be doing in the upcoming two films?

Emma Watson: To be honest, I'm such a geeky Harry Potter fan, genuinely. I know the books inside and out and have read each of them at least three times and could probably answer any question you come up with and any plot detail you might care to ask, and so when I read the books I just read from the perspective of someone who's dying to know what happens generally before I even think about Hermione. I'm just not thinking of it like that. I'm just desperate to get to the end of it and am very excited to read it. That kind of comes second for me.

Life from New York, it's Harry Potter! Photo by Lynn Barker

Tom Felton: I'm quite the opposite. I read it and I revel in the pages when I see Draco's name I think 'oh, my God, this is it! This is cool. This is what I get to do'. So, when the sixth one came out I think I probably read it within twelve hours of it coming out. I didn't actually cue up outside but I have a friend who was doing it for me. So, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Bonnie Wright: I think also, with the relationship from my perspective with Ginny, reading the epilogue in the final section, I think, in order to make the relationship work in the sixth film, you kind of have to block that section out, obviously because no one knows their own destiny if you're playing a character. So I think you've just got to forget about what happens in the final one. Obviously, we knew, all of use knew, we'd read it so we knew what happens but you have to just be in the moment.

Tom Felton: And take one at a time, yeah.

Daniel Radcliffe: My reading of the books was always like, 'God. Another one of us is dead. Another death scene. Oh, God.' I always would be very much able to enjoy them when they came out, but I would also get nervous when I read them about whether I would be able to do justice to certain aspects of them which is probably not the healthiest mindset to be in when you read them. I couldn't help it though.

SheKnows: Emma you have college in the fall. Have you thought about the idea of having a roommate; a complete stranger?

Emma Watson: I'm a little bit nervous. I figure if I'm going to do this experience I'm going to do it properly and I'm going to do it like everyone else. If I want to be treated like everyone else I have to do it like everyone else.

Daniel Radcliffe: Haven't you been listening, she's dating a stalker (laughter).

Emma Watson: What kind of roommate will I be?

Daniel Radcliffe: Clean?

Emma Watson: Yeah, clean. Cleanliness is good. Gosh. I don't know. Hopefully I'll be reasonably okay to live with. You should really ask this question to my family.

Daniel Radcliffe: (chuckling) I really hope they are massive Harry Potter fans and have your face on a duvet (bed cover).

(Huge laughter ensues)

Emma Watson: As long as my face isn't on the wall, I will be fine. I will be happy. We'll see. It's pot luck isn't it?

SheKnows: Are there any childhood experiences you've put off that you are now looking forward to catching up with once the last two films are done?

Tom Felton: I missed a few school trips. But, we've gained more than we've lost, it's fair enough to say.

Bonnie Wright: Also, if you're waiting to do it, by the time we've finished, we're already of the age where we've forgotten about things like that.

Tom Felton: It's a little late to go to Lego Land now. We missed that boat, unfortunately, yeah.

pause after Potter? 

SheKnows: Well, have you thought about whether you want to continue acting or try something else?

Rupert Grint: I definitely want to continue acting. I really enjoy it. I don't know what else I'd really be doing if this didn't really come up. Hopefully after this there will be some stuff to do. We'll wait and see.

Daniel Radcliffe: I think, certainly from my point of view, I definitely want to go on acting for as long as I can find employment. To be honest, I'm never happier than when I'm on a film set. Long may that continue. I just want to keep working.

Ginny is ready for her Harry Potter close up

Emma Watson: I'm going to university, but that doesn't mean that I'm giving up acting or anything dramatic like that. I feel like I do want to continue, definitely. I just want a normal experience for a bit. Just a little bit of normality for a while.

Daniel Radcliffe: It was very much exaggerated in the press recently, wasn't it?

Emma Watson: I think the media found it confusing that I wanted to go to university and sort of don't really understand why I'm doing it. I'm really looking forward to it. I've managed to juggle and balance studying and working well enough up to this point. So I don't see why I can't keep doing it. At university you get five months off on Holiday. The gaps are enormous. It's more than enough time to make one small Harry Potter film but a couple of other films. So I think everything is possible. I'm being a bit selfish really. I'm trying to do everything.

Tom Felton: I was always a little uncertain, to be honest, in years previous, whether this was the path I wanted to choose but in the last year, I've really brought up a passion for filmmaking, not just acting but everything that goes into it; the lights, the sound recording and the rest of it so I'd certainly love to continue it for as long as I can yeah.

Bonnie Wright: It's the same with me. As this experience has gone on I've realized, luckily that this is the career I want to continue in and I'm going to film school in September. I'm interested in the wider elements like directing and cinematography. This film has definitely been a big inspiration for me.

Up next...the cast discusses having a new director for each film and Draco coming into his own as the final showdown approaches.

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