With filming on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix now over five weeks in, we talked to the three stars and producer David Heyman about the film, and the franchise’s latest director, David Yates, at last night’s Sony Ericsson Empire Awards, and they’re promising great things for the fifth film.
“We’re doing the fifth Harry Potter at the moment, which is going really really well,” gushed Daniel Radcliffe. “The new director’s fantastic. I’ve never been quite this pushed before, so regularly. He’s really pushing Harry’s emotional and psychological journey. But he also seems to have an incredible eye for sets and shoots and things.”
Rupert Grint is similarly cheery about new guy Yates. “Yeah, he’s really cool. We’re really getting on well. He’s a lot different from the other directors though. He’s a bit calmer, and he doesn’t really get stressed out at all, and he’s just a really nice bloke.”
Producer David Heyman told us what they’ve filmed to date. “We’ve done a little bit of action so far. We’ve done some stuff involving centaurs and Grawp, who is Hagrid’s 16ft brother. The kids have to act against a lot of blue screen for characters like Grawp, but thankfully they’re used to that by now.”
Heyman also talked a little about the challenge of adapting the mammoth fifth book. “Inevitably with every book you make choices and there are certain things you have to leave out, so there are things that are left out on this. It always kills me, but you have to do it. We showed the script to Jo a couple of months ago, and she was very happy with it, so I think it’s a good adaptation.”
The fifth book is not universally popular (Emma Watson said she “really didn’t like” it, relative to the other ones), but Daniel Radcliffe is going against the flow. “It’s actually my favourite. The third and the fifth are my favourites, which is a very uncommonly held opinion.”
“I think the problem is that Harry can be seen to come across as quite petulant in the book, and I don’t actually think that’s the case,” he explained. “I think when JK Rowling puts things in capital letters I don’t think that necessarily means he’s shouting. It could just refer to the sort of energy behind what he’s saying. I think that’s one of the things that people object to about the book, is that they don’t want a manic-depressive superhero.” Both he and Heyman assure us that Harry will not be just a petulant teen in the film version.
Meanwhile, we spoke to Jason Isaacs to ask if he'd be back as Lucius Malfoy. "I hope so - you'll have to ask David. I can't bear the idea that somebody else would get to wear my Paris Hilton wig, but you never know."
So how much longer is filming going to take? “We’re actually shooting until the middle of May,” said Heyman, “and then we break up for two months so the kids can do exams. Then we pick up in July and we shoot until October or November.” Wish Watson and Radcliffe luck with those exams in the middle, and with any luck we’ll see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by November 2007.
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