UK's Sunday Times has a Karen Robinson interview with Stephen Fry from this past Sunday, which can be read by registered users at their site (if the link doesn't take you there directly, use the paper's search engine). For those who can't access the article, Cressida has kindly provided us with some excerpts - thanks, Cressida!
Stephen, youve read all the Harry Potter Books. What surprised you most about this latest one?
Well, the length is quite astonishing .and to think some publishers turned down the first one because they thought it was too long. I was also surprised at how much misery JK Rowling was prepared to heap on Harrys head. Shes unremitting in how unfairly life treats him. People think hes a lying snivelling squit but hes saved the world five times. Its not fair!
How do you decide how each character will speak?
When I did the first Harry book, Jo Rowling said Id done the voices as she imagined them. She doesnt say what accents they have, but you get a sense of it from the rhythm and word order of their speech. In Phoenix, I instantly thought Tonks should sound as if she came from Blackburn or Rochdale in Lancashire, slightly Jane Horrocks. My producer Celia de Wolff, had the same thought, even though nowhere does it say that.
Have you changed Harrys voice at all, as hes grown older?
Actually Ive given more of an adolescent croak to Ron in particular, adolescence has hit him harder. Its important to make Harrys voice vanilla. The others can be more startling flavours, pineapple or raspberry ripple, but as so much of the story is told through Harry, his voice is closest to mine but youthified.
Which character do you find hardest to give a voice to?
Voldemort. JK Rowling is specific that its a high, thin, cold voice and he has to sound more terrifying than Severus Snape, but Im worried about him sounding like a 1970s Dr Who villain. With Snape, on the other, theres been an ambiguity from the beginning. Maybe underneath, hes rather decent and really likes Harry.