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Father We Love Best: Mark Williams Talks His Role as Arthur Weasley

HBP Film
Posted by: sue
June 24, 2009, 08:27 PM

Tonight we have a bit of a treat as there is a new and rare in depth interview online in the LA Times with actor Mark Williams and his role as Arthur Weasley. In this interview we learn Mark, who has protrayed the Patriarch of the Weasley family in all Harry Potter films, read the series long before he was cast in the part. He offers his thoughts on Arthur, and has high praise for author J.K. Rowling, and the decision to make Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two films. While the entire interview is well worth the read, some fascinating comments can be found below:

So, how much freedom did you get to shape Arthur Weasley to your liking?
Well, in the book he's kind of balding and said to Chris [Columbus] 'Well, do you want me to shave my head or something' and he said 'No! No, don't do that!' He looked at me and said 'Don't take it so literally.' J.K. Rowling has been very good about that. She's allowed the films to develop sort of in parallel to the books, but she hasn't changed the sort of characterization of the books either ... And with "Deathly Hallows," I think for the first time, as the books got bigger, Steve Kloves' job got harder and harder. But having two parts to the last book is good. I'm a big champion of it, and not just because I'm in them. She [J.K. Rowling] has such a mathematical brain, or better put, a musical brain and all the themes and the melodies were resolved in the last book.

Arthur Weasley's role has increased through the series -- how did you approach him having a more active role?
I didn't know, but I believe that she has said that he's the only functional father left. Actually, though, I think he's the only functional father. Lucius isn't a functional father. "Proto" fathers Sirius and Dumbledore are dead, and there's no nice way to put that, so he's the only good image of a father really. But you should ask her about that, and believe me when we finish I will ask her.

So, the movies still have the whimsy, but they're getting a little darker it seems. How have you and your character dealt with that?
Well, it was always dark ... John Williams picked it up perfectly, I mean with music being 30% of the film .. I mean, you know, his parents were killed. There's just these great Dickensian -- I've never said that before and I kind of wished I hadn't -- but these great big scenes that you can play on the cello, you know what I mean. As time's gone on, I've just been more and more impressed about her (J.K. Rowling) sense of geography and knowing where she's going. There's a big map in there and I've never felt that any of the concerns or themes or problems have been swept under the carpet.

What's nice is that going into the last two films, thinking that this is a great pleasure to play this character .. and it's great that when we finish, we're gonna BE finished. Not gonna be left hanging.

Is there anything that Arthur Weasley has done in the books that you wish he had done in the film?
Yes! Well, I talked about this with Christopher Columbus and he was very clear that this was not gonna happen. But when we first see Arthur Weasley, he arrives home and a load of gnomes is eating in his garden and he kind of zaps them ... I so wish I could've done that.

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74 Comments

Harry_snl_thumb
3134 Points

Yay — Mark Williams is great, and I love that he knows the books!!!

394omggggg--chibi_rei_thumb
594 Points

Lovely interview! <3

When I saw the first HP films for the first time, all I could think of when seeing Mark as Arthur Weasley was “suit you, sir!” and some other bits from The Fast Show. But that went away soon and now he’s just Arthur for me. Mark really gets the character, he’s the most perfect Arthur Weasley there could be.

The same with Timothy Spall, btw — when I first saw him in POA, all I could think of was Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.. But since then he’s been all Peter Pettigrew for me. For example, when I saw him in Sweeney Todd, I was like “oh, look, it’s Peter Pettigrew”, LOL.

Posted by MischiefManaged on June 25, 2009, 05:05 AM report to moderator
394omggggg--chibi_rei_thumb
594 Points

Lovely interview! <3

When I saw the first HP films for the first time, all I could think of when seeing Mark as Arthur Weasley was “suit you, sir!” and some other bits from The Fast Show. But that went away soon and now he’s just Arthur to me. Mark really gets the character, he really gets what Arthur is all about. He’s definitely the most perfect Arthur Weasley there could be.

The same with Timothy Spall, btw — when I first saw him in POA, all I could think of was Auf Wiedersehen, Pet… But since POA, Timothy’s been just Peter Pettigrew to me. For example, when I saw him in Sweeney Todd, I was like “oh, look, it’s Peter Pettigrew!” LOL :D

Posted by MischiefManaged on June 25, 2009, 05:08 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
634 Points

I love hearing him praise JK. Not like many others, he’s actually read the books, and clearly to a considerable depth, and uses this to portray his character. It’s wonderfully refreshing. He does a GREAT job in the films.

Posted by Flourished Blot on June 25, 2009, 06:52 AM report to moderator
60c9c9ed966148bcbf9c4a4258e60858_1__thumb
3186 Points

He’s so good as Arthur , and such a great actor !

Posted by FrancescaElle on June 25, 2009, 07:05 AM report to moderator
295565_thumb
115 Points

cool !!

Posted by soso on June 25, 2009, 08:33 AM report to moderator
Da1a_thumb
1749 Points

He fits the part perfectly!

Erin

Posted by Rin68nyr on June 25, 2009, 08:36 AM report to moderator
Electric_guitar_thumb
943 Points

Good interview. I like MW.

Posted by Lloyd on June 25, 2009, 08:54 AM report to moderator
Normal_hp_actors_thumb
439 Points

“The Harry Potter Police”, lol.
I wonder how nay people got caught, trying to steal thing’s?

Posted by CandyCane2304 on June 25, 2009, 08:57 AM report to moderator
Mj-myleaky_thumb
74 Points

Good interview. He mentions John Williams. sigh I wish he stayed on to compose the score.

Posted by MJedi on June 25, 2009, 09:06 AM report to moderator
The_one__colored_by_burdge_bug_thumb
7475 Points

haha he wanted to zap gnomes…haha awesome!

Posted by Luce-Lupin !~ROAR~! on June 25, 2009, 09:12 AM report to moderator
Avatar_thumb
421 Points

This was a great interview. It was lovely to hear from him. He fits the Arthur I pictured so well.

Posted by siriusismyhero on June 25, 2009, 09:21 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
1317 Points

Great interview! But when in what book did Arthur zap the garden gnomes? As I recall he was soft on them. And he is right, John Williams should have followed through with all the films but that’s show biz..

Posted by hewy on June 25, 2009, 09:45 AM report to moderator
Malfoy_avatar_thumb
388 Points

I particularly like hearing from the actors who were fans first.

Posted by Hydrus on June 25, 2009, 09:49 AM report to moderator
Xz5jc2nr_thumb
22044 Points

long! will read it later!!!

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