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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

Avatar_nerd_thumb
3908 Points

I really love it when the actors give in depth interviews about their HP characters. I think Mark is perfect as Arthur!

Posted by Imperiused! on June 25, 2009, 09:59 AM report to moderator
Budgie_thumb
12005 Points

I missed the St. Mungo scenes in OOP too. He makes a great Arthur!

Posted by budgie on June 25, 2009, 10:02 AM report to moderator
Ron1_thumb
3703 Points

Yeah, where does Arthur ‘zap gnomes’? Anyway, good interview. It’ll be sad when these movies are all over.. ):

Posted by Christine on June 25, 2009, 10:02 AM report to moderator
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2525 Points

He is amazing as Arthur!!!

Posted by The Nerd on June 25, 2009, 10:06 AM report to moderator
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502 Points

Just seeing that he knows the character so well is really nice. That makes me happy. I’ve always really liked him as Arthur.

Posted by Olivia Elaine a.k.a Agent Pomplamoose on June 25, 2009, 10:15 AM report to moderator
Dumbledore_is_gay_thumb
59 Points

I really like how he portrays Arthur. He is the Father. Not only of the Weasly’s, but of Harry too. Mark Williams really bring that to the screen. He makes the character seem like a buddy to the kids, but still a parental figure. I believe he is the perfect Mr. Weasley.

Posted by ForsakenSeverus on June 25, 2009, 10:35 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
1930 Points

Aw, I love him :)

Posted by felixfelicis11 on June 25, 2009, 10:41 AM report to moderator
Hogwartshouses_thumb
1459 Points

Oh dear gods, potter police would HATE me. I’d be trying to stick my wand in my pocket and run off. “Oh no, how did that get in there? I have no clue!”

Posted by Bellamount on June 25, 2009, 11:12 AM report to moderator
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3031 Points

he really does a great job as arthur.

Posted by Horcruxalej on June 25, 2009, 11:21 AM report to moderator
Rupert_icon_thumb
491 Points

cool!

Posted by megan_702*ROAR* on June 25, 2009, 11:23 AM report to moderator
Greathornedowl_thumb
23764 Points

Mark W. is right that he is the only decent father figure alive in the books. I can’t believe JKR wanted to kill him off!

Posted by PhoenixFlight [ITC!] on June 25, 2009, 11:46 AM report to moderator
Rupes_maggie_thumb
24135 Points

Mark Williams understands Arthur and portrays him wonderfully! :)

Posted by hermyone*ROAR* on June 25, 2009, 11:58 AM report to moderator
Pheonix2_thumb
186 Points

He definitely knows his role. He’s very fluid in his delivery and also looks the part.

Posted by Liderc on June 25, 2009, 11:58 AM report to moderator
Dailyboothedit_thumb
1964 Points

He’s cool!

Posted by VioletPhoenix*ROAR* on June 25, 2009, 11:59 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
319 Points

Love him. :-)

Posted by Lily_Severus on June 25, 2009, 12:11 PM report to moderator
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