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Dan Radcliffe on Deathly Hallows, Cutting of SubPlots and Working with Michael Gambon

Radcliffe Interviews
Posted by: sue
July 02, 2009, 12:34 AM

Dan Radcliffe is the subject of a new profile in the New Zealand Herald. In this run up to the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we hear from the Harry Potter actor again on the dark material contained in the sixth film, as well as the lighter moments (There are huge opportunities for comedy in the sixth film and we use all of them, even though my natural inclination is not towards that. I love watching comedy but doing it is something else.") Dan also speaks very positively about working with acclaimed actor Michael Gambon, who portrays Professor Albus Dumbledore and has such an important role in HBP.

"I've always loved working with Mike, but I'd never had any big, in-depth scenes with him. It was exciting, knowing we were going to get a good run at those scenes. For the first four months it was just me and him, which was great. Actually when the rest of the cast finally came along, I thought, 'I don't like this'. I'd gotten so used to it being just me and Mike, who by the way is one of the best actors I've ever worked with, and probably the least professional. Which makes him an absolute joy to be around.
He takes nothing seriously, is always having a laugh, yet somehow seems to turn it on the moment the cameras start rolling. Because of our lengthy time together it meant we had the chance to build up a great relationship off camera and hopefully that translated on to the screen."

Of interest are new remarks about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is currently in production in England. Dan speaks about the decision in the past to cut certain subplots  from earlier Harry Potter films, and notes that with two parts of Deathly Hallows, there will be very little that has to be omitted. Quotage:

I'm very happy that the seventh book is being made as two films," notes Radcliffe, "because I was worried they would have to cut important scenes. For example in the fourth film you could cut out the house elf sub-plot and it doesn't affect the main story in any way. In the second film they cut out the Nearly Headless Nick Death Day Party. In fact that whole character has fallen by the wayside. The problem with doing that with the final book is that there is nothing that doesn't relate to the main story or drive it forward. There's not much you could cut. So we've given ourselves the room and opportunity to do it justice."

Thanks HPANA!

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22044 Points

Great Interview ILD!!!

22044 Points

Great Interview ILD!!!

182 Points

I’m glad Dan made the point that they did cut out some significant points in the book due to restrictions on the length of films. I’m thrilled that they are at least making an attempt to include all of book 7 into the two final films! I’m so excited to see them…!

Posted by Broomsnitch on July 03, 2009, 03:03 AM report to moderator
12005 Points

I am glad to see the new interview releases. Only two weeks left now. Squeee!

Posted by budgie on July 03, 2009, 04:10 AM report to moderator

i think Gambon is the perfect Dumbledore. For the first two films when Harry was very young and his headmaster was somesort of elder statesman, then Harris play the part to perfection. As Harry has got closer to Dumbledore, the relationship has mellowed. Harris could not have done that, not because he wasn’t a great actor, but because of his age. I know Gambon is in his 70s, but hes a spritly 70. And he is a faboulous actor, who’s taken over Harrris’s mantle very well. In fact, truth be told i can’t really conjour up Harris in the role anymore. Gambon has made it his own.Hopefully, with time all the doubters who can’t see past the books will appreciate what a fine actor he is

Posted by jain on July 03, 2009, 04:19 AM report to moderator
150 Points

Simos, I agree with you on DD’s story and the Hallows being pretty irrelevant, although I wouldn’t say COMPLETELY so. Irrelevance aside, I think both subplots are utterly stupid. For one thing, it’s almost insulting for Jo to ask her readers to suddenly see Dumbledore as some three-dimensional and complex person when he has acted for six books as nothing more than an entertainting, endearing, but generic mentor figure. (I can’t wait to see how movies seven and eight try to pull this off, since they’ve done an even worse job at setting things up for the future.) We all loved Dumbledore, but the warmth we feel for him is no excuse for actual depth to his character. Hints about socks in front of the mirror of Erised are not enough to clue us in on his true nature. The idea that Harry would doubt Dumbledore after years of trust is fantastic, but then Harry goes right around in the end and blindly follows Dumbledore’s plan; he doesn’t even question it. I actually liked Dumbledore’s story on its own, but it came so late in the story and was so disconnected to the plot of the series as a whole that it sort of made me angry. Not to mention that the series’ only outed gay character is basically asexual for the majority of his life.

As for the Hallows, they are relevant because they are symbols and because they eventually help in the defeat of Voldemort. I think it’s telling of that nature of this novel that the keys to helping defeat the Dark Lord are only introduced in the LAST half of the LAST book, having never been mentioned at all beforehand. This certainly doesn’t help fuel the “I-planned-it-out-all-beforehand” legend of the series; you’d think that the Hallows, if you had to choose anything in the series, would be one of the most important to hint at.

So, I wouldn’t say that these things are exactly irrelevant…just that they are badly handled. I do think Jo had some things in the last book planned, because there are moments you can tell she has been dying to write for years. On the other hand, I think she too vaguely plotted the ending. While the depth and detail of the series had shifted beyond her control, she kept the headings and subheadings of her outline when they no longer fit just right…hence all the forced connections to early books.

On another note, I don’t think anyone appreciates being told that they “don’t understand” the book or the series. Isn’t a story supposed to be open to interpretation? Ever since book six, I think that the series has taken a turn toward absolutes (even to Dumbledore analyzing Merope’s backstory and making unfounded thematic and plot-based assumptions based on it that all turn out to be true) that are not really necessary, and so interpretation has taken a back seat to just listening to how the author explains things. By book seven, we had any thematic subtlety thrown away, and by Beedle the Bard the morals and themes of the story were blatantly forced upon the viewer by Dumbledore’s commentary. Isn’t this series supposed to NOT spoonfeed?

Posted by starlesswinter on July 03, 2009, 05:12 AM report to moderator
75566 Points

Bring it on already!

Posted by Girlraven1 on July 03, 2009, 09:15 AM report to moderator
307 Points

From the HBP clips I’ve seen so far, it looks like Gambon has done a great job, so don’t prejudge him so much, wait to watch the film. It looks like in the HP fandom it’s uncool to speak well of Michael Gambon. He is one of the finest British actors, I wonder if most of you have actually seen him in anything else or you are just talking without knowing him at all.

Posted by ethanHP on July 03, 2009, 09:48 AM report to moderator
22044 Points

Great Interview ILD!!!

3048 Points

The maturity and wisdom with which he conducts himself is impressive, coming from such a young actor. All of his colleagues in the film industry at a similar age should try to emulate his style, because he acts wise beyond his years.

That said, I appreciate his thoughts on the prudence behind separating the Deathly Hallows into two films: there is little material in the story that a screenwriter could remove, as everything is absolutely critical.

Posted by Kirk on July 04, 2009, 06:30 AM report to moderator
44049 Points

problem is they cut so much backstory from earlier films it’ll be odd to the non-readers.

Posted by Dolemite [FTC!] on July 06, 2009, 02:17 PM report to moderator
4007 Points

im so glad they decided to make two movies instead of cutting stuff

Posted by KC Nox on July 09, 2009, 11:15 AM report to moderator
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