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Jessie Cave Interview
Half-Blood Prince Set
February 2008
Melissa Anelli / transcribed by Candace

Listen to the whole interview here!

Q: Can you describe your wardrobe and what you're shooting right now? 

Jessie Cave (JC): Okay, well this is the morning of the big Quidditch match before she kisses Ron after, so this is Lavender's trying to look quite nice and girly and excited. And she's raring to go and support Gryffindor. She's got a massive scarf as well I think, outside, and so she's fully in team spirit mode- well, Ron mode. (laughs)

Q: Can you talk about the kissing scene?

JC: The kissing scene. It was very very funny because it was quite early on in the filming schedule. It went really really well and I thought it was quite funny because there was like seventy Gryffindor students as well. It's quite a good scene 'cause he's kind of on a raised box and kind of sinking in because of the praise. Everyone's kind of cheering him because he's done so well at this match. It was really good, it was really funny- it wasn't too nerve wracking.

Q: A little nerve wracking.

JC: It was at the beginning of the day because bviously when you're told you have to kiss someone...

Q: It's like "Hi, how do you do? Okay."

JC: Well yeah. But in the morning it was fine. After the first kiss it was literally fine. We did it quite a few times so by the end of the day... I just hope I didn't hurt him.

(all laugh)

Q: Rupert said that he was popping a lot of mints that day.

JC: Really? I was more concerned about chipping a tooth. I really was worried. I was (i)really(/i) worried. And actually, I think in one of the first few times-

Q: So you were worried about chipping a tooth?

JC: Yeah, no I was really worried. I think probably the first or second time I think I actually did go a bit too energetically into him, and I already have a chipped tooth so my mum wouldn't have been very happy about that and probably would've come and chased him, but it was fine.

Q: So this is your first Potter movie. What was it like coming into the (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leavesden_Studios)studios for the first time?

JC: Really strange because it doesn't look like this is all here. And even just outside here you wouldn't think this is like this. It was quite difficult to acclimatize to the way everything is done and how it's not one big static set. I was really kind of- everyone always asked me when I speak about it, "Oh what's the school like?" and it's not quite like that. (laughs) So it's quite strange at some points, but other than that it was incredibly easy. Everyone was very welcoming and every second I'm here I'm just in a slight kind of amazement.

Q: Were you a big Potter fan prior to coming in? Is that why you auditioned in the first place?

JC: That's not why I auditioned, but I was definitely a huge fan. The books had been so kind of pillars in my childhood. I remember certain things because of what book was out or what film was out so that really kind of- I'm just amazed that I've been able to pick it up at the end, and come in so late on really. They've been here for so long and to come in, you just feel like you're kind of intruding on this kind of institution. You know? It's just so natural for them to be here and to be filming. And you wouldn't know- the great thing about these books, the films is that you wouldn't know what characters would develop and become more prominent, and so just the luck of the role of Lavender, for me, is just amazing. When I read the first book I would never imagine being a character in the sixth film, so it's amazing.

TLC: What's your history in acting? What else have you done?

JC: I only starting acting this year, properly. I only started auditioning for the first time this year. It's quote strange that within a year I'm here. Very strange. I was gonna go to drama school, in fact, in September, but I couldn't obviously go. I did a TV thing, actually, in the summer, and so it's been really strange to have the contrast of a mega film like this and the amount of money involved and everything like that and how many takes they have the liberty to do because they have the time and the money. The TV thing I did is Summerhill, it's on at the moment actually, but it was so fast and the days were so long and I thought that was what it was like and coming here it's...wow, we're doing thirty takes! (laughs) So it's quite strange.

Q: Do you hang out with the cast? Who have you sort of ended up becoming friends with?

JC: Well on different days it's different people here, so it's quite... I've obviously- Ron, I mean Rupert obviously, (laughter), Rupert I get on with and Daniel and Emma. Emma's lovely and Daniel's verry effervescent and bubbly. And the rest of them, I mean it's really nice for the last two days, because it's been a Great Hall scene so there's been all the cast has really been here since day one. So it's quite nice, it's like coming back to school. They say it's like coming back to a place they know so well, and so it's nice to watch how they're so natural here. So they're all really great. It's been really great to meet all of them. Luna- to meet Evanna, she's lovely. They're all brilliant, they're all really really nice.

Q: And we hear Ron has the nicest trailer.

JC: I haven't been in. I really, really want to go in! I hope he invites me in. (all laugh) I would really love to see their trailers! Not just his but- I mean their rooms. I reckon they're quite equipped. Yeah.

TLC: As you've said, you had a very small amount of experience coming in, but since you were announced, I don't know if you've noticed, immediately a fan community springs up; (JC: yeah) there are fansites. What's it like without the film even being out, you're thrust into the eye like this?

JC: Yeah it's quite strange because my first audition was in April of last year. And so it really does- I mean I obviously didn't find out I got the part until September-ish time, but it just feels like it's just been the longest path to getting here, and it's still going to be quite long really until I finish. So I can't really- until it's finished, until I've done it, I don't really wanna think about it because I actually want to do the job. It's quite strange to think about. My friends and my family are kind of having a whale of a time looking at this stuff because it's quite crazy but I'm sure- it's just I wanna have it done first. It's quite strange.

Q: What have you found to be the most challenging thing since you've started doing this?

JC: The time aspect. There is a lot of maneuvering of cameras involved in actually estting up a shot, and so from the time you go in, once you've done the first rehearsal, it might be a long window of time before you're actually filming it and then when you actually do it once, after that's finished and for the next take it's another period of time before you do the next one. What's quite difficult is you have to be quite disciplined about doing every take and not losing attention inbetween takes. They're obviously pros at it, they've done it so much, but it's quite, given how quick everything was in the only experience I've had, it was quite different to maintain, and it's a really good thing to learn.

TLC: You seem a lot different than your character. Your character- well you called Dan bubbly, but Lavender is a bit over the top (JC: Yeah.) so can you talk about what that's like too?

JC: Oh it's incredibly fun because she's such an extreme. She's a pantomime kind of thing, just watching her, reading her. So it's really fun to play her because you get to kind of live out. I would never be that forward with a boy, or I would never be that obvious about my intentions. "I like you and I want you to be my boyfriend." I would never be that loud in my pursuit, so it is quite fun to imagine that I could possibly be like that, but I don't think I would ever have that kind of guts.

Q: Are there any things that you do have in common with her?

JC: No. Not really. I mean everyone has their liking of somebody in common with everyone, it's just the way I, and everyone else, seems to show their liking for people is just kind of more introverted, so I am probably a very very very diluted version of her and I would love to be- to a certain extent she gets what she wants, Lavender, for a small period of time and so it may be successful. I don't think it is successful, that kind of way of pursuing somebody. But I'm not very much like her at all.

TLC: Dan had mentioned that he admires that you're able to fully one hundred percent commit because some of the things that Lavender says and some of the things that she does he mentions is that you have to fully commit or you lose them. (JC: Yeah.) So how do you do that? How do you make sure that you are a hundred percent Lavender?

JC: Just by being truthful to what she would do. She is truly entranced by Ron and completely obsessed, and when you're in that frame of mind it's quite easy to say these lines that would on paper seem so ridiculous. It's quite easy to translate them when you say them as natural because she is so obsessed. They are quite extreme lines though. (laughs)

Q: What is it about Ron that makes her become so fixated and obsesesed with him?

JC: I'm not sure. She does have a really, really strong obsession for him. I don't know, maybe it's a slight jealously of Hermione, from a distance. And obviously Harry is such a well known figure at Hogwarts so maybe she wanted to be somehow involved in that kind of ... I don't know, that circle. I don't know what would initially, because I only read her from the point of view once she's already obsessed.

Q: What is your character's interaction like with Hermione?

JC: It's quite volatile. It's quite funny. I don't know. I haven't really,, as the character looked at Hermione in the eyes because apart from when I've been rejected is the first time when I look her in the eyes, but for the most of it I'm trying to be not even acknowledging her which makes her quite angry and riled to say. She probably reacts more to me than I react to her because I'm focused on what I want, which is Ron.

Q: Can you talk about working with Emma? Working that kind of stuff out sounds kinda fun.

JC: Yeah! But we haven't talked about it at all. It's just when you have to say go and you do it, it's really funny. But yeah, I haven't talked to her about it.

TLC: What sort of things do you guys talk about? Do you hang out?

JC: I dunno. I just heard Emma passed her driving test which is quite cool, so I swapped stories about that. And it's quite interesting coming in and kind of speaking to them a tiny bit about how they've grown up because it's so different from my childhood and stuff. S it's quite interesting speaking to them about their situation because it's just been the way it's been, so it's quite interesting to get an insight as to what it's been like and I'm so jealous of them in some ways.

Q: Jumping back to your casting, what was the reaction from your friends and family when they first hear you're in Harry Potter now?

JC: Well for a start I didn't actually believe it until I got here. Whenever I spoke to anyone about it I didn't want to talk about it too much because I didn't want it to be taken away, so I was quite defensive probably. "Oh I have got it, but don't talk about it, don't talk about it!"

Q: Don't jinx it? (laughs)

JC: Yeah, I was really paranoid, really. Honestly, I felt it was too amazing a situation to happen. I was really shocked and for awhile I wasn't allowed to tell very many people and that played into my paranoia because I was like, "Right, you've been told this amazing bit of information, but you're not allowed to tell anyone apart from your mum, really." And so it was quite strange. And then now it's really nice being able to talk to people 'cause you do tell people and everyone knows Harry Potter. When you speak to somebody and they say, "Oh yeah what are you doing at the moment?" "Oh I'm actually acting in Harry Potter." They- it's quite funny seeing their response at first because they're like, "Oh yeah, okay." (all laugh) And then two seconds later, "...um, sorry?" (all laugh again) It's quite funny seeing their faces drop, and it's the same thing for most people I tell. They suddenly click into, "My god, she's in Harry Potter!" It's quite strange. And when I tell them the actual extent of my character there, and the fact that I kiss Ron, it's another kind of drop of a penny. So it's quite.. (laughs)

TLC: Are you prepared at all for the ways your life will change when this big film comes out?

JC: No. (all laugh) I can't even think about it, I can't wait to see the film! love seeing the monitors because you get a glimpse. I'm in a Harry Potter scene! I can't even really think about that. I don't think it will.

Q: Okay, thanks.

JC: Thank you, thanks very much!