Daniel Radcliffe at the London premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."
In March 2010, Warner Bros. invited Fandango to Leavesden Studios in the UK to witness for ourselves how the final days on the Deathly Hallows set were coming to an end. Daniel Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis, who plays Neville Longbottom, were there to disclose details on their characters. Special makeup designer and creature effects supervisor Nick Dudman also shares the process of creating Voldemort's animatronics. Read on for our spoilerific chat (if you wish to see the film spoiler free, this isn't for you).
Q. What do you think about Snape and his actions?
Daniel Radcliffe: I'm not in a position to judge. People do incredible things for love, particularly for unrequited love. I don't think it's the course of action everybody would take, but it eventually turns out to be a very noble one. I think Harry can understand Snape's.
Q. Daniel, what is your favorite scene in Deathly Hallows?
Radcliffe: That scene in the woods, and the actual walking through the forest, was always going to be my favorite. I felt like I had completely not done well enough. I know I certainly gave it everything. When you put that much pressure on yourself, the whole day becomes about, this is the most important scene; we have to get this right.
Q. How did you prepare for the scene at King's Cross?
Radcliffe: My preparation is mainly just knowing the lines and getting in and knowing where your character is, knowing what it's about and having ideas that you can put in on the day. There was nothing great. I don't know what even Daniel Day Lewis would do to prepare for a scene in the afterlife.
Q. Was there a scene where you thought, Harry's a man now?
Radcliffe: He's not at any point, really. He grows up hugely in this film, no more so than at the end when he makes a decision at King's Cross station: Go back rather than dying the death he's already suffered and going on to a peaceful afterlife. But he is still a boy and that's what makes it so affective and so awful when Voldemort is trying to kill him.
Q. What did you think of the epilogue filming?
Radcliffe: It was one of those things I was nervous about. The version I saw of me was great. I do look like my dad. They'll make it look good.
Q. What happens with Harry and Ginny?
Radcliffe: There's a couple of kissing scenes. There's even a kiss in the heat of battle at one point, which I have to say was my suggestion [laughs]. It's done in a less dramatic way, just like you're going out the door in a rush because it's potentially the last time they see each other. If I were in that situation, I would kiss almost anyone if I thought the end was coming.
Q. Nick, how did you decide on the final "baby" look of Voldemort's fragmented soul at King's Cross?
Nick Dudman: We decided that because you had seen this character in the fourth film as this revolting thing that ends up being dropped into a cauldron and becomes Ralph Fiennes. The logic was to go back to that, so that audiences go instantly, "It's Voldemort," as opposed to, "Oh god, what's that under that bench?"
Q. What kind of detail went into creating the animatronic Voldemort?
Dudman: He's basically a rod- and radio-controlled puppet. He'll be operated from beneath the floor, and he rides, moves, his chest pumps. The eyes will compress, look left and right, lips compress, and everything moves. His hands are all mechanized as well, which is really tricky because with something this fine and this small, you basically have to build the machine, the actual skeleton that's mechanized, and set it in the mold, and then pour the skin, the silicon, through the mold, and seal it in there.
Q. Matthew, what's your take on Neville's role in Deathly Hallows?
Matthew Lewis: Neville this year is taking over Harry's role of the official leader of Dumbledore's Army. He’s barking out orders to people and telling them where to go. He’s really evolved into this leader, which I never thought years ago he'd end up doing.
Q. What do you think pushes him to this role?
Lewis: He's watched Harry all these years be this leader and have so much courage. He realizes that they're not too dissimilar. When Harry leaves the school in No. 7, Neville realizes that this is his time to step into the breach and take responsibility. He's never really had the courage to do it, and now he's thought, this is it. Now or never. We’ve got to fight this evil, and if no one else is going to step up then I’ll do it.
Q. Do you think J.K. Rowling always planned this for Neville? Or do you think you inspired her?
Lewis: Obviously, I like to think the latter [laughs], but I doubt it. To think that she's had that from the beginning is actually amazing. His whole story arc is a pretty special evolution from the shy, vulnerable child that was easily bullied to someone who is fighting this good fight. It just shows that anyone can do it if they have that kind of belief and that heart. Neville's great. I love him. When you see fan mail from people that say they’ve been bullied, and they say that the character of Neville inspired them to stand up to bullies, that as an actor is just the most amazing thing you could ever imagine.
Q. What kind of action do you get to do?
Lewis: Stunts of all kinds, lots of running, falling, firing the wands, explosions, and then sometimes when we lose the wands, we get physical. It was wicked, especially doing the scene with Ralph Fiennes. I got the Sword of Gryffindor, and Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes, is doing this wonderful master class that he does. It was a really, really fun couple of weeks.
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