Last night the cast and crew of Harry Potter reunited for a lavish press conference to promote the release of the DVD/Blu-Ray release of the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. In attendance: Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), director David Yates, Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Domhnhall Gleeson (Bill Weasley), David Bradley (Argus Filch), Nick Moran (Scabior), George Harris (Kingsley Shacklebot), Stanislav Ianevski (Viktor Crum), and producers David Heyman and David Barron. Here are the highlights from that press conference, in which these wonderful actors and filmmakers shared their most memorable experiences from the popular film series.
WILL THERE EVER BE AN EXTENDED OR SPECIAL EDITION VERSION OF 'HARRY POTTER?'
DAVID YATES: In terms of extended material, we don't have much material to extend with, I think. We used every inch of footage. So there aren't many scenes or sequences that we omitted that would be worth reinstating. As for 3D conversion, a future release, I think that's going to be in the cards at some point. And I think it would be wonderful to explore that, maybe when the technology or the experience of 3D kind of moves forward slightly. But I'm sure all those plans are in motion.
DAVID BARRON: I can't think that there is any material that hasn't been seen. We always had trouble trying to find cut scenes for all the DVD extras, because there really weren't any, and you've seen what there were. Even the 3D version, the early films, their visual effects were state of the art when the films were made, but things have changed so rapidly that the expertise that's available now is so much greater than it was in the beginning. I don't know how some of those effects would stand up, being turned into 3D.
WOULD THEY CONSIDER RETOOLING THOSE EFFECTS?
DAVID BARRON: Possibly, but it would be, obviously, down to Warner Bros. It's not our choice. It would be a big job to do, to go back to those first three films and actually remake the visual effects. I'm sure… The later films were finished in the process of digital domain, and the elements are all easily available. In the early films that wasn't the case. I'm not sure how much is available there to go back and rework.
DAVID YATES: Also there's a nostalgic charm about those films, I think, as we get further and further away from them. A sort of re-digitization, or dropping in new effects, I think in a way would take away some of their intrinsic charm, and I think that would be a great shame.
WHEN JASON ISAACS (LUCIUS MALFOY) THWACKED TOM FELTON (DRACO):
JASON ISAACS: I’m not sure if I remember this correctly. It was such a long time ago. It was a scene that we did shoot, and surprisingly wound up on the deleted scenes. It was the reason I asked for a cane. That wasn’t originally the concept: a cane with a wand and a big silver snake at the top. Draco and I are in [Flourish & Blotts], and he touched something and I go “Don’t touch.” I remember thinking, I want to thwack his hand with a cane. First day of shooting, I didn’t have the heft of this thing yet. Lovely little saucer-eyed Tom put his hand out and I go, “Don’t touch!” and I cracked his knuckles on his hands. They were sharp teeth [on the cane] as well. And his eyes burned with tears. And I’m thinking, “Wow, he’s really growing up. He’s really acting.” We played the whole scene true, and at the end I said, “I’m really sorry, did I hurt you?” And he said, [wincing] “It’s all right…”
GEORGE HARRIS, HIS NUTS, EMMA THOMPSON'S HAIR:
GEORGE HARRIS: One of my fondest memories was with Emma Thompson. I was doing this scene, and I was so pleased that I had completed the scene, because I was nervous two or three days before. So I filled my mouth with a lot of nuts as soon as I had finished the scene, and so I was chewing when I came off-stage. I saw Emma, she ran towards me, and we embraced. With my mouth full of nuts, I went to say, “I love you, baby,” and all the nuts flew into her hair. So this little boy from the Caribbean was actually trying to pluck the nuts from her hair, without her actually seeing it.
DAVID YATES ON WHAT HIS BIGGEST PRIORITY WAS TO THE SERIES:
DAVID YATES: I think we absolutely had to get the last film right, in its totality, because there was so much pressure riding on that story. People had followed this series for ten years, and there was a huge expectation about that finale. So we carried that pressure with us, and sometimes it was tricky getting that balance of comedy, adventure, action in the right way. One of the scenes I’m proudest of, which I adore, is the kiss between Ron and Hermione, because of its charm, and because again the series had carried that relationship for such a long time. It was important to get that moment right. I still remember that scene very fondly. It was a delicate scene to get right because Rupert and Emma had known each other really well, and it can be a challenge to snog someone you know really well.
RUPERT GRINT: It was quite interesting. It just seemed like the most unnatural thing to be doing.
DAVID BARRON: At least it wasn’t Dan [Radcliffe].
RUPERT GRINT: Yeah, that probably would have been a different movie then.
WHAT WAS THE WORST THING TO SHOOT?
DAVID YATES: There's a scene in Gringott's Bank when they're trying to recover a cup, and it was a nightmare. An absolute nightmare. We had a set designed, which was very claustrophobic, with hydraulic walls, and a hydraulic floor, and it was just really tricky.
MARK WILLIAMS: Night shoots. A couple of night shoots. One of them was the camp at the end of the Quidditch World Cup [in The Goblet of Fire]. It was really cold, in the middle of winter. Similarly, the fire at the burroughs. Night after night after night, you just go bananas.
WARWICK DAVIS: I've just got memories of it being very cold, particularly on the beach in Wales [in Deathly Hallows]. We filmed just on the line where the tide was coming in. The sand was saturated. "Roll cameras," and we all just have to lay down in this water and sand. That was pretty unpleasant. I remember after each take I would have lost another nail, and Rupert was collecting them. He come up and he've have all these… But yeah, that was pretty unpleasant. We particularly waited for the weather to get dull. It was sunny before that, but we waited to get something dramatic.
RUPERT GRINT’S STRANGEST FAN ENCOUNTER:
RUPERT GRINT: I had an encounter with a very interesting character. It was at one the premieres, I think it was for the fourth film maybe, in New York. We were just about to pull away in our limo, and this man in a wheelchair grabbed onto the back bumper. We towed him along for a few yards. That was quite scary.
WHAT SOUVENIRS DID THEY TAKE FROM THE SET?
RUPERT GRINT: I got the illuminator, on the last day, which was really special to me. There was one other thing, it was the number on the door to Privet Drive. I turned the screw with a piece of gravel. It took quite a lot of effort, unscrewing it. It was hard to get off.
WARWICK DAVIS: All I took was lovely memories. No, I took a couple of things. My daughter was given a Gringott’s galleon on the first movie, so that’s a legitimate gift given. I don’t know how I wound up with a packet of sugar from the Ministry of Magic coffee. It’s got real sugar in it and everything. I don’t know how it happened. It must have fallen off, and into my pocket somehow. We don’t all have our wands though. I’ve dropped this hint a number of times…
DAVID BARRON: It’s not happening. The only person who really got a wand was, really, Ollivander [John Hurt]. He asked for his, and we said “No.” He stole it.
DAVID YATES: I got a wand actually. It wasn’t in the movies, but Stuart Craig in the art department presented it as a gift.
STANISLAV IANEVSKI: I don’t know if I should be saying this, but I’ve got a little piece of the maze from the fourth film. The hedge.
DOMNHALL GLEESON: I tried to wear my wedding ring home, but I was found and had to return it. I got nothing.