How Harry Potter changed my life: part 1

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint talk to RT

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Daniel Radcliffe
Harry Potter

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“It’s very rare that something happens on a film set that I don’t know how to react to because I’ve been on them since I was young, I have seen so many situations unfold and I’ve taken it all in. But in the real world, there’s stuff that trips me up.

“I don’t take the Tube, because it can go a bit nuts, and if it goes nuts in a small space that can be a bit weird – so I don’t know how to use an Oyster card. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix there’s a shot of me and Mark Williams [Mr Weasley] going through the gates at a Tube station and I try to put my Oyster card through the machine like it’s a ticket, rather than swiping it. And it’s in the film! It makes total sense because of the character of Harry, but that was really by fluke. So I’m more likely to get tripped up by something like that, which to everybody else is totally normal.

“In terms of acting, I had to learn as I went along. I think there is a certain amount of scepticism about my acting ability. But the advice my dad gave me was: if you can do the thing that people don’t expect you to do, and do it better than they expect you to do it, you’ll always have a career. That, for me, is absolutely true. So I’m looking forward to proving those people wrong. If I do manage to succeed in future projects, it’ll be testament to hard work rather than to any natural ability that I have.

“The thing that gives me confidence is that people want to work with me, although I know some just want to work with me because my name is one that attracts a lot of attention at the moment.

“Can I imagine life without Harry? I think it would have been a bit rubbish, to be honest. But without a doubt, what’s nice is that these last ten years will be the hardest. It’s only going to get easier. I’m never going to be as famous as I am today. Or as I was a few years ago. That’s all going to go away, and I’ll be able to just get on with being an actor.”

Emma Watson
Hermione Granger

“Right after Daniel, Rupert and I were told we had got the parts, we stayed in a fancy hotel for the press conference. We were so small they had to put three or four pillows on our seats so we could actually get above the table so they could see us. It’s amazing because nowadays, Dan and I do most of the talking and Rupert makes the jokes, but back then Dan and I could hardly string a sentence together and Rupert held the press conference. I was too young to realise back then, though obviously I was terrified.

“Every now and again I have moments I wish things were slightly simpler, but it doesn’t seem right to complain too much. The Harry Potter set has been like my home, my school, my family… it’s been everything. I’m sad to leave so many people I care about behind. Although I have a funny feeling the three of us will become closer when all this is over, because we’ve shared this experience. I think we’ll spend more time together now than we did during filming.”

Rupert Grint
Ron Weasley

“It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve realised how amazing the cast is. In the early days, I just thought of them as a load of old people – mostly friendly, sometimes intimidating. I was terrified of Alan Rickman [Severus Snape] because he stayed in character all the time. My favourite scenes were those with all the Weasleys and my surrogate mum, Julie Walters.

“I felt a little lost when we finished filming a year ago. It took a while to get used to Harry Potter not being in my life any more. I’ve spent ten intense years with the same people, on the same set.

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“When I occasionally went back to school, I found it hard to adjust because the studio was my classroom and my playground. It’s where all my friends were. To suddenly not have that routine felt very weird. The last day was quite emotional. To be honest, I don’t think it will properly sink in until the film is out in the cinema.”