Now that you’ve had the chance to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 we have for you the full interview with Dan Radcliffe from the set of Deathly Hallows earlier this year. If you missed Harry Potter Fan Zone’s report from the set, you can read that too by clicking here.
Question: You’re coming to the end of the journey now and we’ve basically watched you and some of the other actors grow up on-screen. And they’ve become kind of like a family to you I’m sure. How do you feel about it? Has it sunk in or do you not think about it yet?
Dan Radcliffe (DR): I’m not thinking about it that much at the moment. It’s very occasionally. My memories [are] kind of jogged and I’m suddenly thinking, “oh God I am only here for another three months”. Three or four months. And so that’s very odd and it will be very upsetting when it does come to an end because I’ve spent so much time here and made some fantastic friends who I hope will stay with me for the rest of my life. And so yeah, it’ll be very sad but equally it is an exciting time. I suppose whenever you go through periods of transition or in a way it’s a very definite closing of a certain chapter of your life. I suppose those times are always going to be both very upsetting and also very exciting by the very nature because things are changing and you don’t know what’s going to happen.
Question: Could you talk about when you got the seventh book? Your experience of reading it for the first time and just your emotions. Also, the epilogue.
DR: Yeah, I obviously loved the seventh book kind of as much as everybody else did. I was reading actually at a cricket match because it came out two days before my eighteenth birthday. And I was going to a match for my birthday. So I was going ’round for two days without having read it where everybody else was reading it. And so it was a two day long struggle to beg not get told the ending. And I did actually manage to do that and then yeah, I remember finishing it on the plane and just becoming very emotional. I found it’s a very moving book. The epilogue was something that I liked. I know not everybody did at all, but it was actually something I didn’t have a problem with. And it’s tying together all those loose ends. Because the thing is, what people don’t realise about the epilogue, is I think that if Jo Rowling hadn’t written that epilogue can you imagine being her for the rest of her life and having to cope with questions about what did Harry go on to do? She has to give something to I think to shut people up aside from everything else, you know, to give some conclusion.
Question: And can we talk about the process of this film, it requires of you a great deal. Not only the physical action but there’s some great emotional arcs that Harry has to go through.
DR: Well, I mean, the one that I think probably is the most important and the one that is most featured particularly in the first part is Harry’s relationship with Dumbledore despite the fact that Dumbledore is dead. So you would think it would make it a lot harder for a relationship to change, but because Harry’s constantly finding out new information about Dumbledore in the first film, information which pertains to both the very specific situation that Harry is in and what Harry’s mission is, but also information that pertains to Dumbledore – the man – which suddenly casts a lot of doubt on his integrity as a human being and an idealist and all those things that Harry’s always looked up to him for suddenly coming under scrutiny and under questioning by Harry. That arc is, “can Harry keep faith with Dumbledore?” That’s what it’s about. It’s about how far can he be pushed before his faith gives out. I mean it’s I suppose like … is it Job? I can never remember. I think it is.
Question: That sounds right.
DR: Yeah. And well historically it’s never been a good thing to compare yourself to biblical characters. But yes, that will be one of them. I mean the whole series for me is about loss of innocence and about Harry going from this kind of wide-eyed child and turning into this slightly grizzled young man by the end of it. Although as I was saying to people the other day, it is essential that he does not turn into a man necessarily in the film because what makes all that fight stuff at the end so powerful and so kind of horrible to watch is the fact that you’re seeing a kid get beaten up by a very strong, very angry man.
Question: Can you talk about the overall pride that you have for the series and what you and everyone have been able to accomplish?
DR: Thank you very much. I think it is too. These are films that are some of the biggest grossing films ever. That’s a measure rather than a goal. But they’re made by a thousand people not in some amazing decked out studio. They’re made by a thousand people just outside Watford and they go everywhere. And I think that is amazing and I think it’s to have maintained the level of enthusiasm and energy and the attention for detail that we have over these films and I think the people responsible for that and one of them is very, very much [production designer] Stuart Craig because he sets the tone. His sets … if you walk onto one of those sets and you see not only the grandeur of it but also what makes him amazing is the detail of the sets that you probably would never see in the film. But I think the fact that we walk onto those sets every day and think well, if these sets are here, we have to be good enough to use them. You know, because they are amazing. He never falters Stuart Craig. Every set that he has done for these films has been kind of amazing. And I think that sets the tone for a lot of the rest of us because it’s that attention to detail and that excitement and that enthusiasm and that energy and that imagination that we all have to try and bring in every day. And I think on the most part we do. And yeah, I do think that people like Stuart and Janet and people that have to do with the visual side who’ve always got that incredible kind of … the attitude has never been, “Oh, that’ll be good enough.” The attitude is always absolutely not only must the job be done, it must be done excellently. And that’s the point I suppose about these films and I think everybody’s achieved that and I think that the way that we’ve managed to navigate through these years so far quite well in terms of the cast and the young cast given what a lot of people might have expected of us at the very beginning. I think if we’re going to be proud of just one thing, we should be prouder of that than even the films themselves because that’s something that a lot of people would never have thought could happen. And the fact that we’ve all come through and remained who we are and not become horrible nightmares, I think says a lot about our parents and about the crew here and everyone.
Question: Are you comfortable with the association you’ll have for the rest of your life with the series and the character?
DR: I think it’s very important that no matter where, Harry Potter’s one thing. And I will, every opportunity I will get for the rest of my life, I would not have got if it wasn’t for Harry Potter. And it would be [the] height of ingratitude if I was ever anything but proud to be associated with these films.
Question: Can you reflect on the relationship you have with Rupert and Emma and how it’s evolved ? When you started you were very young children.
DR: I mean it’s great. It’s been very odd on this film in a way because Emma’s not been here for the past bit because she’s been studying. So it’s been slightly disrupted on this film so it’s been peculiar. But yeah, we have gotten on very, very well. We’ve got other friends as well, I think it’s important to say. We don’t just hang around with each other all the time. But yeah, we get on very, very well and we also have the knowledge that no matter what happens in the rest of our lives, no one will have had this particular experience other than the three of us. And I think that is something that will never, never leave us.
Question: It’s like being a Beatle.
DR: Ah yes, that is not for me to say [laughs].
Question: What are your thoughts on 3D [Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will be in 3D]?
DR: Nothing to do with me. I mean I’ve seen 3D films so far and I think it’s a long way to go before they replace actors. It’s a funny thing with 3D, I haven’t quite got it yet … yet!