Harry Potter Fan Zone

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Interview with James Walters (Young Sirius Black)

James Walters

Harry Potter Fan Zone recently had the chance to interview James Walters, young Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In the interview, we asked James about the set, how he managed to score the role, the rest of the cast, filming and director David Yates.

Harry Potter Fan Zone (HPFZ): Have you visited the Order of the Phoenix set yet? If so, can you describe what it is like?

James Walters (JW): Leavesden’s amazing (the studio in which the majority of the movie is filmed). It’s like this huge Harry Potter world, which seems so surreal, especially from growing up watching the films. Like all the imagination you’ve been creating in your mind is now something you’re a part of. It’s pretty unbelievable.

HPFZ: How did you manage to score the role of young Sirius Black?

JW: My drama teacher at school saw a picture of me in a school play and recognized an immediate resemblance to the actor who plays Lupin, so I met with one of the casting directors called Charlie and auditioned for the part of young Lupin. It wasn’t until the third round when they then relocated me to the part of young Sirius. After a few more callbacks, I sat a private one-on-one interview with Fiona Weir, and then was told I had gotten the part a month later. All in all, it took roughly six months.

HPFZ: Have you met with any of the other Harry Potter cast members?

JW: I actually met Robbie Jarvis, who’s playing young James, in the 2nd round and also James Utchen who plays Young Lupin. I met Dan briefly who was fantastic, really hospitable and also briefly met Tom Felton as well. Then during our quick screen test after costume fitting, I met Emma Thompson [Professor Trelawney], Imelda Staunton [Professor Umbridge] and David Bradley, who plays Filch. They were really nice.

HPFZ: Have you begun filming as young Sirius Black yet? If so, how do you think you did?

JW: Our scene is being filmed in July, as the production is in the middle of a one-month hiatus currently so we can finish our exams, but we did have a screen test in costume with some other actors, which gave us a great insight into what the procedure will be like. I’m really looking forward to it.

James Walters as young Sirius Black

James Walters as young Sirius Black

HPFZ: Can you describe David Yates’ filming style? For example, Chris, Alfonso and Mike all applied a unique spin to the films. Does David?

JW: Definitely. I’ve noticed through certain prefaces I’ve been allowed to watch that he’s a really personal director. He’s very calm with the actors, and during the audition process he made us feel really welcomed. He’s subtle, easy to approach and still makes sure he fulfills his vision. Mike has a distinct style, which worked extremely well for The Goblet of Fire, which dealt with fantastic action scenes during the Triwizard Tournament. But David is the perfect choice for this film in particular, which is a lot more about emotion and for the first time, the real frustration we begin to see in Harry. He’s the perfect choice, and I can’t wait to begin the adventure.

– 25/6/06

Harry Potter Fan Zone would like to thank James for his time in putting together this interview.