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26. Happy Birthday, Ron Weasley!

March 1st marks the birthday of Ron Weasley! Please join us at Leaky in wishing Ron Weasley a very happy birthday! Many happy returns, Ron!

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27. PotterCast 253: PotterCast Filch!

And, PotterCast is back! Just when we thought we were out...

Lots of stuff on the docket this time, like Ron/Hermione, Harry/Hermione, Ron/Hermione, Harry, Hermione, Ron/Hermione, and... what else? Oh, right, the park, and the upcoming Potter play. And a tease of a brand new Leaky podcast!

You can subscribe to PotterCast on iTunes right here, or download the episode directly.

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28. Rupert Grint Talks Acting On Stage and Ron/Hermione

In a new interview at the What's on Stage Awards, Rupert Grint spoke about acting on stage for the first time, as well as commenting on J. K. Rowling's recent comments on Ron's romantic relationship with Hermione. You can watch the interview here or below. 

 

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29. Emma Watson to Present at the Academy Awards

The official Academy Awards site has released the names of everyone who will be presenting at this year's Academy Awards and this year the list includes actress Emma Watson.


Readers will recall that last year Dan Radcliffe presented at the Academy Awards, alongside Twilight actress Kristen Stewart.

This year, the Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, March 2nd. 

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30. Dan Radcliffe and Rupert Grint at What's On Stage Awards

Dan Radcliffe and Rupert Grint both appeared and won awards at the 2014 What's On Stage awards in London. Radcliffe won the award for Best Actor in a Play for his work in "The Cripple of Inishmaan," while Grint won the award for newcomer of the year for his work in "Mojo":

The Harry Potter star was named Best Actor In A Play for his role in The Cripple Of Inishmaan. Upon accepting his gong, he said: 'I am deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award.

'I accept it on behalf of the whole cast who together helped make this production of The Cripple Of Inishmaan a truly joyous experience for me as an actor.

'I'd also like to thank Michael Grandage for his leadership and inspirational direction, and I'm absolutely thrilled to now be given the opportunity to take Martin McDonagh's achingly witty and poignant play to Broadway.'

His fellow Potter star, Rupert Grint, also enjoyed success on the night.

Grint was named the London newcomer of the year for his West End debut in Mojo - an award which Radcliffe won previously for Equus.

You can read more and see pictures of Radcliffe and Grint's reunion here.

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31. J. K. Rowling Adds Rugby Entry to "Goblet of Fire" on Pottermore

J. K. Rowling has added new content, regarding the wizarding world's appreciation of rugby, to the "Goblet of Fire" on Pottermore:

The extensive entry reveals the history behind the worldwide wizarding appreciation of the Scottish rugby team, as well as the magical community’s general derision of Muggle sports like cricket:

                “Unfortunately, cricket found little favour with wizardkind.  As the chief sports writer in the Daily Prophet wrote in 1902: ‘a Beater who is unable to fly defends three sticks instead of a hoop, while a Snitch without wings is thrown at the sticks. That’s it. Sometimes for several days’. Rugby held more appeal. Wizards could not help but admire the strength and courage of Muggles prepared to engage in a sport so brutal, without recourse to Disapparating out of the way, or access to Skele-Gro to repair broken bones. It must be admitted that there was an edge of sadism to some wizards’ enjoyment.”

You can read more here.

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32. J. K. Rowling to Appear at Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival on July 18th

On July 18th, J. K. Rowling will be appearing at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate for a discussion of the books she has written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith:

We are delighted to announce that J.K. Rowling, new to the crime genre under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, will be on the Harrogate stage with bestselling crime writer Val McDermid for a unique In Conversation event this July. This special event will take place at 7.30pm on Friday 18 July at the Royal Hall in Harrogate, and will be J.K Rowling’s first and only appearance this year as Robert Galbraith.* The Silkworm, featuring the return of private investigator Cormoran Strike, will be published in hardback by Little, Brown on 19 June 2014. McDermid said of Galbraith’s first crime novel – ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place’.

Tickets will go on sale March 17th, but you will only be able to get them over the phone or in person at the box office:

Tickets for all Special Guest events will be available to purchase from 10am on Monday 17th March 2014. Given the anticipated demand, Weekend Rover tickets and Individual Event Tickets to the Rowling/Galbraith event will not be made available online, but can be purchased by phone on 01423 562303 or in person from the Harrogate International Festivals Office at 32 Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate HG1 1DB from the above on sale date/time. Tickets for this event will be limited to 3 per person, and will be available for box office collection only (full information on this will be provided at the time of booking).

You can read more about the event here.

Many thanks to SnitchSeeker for the tip.

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33. Happy Birthday, Bonnie Wright!

A happy birthday to Bonnie Wright, who turns twenty-three today. Please join Leaky in wishing her many happy returns.

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34. Emma Watson to Star in and Produce "Tearling"

As reported earlier, Emma Watson was featured in Wonderland Magazine, as well as a guest editor. She interviewed J.K. Rowling and was interviewed herself. According to the New York Post, Ms. Watson told Wonderland Magazine of her involvement in the production of a new book-to-screen franchise: The Queen of the Tearling, part one of a trilogy by Erika Johansen. Emma Watson is the first actress considered for the role of the protagonist, as well as producing it along side David Heyman. Watson told Wonderland:


“I had kind of said I would never do a franchise again, so I was desperate to hate it,” Watson said in an interview with Wonderland magazine this month. “Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep for about a week because I couldn’t put the bloody thing down. It would be fair to say I became obsessed with the role and the book. Now I am executive-producing it.”

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35. Second Robert Galbraith Book, "The Silkworm," to be Released June *19th

The sequel to "The Cuckoo's Calling," which was written by J. K. Rowling under the pen name Robert Galbraith, will be released this summer, on June 24th. The sequel, titled "The Silkworm" will be 384 pages long and the summary is as follows:

Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days--as he has done before--and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives--meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

Thanks to SnitchSeeker for the tip.

**As pointed out in the comments (many thanks) the release date is posted as June 19 on Robert Galbraith's official website, as well as the Little, Brown Book Group website.

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36. J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter Was Almost Harry Batt

Another tidbit from J. K. Rowling's talk at Exeter College has been revealed: Harry Potter was nearly named Harry Batt.

Rowling’s “Mortality and Morality” talk filled the Sheldonian Theatre. Students who attended said that the author revealed interesting details about their much-loved series, such as her initial plan to name her central character Harry Batt instead of Harry Potter, as well as her love for Albus Dumbledore – a character she always saw as morally flawed.

...

Rowling reportedly told students that death and morality will play a major role in all her future works. There was little mention of the author’s recent revelation that she partly regrets pairing characters Ron and Hermione together. The comments, given to Potter actress Emma Watson, caused outrage among fans, with Rowling adding that Ron and Hermione would probably have needed marriage counselling.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Many thanks to SnitchSeeker for the tip.

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37. David Bradley Donates Doodle to National Doodle Day

As readers may recall, quite a few Harry Potter actors are participating in this year's National Doodle Day, and now David Bradley (Argus Filch) has also donated a doodle for the charity auction. Bradley has donated a very cute doodle of Filch and Mrs. Norris, which you can see here. This doodle and many others will go up for auction on National Doodle Day, March 7th. The auction will run for seven days and the proceeds will go to Epilepsy Action, which you can learn more about here.

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38. Dan Radcliffe Talks "The Cripple of Inishmaan"

In a new interview, Dan Radcliffe discusses his role in "The Cripple of Inishmaan," which will be premiering on Broadway in April, and how it's similar in terms of physical challenges to playing Harry Potter:

“It is never specified in the play exactly what ailment Billy has – you just have clues in the text, which says he has one arm and one leg crippled,” Radcliffe explains. “I arrived, with the help of a friend, at the conclusion that it could be a specific type of cerebral palsy called hemiplegia.  And then I worked with a woman who is a vocal coach but who also has that type of cerebral palsy. We worked together, on and off for about three months before rehearsals started, just learning about the condition and the mechanics of it, and how that affects people in everyday life.  Most people with this type of cerebral palsy often come up with amazing solutions to problems that I would never have thought of, so it was a really fascinating thing to learn about.” 

Radcliffe says he developed a love for physical challenges on the Harry Potter movie sets, his training ground as an actor from age 11. “Potter was a very physical role and I got to do so many stunts and so many different types of getting hit or falling or climbing up something. There are a couple of very physical moments in Cripple for Billy – one is at the end of the show, and one, a moment early on, where he has to climb down a wall in our production.” 

“The fact that I get to do so many different things is one of the parts of my job that make it incredibly fun,” Radcliffe continues. “Maybe the fact of playing one character in one environment for quite a long time built up an energy to want to get out after Potter and grab as many different things as possible; you are constantly learning something new, so you are always in a very receptive state,” he reflects.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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39. Evanna Lynch on Defeating Internet Bullies

Today's Independent features an article written by  Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) on cyber bullying, and how she learned to overcome the intense meanness of the Internet:

was somewhat prepared for the inevitable internet onslaught in the wake of my casting. I was already an active member of the 'Harry Potter' internet fan community and had seen how quickly passion turned to rancour when a beloved book series and the specifications of its characters were at stake.

I'd even admitted to my dad, after one of the auditions where I felt I'd blown my chances, that I would forever despise the awful girl who got Luna's role, and would never be able to watch another Potter movie again.

The piece describes how Evanna started learning to shut out the negative places of the Internet and focus on those who provide the positive encouragement that humans notoriously ignore in the face of negativity:
They say we remember a compliment for two weeks and an insult for 14 years. Just as I am about to single out the one troll and prepare to fight venom with venom and fire, I pause and think what kind of person that makes me. Someone who doesn't care about the dozens of pure, generous souls who offer kindness and support, and instead lavishes time and attention on the one miserable leech? I stop, delete the offending tweet, maybe block the user and focus my attention on the people who remind me to see the beauty in the world and in myself.

I don't think we're ever strong enough to read the hateful stuff and let it roll off our backs. It's all very well for the self-help books and bespectacled psychiatrists to dole out the very grand advice to simply "love ourselves". What the hell does that mean to the 13-year-old who's put on 15lbs and is told every day at school she's a fat pig?

Essentially, "loving oneself" is the answer, yes, but as a hyper-aware, introspective, self-help-book-consuming 22-year-old I have already deduced that that is a mission that takes a lifetime of learning, forgetting, crying-in-your-car-that-you're-a-giant-failure and relearning all over again.

No, it's not about demanding of ourselves to instantaneously love ourselves. It's about consciously choosing light over dark. It's about realising that even if we don't have the strength to stare these hurtful comments plain in the face and say "you're wrong", we have the strength to search for those people who will convince us that the bullies and the nasty things written about us, or others, are wrong.

And it's about practising that positive outlook every single day, with every person, in everything we do until eventually – eventually – that becomes a habit.
We encourage you to read the full article! It is tremendous stuff that highlights what a beautiful journey this young woman has taken since the day she first appeared on our screens.

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40. J. K. Rowling Discusses Writing Male Characters, and Harry/Ginny

Yesterday, J. K. Rowling spoke at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre as part of Exeter College’s 700th anniversary and while there she commented on writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith for The Cuckoo's Calling, and her experience in writing male characters:

“There’s a line in As Good as it Gets,” she said about the 1997 Jack Nicholson film, “where a woman asks him how he writes such wonderful female characters and he says, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘I think of a man, and I take out the logic’, or the sense. That made me laugh, as misogynistic as it is, because when I write a man I take certain things out and give free rein to aspects of me that would not be acceptable. To be honest, I think I’m quite blokey — at least I’m told I am, and I like writing both.”

...

The Cuckoo’s Calling was written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, only for the secret to be revealed by a solicitor who had been party to private discussions. “You were never supposed to know that it was my eviscerating pen,” she told guests. In fact, she said, failure was part of the pleasure. “It was fun, from the first rejection letter. You have no idea.”


Rowling also spoke, very briefly, about her recent shipping comments saying only that "Harry did love Ginny." You can read the rest of the article here.

Thanks to SnitchSeeker for the tip.

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41. Full "Wonderland" Interview Reveals Ron/Hermione Shippers Can Relax

The full text of the Wonderland issue that caused a Ron/Hermione vs. Harry/Hermione shipping riot this week is now out, and rumors of the death of the canon pairing have been greatly exaggerated. J.K. Rowling repeats previously made comments that there are certain characteristics between Harry and Hermione that may have them better suited, but does not indicate a wish to pair them off or any regret over how she wrote the books. Emma Watson and J.K. Rowling simply discuss the hypothetical post-Hogwarts world and what Ron and Hermione's relationship might have looked like.


Rowling said that regardless of their issues, Ron and Hermione "would probably be fine."

Ron "needs to works on his self-esteem issues and she [Hermione] needs to work on being a little less critical,"she said in the article. 

Rowling admitted that she felt drawn to Harry and Hermione in the tent scene as she wrote the novel (a fact first revealed in this book).

The full text of the article can be read at MuggleNet; shipping excerpts are below:
I thought we should discuss Hermione... I'm sure you've heard this a million times but now that you have written the books, do you have a new perspective on how you relate to Hermione and the relationship you have with her or had with her?
I know that Hermione is incredibly recognisable to a lot of readers and yet you don't see a lot of Hermiones in film or on TV except to be laughed at. I mean that the intense, clever, in some ways not terribly self-aware, girl is rarely the heroine and I really wanted her to be the heroine. She is part of me, although she is not wholly me. I think that is how I might have appeared to people when I was younger, but that is not really how I was inside. What I will say is that I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That's how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione with Ron. 
 Ah. 
I know, I'm sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people's hearts by saying this? I hope not.
 I don't know. I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy. 
 Yes exactly.
And vice versa. It was a young relationship. I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it... I'm not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility. I can't believe we are saying all of this – this is Potter heresy! 
 I know, it is heresy. 
In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit and I'll tell you something very strange. When I wrote Hallows, I felt this quite strongly when I had Hermione and Harry together in the tent! I hadn't told [Steve] Kloves that and when he wrote the script he felt exactly the same thing at exactly the same point. 
That is just so interesting because when I was doing the scene I said to David [Heyman]: "This isn't in the book, she didn't write this". I'm not sure I am comfortable insinuating something however subtle it is! 
Yes, but David and Steve – they felt what I felt when writing it. That is so strange. And actually I liked that scene in the film, because it was articulating something I hadn't said but I had felt. I really liked it and I thought that it was right. I think you do feel the ghost of what could have been in that scene. 
 It's a really haunting scene. It's funny because it really divided people. Some people loved that scene and some people really didn't. 
Yes, some people utterly hated it. But that is true of so many really good scenes in books and films; they evoke that strong positive/negative feeling. I was fine with it, I liked it. ... Oh, maybe she and Ron will be alright with a bit of counseling, you know. I wonder what happens at wizard marriage counseling? They'll probably be fine. He needs to work on his self-esteem issues and she needs to work on being a little less critical.
I think it makes sense to me that Ron would make friends with the most famous wizard in the school because I think life presents to you over and over again your biggest and most painful fear – until you conquer it. It just keeps coming up. T
hat is so true, it has happened in my own life. The issue keeps coming up because you are drawn to it and you are putting yourself in front of it all the time. At a certain point you have to choose what to do about it and sometimes conquering it is choosing to say: I don't want that anymore, I'm going to stop walking up to you because there is nothing there for me. But yes, you're so right, that's very insightful! Ron's used to playing second fiddle. I think that's a comfortable role for him, but at a certain point he has to be his own man, doesn't he? 
Yes and until he does it is unresolved. It is unfinished business. So maybe life presented this to him enough times until he had to make a choice and become the man that Hermione needs. 
Just like her creator, she has a real weakness for a funny man. These uptight girls, they do like them funny. They do like them funny, they need them funny. It's such a relief from being so intense yourself – you need someone who takes life, or appears to take life, a little more light heartedly.
An excerpt of the interview published in The Sunday Times on Feb. 1 caused a controversy when Rowling said she "wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment."

"For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron," Rowling said.

Many fans took this to mean that Rowling had changed her mind and would have preferred Harry and Hermione as a pairing. It resulted in shipping wars intense enough to give some of us flashbacks to 2005.

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42. Vidoe: "Kill Your Darlings" Trailer

The full theatrical trailer for Dan Radcliffe's film, "Kill Your Darlings," is now online and can be viewed here or below. Radcliffe portrays a young Allen Ginsberg in the film.

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43. New U.K. "Deathly Hallows" Adult Cover

Hypable has posted pictures of the U.K.'s new adult covers for the Harry Potter novels. The most recently released cover is that of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Interestingly, Bloomsbury has chosen to feature Nagini for the visual representation of the final Harry Potter book. Also noted by Hypable, not one of the U.K.'s new adult covers features a human character. All new adult version of the Harry Potter novels will be available by September 26. Images of all of the covers can be seen here. The new Deathly Hallows cover may be viewed below.


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44. Tom Felton in "Therese"

Tom Felton has been cast in a small movie that has not been getting much attention. Therese, set to hit theaters next month (September 27, 2013), is a period drama that follows a young woman's illicit affairs as she tries to escape a loveless marriage. Our Tom Felton plays the role of her cousin; the young man to whom she is unwillingly married. The movie does not have any official stills or trailers thus far; however, the clip below was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.


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45. Rupert Grint in new clip from "CBGB"

A new CBGB clip featuring Rupert Grint has been released. In this clip, Rupert's character is questioned about the authenticity of his hair color by a woman at the bar. CBGB is expected to be released this fall, October 11. The clip can be seen here or below. (WARNING: This is an "R" rated movie, this clip--which shows very mild nudity--may not be appropriate for younger Potter fans.)


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46. Video: J. K. Rowling Reveals Which Harry Potter Character She Misses the Most

In honor of the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter (and the release of the new editions' book covers today), Scholastic released a video where J. K. Rowling reveals which Harry Potter character she misses the most. You can watch the video here or below.

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47. Happy Birthday, Rupert Grint!

Today, August 24th, marks the birthday of Rupert Grint, who plays faithful friend Ron Weasley. Please join us in wishing Rupert a very happy birthday and many happy returns.

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48. Stephenie McMillan, Set Decorator for the Harry Potter Films, Dies at 71

Stephenie McMillan, who was the set decorator for all of the Harry Potter films, passed away this past Monday due to complications from ovarian cancer.


In 1997 McMillan won an Oscar for Best Set Decoration for "The English Patient" alongside art director Stuart Craig, who she would later work on all eight Harry Potter films with. Her work on Harry Potter helped define their distinct and magical atmosphere.

Our thoughts are with her family.

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49. Happy Birthday Percy Weasley

Today, August 22, marks Percy Weasley's 37th birthday! Please join us in wishing this special Weasley a very happy birthday! :)

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50. Happy Birthday, Ginny Weasley!

August 11th marks the birthday of Ginny Weasley! Please join Leaky in wishing Ginny Weasley a very happy birthday and a World Cup win for the Holyhead Harpies!

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