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26. Matt Lewis talks “Post-Potter” in New Interview

Harry Potter alum, Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) recently sat down for a photoshoot with Interview Magazine. In this photo shoot, Matt kept all of his clothes on. He also discussed his life in the five years since the wrap up of the Harry Potter films.

 

Matt Lewis has covered a number of roles since his Longbottom days. He has taken on everything from romantic comedies and “chick flicks,” to sketchy characters in crime dramas. Matt explained to Interview Magazine how he came to take on such roles, saying:

 

“Some of the more interesting characters are the ones that aren’t heroic, that aren’t James Bond-esque,” Lewis explains over the phone. “I quite like the interesting ones, so I never really say, ‘I won’t do that, I won’t do this’ or ‘I want to do this or that.’ I like to keep an open mind… [I’m interested in] the idea of people wanting to discuss something that’s happened in their life or that’s impacted or changed them,” he continues.

“On the flip side of that, sometimes it’s nice to do something that’s fun, a movie where people are going to come in, and switch off for an hour and a half. I feel like if you can do one of those two things, if you can tell a great story that affects people or you can make them have fun, then you’re doing all right.”

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Matt Lewis discussed how he took on the role of Patrick in the summer flick, Me Before You, and his darker character of Sean in the TV drama, Happy Valley.

 

On Patrick: “It was quite different. In the book, Patrick is a bit of a dick. He is obviously very focused on himself; he’s self-centered and won’t give a whole lot of time to Louisa’s needs, wants, and potential in life. We wanted to keep the inherent features of Patrick in the movie but we wanted to make it a little bit less black-and-white, a bit more ambiguous as to her ultimate decision. We wanted to see more of a reason why Louisa was with Patrick for the seven years…It can be a scary thing to suddenly leave your life behind and say, “I’m going to go and realize my full potential.” It can be quite daunting and we wanted to convey that.”

On Sean: “There were quite a few nerves involved with that for the few months of preparation for it. I just wanted to make sure that I did it justice.”

Then it was just the idea of trying to get into Sean’s mind. Luckily, for me, Sally understands her characters very well; she has vivid images of where they’ve come from, where they’re going, why they do what they do, etcetera. I had to pick at her brain and find Sean’s motivation, which was daunting for sure, but it all helped in trying to create this character—this young man who is very, very lost.

You don’t play him as the bad guy; you just play what’s on the page and you play his life, and his life was that he moved from town to town, no one had really ever given a shit about him, he’s got a very bad temper and often he regrets that. He drinks a lot and he can’t remember and it’s that frustration more than anything. The anger is a result of the frustration and once you realize that, the rest of it starts to fall into place.

 

In a flash back to when he was just 11 years old. Matt Lewis recounted his first day on set of the Harry Potter films. He discussed working with award-winning actors, such as Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith, but particularly recalling being in awe of Rik Mayall who was cast as Peeves, a role that didn’t make it past final edit cuts. Lewis talked about how Harry Potter changed how he approached acting, and took on different roles.

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“I can remember quite clearly being 11 years old on the first one. We were at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland and it was the scene with Madam Hooch, where we have the broomstick lesson and Neville flies off and crashes into the wall…

“They looked after me very much and I had a week of my life just flying on this broomstick around this beautiful castle in the North of England. I thought, “If this is what my career is, if this is what I’m going to get paid to do for a living, then this is the dream.”

“I was sort of unaware of the caliber of who I was working with, but definitely their fame and their ability to a certain degree. There were a lot of things that those guys had been in and done that I was a huge fan of. At the time, I was a ridiculously big fan of Rik Mayall, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago. Rik was cast to play Peeves the Poltergeist in the first film, and unfortunately he was cut out in the end because of time issues, but he was superb in it.”

“I sat next to him at the read-through and I was completely lost for words. He really took me under his wing and started chatting me through the different characters behind the camera, who everybody was and what their job was, and he signed my script. It was a huge moment to be in that read-through surrounded by all of these amazing people who I’d seen on TV and then they were friendly and so unassuming.”

“Then the worst thing happens, you get to 15, 16 and start to realize, as you’ve already said, the sheer caliber of what they’ve done. You become much more aware of the craft and the medium. All of that camaraderie you’ve built up over the years suddenly takes a big hit because you go, “Oh god, I’ve been so blasé with these people. They’re actually all incredible and I’m just here chilling out with them.” So then you get a whole new fear that comes along. I was 18 when I finally got over that.”

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When moving forward from the Harry Potter films, and looking to be recognized in other roles, Matt Lewis expresses the same catch-22 of the other Harry Potter “child stars”–eternal gratefulness that Harry Potter was their start, but seeking to break the labels of their Harry Potter characters and gain recognition for their acting abilities in other roles. Matt Lewis stated:

 

“It was an exciting time and quite strange [having done] them for 10 years but I was very ready to finish when we came to the last one. After playing the character for that amount of time, I wanted to do different things, I wanted to find new characters, and explore new avenues. I literally had no idea what I was going on to…”

“I wasn’t keen to jump back into a robe and be a wizard in something anytime soon but [I was interested in] anything that came up, really. I felt very much that I was starting at the bottom rung again and that being in Harry Potter was no gimmick; I was going to have to leave that behind to lose the Neville Longbottom tag and prove that I could do other things, learn, and understand.”

 

The article continues as Matt discussed growing up in Leeds, acting with his brother Anthony, hoping to work with his brother Chris, almost getting trampled to death by cows with his Me Before You costars, and much more. The entire article may be read here, accompanied by a gallery of pictures from the photo shoot.

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27. First Public Preview of ‘Cursed Child’ — It Starts Today!

Several hours ago, Part 1 of the first public preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began at the Palace Theatre in London.

 

 

 
The photo above–tweeted by the official Cursed Child twitter account–shares a photo of Rose Granger-Weasley in full Hogwarts attire, standing in what appears to be the Great Hall with the four House banners hanging overhead. Her peers stand behind her in four groups (one for each House, we wonder?), and since Rose is starting her first year at Hogwarts with her cousin, Albus Potter, this just might be a sneak peek of her Sorting!

 

The first public preview of Part 2 of Cursed Child will be shown on Thursday, June 9, and the official opening is on June 30.

 
We’re all anxiously awaiting our chance to soak up more of the Wizarding World, and we’ll continue to share updates as we get them, keeping in mind J.K. Rowling’s request to “Keep the Secrets”.

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28. Please, No Spoilers!

J.K. Rowling has a message for the fans of Harry Potter, which she posted to her twitter this morning. In that video she asks that all of Harry’s fans stay spoiler free after seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2, so that as many people as possible will be able to enjoy the magic Rowling, Tiffany and Throne have in store for us fans.

 

Cursed Child being a play is a new media for the Potter fans, so as the limited numbers trickle in to see Cursed Child the rest of us are left to just wait our turns. So please do not spoil it for all of us.

This is especially important to someone like me who joined the Harry craze a few books in, so I know the travesty of finding out about a certain ministry workers family ties (still just a little bitter). So again, let’s all ban together and try to make this magic last forever. Cursed Child is starting preview shows now!

Check Out this amazing Interview with The Creators of Cursed child John Tiffany, J.K. Rowling, and Jack Thorne.

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29. J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on ‘Cursed Child’ Opening TOMORROW!

Cursed Child is set to start preview performances tomorrow, and in the midst of J.K. Rowling, director John Tiffany and writer Jack Thorne preparing for their opening day, The Guardian spoke to them about their two years of collaboration on the project.

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Commenting on the ‘warmth and ease’ of the relationship between the three creators, writer Sarah Crompton says that the ‘friendship and ease between them bodes well for the collaboration that has sustained them for more than two years’.

We are reminded that this is the only interview the trio will give before the opening of the play. Jo recently tweeted a photo of a badge saying ‘#KeepTheSecrets’, which is the running message of the play’s promotion. In a recent backstage glimpse of the play (which you can watch here), the door to the rehearsals room bore a sign saying ‘Keep Calm and Keep the Secrets’.

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Jo also tweeted a video today, asking all seeing the preview performances and beyond to keep the secrets of the play under wraps, so not to ruin the story for those unable to see the play or those attending slightly later dates:

On keeping the secrets:

“I’ve been through this many times,” says Rowling. “And I hope we get there without any major spoilers, purely because people will have an amazing experience if they don’t know what’s coming.

“Generally speaking, Harry Potter fans are a community, they have each other’s backs, and they want to have that mystery and the sense of surprise. So we’re hopeful. But it won’t be the absolute end of the world. We’re not going to be throwing tantrums about it but we hope for the audience’s sake that we can get there.”

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Two weeks ago, The Guardian’s Sarah Crompton met with the trio, and Rowling understandably hadn’t been sleeping much:

“I’ve been awake since 4am … We were in the theatre last night and I saw a scene that’s very close to my heart, in costume, on the set And it was quite overwhelming” 

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Director John Tiffany is clearly no stranger to Jo’s amazement with the play:

“Jo has been around for a lot of the process,” Tiffany chips in. “A lot,” she agrees. “But last night was the first time I had been into the theatre and seen everything so fully realised. And it was… extraordinary.”

“We did a fist bump, didn’t we?” says Tiffany, smiling.

“Well, I tried to do a fist bump with you,” Rowling shoots back. “And you tried to shake it. So that wasn’t our coolest moment. But in fairness it was dark…” “And I am not known for my first bumps,” says the director. “Nor am I, really,” adds Rowling. “I just felt the moment demanded one.”

Talking about their nerves, Jo – the 4am riser – feels she could take a lot from Tiffany’s relenting composure. He says that his unshaken nerves were unexpected:

“If you had asked me a year ago how I’d be feeling today, I think I’d probably have said I would be crumbling biscuits in the corner. But I feel remarkably sane.”

“You are so calm,” Rowling interjects. “I am less calm.”

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The magic started in a meeting between J.K. Rowling and the play’s now-producer, Sonia Friedman – after speculating the idea and bringing in Tiffany and Thorne, Rowling was completely on board:

“You can probably imagine I have been asked to do something else with Harry Potter five times a week ever since the series ended. Sonia just wanted to explore a theatrical production and I knew her by reputation obviously and thought I would really like to meet her and hear what she had to say.”

On Tiffany and Thorne’s involvement:

“That’s the reason this happened because I thought I will never have the opportunity to work with such great people again,”

Of course, Jack Thorne is a self-proclaimed ‘total Potterhead':

“I still consider myself a Potterhead and I hope the Potterheads don’t hate me so much after this that I am never allowed to be one again.”

Yet Tiffany was unaware of this when he invited Jack to become writer of the play:

“He asked me when we met at the tube station on the way to The South Bank Show awards,” remembers Thorne. “So glamorous,” laughs Tiffany. “And so appropriate, the tube station,” adds Rowling mysteriously. Thorne continues: “And he said, ‘What do you think about it?’ And I went a bit nuts in the street. Only because I’m so incredibly shy, nobody would have seen or realised I was going nuts.”

In an amazing turn of events, Jo Rowling and John Tiffany revealed that they actually met informally years before. Jo was a single mother, writing The Philosopher’s Stone in Edinburgh Cafes, completely unaware of the phenomenon it would become:

One of her favourite haunts was the Traverse theatre, where Tiffany was assistant director. “It was one of the first places in Edinburgh you could have a cappuccino,” remembers Tiffany. “I was there meeting actors and writers a lot, and I remember seeing a woman writing, with a pram at her side. We got to saying hello and I remember once Jo said, ‘Do you mind if I’m here…’”

“Because I hadn’t bought a lot of coffee,” she explains, before Tiffany adds: “Then a year or so later I realised who it had been. And she didn’t come to the Traverse any more.”

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Jo says her and Jack Thorne are similar in many ways, making the bond between the three a lot easier to work with. They’re serious about the play, yet seemingly lighthearted, calm and honest in their approach to working with one another. Rowling seems to have completely entrusted her story to the two creators:

“Jack and I are similar in many ways,” says Rowling. “We’re both, notwithstanding how chirpy we are being right now, quite introverted people who are very happy alone in a room, and there are many parallels in our working practices and I felt like he was one of my tribe.”

“And we bonded over the haircut,” he adds, before asking her permission to tell the following story. “We were talking about the way people don’t realise quite how horrible age 10 is. That was the moment I realised it was possible I could never have friends. Other people would have friends and I never would. And I was talking about buying a coat: I bought the same coat as Matt Cox, who was a considerably cooler kid in the year and I had to wear it to school every day because my mum had bought it for me and it was the only coat I was going to get. He wore it a lot better and everyone thought I was copying him.”

He still shudders at the memory. Then Rowling adds, quickly: “And I had exactly the same experience. I had the same feather cut at 10 as Susan Hook. I went into school and everyone thought you are trying to be Susan Hook, you pathetic human being. We had exactly the same experience of being deeply uncool. And that’s what haunts you.”

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Tiffany and Thorne understand the power of stories to impact people in complex and important ways, and clearly know the role that Harry Potter has had on so many people’s lives:

“When you’re growing up it’s very easy to feel lonely and insecure,” says Tiffany. “And what Jo managed to capture, I think, was a world which made those people feel less lonely.”

Rowling explains why she took on the project, and trusted Jack with the writing:

“I never set out to build a big community, but I don’t think there is a writer alive who wouldn’t want to have that many people react to their work,” she says. “That’s what happened. People came inside the world with me.

This is why [Jack] is the right man for the job, because he just gets it. That’s pitch perfect. The big reason why people loved Potter was that it felt like it could be. That sense that there is more to the world. Just on the other side. Even within touching distance. There’s more. It is the promise of another world and it doesn’t have to be a magical world but to a lonely child or an insecure person or anyone who feels different or isolated, the idea of having a place where you do belong is everything.”

“From the moment he produced the first outline, I thought bingo, that’s it.

On whether she ever considered writing the play herself:

“I am not so arrogant that I think when you’ve got an absolutely top-class playwright offering to do it that I’m going to say, ‘Well, I’ve never done it before but I’ll do it.’ It’s a question of knowing the limits of your own competence. I was reasonably involved in the Potter scripts. I’m more familiar with that world. I felt a degree of confidence writing a screenplay but I had supreme confidence that Jack was going to write the play that I was going to love and he has. So you can’t ask fairer than that.”

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Later she comments on stage writing being a ‘revelation’ to her:

“It is a totally new language to me,” she says. “So watching Jack and what he can do on the page and his understanding on what will then translate on to stage has been such a revelation to me. I know novels and I know movies but this is a different world entirely. Jack has access to a paintbox that I don’t have because I don’t understand the medium.”

Thorne smiles. “To be honest, ever since I wrote Let the Right One In, I’d write something like, ‘They run through a forest and then are strung up on a tree and brutally murdered’. I’d just write it on a page and make John do it. And he does” 

The world of Harry Potter seemed silent to us for a long time – the play has returned the magic to us all in a new form, and Fantastic Beasts is introducing us to new elements in the world of magic that we’ve not encountered before. Rowling says that the stories never left her, even whilst she worked on The Casual Vacancy and Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels:

“It was 17 years and just because I’ve stopped on the page doesn’t mean my imagination stopped,” she says. “It’s like running a very long race. You can’t just stop dead at the finishing line. I had some material and some ideas and themes, and we three [she nods at Tiffany and Thorne] made a story.”

“But I carry that world around in my head all the time,” she acknowledges. “I am never going to hate that world. I love that world. But there are other worlds I want to live in too. To be perfectly honest, I just feel if I enjoy it, I’ll do it – and if I don’t, I won’t.”

“I always said never say never, and the reason I said that was truthfully that I did have this residue in my head in both directions – in Fantastic Beasts…, which is going back, and in this play, which is going forwards. So I still had this material in my head.

“It’s been amazing because there are roots over there and shoots over here, so it is keeping it very consistent and doing it all at the same time. We are sharing a lot between the worlds.”

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The medium chosen for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child intrigued us all – when we heard there would be an ‘eighth story’ many expected another book, some thought it would be a film – many were confused when the scriptbook was announced – it’s a method of storytelling that’s new to us all, but theatre has captured the imaginations of creators for centuries, so perhaps it is only fitting that one of the greatest stories of this century moves to the stage. Rowling explains the reasoning behind the process:

“I kept being asked whether I would make a musical and I don’t like musicals,” she says, grimacing. “Theatre, on the other hand, I love. I find it a seductive world – there is nothing like seeing an actor perform live. But I had never had anyone approach me or propose anything that excited me like this.

“I think that, as a theatrical experience, as a play, it will be unlike anything people have seen before. And once people have had this theatrical experience, they will understand why this was the perfect medium for the story.”

The play is an art form unlike any other, yet in this day and age it seems to be neglected – Rowling herself admits to never having considered its appeal before. Jack Thorne and John Tiffany are trying to bring it back with J.K. Rowling, in style:

“The phrase John hates more than any other is ‘I should go to the theatre more often’ because it contains the idea that going to the theatre is an obligation.” “Like eating your vegetables,” Rowling chips in. “Or going to church,” adds Tiffany. “And that,” continues Thorne, as if in three-part harmony, “is the death of theatre. This is an opportunity, I guess, to get people who don’t feel they should go to the theatre to go to the theatre, and then discover that they want to go to the theatre.”

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John Tiffany and Jack Thorne also unpack the reasoning behind Cursed Child being in two parts (as two separate plays):

“You would have had no space for character,” says Thorne. “It would just have been plot, plot, plot.”

Tiffany explains: ”Where film can eat up story, theatre needs space and breath. Once we thought of doing it in two parts, it felt naughty to begin with, but we felt we didn’t want to short change the story. We were very nervous up until the moment when the audience started to buy tickets, and the response was overwhelmingly fantastic, because the fear was that people would think we were just exploiting this. But it wasn’t that in any way, shape or form.” Rowling adds: “We had space to do what we were talking about doing.”

We’ve all seen the unsettling underbelly of Potter fandom rear its head in response to the casting of the Potter trio in Cursed Child – the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione in particular sparked an enraged response.

Some claimed that this casting was ‘against canon’, it was against the films, it was against the book covers, it was against descriptions of Hermione (as having ‘very brown’ skin in Chapter 4 of Prisoner of Azkaban, with her infamous brown ‘bushy’ hair), it was – apparently – just wrong. 

Perhaps these remarks did not come from a place of racism, or at least were not intended to come from such shallow places. Perhaps any move away from Emma Watson portraying Hermione would have been met with anger, perhaps people can’t understand that one medium of storytelling does not define another.

Hermione as played by Noma Dumezweni

Whatever the case, J.K. Rowling commented on the response with the truth: Noma plays Hermione Granger well and – in the author’s opinion – fits the character perfectly:

“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,” she says. “But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job. When John told me he’d cast her, I said, ‘Oh, that’s fabulous’ because I’d seen her in a workshop and she was fabulous.”

Unknown to Tiffany, when he made his casting call, there had in fact been a “black Hermione” theory around in Potterworld for years. Yet the strength of reaction surprised him. “I am not as Twitter familiar as Jo and Jack, so I hadn’t encountered its dark side, which is just awful,” he says. “The anonymity breeds horrors so after a while I stopped reading it. But what shocked me was the way people couldn’t visualise a non-white person as the hero of a story. It’s therefore brilliant that this has happened.”

Rowling settles the issue with a firm affirmation of Hermione’s state as a fictional character who can be interpreted in a variety of manners:

 “I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”

The play will be ‘as purely as theatrical as possible’, according to Tiffany:

“Not a bombastic spectacle that makes people sit back,” he says. “It’s hopefully something that pulls you in. It is absurdly ambitious theatrically but it’s also about the audience and the imagination, which is exactly what a novelist does as well.”

Read the full Guardian interview here!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2 start previewing tomorrow, June 7th, with the official opening of the play taking place on July 30th (alongside the release of the Cursed Child special rehearsal edition scriptbook). Forty low-cost tickets for performances will be released each week every Friday at 1pm – find out more at the play’s website here!

Furthermore, if you’re interested in attending Cursed Child Midnight book release parties on July 30th, find out more about GeekyCon’s exclusive event in Orlando here, and Barnes & Noble’s nationwide events here!

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30. Evanna Lynch is… a Gryffindor!

Pottermore recently interviewed Matthew Lewis, Rupert Grint and Bonnie Wright, following up each interview with a sorting.

So far, the only actor to be sorted into their character’s Hogwarts house was Bonnie Wright, who matched Ginny Weasley’s Gryffindor traits.

Evanna Lynch was also invited to speak to Pottermore about what the series means to her, and as a fan of the Harry Potter book before she got the part as the bold, eccentric and loving character of Luna Lovegood, Evanna clearly had a special place in her heart for the books:

‘They just feel so much like friends for me, in a way that other books don’t. Other books feel like I’m getting a little peek into your life, but somehow, just the way Jo writes them, they just feel like friends.’

She also says that growing up with the books is a big part of why older generations still seek refuge in the books.

Of course, Evanna says she misses playing Luna Lovegood, but says that she still feels connected to the character:

“I feel like I can still call on her inspiration and spirit when I need to” 

Her favourite scene to film was Fleur and Bill’s wedding in Deathly Hallows, due to being able to meet the character of Luna’s father, Xenophilus Lovegood.

When it comes to being sorted, Evanna wastes no time being sentimental about Ravenclaw. She is promptly sorted into Gryffindor, and gives a triumphant grin, proudly showing off the result.

On how she feels about the sorting:

“Thrilled, but also, not surprised”

Watch the full video below, along with a compilation video of all the sortings thus far!

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31. Dan Radcliffe on Seeing ‘Cursed Child’ and Starring in ‘Now You See Me 2′

Inquirer.net recently sat down to talk to Daniel Radcliffe about Cursed Child, magic and his acting career thus far. Dan recently starred in Swiss Army Man and Victor Frankenstein, and will soon be appearing as Walter Mabry in Now You See Me 2.

Mabry is a wealthy, magical entrepreneur who has captured the Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Lizzy Caplan) – you can catch glimpses of his character in the movie’s trailer (below).

On whether or not he’ll be likely to see Cursed Child:

“I don’t know if I would. Because I feel like me going to see that show, it might become more about the fact that I was there seeing that show that night than anything else.”

At which point the Inquirer hinted to him that he might just be able to sneak into the show, asking if he was keeping up with the show:

“Do you really think that’s possible (for me to sneak in) (laughs)? No, I haven’t been keeping tabs. But I know Jamie Parker is playing me (Harry), which I’m very happy about, because he’s a great actor.”

Dan also said that he doesn’t see Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint very much anymore (he’s working on his own TV comedy at the moment!), but did say that he saw him “at the beginning of the year, or the end of last year”.

On working with Michael Caine:

“Growing up in England… he is someone that you grow up being aware of as an institution. He’s everything that I want to be when I grow up as an actor.

When I first started working on “Potter,” there were crew members who have known Michael and had worked with him on various projects. To listen to them talk about Michael and the respect that they have for him, it made me, as a young actor, go, “God, I want to do that.”

When you work with him, he is utterly professional and also really good fun. He enjoys his job so much. I do love my job and I am thinking, if you aren’t having fun at work, you shouldn’t be there.

But watching Michael—I guess he is in his 80s by now—act at four o’clock in the morning in cold and dark England and still be there…

So many other actors would have been complaining and moaning. Michael is unflappable, and he’s still having a good time, telling stories, joking and laughing. He knows everyone’s name. It was a pleasure to be around him, to watch him work and to work with him. It was extraordinary.

Whenever I need a bit of a boost, I just go on Michael Caine’s IMDb page.”

On Swiss Army Man and its many complexities:

“I am not staying away from [romantic-comedy] roles. I think it’s more that it’s actually a lot harder to write something happy than it is to write something dark. There’s a lot of different versions of darkness that are very interesting. It’s harder to make happiness interesting onscreen for whatever reason.

“Swiss Army Man” sounds like a dark character because I’m playing a dead guy. The film does have its dark moments, but it’s got a lot of levity and joy. For me, that film is about joy. It isn’t a traditional rom-com, but it’s definitely got some lightness to it.”

Read the full interview over at Inquirer.net herewhich includes more about his character in Now You See Me 2. Watch the latest trailer for the film below!

 

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32. Barnes & Noble Celebrating ‘Cursed Child’ Release With Exclusive Activities!

If you’re not in Florida for GeekyCon’s exclusive Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two scriptbook release party, you may be in luck!

Barnes & Noble will be throwing a whole month of parties in the lead up to the midnight release of the Cursed Child Rehearsal Edition scriptbook (June 30th), beginning June 24th.

Business Wire reports:

“Barnes & Noble, Inc., the nation’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced that it will host a month-long celebration in advance of the publication of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two. The events will kick off on Friday, June 24, at 7 PM when all stores nationwide will feature activities designed to give participants of all ages the opportunity to relive the magic of Harry Potter, and enter the Barnes & Noble exclusive Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Prints Sweepstakes for a chance to win a set of 7 Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Prints, available exclusively at Barnes & Noble, up until the July 30 Countdown to Midnight Party. On Saturday, July 30, starting at 8PM, customers can visit their local Barnes & Noble for the fan-favorite Countdown to Midnight Party leading up to the midnight release of the epic eighth story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two. At the Countdown to Midnight Party, two customers from each store who entered the sweepstakes will be chosen at random. Then, on Sunday, July 31, customers can return to their local store to share their perspectives on the new book and participate in additional Harry Potter-themed events, with activities and giveaways.”

Customers can enter sweepstakes (once entry per store, per day) up to the midnight release party, where two winners per store will be chosen at random. If you fancy entering the sweepstakes, just ask a local Barnes & Noble bookseller to find out more details, Official Rules and information on events and activities taking place at nearby stores:

“At the June 24 event, Barnes & Noble stores across the country will set up a coloring station where participants will have the opportunity to color various Harry Potter-themed materials including the 4 House Crests (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin) and a special Owl Post Postcard exclusive to Barnes & Noble that they can send to friends to invite them to the Countdown to Midnight Party. In addition to trivia and activities for Harry Potter fans to enjoy, many giveaways will also be available at the event while supplies last, including Harry Potter vintage posters, bookmarks and more. Stores will also host a robust Harry Potter trivia event. In addition, the Barnes & Noble Café will be offering special Harry Potter-themed treats including The Cheesecake Factory Bakery’s® fun and delicious Chocolate Witchout Cupcake (a Barnes & Noble Café exclusive), The Decorated Cookie Company’s delightful Witch Hat and Cauldron Decorated Shortbread Cookies, and the Passion Potion Iced Tea, a bewitching shaken blend of brewed passion tea, raspberry and vanilla flavors.

All stores nationwide will also host a Wrebbit 3D™ Harry Potter™ event, in celebration of Harry Potter’s arrival at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which Harry Potter fans of all ages are invited to participate in the assembly of Wrebbit 3D™ Hogwarts™ Astronomy Tower, an 875-piece 3D puzzle. In addition, Barnes & Noble will put on display a fully-built, first-to-market Wrebbit 3D™ Hogwarts Express™ 3D puzzle in all stores for customers to marvel in and enjoy.”

Business Wire also report on the midnight release schedules:

“Harry Potter is back, and on Saturday, July 30, at 8PM, Barnes & Noble stores nationwide will host a special Countdown to Midnight Party leading up to the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two, a special rehearsal edition script book, which goes on sale July 31 at midnight. The party will feature a special Muggle Wall where customers can share their favorite memories of Harry Potter as well as several amazing giveaways. On Sunday, July 31, customers can return to their local store to discuss the new book and participate in special Harry Potter-themed events and activities, as a follow-up to the Countdown to Midnight Party the night before.”

It’s set to be an exciting month, coinciding with preview performances of Cursed Child in London!

Find out more and pre-order the Cursed Child scriptbook over at the Barnes & Noble website (here), and read the full Business Wire article here.

If you can make it to Florida and you want to join a night of old-school Potter book release festivities for only $20 (which includes a ball, costume contents, sorting, quid ditch, wizard chess, special guest appearances and more), find out more about GeekyCon’s midnight release party here!

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33. Leaky EXCLUSIVE: Visiting the “House of Mina Lima” & Interview

The following article was written by Georgia Gates, who attended a press event and breakfast with Mira Mina and Eduardo Lima for the opening of the House of MinaLima.

 

Just days before the official opening, Leaky was given the privilege of attending a first look tour of ‘House of MinaLima’ – an exhibition and shop featuring the iconic graphic design work from none other than the immensely talented Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.

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Located perfectly amongst the cobbled streets of Soho in the heart of London’s West End, the four floor town house provides visitors with a culmination of Harry Potter graphic art spanning ten years, a series of stunning comprehensive prints titled as ‘Illustrated Collective Nouns’, and other illustrated work in-between. There is in addition, and much to fans excitement, the MinaLima shop located on the ground floor which comprises a wide selection of special edition prints and Harry Potter prop memorabilia.

 

On entering the exhibition, it is an immediate struggle not to pick up everything from the artwork shop, which displays an array of textbook replicas, beautifully illustrated notebooks and a limited number of selected posters and framed prints for avid Potter fans. As I am guided upstairs it feels as if I have stepped in to a Diagon alley town house, with the film aesthetic coinciding perfectly with the use of selective dated furniture, low, closed in ceilings and creaking floorboards.

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After admiring the extensive work on display over all four floors, I was keen to ask how the fifteen years of work had affected the talented duo as graphic designers.

 

“When Harry Potter came along, that gave us a total scope to evolve as a graphic designers which we hadn’t planned to do. It gave Eduardo and I a fantastic opportunity to grow. So many people who worked on the films saw it as a school of craft because everyone was learning lots of new things. Often when you do graphic design on films it’s the stuff you don’t see, like a tax disk on a car or the signage on the side of a building but actually with Harry Potter it was so different because so many things were featured.”

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Looking around the room, the flooring of the 3rd level is an almighty spectacle, covered entirely in every tiny hand drawn detail of the Marauder’s Map.

 

“It was all hand drawn. The original maps I would have drawn, scanned in all the artwork and reproduced around thirty to 40 maps. You have to do everything thinking about how it will be made in multiple.”

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When asked what the best part about their entire experience on the films had been, Mira explained how much they had to become fully immersed in to the minds of each character.

 

“The best part was having to think as the characters, so if if I’m the Marauder’s, how would I communicate each little piece of crafty information, or if I were a Weasley, how would I sell as much product as possible to my clients.. It’s about removing yourself from being a designer and trying to enter in to the story.”

 

 

Has working in Harry Potter changed your approach to new projects?

 

“Yes I think so. I probably wouldn’t be called for one but I don’t think we would do a modern, contemporary film because we know what our strengths are now, and we’d rather do fantasy or historical based films. Even downstairs you’ll see a lot of our book projects and our own designs are anchored towards a retro style. We love doing research and things that inform that. And then you can transfer that in to your own ideas rather than just copying it.”

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In terms of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ a lot of the materials have been revealed since we last spoke to you. Even though you can’t give too much away, can you tell us anything that you’ve particularly enjoyed about the graphic design of the film?

 

“In the muggle world of Harry Potter, we had to design all of the graphic design from the scenes of the café, food design packaging, newspapers etc. But of course, in 1920’s New York, anything that’s muggle in the 20’s is just so fascinating and totally opened our eyes to a whole new aesthetic. We love that period anyway! Even when we weren’t doing wizard designs it was still interesting.”

 

Do you think you’d enjoy working within any other Era?

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“I’ve no idea, but I’m hoping that the next stories might be a bit later so that we can go full Art deco style. But anything up to the sixties. If we were given an Elizabethan film tomorrow it would be interesting because we’d have to research and work out what materials to use and so on.”

 

Moving away from the wizarding world and on to separate projects, the ‘Illustrated Collective Nouns’ prints are a visual feast, largely geared towards wildlife but also based around the concept of witty phrases used to describe a team of people and animals. I was intrigued to find out exactly how the pair came up with the idea behind the prints.

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“We started with two friends who were really in to collective nouns, so we came together and researched as many collective nouns that we knew existed. A lot of them go back to 15th century Hunting terms. They’re not contemporary, they were used in language and they’ve evolved, so that was how it started. A bit like Potter being a story, it started with a language. They were so charming and funny, we love to bring to bring humour in to our work wherever possible. Being the client and the artist we could just go for it and do something from the heart, so that was how it was born. We kept finding more and more collective terms, there’s probably around a hundred in the book!”

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Has your working relationship changed over the last fifteen years with the likes to new projects?

 

“We’re really lucky that we really get on. It is like a perfect working marriage. We’re very complimentary in how we work as well. In any marriage, you work out who’s good at what. We share the same sensibilities in design but we approach them differently. So, if there’s any hand work I tend to stick to it, but then I might give it to Eduardo or it’ll be the other way round. Of course, now we have a business so there’s that element, so Eduardo is very good with that.”

 

Is there a particular aspect of design that either of you are drawn to first or is it balanced?

 

“If there’s anything that needs hand illustrating that’s me”. Mira says.

 

“But Eduardo is really good at seeing how busy things are put together. But over time, I’ve noticed I’ve started getting more busy and he’s started to tone down a bit. It sounds a bit romantic but we haven’t had a row yet. It’s pretty good, we’ve invested so much now as a business and designers that we’ve got to just keep going. There’s lots of serendipity and dare I say it, destiny. Even finding this building, we didn’t have a plan. It all sort of evolved. At the end of the day I don’t want to go home!”

 

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With ‘Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Parts One & Two’ opening at the Palace theatre just a few minutes walk from the exhibition, fans will have the perfect opportunity to become fully immersed in the wizarding world in a single day. House of MinaLima hopes to encourage the audience to take a short visit during the two hour intervals. It opens to the public today, June 3rd and entries are free!

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34. Matthew Lewis is…a Hufflepuff!

Fair or not, the sorting quiz created by Pottermore is nothing if not in depth in an odd sort of way. Matthew Lewis who marvelously portrayed the often clumsy, but always-there-when-you-needed-him, Neville Longbottom, a Gryffindor, took J.K. Rowling’s sorting quiz today.

Watch as he gets a taste of this first hand when he sat down with Pottermore recently to discover his house. Unlike yesterday’s Bonnie Wright video, or Mondays Rupert Grint interview, this was less of a question and answer and more of a let’s just watch Matthew Lewis neurotically answer these questions.

 

It does seem, however that as more of the younger cast sits down to be sorted, the Hufflepuff’s have grabbed themselves some real big names. Gone, it would seem, are the days of Cedric Diggory being the best Hufflepuff.

 

Could the Hufflepuffs take one more star tomorrow? Be sure to check in and see if Evanna Lynch gets to follow Luna in the Ravenclaw house.

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35. Draco and Scorpius in Cursed Child Cast Photo

As promised Pottermore delivers their final cast photos for the upcoming play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Tuesday we got a sneak peek at the Potter Clan, Wednesday we met the Granger-Weasley crew, and today we get our first look at the Malfoys.

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Alex Price will play the role of Draco and his son Scorpius will be played by Anthony Boyle.

As Scorpius Malfoy, Anthony looks the spitting image of his stage dad. J.K. Rowling said: ‘I love Draco and Scorpius – they actually look related!’

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Anthony Boyle is a long time stage actor. He is excited to play the role of Scorpius. He knew that it was really happening the day he died his hair blonde.

‘It was such a game changer,’ Anthony said of his new look. ‘As soon as I saw it, it was like, “Okay, I’m playing Scorpius Malfoy – this is real now.” That was such a big moment.’

Scorpius will be a big hit amongst the female students at Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling added,

‘I’ve got a feeling Scorpius is going to do nothing to turn girls off the Malfoy men.’

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Alex Price has been in several notable television shows in the UK. He came to the character of Draco wanting to make it his own while still honoring Rowling and her characters. In discussing how he is bringing Draco to the stage he stated,

‘Jack Thorne’s script. Start right there,’ Alex said. ‘And there’s obviously a massive history of books to draw on. You could tie yourself in knots worrying about it. But our first job is to serve this play and J.K. Rowling’s characters as best we can.’

As previews begin soon for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Pottermore has revealed multiple cast members this week. Visit Pottermore to see how these actors are handling the pressure of bringing to life this play.

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36. Behind the Scenes of The ‘Cursed Child’ Character Portraits

Over the past week, Pottermore have been revealing portraits of characters in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Yesterday, they gave an exclusive look behind the scenes of the photoshoot, giving us a chance to hear from the actors portrayed.

Jamie Parker (who will be portraying Harry in the play) introduces the shoot – a ‘first glimpse of Harry, and the rest of the gang’. He later says that the nearing opening day for the play is ‘immeasurably exciting’.

The shoot really gives a feel for our new generation of Potter characters. Rose Weasley (Cherelle Skeete) looks shrewdly at the camera, giving off the same daring, intelligent vibes as her mother, Hermione (Noma Dumezweni). Draco Malfoy (Alex Price) and his son Scorpius (Anthony Boyle) are seen looking intensely at the camera for their shoot, whilst Albus and Ginny are constantly smiling on set.

Watch the video below to see more, and take a look at the portraits of the Potter family, the Weasleys and the Malfoys.

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37. Matthew Lewis on Working With Emilia Clarke and Re-watching ‘Harry Potter’

Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) can currently be seen in cinemas alongside Game of Thrones and Terminator Genisys star Emilia Clarke in the new romance, Me Before You.

Though Matt worked with amazing actors such as Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Emma Thompson on Harry Potter, Matthew told Bustle that he still found working with Emilia Clarke nerve-wracking due to her ‘disarming’ presence both on camera and on set:

“I remember when I first went in to do rehearsals, I was really nervous, actually, because I had not seen the show, but I had read all the books, and I knew how important her character was in Game of Thrones,” Lewis tells Bustle. “I was just like, ‘Oh god, I hope that I can bring something to the table, I hope I can try and match her.'”

“As soon as I got in the room, she was just so lovely, just so approachable, so easy to talk to.”

“The whole environment of the set was set by her,” Lewis explains. “It was just a really fun environment — we got to come in and play around and try things and do things, and it just felt really comfortable.”

“I was in tears reading the book, trying most pathetically at being manly,” Lewis says with a laugh. “And every time I tried, it was just flowing even more. And then I saw the film a couple months ago… it’s gonna be one of those films that definitely elicits an emotional response, which is brilliant.”

In Me Before You, Matt Lewis portrays Patrick – the ‘well-meaning but oblivious’ boyfriend of Emilia Clarke’s character, Louisa. On his character in the film, Matthew says:

“I was never going to play him as being a jerk, because from my perspective, Patrick doesn’t think he’s a jerk,” Lewis says. “He doesn’t know that he’s being an idiot and he’s being horrible to Lou — he thinks that everything he’s doing is probably fine and normal.”

“It’s very easy to make it black and white, that Will’s [Sam Claflin] brilliant and Patrick’s a bit of a jerk,” the actor adds. “But I think we — Emilia and Jojo and I — wanted to make it a bit more of a grey area.”

Matthew also spoke to ITV’s Lorraine about re-watching the Potter series, though he doesn’t seem to be a big fan of watching himself as Neville anymore, but still says it was a great experience that he was lucky to be a part of:

‘I think I got halfway through the first one and that was enough for me, I didn’t want to see anymore … it’s just like watching home videos of you as a child, it’s difficult sometimes’

Read the full interview with Bustle here, and watch Matthew’s chat with Lorraine below:

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38. Bonnie Wright is… a Gryffindor!

Bonnie Wright – who played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films – followed Rupert Grint’s footsteps and took the sorting quiz in a recent interview with Pottermore.

She first spoke a little about portraying Ginny:

‘My favourite idea I always had [about] Ginny, that David Yates and I always played on, was that Ginny was this warrior,’ Bonnie told us. ‘That was something I really enjoyed. I was such a tomboy as a girl growing up and I loved that idea you don’t have to be girlie to be a girl.’

She also said that the huge ensemble of characters in Harry Potter is one of her favourite things about the stories:

‘You find something within them all that lives inside you’

The detail of the sets was also one of her favourite memories, Bonnie said she loved being able to pick up a Daily Prophet and actually read it, and really get into acting as a part of the story.

When asked if she had any loyalty to Gryffindor, Bonnie, who is most definitely a Ginny Weasley fan,  said:

‘As a strong, devout Weasley, it could only be Gryffindor’

After answering the intricate sorting quiz on Pottermore, Bonnie (to her delight) is sorted… into Gryffindor!:

‘I feel relieved… I feel proud’

Watch her chat with Pottermore below, and watch Rupert Grint’s sorting here:

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39. Ron, Hermione, and Rose in Cursed Child Cast Photos

Yesterday Leaky reported on the first cast photos from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, revealing a family portrait of Harry, Ginny, and Albus. Today Pottermore has provided us with more cast photos, this time of the Granger-Weasley Family.

This is a family portrait of Ron (Paul Thornley), Hermione (Noma Dumezweni), and Rose (Cherelle Skeete).

Ron (Paul Thornley), Hermione (Noma Dumezweni), and Rose (Cherelle Skeete).

‘It’s 19 years later when the play begins,’ Paul explained. ‘Ron is married to Hermione Granger and they’re now the Granger-Weasleys. Our magnificent daughter Rose Granger-Weasley is about to start at Hogwarts, which is obviously a big day for everyone.’

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Paul Thornley will be playing the role of Ron. Rowling reveals that Ron hasn’t changed much since his days at Hogwarts.

 ‘Ron in his forties isn’t very different from Ron in his teens, except that his feet hurt a bit more. Paul’s so funny and brilliant in the role.’

Hermione as played by Noma Dumezweni

As previously reported Noma Dumezweni will play the role of Hermione. Rowling is excited about the casting of Noma as Hermione and claims she understands her character “inside out”.

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Cherrelle Skeete has been cast in the role of Rose Granger-Weasley. While Rowling didn’t reveal much about Rose’s character she provided some interesting details.

 ‘Rose is like her mother, but more secure, more grounded. She was born to wizards and knows her place in the world. Cherrelle plays her perfectly: bossy but deeply loveable.’ 

These cast photos have given us a glimpse at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child visit Pottermore to learn more about what the actors have to say about their characters and the play itself. Also, Pottermore will be revealing more cast photos tomorrow. It is exciting to see this play come to life!

 

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40. Gary Oldman in “The Space Between Us”

Come August 19th, we will be able to see our beloved Sirius Black, a.k.a Gary Oldman, on the big screen once again. Gary will be playing Nathaniel Shepherd, a NASA scientist in charge of sending astronauts to live on Mars.

With Gary Oldman alongside Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson, The Space Between Us is about a boy who was born on Mars and raised by scientists. Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) returns to Earth to find his father, only to find that his body can’t quite function properly on Earth. The trailer for the film can be seen below:

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41. Rupert Grint is…a Hufflepuff!

Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley is what sold many fans on the Harry Potter movies. He was the embodiment of the beloved character of Ron Weasley. He brought many fans’ favorite character to life. Rupert Grint had the honor to play Ron in all 8 films. He loves the world of Harry Potter, and to his amazement the Harry Potter universe is expanding.

Watch above as Rupert Grint talks about his favorite scenes in the Harry Potter films, and answers one of the questions we have all been asking: what house is Rupert Grint officially sorted into?
In his heart he feels he is a Gryffindor, saying,

Definitely Gryffindor, I think.”

However, Rupert was quick to add,

I feel like I belong there. But I’ve never been sorted officially.

Will he be right, or is he a Slytherin through and through?
His sorting comes as a surprise, and a little bit of sadness washes across an entire house of Hogwarts as Gryffindor loses one of the trio to Hufflepuff!   Rupert Grint quipped, “oh yeah, no I feel pretty good.”

Rupert Grint brings up one great point, and that is

It’s very in depth

when speaking about the new sorting quiz. Check out the entire interview over at Pottermore.

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42. Pottecast Episode #257: Cursed Child Party at GeekyCon!

We know you have all been waiting with anticipation for the return of your favorite podcasters…and it’s time! There is a new Pottercast available on iTunes. Episode #257 talks about the upcoming fan convention unlike any other–GeekyCon.

Pottercast and Leaky will take part in hosting GeekyCon and its Harry Potter events, including the Cursed Child midnight release party!

Also wondering why PotterCast disappears for long periods of time? Have no fear, the Potter podcasters talk about their plans to get Pottercast back on track again!

Thanks to our amazing listeners for sticking with us!

(If the newest Podcast isn’t showing up in the Feed, refresh your iTunes several times. Go to “My Podcasts,” “Pottercast,” “Feed,” and refresh. For those of you who haven’t subscribed to PotterCast it may take a couple of days for the newest episode to appear on the iTunes page. Sorry for any inconvenience.)

 

 

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43. Pottermore’s Guide to Movie-Making: Shadowing David Yates

This week, Pottermore gave us a look inside what David Yates actually does as Director of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Apparently it’s not all yelling ‘Cut!’ and ‘Action!’ – at least not for David Yates.

A team of Assistant Directors ensures filming runs as smoothly as possible, and according to Pottermore, most of their jobs involve adjusting leads, moving extras and actors around, preparing props and muttering instructions into mics. This team is led by first Assistant Director (AD) Josh Robertson, who usually does all the yelling, cutting and hushing:

“Josh and the other ‘ADs’ do a lot of yelling and a lot of shushing. Volume control is one of their principle duties. And when you consider that a mistimed cough could ruin a scene and cost thousands to reshoot, it’s very important.”

“There are four ADs on set (or, in movie speak, ‘on the floor’) and they all have earpiece microphones that make everything they say sound urgent. On Fantastic Beasts, Josh is joined by Tom Brewster, Danni Lizaitis and Katherine Hingst as second, third and fourth AD. Their names will appear right near the top of the end credits of the film when it’s out – you’ll spot them.”

“To support [David’s] process, the ADs fan out, assume positions at various spots on set and keep that area clean, clear, quiet and calm during and between scenes. They are the purveyors of smooth operation, the enablers of great direction.”

David Yates adjusts cameras to get the perfect shot, gives quiet directions to actors and monitors each shot and how the action plays out on screen. His gentle manner is something Katherine Waterston (who will portray Tina Goldstein in Fantastic Beasts) previously shared insight into David’s inspired style of directing:

‘He has a shorthand and a comfort with the world. He’s not precious with it, he understands what it needs and what it doesn’t need and there’s something really comforting in that.’

 ‘When we’re incorporating things that aren’t actually there, to look at David and know he can see the world is… everything,’

The Pottermore Correspondent adds:

“He is both obsessively detailed-oriented and able to see the whole project as if from above. After directing the final four Harry Potter films, this is his fifth venture into J.K. Rowling’s imagination and he knows the territory well. He just needs a dependable crew to clear his path for him”

Read the full piece here, and Pottermore’s interview with David Yates here!

 

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44. Fantastic Beasts of the Wizarding World

With the wizarding world returning to the big screen with a movie called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, not only will the magic return but so will the many magical creatures we have come to love. But which ones will we meet again, and how many new ones will we be introduced to for the first time?

There were many different types of magical beasts that were mentioned and introduced throughout both the Harry Potter books and movies. We all have our favorites, the ones we’d want as a pet, and now, the ones we want to see return in the Fantastic Beasts movie. I’ve decided to explore a few of my personal favorites. I’ve got my copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them here to help us rediscover these fantastic beasts.

Shall we start with the obvious? Probably the most popular and most widely known throughout the wizarding world as well as the Harry Potter fandom. Terrifyingly beautiful, they are the hardest creature to conceal from muggles.

Dragons

We were first introduced to dragons in Harry’s first year, when Hagrid began raising a Norwegian Ridgeback in his cabin. They were mentioned many times from that point on, finally making a reappearance in Harry’s fourth year as the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. Since the four wizards each had to face a different dragon, we had the pleasure of being introduced to four new breeds: the Hungarian Horntail, the Chinese Fireball, the Swedish Short-Snout, and the Welsh Green.

There are ten different breeds of dragons known in the wizarding world but they occasionally interbreed, producing rare hybrid dragons. They have just a few different uses among wizards, namely for their wands. One option for the core of a wand is a dragon heart string. Other aspects of dragons are also useful in brewing potions or as fertilizer for plants.

As full beings, they have been known to be used as obstacles, sort of like guard dogs. Aside from the triwizard tournament, we see them used this way in the lower levels of Gringotts Bank. The Golden Trio even lived my dreams by flying a Ukrainian Ironbelly, the largest breed of dragon, to safety.

Moving on to one of my personal favorites.

Hippogriffs

A Hippogriff is a beautiful creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a horse. They first appeared in the books in Harry’s third year, when Hagrid took over the job of Care of Magical Creatures professor. Hagrid owned a beloved Hippogriff named Buckbeak. Luckily, Hippogriffs are one of the creatures Hagrid owned throughout the books that are actually able to be domesticated.

Hippogriffs are very sensitive creatures. One must be very careful when attempting to approach them, bowing low and keeping eye contact at all times. If the Hippogriff bows back, it is safe to approach farther. Also, it’d be wise to remember “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” otherwise you may end up with an injury or two.

Phoenix

Very few people have been able to domesticate these birds, but it is not impossible. Phoenixes are grand birds, with rich scarlet feathers and a golden tail. They are very gentle creatures whose tears have powerful healing properties. The Phoenix song is quite magical as well, it is believed that it can increase the courage of the pure of heart and strike fear into the hearts of the impure.

Ablus Dumbledore was one of the few able to domesticate a Phoenix. Harry, along with the rest of us, were quite confused when Fawkes suddenly burst into the flames the first time we saw him. Phoenixes have a regenerative ability that let’s them burst into flame when their body is weakening and be reborn from their ashes once again. They can also disappear and reappear at will, taking anyone holding onto them along with them. Kingsley Shacklebolt had it right, Dumbledore’s got style.

Acromantulas

I’ve never been one for spiders but I think if I ever came within 100 feet of an Acromantula I’d probably soil my pants. It may not be the prettiest magical creature that I know of but it is definitely one of the scariest and most interesting. An Acromantula is a large, eight-eyed spider that is capable of human speech and has near-human intelligence.

Hagrid raised an Acromantula from the egg, creating a profound bond between the two. The Acromantula, Aragog, inhabited the Forbidden Forest until it’s untimely death in 1997. Within it’s life, Aragog established a colony within the forest where it’s children still live today.

 

Since the latest trailer for Fantastic Beasts was released, we have caught a glimpse of two new beasts: the ever-adorable little trouble maker, the Niffler, and the Swooping Evil. The Swooping Evil isn’t in the Hogwarts textbook, so Warner Bros. will be including Beasts fans would never have expected. The Niffler, the creatures listed above, as well as many others, you can learn more about in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book!

Leave a comment about which fantastic beasts you’d like to see in the movie!

 

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45. Tickets on Sale for ‘Privacy’ Starring Daniel Radcliffe

Tickets are now available for purchase for the off-Broadway production of Privacy, starring Daniel Radcliffe. As announced last month, Radcliffe is set to take on the role of “The Writer” in the play, which is inspired by the revelations of Edward Snowden and explores the concept of privacy in the digital age.

 

This unusual play actually encourages its audience to stay connected during the performance:

 

“Privacy explores our complicated relationship with technology and data through the funny and heart-breaking travails of a lonely guy (Radcliffe), who arrives in the city to figure out how to like, tag, and share his life without giving it all away. The play uncovers what our technological choices reveal about who we are, what we want and who’s keeping track of it all. This provocative theatrical event will ask audiences to charge their phones, leave them ON during the performance and to embark on a fascinating dive online and into a new reality where we’re all connected…for better or worse.”

 

Privacy will run July 5 through August 14 at Public’s Newman Theater. The play’s opening night is scheduled for July 18.

 

To learn more, visit broadway.com.

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46. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Midnight Release Party Slated for GeekyCon!

GeekyCon 2016 has just announced that it is creating a large-scale, old-school, Harry Potter release party to celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The book comes out on July 31, 2016, the last day of the convention, which means that it will be the site of one of the biggest midnight parties in the country.

And this party is just one of all the cool and amazing events and activities scheduled for the weekend long festivity that is GeekyCon. As GeekyCon was once a Harry Potter-only convention and is planned by the same crew that brought us LeakyCon, it is backed by and attended by some of the biggest Harry Potter fans on the planet. As many of the people who run GeekyCon are still the biggest Potterheads, and have attended more than their fair share of Harry Potter book parties from 2004-2007, they decided to recreate the Harry Potter Book Midnight Release Party experience!

The party will be hosted by classic Potter podcast MuggleCast and PotterCast, and many others with experience and knowledge of Pottermania. The fun will start at 7 PM with the convention’s traditional Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball. Starting at 10:00 PM, festivities will convert themselves into a huge Harry Potter and the Cursed Child midnight book release . In tried and true Harry Potter Book Midnight Release party fashion, there will be a set of games, activities, and events to take part of–including, but not limited to:

  • Costume Contests
  • Sorting
  • Trivia and other games
  • Wizard Chess
  • Quidditch
  • Wizard Rock performances
  • Face painting and other crafts
  • Video retrospectives
  • Appearances from special guests
  • Put your name in the Goblet of Fire! (Submit your predictions, and we’ll go through them together at Sunday’s programming!)
  • Share in the Pensieve: Submit memories about Harry Potter and your experiences; we’ll be sharing them throughout the night.
  • And a lot more!

At midnight, everyone will begin to receive their book copy of the Cursed Child script! You must reserve a copy, and purchase will happen on site. Full, detailed instructions will shortly follow this announcement.

Fans in the Florida area, and maybe those who want to apparate further, can choose to come to just the party (which includes the ball) for $20, to enjoy the night’s festivities. If you are a full registered GeekyCon attendee, you can join us for the whole weekend — during which there will be a lot of Harry Potter related festivities and programming. Sunday we’ll be discussing Cursed Child almost nonstop!

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Are you pumped up yet? We are so excited!

For more information about GeekyCon, visit the GeekyCon website. For tickets to this absolutely fantastic geeky convention, please visit this link.

 

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47. J.K. Rowling: ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’ WILL Make You Cry!

This morning, one Potter fan on Twitter had a very important question for J.K. Rowling: ‘Will the Cursed Child make me cry?’

J.K. Rowling tweeted back pronto, and now it’s official: if you don’t cry, they haven’t done their job right!

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With preview performances starting next month, we’ll be able to test Jo’s statements and confirm whether the play is a tear-jerker. We have absolutely no doubts that we’ll be sobbing through the entire show (and scriptbook)!

Take a look behind the scenes with J.K. Rowling here!

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48. Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, and others Take Part in Red Nose Day 2016 Celebrity Plea

On May 26, Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, and other celebrities got silly for a cause to raise awareness for Red Nose Day, a global fundraising event that uses comedy to help raise funds for children living in poverty. Spot our Hermione and Professor Trelawney in the video below as they fight other celebrities for the audience’s attention.

 

 

Though Red Nose Day had its start as an iconic British fundraising event, this is the second year of participation for the United States. A primetime television event aired on May 26 featuring comedic skits, musical performances, and short films documenting the lives of children affected by poverty in the U.S. and around the globe. In the days leading up to the television event, celebrities shared their silly side to up awareness for the event–like the photo below that the de-light-fully funny Emma Watson shared on her Instagram account.

 

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A photo posted by Emma Watson (@emmawatson) on


Red Nose Day donations are still being accepted. For more information, read more at E News. To make a donation, visit the Red Nose Day website.

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49. Privet Drive at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

We recently gave you an exclusive sneak peak at the interior of Privet Drive at The Making of Harry Potter tour in London. Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia Dursley) opened the doors of her on-film house, leading guests in to tour the set.

This event only runs until June 6th, so make sure you book tickets pronto if you’d like to visit the inside of Number Four Privet Drive before then!

Find more information, and Leaky’s exclusive look at the set here.

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50. First Look at Harry, Ginny, and Albus in ‘Cursed Child’ Cast Photos

With only a week until the previews begin, Pottermore confirmed the casting of Ginny and Albus in the upcoming production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child–and included a few sneak peeks at the actors (including our new Harry) in-character in new cast photos!

 

_89840310_l-rharrypotter-jamieparker,albuspotter-samclemmett,ginnypotter-poppymillerThis Potter family portrait introduces us to Cursed Child’s Ginny (Poppy Miller), alongside Albus (Sam Clemmett) and Harry (Jamie Parker).

 

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Of our new Harry, actor Jamie Parker, J.K. Rowling says:

“He simply is Harry now. There’s a kind of relief in watching him, he gets it so right.”

 

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Poppy Miller is Cursed Child‘s Ginny, and portrays a “kind and cool” mother to the Potter clan, according to J.K. Rowling.

 

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Sam Clemmett is seen in his Hogwarts robes in this character portrait as Albus Severus Potter. Clemmett had the idea that the robes are hand-me-downs from his older brother, James, and we think the imagery works well.

 

Of Clemmett’s casting, J.K. Rowling (mysteriously) said:

“There’s much I could say about Sam-as-Albus, but we’d be into spoiler territory so quickly I’ll just say we couldn’t have cast better.”

 

Pottermore promises to reveal more Cursed Child character portraits later this week, and we can’t wait!

 

Visit Pottermore to read more and to see what Parker, Miller, and Clemmett had to say about taking on their newest roles.

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