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1. Our First Look at Emma Watson in “Beauty and the Beast”

This morning, the first trailer for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast debuted on ABC’s Good Morning America (ABC is owned by Disney, and is a considered a Disney company). Many fans waited with anticipation, since yesterday’s announcement. Many fans were hoping for a first look at Emma Watson as Belle–in her classic blue dress and white apron, or, if we were lucky enough, Belle in her iconic yellow ball gown.

Fans got neither.

The first trailer for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was very similar to the first one-minute (or less depending on how you measure fours short scenes) trailer for Warner Bro’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The familiar music starts, a shiver runs down fan’s spine. You hear the actors deliver selected lines for the first time…without seeing them fully (we do see Emma Watson’s face behind the glass holding the Beast’s rose). The trailer can be viewed below:

One thing we learned for sure is that the set of the live-action Beaty and the Beast is gorgeous. A mixture of computer animation and physically built sets, the Beast’s castle gets the most screen time in this featured trailer. ABC released the trailer, saying:

The first ever trailer for Disney’s new live action version of the classic movie “Beauty and the Beast” debuted exclusively on “Good Morning America” on Monday.

The movie stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast. Others in the cast include Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. The film will be releases on March 17, 2017.

The Disney animated musical romantic fantasy was a hit when it premiered in 1991, and the following year it became the first animated film to ever be nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category.

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2. Stars Sign Letter To Keep Britain in the EU

Actors, authors, artists, and musicians alike are taking stand to urge voters against Britain leaving the EU. Stars, including our own Helena Bonham Carter and Sir John Hurt and Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, argue that taking such a step would hurt the creative industries in Britain. Over 250 celebrities signed the letter, published by the Telegraph, in it they wrote:

From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without EU funding or collaborating across borders. Britain is not just stronger in the EU, it is more imaginative and creative. Our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away.

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Many of those who signed are worried about where their industries would end up if Britain left the EU, calling it a “leap into the unknown.” They believe that, without the EU, Britain will lose it’s creative influence on the world. Britain has been center stage, creatively, for decades, centuries, even; people are afraid that making such a drastic decision as no longer being a part of the EU will hurt them beyond repair.

Not all actors are backing the ‘Remain’ campaign. Those like Michael Caine and the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, have said they will be voting against it. Caine believes that the EUs rules on freedom of movement put a damper on young English talent. Fellowes said in an interview with Daily Mail:

It’s not just that I think they are important – because they are – but I think it’s the wrong direction. History has for hundreds of years been moving towards government that is answerable to the people and suddenly we have done an about-turn and we’ve gone back to the Austro-Hungarian empire. I don’t think that’s the right direction.

Thursday, June 23rd, will be a day full of politics as the referendum is held. Several television networks will be hosting debates, so we will see arguments from both sides before we receive the tally of votes and ultimately the fate of Britain.

See more on the subject here.

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3. Christian Coulson Discusses Tom Riddle

Bustle recently sat down with Christian Coulson, to discuss his portrayal of young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Coulson revealed that he could empathise with his character relatively easily (minus the genocidal, racist tendencies, of course). Raised in Wool’s Orphanage in London, Tom Riddle was a troubled, isolated, child – Coulson says his experience of boarding school helped him empathise with Riddle’s isolation, but also to his slightly darker side:

“I had been at boarding school in a sort of Hogwarts-y school called Westminster, which has been around for about 1000 years … The stone steps leading up to where we had assembly are worn down from hundreds of years boys running up and down them. My parents were abroad when I was there, and I felt like I was an orphan. There was a detached survival mechanism that I really identified with.”

 “I really loved doing that scene with Richard Harris where I’m pretending to be a model student… while really lying to him,” Coulson says. “It reminded me a lot of my experience at boarding school — of being impeccably well-behaved on the outside and secretly getting up to mischief.”

“There’s a lot that isn’t similar about us, but I felt that I understood something about him.There’s something very wrong with him, but I understand what it is,” the 37-year-old actor says. “The things he did [as a teenager] made sense to me in terms of his survival.”

Portraying Riddle at a time when Rowling was still developing his story arc, Coulson enjoyed imagining the depth to his character:

 “From the information in those [four books], it seemed to me that there was a coldness and an emotional absence to his evil, and that was what I was interested in exploring.”

Riddle’s story begins in 1926 – the year Newt Scamander arrived at MACUSA with his magnificent briefcase after being expelled from Hogwarts, and supported by Albus Dumbledore himself. An interesting coincidence, making us wonder if there’s any chance we’ll be getting hints at the dark lord in Fantastic Beasts… or is it too early in Riddle’s life to pull him into the story?

Read the full Bustle interview here.

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4. First Look at ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Tomorrow!

Emma Watson will star as Belle in the live-action remake of the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast in March 2017. Harry Potter‘s Emma Thompson is also set to feature in the film (as Mrs Potts).

Paige O’Hara (who voiced Belle in the original animated Disney film) recently gave her verdict on Emma Watson as the leading lady, which you can read more about here.

The first official trailer for the movie will appear on Good Morning America tomorrow morning. See the official Beauty and the Beast Twitter (below) for a teaser clip!

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5. Here’s Your Chance for ‘Cursed Child’ Tickets: Introducing “The Friday Forty”

If you missed your chance to snag tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II when they went on sale, you’re in luck: Pottermore reports that starting June 3, the Cursed Child website will be releasing tickets for some of the best seats in the house as part of a special ticketing event called “The Friday Forty”.

 

As the name indicates, “The Friday Forty” will release forty seats each Friday on the ‘Book Tickets’ page of the Cursed Child website. The countdown clock in the corner will turn into a clickable button link, which will place you in a queue for a chance to purchase tickets. Winners will be chosen at random and will be permitted to purchase a maximum of two tickets. Tickets will cost £30 or £40 (during previews and after the play’s official opening, respectively) for both parts of the play, and will be for a performance of the play the week after the purchase of the tickets.

 

Good luck! In the meantime, we’re soaking up all the information on Cursed Child we can–like this tweet quoting set designer Christine Jones. What do you make of the motifs in this pattern? Do we spy the Sword of Gryffindor?

 

 

Read more about “The Friday Forty” on Pottermore.

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6. Warick Davis Goes One-on-One with Lumos CEO

It seems sort of symbolic that JK Rowling, who made her fortunes writing a story about the good and bad outcomes of being an orphan, would then take that immense wealth and create one of the most impactful organizations on the planet. Lumos was started to eliminate orphanages on a global scale.

One of our favorite character actors, the great Warick Davis (Flitwick, Griphook) sat down with Georgette “George” Mulheir, CEO of Lumos, for an interview for Pottermore.com (watch the full interview here and below). In which, they discuss Lumos’s humble start, which Mulheir described, saying, “in 2004, J.K. Rowling saw a picture on the front of the Sunday Times newspaper that I think changed her life forever, and certainly changed the lives of millions of children” all the way through to their plans to eradicate orphanages by 2050:

“There are many huge problems that need to be solved in the world. The great thing with this one is that it can be. By 2050, we’re absolutely confident that there will be no children in orphanages anywhere around the world and we will have forgotten – actually forgotten – that we used to do this to children,”

 

Tough stuff, no doubt about it.
Thanks to the tireless efforts by the Lumos staff and the generous contributions from JK Rowling and many others 100% of your proceeds go directly to the fight. For Harry Potter, the thought of death was nothing if he could save his friends and family. To JK Rowling, the money, the fame, and life itself is pointless if you can’t help others in need.

Now JK Rowling has her own Dumbledore’s Army (no secret coins, I hear). To find out how you can join the fight check out Lumos’ website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, don’t forget to go pick up your copy of The Tales Of Beedle the Bard, all proceeds go directly to Lumos. Buy your copy at Pottermore shop.

The interview can be seen below:

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7. Toby Jones Joins The Cast of BBCs ‘Sherlock’

Only days ago it was announced that the voice of our beloved Dobby, Toby Jones, is joining the cast of Sherlock season 4. It is currently a mystery as to who exactly Toby will be playing, but Steven Moffat, co-creator of the series, has teased that he will be introduced as the new villain of the show. But, Moffat isn’t always the most reliable person. Is he bluffing?

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There is a plethora of Doyle villains that Toby could take the role of, but how are we to know which one it will be? Well, as of now it’s really just a guessing game. Maybe Toby won’t be a villain; wouldn’t it be cool if he, instead, took on the role of the third Holmes brother that the show has hinted at multiple times in the past?

Assuming Moffat is telling us the truth, Digitalspy has come up with six possibilities for Toby’s role. Beginning with Sebastian Moran, James Moriarty’s right hand man.

Moran is essentially the Watson to Moriarty’s Holmes – an accomplished ex-army colonel whose loyalty knows no bounds – and in the original story, he reacts to Moriarty’s death by pursuing Sherlock to London and trying to kill him once and for all. In the Sherlock canon, maybe his retaliation begins by masterminding Moriarty’s “Did you miss me?” appearance on TV screens across the nation.

Now with Moriarty still in the game, even in the afterlife, Moran’s appearance would make a lot of sense, right? Well, Toby will not be introduced in the show until episode two, so with Moriarty’s plan already playing out in episode one what are we to make of this? It isn’t too unusual for them to introduce a villain late in the season, Moriarty himself didn’t show up in the flesh until the last episode of season one.

I believe that Toby’s role will be a surprise to all of us; Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss tend to be quite sneaky when it comes to Sherlock. Which angle will they choose? Maybe they will go for dark and clever with Henry Peters, who buried a woman alive in a coffin so well designed he almost outsmarted the great Sherlock Holmes himself. Or maybe they will throw us a curve ball and use Brigham Young, who was a real person, one of the first leaders of the Mormon Church. Having not used Young in ‘A Study in Pink’, where he is originally introduced in the books, his storyline is still up for grabs.

See the rest of Digitalspy’s list of possible villains here.

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8. Harry Potter Still Profitable for Bloomsbury

19 years ago the publishing house, Bloomsbury, released the first book in the Harry Potter Series. Today they are still finding success with this beloved story. Now, thanks to last year’s publication of an illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Bloomsbury is seeing great growth in their children’s book division. Check out our review of this illustrated edition from October of last year.

Bloomsbury, the publishing house behind the boy wizard, said the 133pc increase in Harry Potter sales helped boost revenues in its children’s division by 57pc to £41.8m.

Bloomsbury has seen great success with the publication of the Harry Potter Series. It has allowed them to remain one of the top publishers in the UK. And they aren’t done yet. This year they will publish an illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Also, they will publish a new edition of Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them to coincide with the release of the film.

The illustrated edition of Chamber of Secrets is set to release in October of this year. Here is great first look at this exciting new edition.

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For more information about Bloomsbury’s financials visit The Telegraph.

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child manuscript, and the Fabtasitc Beasts and Where to Find Them screen play will be published by Little, Brown–who has published Rowling’s adult novels and mystery series.

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9. The Goldstein’s Apartment

Imagine frequenting a place for months, getting so comfortable it becomes like a second home to you. Then imagine watching as it gets torn down. That’s how Alison Sudol and Katherine Waterston felt today when their characters, Queenie and Tina’s apartment in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was getting torn down.

A representative for Pottermore accompanied them to the set today, simultaneously there for moral support and an interview. Alison voiced her feelings about the set being torn down, saying:

‘I hate to think it’ll be taken apart! I love it in there so much,’ she says, softly, woefully. ‘It gave me insight into Queenie that I hadn’t had before. I’d imagined her life in my head but to walk around in it was really something: to see what was cooking in the kitchen… it was like being in a friend’s house. You know how you’re like, “Oh wow, okay, that’s so your art, those are your things, you like this kind of butter, or whatever.” You understand somebody on a very intimate level when you’ve been in their home and I loved that.’

tina and queenie

Movie sets, especially those of a characters home, are a reflection of the heart of the characters. Every detail of the apartment was made the show specifically who Queenie, and her sister, Tina, are. Being Alison, who had to be Queenie for months, I’d imagine the tear down of her apartment was very emotional.

Katherine had similar feelings about Tina, who’s bedside is lined with books:

‘It’s so nice to have all the books by Tina’s bed and have that environment that says so much about her. It feels like she lives there,’ says Katherine Waterston, our Tina. ‘What’s so great about the production team is that you get an idea in your head and they can manifest it. This is one of my favourite locations of the whole movie.’

Every little detail, bobby pins scattered in the bathroom, laundry on the bedroom floor, made it all seem so normal, like Queenie and Tina really did live there. See the Pottermore article here. The official trailer of Fantastic Beasts and an analysis of it can be seen here.

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10. Emma Watson Thrills In Latest UK Trailer for “Colonia”

Actors and actresses of any ability look for roles that challenge them to extend and expand their skills and talents. Like many older, and well known actors with expansive profiles, Emma Watson is doing her very best to spread her acting wings with her latest film The Colony (previously released as Colonia). A new trailer for the U.K. release of the film has surfaced, on Empire and other U.K. sites, and can be seen below:

Emma Watson stars in The Colony (July 1, 2016 UK release) as Lena, a young women possessed by love of her boyfriend, living Chile during the military coup of 1973. The young couple gets swept up in the ideal of rebellion.

The Colony is based on true events, about a young women looking for her imprisoned boyfriend Daniel. Daniel is played by, Daniel Brühl and he is taken hostage at infamous Colonia Dignidad, a sect nobody has ever escaped from.

In this thrilling dramatic action film we see Emma Watson, our beloved Hermione, facing life and death to rescue the love of her life. Emma Watson looks to be trying to assume a new position in Hollywood as the queen of the action thriller. Do you think she can dominate this type of character like she does everything else?

As Leaky previously reported, The Colony was released as Colonia in the United States last April. The U.S. trailers and poster can be seen here and here. Emma Watson attended the European premiere for the film last February. Future release dates for the film are below.

Other International releases: IMDB.com

UK                 1 July 2016

France        20 July 2016

Japan         17 September 2016

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11. Dan Radcliffe’s Acting is “Phenomenal” in ‘Now You See Me 2′, and New Poster Released!

Dan Radcliffe may not have been at this interview with MTV, but that didn’t stop Now You See Me 2 co-stars Jesse Eisenberg & Dave Franco talking about his role in Harry Potter, after discussing the many intricacies of the film’s title!

After being asked how many Potter films there were, Jesse Eisenberg replies ‘There were several’, and clarifies that he didn’t grow up with the books or films as many did, but that he was ‘enamoured’ with Dan’s acting. Eisenberg also says that Dan will be playing a villain in this movie, and is ‘phenomenal’ as his character, predicting that audiences who are fans of his acting in Potter will be pleasantly surprised with this refreshing reminder of his great talent (along with his other great films, of course!).

Dave Franco also comments, saying that Dan is a hard worker, always striving to achieve his best performance. Franco tells us that Dan nailed a 5 page monologue in every take, admiring how ‘professional’ Dan is, and echoing Eisenberg’s comments on the change in his acting in this film

Watch the interview below:

Mark Ruffalo also tweeted a new poster for the film, saying that they’ve channelled ‘Where’s Waldo’ for this one – Dan is seen above Ruffalo (centre):

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Watch the newest trailer below, and read more about the film here!

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12. ‘Harry Potter’ Actors Celebrate Shakespeare

Beedle the Bard may be the king of storytelling in the Wizarding World, but it’s the Bard of Avon who reigns over the English-speaking Muggle one.

Saturday, April 23 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and several of our favorite Harry Potter film actors will be celebrating his plays in the coming weeks.

The main event is a cooperative effort of the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC): the BBC Shakespeare Festival 2016.  The BBC announced that David Tennant (Doctor Who but also Barty Crouch, Jr. in the Harry Potter films) will host Shakespeare Live! from the RSC on BBC2 this Saturday at 8:30 pm BST.

Tennant will be joined by Joseph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Ian McKellan, Benedict Cumberbatch and others in a special variety show at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s theater in Stratford, England.  The production will also be screened live in cinemas across Britain and Europe.  Movie theaters in the United States will host the event one month later, on May 23, as The Shakespeare Show.

Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore in several Harry Potter films) is participating in the BBC celebrations by playing Mortimer on The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses television series with Benedict Cumberbatch this year.

Into Film ambassador Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart in the Harry Potter films) has a Q&A session at Belfast’s Queen’s Film Theatre as part of BFI’s Shakespeare anniversary events.  Several of Branagh’s Shakespeare films will screen, including Much Ado About Nothing (1993), which he directed and starred in with Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney in the Harry Potter films) and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films).

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Branagh’s Henry V (1989) will also show, featuring Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid in the Harry Potter films) and Emma Thompson.

Please join us in lifting a tankard of Butterbeer to celebrate over 400 years of William Shakespeare’s genius with some of our favorite Harry Potter film stars.  Huzzah!

 

 

 

 

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13. Could We See Familiar Harry Potter Characters in Fantastic Beasts?

Since the release of the newest, full-length Fantastic Beasts trailer, the Fantastic Beasts cast and Warner Bros have started their journey on the promotional trail for the film. Recently, WB attended CinemaCon in Las Vegas, accompanied by actors and actresses from the various films they presented and intend on releasing in the next year or two.

Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Alyson Sudol, and Dan Fogler took the stage to present Fantastic Beasts with WB. Though the event is closed, and the behind the scenes material shown has not been released to the public, red carpet interviews with the cast are giving fans a little more insight. This recent interview of Dan Fogler (towards the end of the video) is more intriguing than most:

 

Dan Fogler seems to be implying that we will see (and possibly meet?) the younger versions of familiar Harry Potter characters. As most know, Fogler can be a bit of a jokester. Is he messing with Harry Potter fans or is his excitement real? His co-star, Alyson Sudol seem reassured that the world of Fantastic Beasts was pretty independent of that of Harry’s time at Hogwarts. But Dan Fogler’s excitement just seems too real! He pleads the 5th! Why?

We can’t wait to find out. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18, 2016.

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14. J.K. Rowling One of Britain’s Most Charitable, Galbraith up for Crime Award

As we have come to know over the years, J.K. Rowling has a big heart. Since becoming the most financially successful author in history, J.K. Rowling has also become one of the most philanthropic celebrities–never forgetting the humbleness and humility to serve those in need.

The Guardian reported on Britain’s most philanthropic celebrities in terms of donations made this past year, and not surprisingly, J.K. Rowling topped the list. The Guardian reports:

 

“Sir Elton John and JK Rowling have been revealed as Britain’s most benevolent celebrities, with each donating a large proportion of their fortune to charities.

“John gave £26.8m to charity last year, mainly to his Aids foundations in Britain and the US which he established in 1992. Rowling donated £10.3m, according to the Sunday Times.

“The writer’s charities of choice were the Lumos Foundation, her own charity aimed at closing down all child institutions and orphanages around the world by 2050, as well as the Volant Charitable Trust, which raises money to alleviate social deprivation and for research into multiple sclerosis, which killed Rowling’s mother.”

 

In addition to her generosity, Jo is also made headlines for what Jo does best–writing. J.K. Rowling’s closest “friend,” and the Potter world’s favorite crime writer, Robert Galbraith has been added to the long list of 18 finalists for the Theakstons Old Peculier crime novel of the year award for Galbraith’s latest novel, Career of Evil. Galbraith and Rowling are listed with one of the pair’s closest crime-novelist friends, Val McDermid, who is also a former recipient of the award.

The long list of nominees included well-established writers, as well as many debut novelists. Many in the running agree that the debut novelists keep already well-known writers on their toes, exhibiting equal if not greater talent. The Guardian reported on J.K. Rowling’s  praise of last year’s winner, a debut novelist, reporting:

 

“Harrogate International Festivals literary manager Gemma Rowland said the list demonstrates how “even the giants of the genre are constantly kept on their toes, with debut voices as serious contenders”.

“Rowland pointed out that last year’s winner was Sarah Hilary’s debut, Someone Else’s Skin. “It really shows whoever wins this year will know they’ve been pitted against the biggest talent at work today,” she said.”

 

The winner of the award also receives a cash prize of £3,000, which we assume Galbraith and Rowling will come to an agreement on where to donate the prize if they win. Galbraith will probably pull for amputee war veterans, and Rowling will probably agree. They make such a great pair.

The Gaurdian included the long list of nominations which can be read here.

 

 

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15. ‘Criminal’ Featuring Gary Oldman in Theaters Now

Gary Oldman (Harry Potter‘s Sirius Black) features in the new action film, Criminal, showing in theaters now.

Criminal is a spy thriller about a mission gone wrong.  Oldman plays a CIA bureau chief named Quaker Wells.  When one of his agents dies trying to reach a young hacker (Michael Pitt), Wells finds a neurosurgeon (Tommy Lee Jones) who is experimenting with memory transfer to input the memories from his agent into the mind of a death-row inmate named Jericho (Kevin Costner).  Jericho must then find where the hacker is hidden before the bad guys do.

Criminal opened April 15, and reviews have been mixed. Of Oldman’s performance, The Daily Mail Online says that he “looks like he’s having fun as the CIA chief trying to prevent mass destruction.”  But The Hollywood Reporter says that “from such a good actor, this performance seems entirely misdirected and inauthentic for a figure requiring maximum shrewdness and smarts.”

The consensus is that while the action scenes can be exciting, the stellar cast, with Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot filling out the lead roles, are not used to their potential.  Reviewers agreed that the main actors (Oldman, Costner, and Jones) were obviously having a great time on the film, probably enjoying their reunion after working together on JFK (1991).

If Gary Oldman wants to make a movie just to get paid to hang out with his friends, then we won’t fault him for it.

To read the full reviews, see the Mail Online and The Hollywood Reporter.

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16. J.K. Rowling Designs New Wands for Trio

This morning, J.K. Rowling tweeted from London. After being up all night with a “Robert-related brainwave” that made the insomnia worth it, our tired beloved author made her way to Cursed Child rehearsals.

 

After arriving at rehearsals, Jo released to her fans on twitter a sketch she had drawn for the play. A sketch of new wand designs for the Trio (Harry, Ron, Hermione), Draco, and Ginny.

 

Now, before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, I’ve been thinking about this for the last few hours, and once again Jo is not breaking canon, though that initially may appear to be the case. 

As much as we love to movies, Jo’s canon resides primarily in her books. Hermoine may be white in the movies, but according to the books she can be any ethnicity or nationality the reader imagines–and often the ethnicity the reader most identifies with. (Before all of you start pointing to chapter 21 in Prisoner of Azkaban, “white face” is a euphemism for scared. Chapter 4 of the same book reads, “They were there, both of them, sitting outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor — Ron looking incredibly freckly, Hermione very brown, both waving frantically at him.” She could be tanned, or she could be naturally darker skinned. Arguably, Hermione can be any race–it’s never directly specified. Does it really matter? NO.)

The wands described in the books give readers the wood and core materials and the length. Nothing is mentioned about design. In the first two Harry Potter films, Chirs Columbus opted to make everyone’s wands fairly similar in design. Alfonso Cuaron first brought uniquely designed wands to the films in Prisoner of Azkaban. Whether you love or hate the third movie, it was revolutionary with how the Potter books were portrayed on film, and did deviate from Jo’s world (though Jo did give her approval on the variations).

The materials of the five wands are still the same, as well as the length. For the first time, we are seeing the wands of the five main characters as Jo envisioned them.

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17. Harry Potter’s Miriam Margolyes Gives a Hilarious Interview on Growing Old

Miriam Margolyes is just as witty, if not more so, than her character of Professor Sprout in Harry Potter. Miriam recently sat down with the British news website, the Mirror, to discuss growing old, farting, and partying with Prince Charles. Three things that do not commonly get mentioned in the same sentence together.

The Harry Potter actress, who has acclaim for many other roles as well, including her BAFTA for best supporting actress in Martin Scorsese’s The Age Of Innocence, will turn 75 this May. She is currently awaiting surgery for a knee replacement just before her birthday. Miriam spoke about her health in a half-serious, half-joking manner, saying:

 

 ‘One of the worst things about ageing,’ she says, rubbing her leg, ‘is the waning of your physical powers; I live in a house with 64 stairs and I simply cannot run up and down them any more, my knee has conked out.’

‘If I could give my younger self one piece of advice,’ she booms, ‘I would say, “lose weight”.

“I’ve been fat my whole life and pretended I don’t mind. But I do mind. It’s really stupid that I’ve gone on being greedy and fat. I’m going to be 75 in May. How can I have lived this long and not know anything?’

‘I don’t care what I look like, I must be comfortable. I can see some of my friends have had plastic surgery and Botox, but I’m not the least bit interested in it.’

She then tells us about one of her friends – a famous actress of a similar age – whose terrible facelift appalled her. ‘She was a beautiful woman, but that damaged little face, it’s heartbreaking.’

One perk of age, she concedes, is you stop giving a damn. She was recently at Edinburgh station and when a young man refused her request to give up his seat for her – she emptied her water bottle over his head.

‘It was naughty. But he didn’t get hurt, just wet, and it did feel fabulous,’ she chuckles.

‘Getting older is a hideous experience, I’m so glad I only have to do it once. But I’ve kept my mind, my career, my relationship, and I have enough money – I know I’ve been blessed. And if the work I’ve done has entertained people that makes me happy.’

 

The Mirror met Miriam at her home for her interview. The interview was a promotional for Miriam’s current project, ITV2’sAncient Rome-set comedy, Plebs. Miriam talked about why she took certain acting jobs over others and the importance of friends in her career.  The Mirror reports:

 

‘I turn down all sorts of jobs because I don’t want to waffle on about b*****ks. But I took Plebs because they film it in Bulgaria, a fascinating place. I take any job abroad because I love to travel.’

Indeed, earlier this year Miriam was in Jaipur, India, where she filmed the BBC’s Real Marigold Hotel with seven fellow well-known pensioners.

It was hugely popular and more episodes are planned later this year. ‘I loved the experience so much I would have paid them to take me,’ she says. ‘We all email each other and meet up, it’s like we are eight new, old friends, it’s lovely.’

‘There is this huge sadness to losing your friends – people you have loved and imagined would always know, then leave your life. That’s the saddest part. I’m not someone who believes old age is a blessing – b*****ks! – it’s f***ing awful and you get through it as best you can.’

 

Miriam says she used to enjoy parties, but has now grown to old for them and prefers small social gatherings. However, she will make an exception for Prince Charles. The Mirror said:

 

One party she did enjoy was at Sandringham, when she was invited by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall a few years back. ‘It was terrific! I’m a socialist but I am very much in favour of them. He’s a terrific bloke and we had a huge laugh. I’m so glad he’s found happiness with this lady who he should have married first time around.’

 

Miriam went on to discuss living with no regrets, embarrassing topics she doesn’t mind talking about on talk shows, what embarrasses her, and more. The original article, pictures of Miriam throughout her acting career, and video clips can be seen here.

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18. More on ‘Fantastic Beasts’ at CinemaCon: Interviews with Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler and Colin Farrell!

The Warner Bros. presentation on April 12th at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas gave a ‘big picture’ on what to expect in Summer 2016, and of course the biggest thing attendees wanted to hear about was Fantastic Beasts. Therefore, it was only fitting that Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Colin Farrell hit the stage to rile up the crowd and promote the film:

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More images from the event can be found over at Getty Images here.

Access Hollywood caught up with Eddie Redmayne at the event, for a short interview about the Potter franchise. He ‘opens up’ about whether or not he was a fan of the original series (obviously he was!). Catch the video below:

Associated Press released a similar interview of Eddie and Collin Farrell talking about the magic of the series, and Colin raves about having a personalised wand.

Eddie’s so engrossed in the series already – we can’t wait to see how he does as Newt (judging by Pottermore’s interview, we’d say he’s definitely doing great).

Collider also met with Dan Fogler, to talk about his role as muggle (no-maj) ‘Jacob’ in Fanatic Beasts. They graced us with a video of their interview (below), and even gave us a handy time index:

    • 0:17 – What it means to him to be part of the Harry Potter universe.
    • 1:15 – His “surreal” and lengthy audition process.
    • 3:36 – The experience of making the movie.
    • 4:22 – How the story will surprise people.

Comic Vine also released a video with Dan (below), on finding out about the role and more on his character’s 1920’s New York / Brooklyn accent:

You can read a transcript of the interview over at Snitch Seeker here.

Just incase you haven’t seen the trailer already (or want to see it again) catch our frame-by-frame analysis here, and the trailer itself below:

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19. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Opens its doors to Privet Drive!

In celebration of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s 15th Anniversary, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London will be opening the doors to Privet Drive, from Friday 27 May to Monday 6 June!

Walk around the living room, and delight in Vernon and Petunia’s choice of decoration, fondly remembering the times that the wizarding world intruded on that very space.

Pottermore reports:

“Although this room was the setting for many horrible memories for Harry, it is also where he was bombarded with letters, inviting him to go to Hogwarts, and far away from his supposed ‘family’.

That iconic letter, created by graphic design team MinaLima, will of course be on set too, with hundreds of them suspended in the air, just like they were when they flew out of the fireplace during Philosopher’s Stone (2001). Fans will also be able to check out the mechanism that was built in order to shoot out such letters during filming, with approximately 10,000 being used for the iconic moment. 

The Dursleys’ costumes, in all their grotesque finery, will also be on display, so enemies of bad jumpers, beware.”

Find out more, and book tickets here!

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20. Helen Mirren: Alan Rickman “Would Be Proud” of Last Movie

Earlier this week, Alan Rickman’s last film, Eye in the Sky, had its UK red carpet premiere. While attending the event, Dame Helen Mirren talked about her beloved co-star, who unexpectedly past away earlier this year from a short battle with late stages of pancreatic cancer.

Dame Mirren said that Alan Rickman would be proud of his last film, and that the film was a “lovely” way to say good bye to the director and actor we love so much. The actress spoke to Female First on the red carpet, saying:

“It’s incredibly sad to have to say goodbye to Alan, not least because he was far too young and he had such great work in him, ahead of him, as you’ll see from his performance in this film, which is fantastic.

“The great thing is, it’s very much Alan on the screen. It’s not him playing one of his amazing characters – it’s Alan as we all knew him and remembered him – so it’s a lovely way to say goodbye.”

“The Alan we see on the screen in ‘Eye In The Sky’ is Alan. It’s Alan as I remember him. His wit, his humanity, his intelligence.

“I think Alan would have been really, really proud for this to have been his last film.”

“Alan was a genius character actor and he could play all these amazing baddies.”

“I’m still in a state of shock about it. I looked at a picture of him just today and thought, ‘I can’t believe that I’m not going to see him again.'”

More of Female First’s reports can be read here and here.

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21. New Photo of Rupert Grint in ‘Adolf the Artist’

A new image of Rupert Grint in Adolf the Artist (previously The Artist) has emerged, also featuring Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon (below).

Rupert Grint will be portraying August (Gustl) Kubizek, whilst Rheon will be playing Hitler.

Ice Cream Man gives us a synopsis of the upcoming drama:

“Adolf Hitler has been portrayed on screen many times – but never like this! Adolf the Artist is a satirical drama starring Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter), telling the little-known tale of a young Adolf, before politics and before war, when all he could dream about was becoming a famous painter. Historically accurate, this imagining of the young pre-tyrant is comedic in its approach and sees him ata crossroads in his life, when “his struggle” was purely about not being a good enough artist. In 1907, an 18-year-old Hitler applied to the prestigious Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, certain that his genious would be recognized. It wasn’t. He resolved to re-apply the following year and moved to Vienna, hopeful that living amongst artists would rub off on him. Not one to let himself go, Hitler found the opium-taking, schnapps-swilling, sexual experimentation of his fellow artists somewhat irritating and as he’d not yet developed into a demagogic ranter, no-one listened. They didn’t have to. Yet. This story follows Adolf in the run-up to retaking the entrance exam, burdened by temper tantrums and an oddball dress sense, and desperately trying to improve as an artist and gain recognition.”

Read/see more at Ice Cream Man here!

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22. Warner Bros. Give a Star-Studded CinemaCon Presentation

Warner Bros. showcased their huge list of talented actors and crew members involved in making their highly anticipated films at this year’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, including clips from Fantastic Beasts and Yates’ Legend of Tarzan.

According to Business Wire, Warner Bros. focussed their presentation on trailers and  some never-before-seen footage from the films, illustrating a statement by CEO Tsujihara about the diversity of their works, encompassing huge feature films (such as Fantastic Beasts!), dramas, action adventures, horror thrillers and comedies.

Making a video appearance for The Legend of Tarzan, Dwayne Johnson; Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz introduced the film at the panel, showing just how talented the cast for David Yates’ film has been!

Even more excitingly, Warner Bros. closed with a look at Fantastic Beasts, with on-stage appearances by Eddie Redmayne, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler and Colin Farrell, who helped introduce the new trailer (below), and an exclusive look behind the scenes of the film.

Read more about the presentation here!

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23. Disney tease ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at CinemaCon

CinemaCon attendees waited with high hopes to see some Beauty and the Beast footage featuring Emma Watson, but it seems they’ll have to wait like the rest of us – Disney are doing very well at keeping it under wraps!

However, they did say Emma Watson is ‘extraordinary’ as Belle in their current screen-tests (obviously), making us even more excited to hear more news!

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Read more from CinemaCon here, and more about Beauty and the Beast here!

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24. Katherine Waterston talks to Pottermore about her role as Tina in ‘Fantastic Beasts’!

The ever-mysterious Pottermore Correspondent managed to sneak in an interview with Katherine Waterston, on the set of Fantastic Beasts. She ‘perfectly inhabits’ the character of Tina Goldstein, according to Pottermoreand we can’t wait to see for ourselves the level of talent David Yates clearly saw in her:

‘We were standing in the pouring rain with David Yates and I asked him about the casting process,’ I [the Pottermore Correspondent] tell Katherine, wondering if she knows. ‘David said he got Eddie Redmayne to read with so many actresses but he knew immediately that you were Tina. That you had such perfect chemistry and it had to be you.’

‘Oh! Oh, really?’ she says, genuinely incredulous and in her soft American accent. ‘That’s too nice. I bet he was like, “Don’t tell her that, it’ll go to her head!” Oh, he’s such a dear man. He brings so much joy to the set, but the real thing that trickles down from the top is his faith in this process because he’s been in this world before.’

Yates has also been at work on The Legend of Tarzan, and knows the Potter series well after directing the last four movies, so he is well versed in leading great actors – we’re confident he’s found something special in Waterston!

Katherine says that Yates has been a huge help on set, and clearly has a passion for his work and J.K. Rowling’s world:

‘Usually on a movie, you’re going into new territory together and you’re like, “Is there quicksand around the corner, are there going to be wolves attacking?” Whereas David’s been here before so he’s just like, “You’re going to take a left here and avoid the quicksand”. 

‘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,’

‘It’s sort of like when your parents read you a book when you’re a kid; if they read it with passion and curiosity, you can see the whole world.’

When asked by the Pottermore correspondent what she thinks of Rowling’s world, and how she feels about the script, Katherine gives us some great insight on the film’s tone. ‘Tender’, ‘slightly English’ and ‘beautiful’, but more interestingly, the film is reportedly ‘rooted in truth':

‘Ah, this movie. It’s so clever and it’s rooted in truth. It’s got light, funny elements and then much darker, more adult elements. I normally don’t respond so well to innocent lovely things, I think, “come on, let’s get on with it”. But there’s something about this script and the way J.K. Rowling writes; it’s tender without being saccharine. It never lingers on the sweet parts but maybe that’s a slightly English thing: “Oh I felt something – moving on!” No, really, it’s a beautiful film. It’ll kill me to finish filming it.’

Read the full interview with Katherine Waterston over at Pottermore here.

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25. Happy Birthday Emma^2!

It is impossible to celebrate too much, and the Harry Potter world is celebrating two of its most brilliant actresses today.

Making headlines and trending on many social media, many recognize as Harry Potter’s brilliant real-life Hermione celebrates her 26th birthday! Emma Watson, who is quite an accomplished young woman, was born in Paris, France and raised in Oxfordshire, England. She was eleven years old when she landed the role of Hermione Granger.

After spending ten years on the Harry Potter series, Emma has gone on to work on a variety of films as well as lead the modern wave of feminism in her role as Women’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

While on the Harry Potter set, Emma Watson worked with Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney). Emma Thompson is an incredibly talented actress, who has been recognized for her role in many films. Having been nominated over twenty-five times for acting awards, Emma Thompson has two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, two BAFTAs, and an Emmy under her belt. Emma Thompson turns 57 today.

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