As Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hits cinema screens, we talk to Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and director David Yates about character evolution and fans’ expectations…
How do you think your character has changed over the years?
Rupert Grint: He really has changed. There’s been a real arc, I think. He was this kind of overshadowed, jealous brother who was trying to find his place and then he met Harry and really got a sense of who he could be. It’s not until film six that he really starts to come into his own and starts to become a complicated guy. Falling in love with Hermione shows off his jealous streak. He really had to grow up a lot in the last two films.
Tom Felton: Draco has, I think, one of the best arcs out of all the characters in the series. In the first five films, he was pretty much a two-dimensional, rich, snobby school bully, and then in the last three you get a chance to see his more vulnerable side. You really get to see that he’s more of a fragile boy with horrible parents and who has terrible influences all around him. I kind of felt sorry for him in the end.
Matthew Lewis: I never expected Neville to grow up the way he has. He started off young and vulnerable and bullied, but the thing about Neville is that regardless of his fears he always believed in the right thing – you saw that in part one when he stood up to Harry, Ron and Hermione. Fast-forward to this film and you see that he’s become this leader who has really taken over Harry’s role. It was so amazing for me to come back and finish the series with Neville becoming a real hero.
In terms of fan expectation, were there any scenes where you really felt the pressure to get right?
Emma Watson: It has to be the kiss with Ron [in Deathly Hallows: Part 2]. I mean, it was awkward. Can you imagine building up to this kiss for 10 years? A decade? I was like, “How am I going to do this justice?” but we did it and I think it was very cute.
'Emma is really gorgeous, but it just wasn’t right' – Rupert Grint
Rupert Grint: It has to be the kiss, really. It was a difficult thing to get your head around. I’ve known Emma since she was nine years old and it just seemed like a really unnatural thing to do. I remember leaning in and her face was getting closer and closer, and I couldn’t quite believe it was happening. It sounds crazy because Emma is really gorgeous, but it just wasn’t right.
Tom Felton: All the stuff we did in the Room Of Requirement in this film made me pretty apprehensive. I had no idea how they were going to put this huge set on fire with all these mountains of rubble and rubbish, but they did literally set the place on fire and started to film us. It was pretty physically enduring.
Matthew Lewis: I really felt the pressure for one very big scene in the final film [in which Neville does something very cool with the Sword of Gryffindor]. For me, it felt like the first time my performance would be really scrutinised, particularly because it’s a moment that we all really wanted to get right for the fans. I’m a fan of the books myself and I really wanted to see that scene done right…
David Yates: You’re always nervous about getting it right because some fans get frustrated with the films. I made the decision early on that I should just make the film that I believe in, don’t pander too much and just follow the spirit of the story. Some of the fans love the films I made and some of them hate them, but I just had to do the best job that I could.
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