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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 – David Heyman interview

David Heyman

Interview by Rob Carnevale

DAVID Heyman, producer of Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2, as well as the series as a whole, talks about being involved from the start and how his expectations for the potential franchise have been more than exceeded. He was speaking at the London press conference for the final film.

Q. Has this Harry Potter series turned out better then you could ever have imagined when you first undertook the project of putting all the books on screen?
David Heyman: When it began I had no idea that 10 years on we’d be sitting having this conversation. At that time we were making the first film, or when I read the first book, I hoped to make it into a film and in my mind I thought we’d be lucky if we made another Railway Children or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I had no idea it would be what it’s become so in so many ways it’s been better than I could ever have imagined. The journey itself, as David (Yates) talked about before, the family it’s made, and the work that everybody did… it’s been an amazing journey and one which has been full of surprises and I don’t think anyone could ever have expected for it to have continued – and end – in this way.

Q. This is the biggest film series of all time and it’s British. How can the British film industry capitalise on its success to keep these kinds of films going with such a British sensibility to them?
David Heyman: I think that the combination of the quality of people working in front of and behind the country in this country, which I think are as good if not better than anywhere in the world, along with the tax break and the fact that London and the UK is a fantastic place to be means that filmmakers and studios will continue to make films in this country. In terms of what we generate ourselves from within, as David [Yates] said: “Lightning doesn’t strike twice.”

I think one of the reasons why Harry Potter works is that it’s culturally specific but it’s thematically universal. It’s really about the things that… it’s about love and death and loss and friendship and loyalty and good versus evil. We all know characters like Harry, Ron and Hermione, we’ve all had teachers like Dumbledore and Snape and Lupin – and haven’t known too many Voldemorts I hope – but these are people who are… yes, they’re British but they are relatable to people all over the world and I think one of the things we can do is find stories that have that universality because we have, when you look – Narnia and Lord of the Rings being the obvious ones – in this country generated and written novels and plays and television series and films that have been seen the world over and I just think we can and we will do it, there’s no question.

Q. Could there be another book or film?
David Heyman: Jo has no plans to write another book. She may write stories and she’s doing Potter-more, the website. But she’s not going to write anther Harry Potter book. I mean, Harry at the age of 23 going to business school…

Q. Do you have a favourite prop from the series you might like to keep?
David Heyman: Well, like [fellow producer] David Barron, I was in a portrait, but I didn’t get any props of my own. I was a puritan. I don’t know what they were thinking. But there were so many props on Harry Potter, so I suppose if I could take one away it would be the Time-Turner, for many, many reasons.

Read our review of Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Read our interview with director David Yates