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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 – Robbie Coltrane and Michael Gambon interview

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ROBBIE Coltrane and Michael Gambon discuss some of their memories of their time on the Harry Potter movies and their involvement in final instalment, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2. The were speaking at the London press conference for the final film.

Q. Robbie, what are you going to miss most about playing Hagrid?
Robbie Coltrane: The journey of playing a man from 50 to 60 is very different from 10 to 20, let me just say that. The great thing about Hagrid was that he was a thoroughly good man. It was the first time in my entire career I’ve played a thoroughly good man. I’ve played gangsters and prostitutes, transvestites, murderers, everything you can imagine but it’s the first time I’ve played a man who was thoroughly good – and I played it for 10 years… a character that young people could totally trust in.

That was an irony for me, a bit of acting was required there – as you’ll know if you know me [he jokes]. I really enjoyed playing him. We were having a laugh the other day about `Skool’s Out’, that song, and some people think skool’s out, that’s fine, you can go and do what you like, but there’s also part of you that thinks something strangely wonderful has come to an end. Am I terribly sentimental?

Q. What’s your favourite line?
Robbie Coltrane: I think my favourite line was in the first one when Hagrid says: “You’re Harry Potter, you’re the one who got away from… [pauses for effect] you know who.” My second favourite line was in a Bond movie when I had a .45 stuck in my head and said: “Can’t you just say `hello’ like anybody else?”

Q. And Michael?
Michael Gambon: I hardly ever knew my lines in the film but of the ones I did remember my favourite is in this movie when I appear as a ghost on King’s Cross station platform and I just say “Harry”. I felt like crying.

Q. How have the films impacted on your well-established careers?
Robbie Coltrane: I have to say I’ve just been filming ten consecutive nights surrounded by smoke to make it look like 1958 so if I sound slightly sexy… It really pi$$es me off when people talk about a franchise, this is about seven years in a boy’s life and I think that’s the way we should see it. As far as my career is concerned, as I said earlier I got to play a really nice man who gets slightly older over 10 years, how hard can that be? But I think most of us who have been involved in it have become emotionally tied into it, I have to say, and we’re pretty sad now that it’s over.

So on a personal note it’s been wonderful and I mean, god save us, if you had a list of all the people who have been involved in these films over the years, the directors, the cameramen, it’s been an extraordinary collection of people who have been stuck in the same place off and on for ten years and I think we are all desperately proud.

Q. And Michael?
Michael Gambon: I’m so happy to have been offered a part in a film that has lasted seven years. I couldn’t have believed that before, that it could last that long, and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m grateful. And they also give you time off to make other films. I’ve made three films because they oblige me to have the time off.

Q. What’s your favourite prop?
Michael Gambon: Well, I had the usual props, of course, but I also had a little bag I’d made myself to keep my fags and lighter in, inside my costume. I also had a very long white beard, which I would have my sausage and chips for lunch and she wouldn’t take the beard off, which annoyed me, so I used to feed the chips through it.

Q. And Robbie?
Robbie Coltrane: The other thing you did, which I’d like to tell the public about, was you parked your Cadillac outside my trailer so I couldn’t open the door! Your Ferrari! We’re both car men, right? So I said: “I can’t quite open my door properly…” And he said: “That’s because I’ve brought my Ferrari in to humiliate you.”

Q. Finally, Robbie, I believe you have a nice tale about dealing with JK Rowling during the early stages of the series?
Robbie Coltrane: Yeah, can I just throw this in? When she said very kindly in the newspapers that I was the only guy who could play Hagrid, I checked you guys out [looks at David Yates and producers] in case you were making a rubbish Harry Potter film, to be my idea of hell, and I phoned her up. She was on the phone for four hours telling me all about Hagrid. She could be on the phone for four hours talking about any single character, couldn’t she? She knows who their parents are, what their childhood was like, everything. It’s quite extraordinary. That’s just a wee thing I wanted to throw in, so thanks.

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

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