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Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix - Daniel Radcliffe interview

Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix

Interview by Rob Carnevale

DANIEL Radcliffe talks about the latest Harry Potter instalment, The Order of The Phoenix, dealing with the anger of his character and working closely with his idol, Gary Oldman.

He also recalls his experiences of appearing naked on stage in Equus and why he thinks David Yates has brought something extra to this latest Harry Potter experience…

Q. Harry gets very, very angry in this film. Did that make it more challenging to play? What did you have to go through to make Harry go on that journey without alienating the audience?
Daniel Radcliffe: Very good question. I mean, in the fifth book, a lot of people said that they disliked Harry because they disliked how angry he was and I talked to Jo Rowling about that and she just said: “Frankly, if people say they don’t understand Harry’s anger in the fifth book then they haven’t understood what he’s been through in the past five years, because he has a right to be angry.”

But I think you’re right, and I also think it was possibly just as interesting to play the more reflective side of the anger, like where it comes from and the loneliness and feeling misunderstood by everyone. That was just as interesting as the out and out shouting, which people may have interpreted as what was in the book.

Q. Could tell us about working with Gary Oldman because I gather you were something of a fan?
Daniel Radcliffe: In this film, probably more than any of the others, Gary and I got to do some really great, emotional, heartfelt scenes together. I loved it. As you say, I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. I think anybody would be hard pushed to name another actor whose body of work covers so many different areas. So yeah, I think he’s incredible and if I was to emulate someone’s career, if I could I would try, and probably fail, to emulate Gary’s. We get on really, really well and despite the fact that we probably won’t be working together again, certainly not on Potter, we’re keeping in touch, which is great because he’s a fantastic guy.

Q. We’ve heard a lot from Katie Leung about what her on-screen kiss with Harry Potter was like, so what was it like for you? Were you nervous? Did you ask anyone for advice?
Daniel Radcliffe: I think we were both a bit nervous because we did know everyone was talking about it and there was the knowledge that this was a highly anticipated scene and that everybody had been waiting for this scene in some ways. We were a bit nervous but after the first few takes it was fine and we started thoroughly enjoying ourselves! [Laughs]

Q: How many takes was it in the end?
Daniel Radcliffe: OK, now wait a second. This is the thing. A while ago I said it took 30 takes. Now what I meant was that 30 takes were sort of spanned over six different camera setups that it takes to do the scene. But that has been misconstrued as meaning that I requested that we do 30 takes on the kissing scene!

Q. What do you think David Yates brought to this film as director?
Daniel Radcliffe: What David managed to do, which is fantastic, is that he took the charm of the films that Chris made and the visual flair of everything that Alfonso did and the thoroughly British, bombastic nature of the film directed my Mike Newell and he’s added his own sense of grit and realism to it that perhaps wasn’t there so much before. It’s the film that I’m certainly most proud of. I think we all had a fantastic time working with David. I know we did.

Q. What was your experience on stage with Equus?
Daniel Radcliffe: I didn’t ban anyone from coming to see me! Being on stage and doing Equus was fantastic. It was a great experience and once you’ve been on stage naked in front of 1,000 people you really do feel you can do most anything that requires a loss of inhibitions. It was an amazing experience for me and it was something I will be very, very proud of doing for the rest of my life I think.

Q. When the seventh book comes out will you just go straight to the back of the book or will you read it the whole way through?
Daniel Radcliffe: I’ll certainly be reading it the whole way through. My grandmother does that and it’s a terrible habit.

Read our review of Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix

Read our interview with Emma Watson