The beginning of the end is near for the Harry Potter stars. For Daniel Radcliffe, who's played the title character for the past decade, parting with the cast and crew will be sweet sorrow. During our Deathly Hallows Part 1 set visit, the Boy Who Lived stopped by for a chat and shared details on the seven Potters scene, one of his favorite Simpsons quotes, and what he'd take as a keepsake from the Harry Potter set.
Q. What are the key differences between Part 1 and Part 2?
Radcliffe: The first part is kind of like a strange sort of road movie in a way. First of all, people will be seeing the kids outside of Hogwarts for the first time, which is a big deal. The first film is about the gathering of information and all the things we need to go toward the final battle. The second film essentially is the final battle from start to finish. Actually, no, we don't know where it starts because it keeps on changing.
Q. The first six films, as far as adaptations of the books, were a study in sacrifices. Do you believe the final films will be faithful to the book?
Radcliffe: We'll have to sacrifice some stuff. The things we have sacrificed are subplots, but in this, there really are no subplots. They're [as] important as the main plot. That was the reason we knew we had to do it in two.
Q. How daunting was it to film the seven Potters scene?
Radcliffe: A lot of it's more painstakingly slow than complex. We filmed it each time in seven different places. At the end of the day, we were then shown a very primitive version of what it was going to look like eventually. After 95 takes, it was the most gratifying thing to see how good it looks. It'll be very obvious which one is Mundungus. I was just delighted at how good I looked in [Fleur's] costume! It looked like a David Bowie outfit.
Q. How many times do you revisit the films? Do you watch in high definition?
Radcliffe: That's how I’m seeing myself now (laughs). I see every film on average about three or four times, but never after the premiere. I see it once each premiere, and then that's it. My parents watch… and then approve [of] me as their son (laughs). One of my favorite Simpson lines is, "Remember son, if you lose, you're out of the family!"
Q. What's your favorite Harry Potter movie?
Radcliffe: At the moment, the fifth. Hopefully it will be overtaken by the seventh, part one and then part two.
Q. This is your third and fourth film working with director David Yates. What's his process of figuring out how you should portray Harry?
Radcliffe: I think to a large extent, I come to the scene knowing what Harry is feeling and I've got quite solid ideas. It's just a conversation, really. Mainly, on the day, you sort of knock about ideas. The thing that David is very keen for me to do is show less and less. David wants the character of Harry to be internalized and not to project all that emotion outwards necessarily.
Q. Do you want to try directing eventually?
Radcliffe: I'd love to direct something at one point. I believe I'd really enjoy it. It's just about finding the right script at the right time. I've got a ways to go before having enough confidence and feeling that I know my way enough around a film set. As far as a film school goes, you can't really do much better than being here for 10 years.
Q. Is there anything you want to take as a keepsake?
Radcliffe: The glasses. And hopefully, the lens-less ones because those are the ones I wore most. I liked the pair from the first film as well. Even the wand is not such a big deal to me. The wand was different in the first two films, so even that hasn't been a constant through all seven.
Q. What will you miss when this is finished?
Radcliffe: I'll miss the crew and the sense of family that we have here. It's something very hard to recreate. There are people here who I've known for 10 years. It'll be a moving, emotional day saying goodbye to a lot of people, but it'll be exciting going into other things.
Read Part 1 and Part 2 of our set visit!