‘Harry Potter’ countdown: Emma Watson says controversial scene ‘divided the crew’

Nov. 16, 2010 | 10:33 a.m.

A MONTH OF MAGIC: Hero Complex is counting down to the Nov. 19 release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” — the penultimate film in the history-making “Potter” franchise — with exclusive interviews, photos, videos and reports from the set. Today, coverage of the New York premiere of the eagerly awaited seventh film in the franchise.

SPOILER ALERT: This article addresses a scene in the film that does not appear in the “Deathly Hallows” novel.

potter premiere Harry Potter countdown: Emma Watson says controversial scene divided the crew

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton at New York premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" (Evan Agostini / Associated Press)

Emma Watson says there was debate on the set of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:  Part 1” when it came time to film an emotional interlude that did not appear in any of the J.K. Rowling novels.

“That was the scene that really divided the crew,” Watson said Tuesday by phone as she headed toward the airport after the Monday premiere in New York. “People had very different feelings about whether it should be included or not. There were a lot of people on the fence about it. I think the idea was that after all these years there would be a lot of emotion there between Dan [Radcliffe] and I, and our characters and that the scene would show that in a very interesting way.”

The scene was the brainchild of Steve Kloves, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter who has written seven of the eight “Potter” films but remains a controversial figure to some of the most devoted fans of the Rowling epic. We brought you an interview with Kloves this week in which he elaborated on the origins and merits of the scene. To recap: In the short sequence, Harry and Hermione are on the run as fugitives in wizarding world while Ron has left in frustration — and after expressing suspicion that his two oldest friends have feelings for each other. Harry changes the station on a scratchy little radio from battlefront dispatches to a forlorn song. He holds out his hand and invites his childhood friend to dance. After a pained expression, she agrees. There are awkward glances and a crosscurrent of emotions — they are tired, scared, confused and expecting to die at any moment. The tension builds and it seems as if something is about to happen. And then … well, we don’t want to say too much.

Watson said Tuesday that she was among those who advocated on behalf of the scene. “I was on the ‘love it’ side of the debate,” the actress said.

Watson has a very close friendship with Rowling and a deep devotion to the writer’s bookshelf universe but she said she is also happy when the films go their own way and fulfill their potential as living, breathing adaptations. She was especially energized, she said, with the openness to improvise lines in these final two films. She said that was a nod to director David Yates and his confidence in the cast after taking over the franchise with the fifth movie. “He did let us improvise this time more than ever and he showed a lot of trust in us,” Watson said of herself and co-stars Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. “He didn’t have to do that but I think it paid off. It was good for us as actors. In a way it made it feel like it made the movie more about us, the three characters, I mean.”

It was time to hang up but I asked Watson one last thing — how hard is it to say goodbye to Hermione? “I think all three of us are really ready to move on now. We’re very proud of the work we’ve done. But we’re ready for a break.”

— Geoff Boucher


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23 Responses to ‘Harry Potter’ countdown: Emma Watson says controversial scene ‘divided the crew’

  1. Erick says:

    This is just another sign that the Harry/Hermione scenes in the movies and books were real, and now WB is trying to address the relationship and finish it in a good and subtle way to let the public know that they are not the it-couple of HP… as they should be!

    HHr. Forever =)

  2. Landon Bales says:

    Frontal nudity in a Harry Potter film? I don't think so.

  3. HP LOVER says:

    Obviously all you said is not true because thousands of people have read these books and still do. does this make your day to comment on someone's life's work so negatively?

  4. MarlinMorales says:

    I love the books, really like the films. The scene described above shouldn't be in it. I think it will just confuse those who didn't bother to read the books. All the past films had something missing or something changed from its novel. Couldn't this be the one time that WB does everything right?? I understand the wanting of some liberty, but still, the story has already been set down… so it should be followed.__I'm looking into the Broken Wand thing and see what is its deal.

  5. C.Michael says:

    You tried so hard to come across as intelligent and superior in this post, and I'm afraid you failed miserably at both. "Too cowardly to stand up to so-called "fans" of hers who, like her, never read the books!"? That has to be one of the most asinine statements I've ever read. Yes – millions of copies of the books were sold, but nobody actually read them. It's a conundrum. And authors really need to "read" their own books, because everybody knows that what they write is actually a complete mystery to them.

    All of which, by the way, is the subject of a ridiculous post on the Internet (release date from stupidity nowhere in sight) titled Who Cares? – Or, How the Internet Has Been Taken Over By The Insane.

  6. Jeff H says:

    Gee, T.Wolf58D-get up on the wrong side of the broom today? You were probably the one in class on test day who said to the teacher "Hey, the answers are in the back of the test!"

  7. EaM says:

    I'm interested; what were the continuity errors and self-plagiarism you feel were so rampant in Rowling's books?

  8. L Adams says:

    The books were wonderful, as have been the movies. They complement each other beautifully – the movies are not literal translations of the books but are close enough to respect Rowling's vision. They also add a new dimension to the books. It will be sad when the last movie is released next summer, but it's been a fantastic ride! Thank you so much, J.K. Rowling!

  9. Guest says:

    This is totally silly. When I watched the scene described in this post I was expecting something racy…a kiss, an almost kiss…something! Two friends dancing and laughing and then hanging onto each other was very sweet, but not a major departure from the storyline or the physical contact between Watson/Radcliffe in the other movies. Harry and Hermione were always good friends, and this scene really wasn't anything to get excited over. MUCH more racy was the "imaginary" Harry and Hermione making out when the locket is opened and Ron's fears are visualized.

  10. george says:

    This was a scene where they wanted to show the true friendship hermione and harry had,Hermione on all the books and movies always show bravery and wit about her but I think all she had built in her started to show and she was really getting down so what does a friend do is help her to release all of it and Harry did it in music and dance and if you notice her face was changing from sad to being happy so that what they had in mind when putting this in

    • Maria Elena says:

      i am totally agreed with you. i think they did not have any misunderstanding about their feelings..they were always just very good friends and he just tried to show their love and support. obviously they love each other and is shown through the years of unconditional friendship but is only a friendly or rather a brotherly love. in that scene you can feel it in their faces.

  11. Diana says:


    Don't feed it, it'll trash the whole comments section.

  12. djg says:

    I thought the scene worked well. However, that time probably could have been used to save mroe important scenes from the book.

  13. dnash0185 says:

    just so you know t wolf 58d, you're a git.

  14. Ivor moan says:

    While you complain about JKR not reading and the continuity you should also point out that the screen writer seems to have missed out on reading any of the books at all. Because lets face it he left out most of the best of the Harry/Hermione relationship and filled the gaps with rubish from his own mind that had nothing to do with the books.

  15. David Padwick says:

    I liked the scene and thought it was a nice change of pace from all the darkness and despair the 3 were going through, but as said above the time could have been used for a more important plot scene. I mean, how could they leave out kreachers tale, that would have been amazing to see and very important to the story!!

  16. Churst says:

    You've got to be kidding. Self-promotion is one thing, Mr. Wolf, but this is absolutely ridiculous.

  17. Paul says:

    haters gonna hate

  18. Kelly says:

    You know if you really get what the scene is trying to portray, then it really isn’t so bad. It’s not ment to be romantic or suggestive in any way. Its more like all this crap had been going on and Ron left, they’re out on their own, failing at finding any horcruxes and everything is being taken so seriously. And then Harry gets the idea to just goof off with hermione a bit, something neither really has done since they were at hogwarts. Back when they had no real responsibility and things were not nearly as bad as they are now. The scene is more or less supposed to be a “remember back when” more than anything else.

  19. leanne says:

    there is no need for you to be rude. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you have to spread your negativity to the rest of the world. Do us all a favor and get a hobby.

  20. AAA says:

    I was just upset that they left out the scene with the confrontation between Lupin and Harry in Grimmauld Place. I thought that was an important, emotional scene that would have been great material for David Thewlis and Daniel Radcliffe. Unfortunately they instead chose to add in scenes that were not even in the book and spent too much time filming landscapes (some of which were CGI apparently). Although I liked the dance scene and thought the landscapes were beautiful, I would have much rather had the director actually use all the talented and celebrated actors that have been casted in the Harry Potter series. I mean really, you cannot deny that the Harry Potter series has one of the greatest casts ever (how often do you see actors like Michael Gambon, Gary Oldman, Dame Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis, Jason Isaacs, Ralph Fiennes, etc. together in one movie/franchise?). It's just sad to see such great talent go to waste.

  21. Mimi says:

    I liked the scene alot. I remember feeling depressed and serious and getting caught up with the swirls of dark emotions while I was watching the movie in the cinema. Then when the dance scene came on, I felt something light inside my heart. For seven films, the three characters were best friends who showed their loyalty to each other by going through everything together but they never got the chance to just show the more beautiful side of it. I mean, Harry and Hermione didn't even need to say anything. They just share the silence and the momentary joy. I think I read somewhere in the Internet, a long time ago, that " A friend is someone whom you can share silence with and need not be afraid about it" or something like that. But then again I don't remember the detailed storyline from the book that much so I must say that I agree with some of you- they should've included some more important scenes and somehow keep the dance scene too. My opinion.

  22. Mimi says:

    Oh, and by the way, I have a dream of becoming an author myself. I'm still schooling so I don't know when I will start and if it's good, hehe. But it's people like Mr.Wolf up there who scare me- the kind of people who do not like something and, by some strange enchantment, gets angry and frustrated that others do. Books are one of my best friends and I have always admired authors like JK, and some stories are just so lovely to me that I want to write up my own, but just say that if it gets famous, I would be very hurt by this sort of people. If you don't like it, then why even bother coming here? I'm not a Twilight fan for example (sorry Twilighters) and I've never even googled for any articles about Twilight or searched for its behind-the scenes if I don't feel like it because I respect the people who love it (though some are very annoying). It's simple. The only one making it complicated is the person who hates and cannot accept that. Huh.

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