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.
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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