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Harry, Hermione and Ron!
It must have been a huge responsibility to portray the beloved characters of Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione in the filmed version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone but the three young actors chosen for the task were up to the challenge. In a huge mansion in England which was stuffed with "Potter" props like cauldrons, pictures, tables, etc, the press met with "Harry" (Daniel Radcilffe, 12), "Ron" (Rupert Grint, 13) and "Hermione" (Emma Watson, 11). The actors talked about how they got their dream roles, pranks they pulled on the set and how they are dealing with their sudden fame.
AGW: Where were you when you learned you got the parts?
Daniel: I was in the bath and my dad just got a call and he just told me they wanted me to play Harry Potter and I just cried. It was so cool.
Emma: David (the producer) invited Rupert and I to his office and we sat down really casual and he said 'you've got the part'. Oh my God, I so shocked. I just stood there for five minutes going 'pinch me'. I couldn't believe it. I think I did a lot of auditions.
Rupert: It was really strange. I can't remember most of it because I was in awe. Amazing but one of the greatest moments of my life.
Director Chris Columbus says that it was magic when these three young actors were grouped together. "The final screen test was different groupings. We put Dan with different Rons and Hermiones. We needed to see who had chemistry. When the three got together in front of the camera you just knew it. They fit together".
AGW: Daniel, we've heard that your parents weren't that hot on your playing this part. How did that change?
Daniel: They weren't really reluctant to me playing it. When I audition, I always get my hopes up really high. They knew there were thousands of boys auditioning and it was pretty unlikely I'd get the part. They didn't want me to get my hopes up and then be really upset about it.
AGW: Emma, you have really big hair in the film which is obviously different from your real looks, so congratulations on that. (She laughs).
Emma: They used a little bit of hair extensions and fluffed it up a bit and I had to braid it and it made it go poofy.
AGW: How hard was it on you to become Hermione and were you threatened by having to live up to everyone's expectations of the character, by having to be a role model?
Emma: It was the scariest thing that's ever happened to me. It's the biggest thing that's ever happened to me and the best thing. I've really enjoyed making the film. I'd love to think that people would see me as a role model. That's pretty cool.
AGW: Rupert, this was your first big onscreen experience. What was it like for you?
Rupert: It is really weird but so fun. I had such a brilliant time. It was so different from what I normally did.
AGW: Daniel, you are now going to be the most famous kid actor in the world. Have you thought about that?
Daniel: I think that would be fun but I'm just doing to take it as it comes and see what happens. If that is the case, then it would just be fun.
AGW: Daniel, kids all over the world have identified with Harry Potter. Have you? Why do you think he's so interesting?
Daniel: I think the reason everybody seems to identify with him is because other than the fact he's a wizard, he's a really normal person and I think it's also the fact that he goes from being nothing to something really huge and famous and very important in the wizard world. I think he's inspired a lot of people including me. I admire that he's very loyal to all his friends. I think that's one of the most important things you can be and that's what Harry is.
AGW: For all of you, what was the most fun or best thing about making the film?
Rupert: I was a really big Harry Potter fan. And Ron was my favorite character so it was wicked to play him in the film. I just love acting. The acting part was best.
Emma: Rupert just nicked that out of my head. No, at the very beginning I was fanatic about Harry Potter. I was already in the middle of the third book. I loved acting. I've been in every school play possible. The best thing? People I work with. They been so nice to me and made sure that the time I spent doing this amazing film was very good.
Daniel: I have to say also, the people that I worked with. They made the last year of my life the most fantastic and exciting I've ever had, most inspirational one.
AGW: Daniel, this wasn't your first film. How does it compare with playing David Copperfield?
Daniel: It's similar but on a much wider, huger scale. More stunts which is cool.
AGW: All of you, what are you doing to try to prepare yourself for all the attention and fame the film will bring you?
Emma: My friends are a big part of my (hanging onto a normal life). I'm so grateful for my friends because they've treated me as a normal person. They know me as Emma and don't go around calling me Hermione Granger. My parents are being really good about it. They made me feel that if I didn't get the part I was just as special as if I did.
Rupert: All my brothers, sisters and friends have made my life so much more normal. Every time I come off the set I'm a normal kid again because of them. One brother and three sisters. I still have arguments with my brother sometimes. The little ones don't really understand.
Daniel: I have such a normal life. I see my friends really regularly. I do the same school work they do. Again, everybody on the set has helped me remain normal. I rarely get recognized as well so that's cool.
AGW: But don't you secretly want to be famous?
Emma: I don't like the idea of everyone in the whole entire world knowing my face or everyone coming up to me and saying 'oh my God. You're the girl who plays Hermione'. I enjoy being normal.
Daniel: I think I do want to be famous but I want to lead a normal life in that I still see my friends and I still do my schoolwork. But, at the same time, I'm inspired by a lot of famous people who have done so well.
Rupert: Being famous is wicked but it's cool to be normal as well.
AGW: How was working with special effects like filming the Quidditch match?
Daniel: It was very surreal playing Quidditch because you see it in your mind in the book so clearly then you see it in the film and it's just the same. It was amazing. We went so fast on those broomsticks. All I can tell you is we were up very high. It was cool!
Rupert: The effects were the bits that made it so fun. The dog drool, that was kind of disgusting but it was wicked and brilliant. Don't know what it was (made out of).
Emma: In one of my stunts, I had to climb up out of a cubicle 30 centimeters. It was like being in the army. It was really hard work. I think that day I swallowed 50 percent dust and 50 percent food. It was great fun.
AGW: You all must have grown a lot during filming.
Emma: I grew three and a half inches during the film.
Daniel: Probably about three or four inches.
Rupert: I've grown a bit.
AGW: Emma, you are sort of the only girl in the film. How was that?
Emma: It was sort of hard being the only girl in a film for six months. Hermione's got to be very "nose up'. I think that's the whole of her charisma. If she didn't have that, she'd be normal and it's what creates her really. The fact that she's so 'Well, I'm right and you're wrong'. I love that in her.
AGW: If you could have a wizard spell in real life which would it be?
Daniel: I have two choices. I've got invisibility. It would be so cool to be able to go out anywhere without people knowing. And the other would be Fluffy the three-headed dog because, with him, nobody would try to fight me.
Rupert: The sweets and just being a wizard as well.
AGW: Did you believe in magic before the movie?
Daniel: I always believed in magic 100 percent and I've always been fascinated by it.
Emma: I never really thought of it. When someone says to me 'magic' I think of a white rabbit and a black hat. I'm not superstitious. Like I only read horoscopes for fun.
Rupert: After being in Harry Potter, I believe more in magic than I did before.
AGW: Do you think that all this sorcery is leading kids down the wrong path?
Daniel: Well it's not about sorcery, it's about the idea of good over evil and the idea of redeeming love because it's Harry's mother's love for him that saves him from Voldemort.
AGW: Daniel, are you a wrestling fan and, all of you, what kinds of music do you listen to or what's fun to do?
Daniel: I was a huge fan of WWF. Since I've done Harry, there's not as much time (to watch). I like The Rock. Music? I like U-2, REM, Stereophonics, JJ72. I like lots of bands.
Emma: I love music. I like Dido. My dad always played loads of Chuck Berry and blues when I was little so I like that stuff as well. I don't like classical or opera but I enjoy all the latest stuff on the radio. Different types.
Rupert: I hang with my friends, go to the cinema and I play football sometimes.
AGW: Who were your fantasy heroes before Harry Potter?
Daniel: I like the idea of Spiderman because being able to climb with the webby thing is cool.
Emma: My heroes are actors and actresses. I like Julia Roberts. I like Goldie Hawn, John Cleese.
AGW: Okay, Emma, in 7 years, throughout these "Potter" films, who is Hermione going to end up with, Harry or Ron?
Emma: This is so embarrassing. I have no idea. I reckon I'm going to be single. I believe that Hermione will end up single.
AGW: Was there anyone who was intimidating, like Alan Rickman or Robbie Coltrane?
Daniel: No, they've both got dry sense of humors. They're both very funny. Robbie Coltrane's got a great sense of humor which is a good thing because at one point I changed the language on his mobile phone to Turkish.
AGW: Can you tell us about some more fun on the set?
Daniel: The lady in charge of the hair has this thing where you type in the letters and print them out and you can stick them on people. So we printed out loads of "kick me's" and put them on Robbie Coltrane's back (Robbie plays groundskeeper Hagrid). After several kicks he found out. Hey, Emma stuck it on him. It was my idea.
Emma: He laughed. He's got the best sense of humor ever. He's a great person. He thought it was fun.
AGW: You are now making the second film. Things must be different from making the first.
Daniel: Over the year we got to know one another very well. So we're kind of like a family. Each year we just reunite. It's fun.
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