THE MAGIC CIR­CLE

Empire (UK) - - HARRY POTTER: AN EMPIRE HISTORY - AS TOLD TO JONATHAN PILE, OLLY RICHARDS, BEN TRAVIS ILLUSTRATION JACEY

The fran­chise’s four directors re­group in 2018 to tell the story of how they made movie his­tory

Eight films. Four directors. The men who guided Harry Pot­ter through a decade of movies re­con­vene to tell the com­plete story for the first time

Back in 1997, pro­ducer David Hey­man read a chil­dren’s book about a boy wiz­ard that had been rec­om­mended to him by his as­sis­tant. He quickly bought the film rights, and not a mo­ment too soon — it be­came a pub­lish­ing phe­nom­e­non, and his search for a di­rec­tor be­gan.

Chris Colum­bus: It was my daugh­ter Eleanor who in­tro­duced me to Harry Pot­ter. She was adamant I read the books, but I ig­nored her. They just weren’t what I was look­ing for at the time. In fact, I was look­ing for al­most any­thing else, from a com­edy to a char­ac­ter-driven drama. Just some­thing a lit­tle more grounded in re­al­ity, some­thing that wouldn’t in­volve so many vis­ual ef­fects. I just wasn’t in­ter­ested.

But then, even­tu­ally, I did read them. And, of course, that’s when I re­alised it wouldn’t be about vis­ual ef­fects, first and fore­most it would be about these phe­nom­e­nal char­ac­ters. That’s when I called my agent and said, “I see these films. Visu­ally I have a way of get­ting into these books. I’d love to take a meet­ing with Warner Bros. to talk about them.” And she said: “Get in line.” There were 22 or 23 directors coming in ahead of me. So I got to work.

I made sure I would have the last meet­ing of all the directors, and I took Steve Kloves’ bril­liant script and did a re­write — ba­si­cally adding stage di­rec­tions and cam­era move­ments, and ex­plain­ing how I would shoot the film. And when I walked into the meet­ing I said, “I want you to know I’ve rewrit­ten this free of charge. And it’s yours to do with what­ever you want.” (That was a shock to them. In Hol­ly­wood, no-one does any­thing for free.) But we had that meet­ing, and then an­other meet­ing, and six weeks later they said, “Okay. You’ve got the job. Prob­a­bly. But, you do have one fi­nal meet­ing — in Scot­land, with J.K. Rowl­ing.”

It was that meet­ing that was the most nerve-rack­ing of the en­tire process. This was a time be­fore you had a lot of ac­cess to in­ter­net news ar­ti­cles, so I had no idea what she looked like. I was pic­tur­ing Miss Marple. But we met in Ed­in­burgh with David Hey­man, the pro­ducer, and she was just charm­ing, funny, and we hit it off im­me­di­ately. I talked her through my vision for the movie, and at the end she said, “Yeah, I see it ex­actly the same way.” And so we were off and run­ning.

Of course, at this point I felt a tremen­dous amount of re­lief, but it also felt a lot like the end­ing of the Robert Red­ford film The Can­di­date — Je­sus Christ! Now what? I’ve got to de­liver.

At the begin­ning it was ba­si­cally the four of us — Jo Rowl­ing, David Hey­man, Steve Kloves and my­self. We spent count­less hours talk­ing about the film. I wanted Hog­warts to have a time­less feel and — it’s an odd thing to say about a fan­tasy film — to ground it in the real world so ev­ery kid who saw the movie could feel that, ac­tu­ally, maybe they could at­tend Hog­warts. We knew the books were go­ing to get darker, so we made the first film this glo­ri­ous, Tech­ni­color sto­ry­book fan­tasy.

We put to­gether an in­cred­i­bly talented crew, and had sev­eral artists work­ing on ev­ery el­e­ment of the movie, whether it was the Snitch, or the Sort­ing Hat, or the troll that comes into the bath­room. There were so many ver­sions of each of those things, and ev­ery day it was ex­cit­ing to look at these draw­ings and make changes. It was a fun part of mak­ing the movie. And the other re­ally great part was the cast­ing; meet­ing all these ac­tors I had been en­thralled by my en­tire life. We went back­stage when Mag­gie Smith was do­ing The Lady In The Van and had champagne with her as we talked about Mcg­o­na­gall. We went out to din­ner with Richard Har­ris, who told us he’d stopped drink­ing, then pro­ceeded to drink six pints. I said, “I thought you’d stopped.” He said, “No, no — just the hard stuff. I stopped drink­ing whisky.”

And then there was Alan Rick­man. He was a lit­tle re­luc­tant be­cause he didn’t want to be type­cast as a vil­lain, so we were talk­ing about other peo­ple. Iron­i­cally, Gary Old­man was one, as was Tim Roth. But David put Alan in touch with J.K. Rowl­ing, who told him his char­ac­ter arc — he knew, be­fore we started shoot­ing the first frame, what would hap­pen to Snape at the end of the sev­enth book. No-one else knew, and that’s what con­vinced him.

“CHRIS COLUM­BUS HAD DONE AN AMAZ­ING JOB CRE­AT­ING THE [HARRY POT­TER ] WORLD, WHICH I DON’T THINK HE’S GIVEN ENOUGH CREDIT FOR.” AL­FONSO CUARÓN

And of course, there’s the kids, who are phe­nom­e­nal. The first film was ba­si­cally tak­ing them through act­ing class — teach­ing them how to per­form on cam­era. By the sec­ond they were much more com­fort­able, so it freed me up as a film­maker to be much more ad­ven­tur­ous — to do track­ing shots or use hand­held cam­eras and Steadicams. It was very lib­er­at­ing.

How­ever, by the time I fin­ished the sec­ond film, I was truly ex­hausted. About two weeks into the first film, when they’d seen the dailies, Warn­ers said, “We’d like you to do as many of the films as you want to do.” But I couldn’t do any more. The first film was 160 shoot­ing days, then we had a tiny break be­fore jump­ing straight into Cham­ber Of Se­crets, which was an­other 160 shoot­ing days. They’re 12- to 14-hour days — I ba­si­cally lived in London all of that time, saw my kids on week­ends and rarely saw day­light. We were pretty far into Cham­ber Of Se­crets when I de­cided. I told David first, then I told Steve Kloves. He’d al­most fin­ished the Azk­a­ban script and said, “Just read it be­fore you say no.” But I didn’t — I didn’t want him to think it would have any­thing to do with the script. I was just phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally spent.

But the Pot­ter films are two of my favourite films I’ve ever been in­volved with — three, ac­tu­ally, if I count my work as pro­ducer on the third one. The great thing about the first film is it cre­ated the world. And noth­ing is more fun for me, as a di­rec­tor, than be­ing able to say, 18 years down the line, that I was part of cre­at­ing this whole uni­verse. That’s a feel­ing of pride I’ll never lose.

With the cin­e­matic Wiz­ard­ing World estab­lished, and the books start­ing to get darker, David Hey­man made what was seen at the time as a sur­prise de­ci­sion when he hired Al­fonso Cuarón, the Mex­i­can di­rec­tor of A Lit­tle Princess, to take charge of the third film. But it proved to be an in­spired choice.

Al­fonso Cuarón: I have to ad­mit this — when I first got the call about di­rect­ing Pris­oner Of Azk­a­ban from my agent, I was ig­no­rant of what Harry Pot­ter was about. I’d been mak­ing Y Tu Mamá Tam­bién and then started writ­ing Chil­dren Of Men,

so while I knew it was a huge thing — I wasn’t com­pletely

obliv­i­ous — I wasn’t re­ally fa­mil­iar with it, so I just dis­missed it. Yeah, what­ever, that’s not my thing. Then I men­tioned it to Guillermo del Toro.

We were on the phone talk­ing about this and that and

I said, “By the way, there’s the pos­si­bil­ity of Harry Pot­ter,”

and he got so up­set that I’d dis­missed it. He called me “flaco”

— “skinny”. “You fuck­ing skinny ar­ro­gant bas­tard,” al­though in stronger words. He said, “You’re go­ing to go down to the shop now to get the books. Read them im­me­di­ately. Then call me back.”

Now, if Guillermo tells you that, you have to do it.

And when I’d read them I called him back and he said, “You see?” And I did. I called David Hey­man, who I’d known for a few years, to say I was in­ter­ested and was sent the screen­play. And when I saw what an amaz­ing job Steve Kloves had done, I started ad­just­ing my ship and think­ing about the pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Of course, I was do­ing num­ber three in an al­ready beloved fran­chise. Chris Colum­bus had done an amaz­ing job cre­at­ing the world, which I don’t think he’s given enough credit for. He cre­ated the foun­da­tions of what Harry Pot­ter was later on. And I mean the most im­por­tant things — the de­sign and the cast. It’s beau­ti­fully cast. And I was lucky to be able to par­tic­i­pate in the process of build­ing up the char­ac­ters for the rest of the se­ries, adding David Thewlis, Ti­mothy Spall, Emma Thomp­son and, of course, Gary Old­man. Gary gave such amaz­ing soul to Sir­ius Black. It could have been no­body else but him — you need that amaz­ing in­ten­sity and dan­ger, but then, in time, this huge heart.

So while I couldn’t be­tray the ex­pec­ta­tions of the fan­hood, I wanted to make it my own be­cause I think it would have been dis­re­spect­ful to take the job and then just do it by the num­bers. I couldn’t do that — that’s not the di­rec­tor I am. And one thing I wanted to do was ground it even more in the real world. What I saw was the cor­re­la­tion be­tween this fan­tasy world and what was go­ing on around me, and my un­der­stand­ing of char­ac­ter and hu­man be­haviour. J.K. Rowl­ing cre­ated this fan­tas­tic uni­verse, but she’s talk­ing about re­al­ity, and is­sues of racism and tyranny. And I tried to hon­our the tone of that. At the time it was the begin­ning of the sec­ond war in Iraq, so it was very pre­scient then, but per­haps even more so now.

Sadly, early on in the process, Richard Har­ris passed away. He was David Hey­man’s god­fa­ther and David would get very up­set when agents would call to sug­gest their ac­tors — for a long time we didn’t even start talk­ing about re­cast­ing Dum­ble­dore. And rightly so. When the time was right, we be­gan think­ing about ac­tors and I im­me­di­ately wanted Michael Gam­bon. He’s an ac­tor

I’d al­ways ad­mired be­cause he has this amaz­ing grav­i­tas, but also this mis­chievous­ness. Even in real life he’s a very mis­chievous per­son. I’m very grate­ful of the job he did, be­cause he did the im­pos­si­ble — be­ing his own Dum­ble­dore, but at the same time be­ing re­spect­ful to Richard Har­ris.

It was a seam­less tran­si­tion.

Shoot­ing a Pot­ter film is a real chal­lenge, but it was also a lot of fun. We had to do those very com­pli­cated scenes with the Time Turner where you have to shoot the same scene twice, just from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, and make sure you’re be­ing con­sis­tent with both of them. And we went to Scot­land to shoot and, well, it’s Scot­land — it rains a lot, so we started to fall be­hind. Ev­ery­one would be very anx­ious to see these dark clouds coming. Ev­ery­one ex­cept the cin­e­matog­ra­pher Mike Seresin and me — they just cre­ated such a beau­ti­ful light. And then the rain would come and we’d put our pon­chos on and just en­joy be­ing in na­ture.

I went into Pris­oner Of Azk­a­ban with no ex­pec­ta­tions. My only hope was to not get fired. But through­out the whole process I felt very com­fort­able in the uni­verse. One of the most mem­o­rable mo­ments was when I found my­self on set stag­ing a scene with Ru­pert Grint, Daniel Rad­cliffe and Emma Wat­son, and also with Alan Rick­man, David Thewlis, Gary Old­man and Ti­mothy Spall. I just thought, “Well, look at this.” What a mo­ment — cre­at­ing this crazy scene where these great ac­tors are talk­ing about a rat who’s turned into a man, and do­ing it with such pas­sion and con­vic­tion. I was so in awe.

I was of­fered the next one, but I just felt I would have out­stayed my welcome — that I would have re­peated my­self, and that what I’d be able to learn on Harry Pot­ter, I’d al­ready learned. I did Azk­a­ban with so much love, and I’m so grate­ful for ev­ery­thing the film did. I re­mem­ber it with such joy.

Mike Newell: The Harry Pot­ter pro­duc­tion sniffed around me for the first film, but I was busy with Push­ing

Tin at the time. They had a won­der­ful man to make the first two. Un­til Chris Colum­bus came along there wasn’t a wand, no­body knew how to cast a spell, or what Hog­warts looked like. Those first two movies were enor­mously im­por­tant. To my de­light, they came back and said, “Would you be in­ter­ested to read the fourth book?”, be­cause they’d al­ready got Al­fonso [for the third]. I liked it very much in­deed, and off we went.

I ar­rived at the stu­dio in Watford [in 2003] when Al­fonso was still shoot­ing the Knight Bus and what­not. We were all in the same build­ing at the same time, it was one great big stew pot. He was im­mensely gen­er­ous, in­tro­duc­ing me to the way the pro­duc­tion worked. He said, “Watch out, it’s very big.” And it was! He was still shoot­ing, but he’d got a chunk of the movie in a rough cut, and asked me whether I would like to see it. What he’d done was ev­ery­thing I planned to do. He’d made it look darker and more emo­tion­ally com­pli­cated. I felt deeply re­sent­ful that I’d had my thun­der stolen! My first response was, “Oh God, what is my path? He’s taken my path!”

In my first con­ver­sa­tion with Alan Horn, then head of Warner Bros., he’d said, “We want to make two films out of this. It’s a huge book.” I didn’t feel very good about that be­cause I could see this multi-stranded story that could be spun into a sin­gle plot — a char­ac­ter who’s be­ing hunted with­out know­ing it. A para­noid thriller like Three Days Of

The Con­dor and North By North­west.

That meant cer­tain things dropped away — Hermione ag­i­tat­ing for elf rights and stuff like that — which is great, but didn’t fit into this as a thriller. So when Alan Horn fi­nally asked me, “One or two?” I said, “One.” And there we were — Steve Kloves took it with both hands, and we started to work through his script.

This was the first of the films to have the no­tion of death come any­where near the sto­ries. You see Robert Pat­tin­son [play­ing Cedric Dig­gory] at the begin­ning of the film, with his heav­enly good looks, and you just know he’s go­ing to get it

— I saw him as a kind of doomed fighter pi­lot. That grave­yard se­quence in­tro­duces the no­tion of death and an

“WHEN POT­TER ENDED, I FELT EMPTY. IT’S LIKE A BE­REAVE­MENT OF SORTS. SUD­DENLY YOU’RE AT HOME IN THE GAR­DEN WITH A GLASS OF WINE THINK­ING, ‘OH MY GOD, WHAT DO I DO NOW?’” DAVID YATES

ab­so­lutely sav­age vil­lain who shows no hu­man feel­ing. Al­though Ralph Fi­ennes was a hoot.

I don’t re­mem­ber whether we even thought about any­body else for Volde­mort, he was just ob­vi­ous. You don’t find Ralph Fi­ennes — he’s a bit like Mont Blanc, he’s just there. We’d worked to­gether be­fore on a film that we didn’t ac­tu­ally make, so we knew one an­other a bit. He said, “Let me see some stuff” — I think he wanted to see whether this was a ‘proper’ movie, a big, grand, heroic story, or a kids’ film. Ralph sat at the back to watch rushes — I don’t re­mem­ber which se­quence, but it was some­thing heavy­weight. At the end he very quickly said, “Yes, okay.” And we were on.

We had a lot of to­ing and fro­ing about his nose. Shall we leave his nose on, or take it off? I was be­ing very high­fa­lutin — and a pain in the arse, I’m sure — be­cause I said, “Well, it’s his face and he has to ex­press through his face.” And David Hey­man said, “Yeah, but he’s Volde­mort and it says he hasn’t got a nose!” I was pro-nose, and al­most ev­ery­body else I sub­se­quently dis­cov­ered, in­clud­ing Ralph him­self, was anti-nose. So I was happy to lose it.

We also had to cast ‘Mad-eye’ Moody. I’d al­ways had Brendan Gleeson in mind be­cause we’d worked on Into The West — he’s a won­der­ful heavy­weight ac­tor and tremen­dous comic. Mad-eye is just a great, great name. There was a lot of to­ing and fro­ing about how we were go­ing to do it, and we ac­tu­ally made a me­chan­i­cal eye with all sorts of elec­tron­ics in­side that could swivel and spin, which he strapped on his head. All Ir­ish ac­tors are just great, and Brendan is one of the very, very, very best. I had to go to Dublin and talk him into it, but he was al­ready there re­ally be­cause his kid told him it was a great part.

The film had an ex­tended post-pro­duc­tion pe­riod and a tremen­dous amount of com­pli­cated VFX — so I sim­ply wasn’t able to start the next one. I’m sure that David Hey­man, a very savvy tac­ti­cian, saw that — and saw that he wanted some­body to run the whole se­ries to the end. He didn’t want to take the juice out of num­ber four in or­der to get five go­ing. So he tasked some­body else. I took David Yates out to lunch and said, “This is what Al­fonso did for me. Here’s how the show runs.” I took him through the whole pro­duc­tion and warned him where the boggy bits were.

When we were fi­nally close to lock­ing the cut, we showed it to a test au­di­ence who didn’t know what they were see­ing. I was sit­ting in the au­di­ence sur­rounded by peo­ple, and there was a lit­tle kid in front of me, prob­a­bly ten or 12. The in­vig­i­la­tor said, “Thank you very much, ladies and gen­tle­men, for coming along. The film we’re show­ing you is Harry Pot­ter And The Goblet Of Fire.” And this kid turned around to his dad and pumped his fist and said, “YES! YES!” That was by far the most sat­is­fy­ing mo­ment — much more than the pre­mieres. Al­though they were a treat, es­pe­cially the one in Sofia. Stanislav Ianevski, the Bul­gar­ian guy who played Krum, ap­peared on the screen, and the whole thing ground to a halt be­cause peo­ple were ap­plaud­ing and scream­ing.

What was sad, though, was that Jo Rowl­ing couldn’t be there for our first night in London. Her hus­band was sick and she had to stay up in Ed­in­burgh. I’m vain and I wanted her to like it, which of course she did, and sent mes­sages and all of that kind of stuff. But I wanted her there. Al­fonso was at the London pre­miere and he was very gen­er­ous. He came up and said, “Christ, it’s so big.” And it is, it’s a big film. I was ter­ri­bly pleased to hear that from him, be­cause he had been so sweet to me when I very first joined. And my kids liked it, so that was nice, too.

The fifth film saw David Yates hired to di­rect. Pre­vi­ously some­one who’d worked pre­dom­i­nantly in TV, he was an­other sur­pris­ing choice by Hey­man, but one that worked — he would ul­ti­mately di­rect the rest of the se­ries.

David Yates: I think Warner Bros. was look­ing for a di­rec­tor who could make it feel a lit­tle bit more grown-up. In the novel of Or­der Of The Phoenix, Harry is go­ing through his angsty teenage years — he’s be­com­ing re­bel­lious and get­ting an­gry with ev­ery­body and ev­ery­thing — so it ac­tu­ally felt to me like a very nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion from the work I’d been do­ing on tele­vi­sion. I could come into this fab­u­lously fun world and start to root it, es­pe­cially some of the teenage re­la­tion­ships and what Harry was

deal­ing with, in a way that hadn’t quite been done be­fore. What’s mar­vel­lous about the books is that they’re re­ally en­ter­tain­ing, but they’re full of life lessons. How to deal with a bully. How to deal with los­ing some­one you love. How to deal with lone­li­ness and iso­la­tion. They’re road maps for life, fun­da­men­tally.

What hap­pens quite of­ten on these Hol­ly­wood movies, which is easy on one level, is they hire a di­rec­tor whose work they love, then they bring them in and try to con­trol them or get scared of any­thing that feels a bit dif­fer­ent. To David Hey­man’s credit and the stu­dio’s credit, they were just gungho from the get-go about let­ting me do what I wanted to do. I think that’s a tes­ta­ment to the fact that the movies were at that point very suc­cess­ful.

One thing I hadn’t re­ally dealt with be­fore was vis­ual ef­fects, but you just dive in and learn along the way. The very first vis­ual-ef­fects se­quence I di­rected was a se­quence with Grawp, the gi­ant. We sched­uled it in the first two weeks, which was a big mis­take. I had no idea how dif­fi­cult it was go­ing to be to get your head around that stuff, so to be­gin with we only man­aged two or three shots a day. It was so time-con­sum­ing. By the time I got to the fi­nal Pot­ter, Deathly Hal­lows — Part 2, rather than rig­or­ously sto­ry­board­ing ev­ery­thing, there was a flu­id­ity and I had a short­hand with Tim Burke, the vis­ual ef­fects su­per­vi­sor. There was one se­quence where Dan, Ru­pert and Emma are run­ning through the for­est try­ing to avoid giants and spi­ders and good­ness knows what else. We just riffed with it, to the point that I had the con­fi­dence to know that I could swing the cam­era round and then put a gi­ant in there later, then spin it the other way and have a spi­der jump in. By the end of it I felt very con­fi­dent about what we could achieve in post on the fly. When I watch Or­der Of The Phoenix now, it feels very care­fully worked and a bit earnest, whereas Deathly Hal­lows — Part 2 has more flu­id­ity and flow, be­cause by that point I was able to un­der­stand that I could ba­si­cally do any­thing I wanted.

One of my favourite things from the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence was show­ing Deathly Hal­lows — Part 1 to the stu­dio. It was ba­si­cally a del­i­cate road movie with not a lot of magic. It was quite in­tense and it was kids hang­ing out and hav­ing tea in a tent for half of it. I loved tak­ing the kids out of school and put­ting them in the real world. Also, ex­plor­ing the no­tion of death and dy­ing. Jo was never, ever afraid of that in the books. Death hap­pens again and again. In Or­der Of The Phoenix,

Harry loses Sir­ius. At the end of Half-blood Prince, Dum­ble­dore dies. Dobby’s dead at the end of Deathly Hal­lows — Part I. Then a num­ber of char­ac­ters die at the end of Deathly Hal­lows — Part 2. This no­tion of go­ing through this ritual of death and deal­ing with it and then re­fo­cus­ing on the present, to re­alise that things must go on, is one of the things that an­chors them in our real-world ex­pe­ri­ence. That wasn’t some­thing I knew was a theme when I started, but the books kept coming out and peo­ple kept cop­ping it!

I got to in­tro­duce some won­der­ful char­ac­ters. I love Slughorn, Jim Broad­bent. And, of course, Imelda Staunton as Dolores Um­bridge. She was fab­u­lously fun. Um­bridge is quite a sav­age por­trayal of author­ity and there’s some­thing so funny and ab­surd about her. At the same time as she’s funny and ab­surd she can be a to­tal mon­ster. There’s a mes­sage in that, which is never un­der­es­ti­mate the peo­ple in author­ity, no mat­ter how ab­surd they may seem. My favourite char­ac­ter mo­ment, though, is a tiny one but it meant a lot be­cause I’d worked with Dan, Ru­pert and Emma for five or six years by the time it hap­pened. It’s the mo­ment when Ron and Hermione kiss at the end of Deathly Hal­lows — Part 2. The au­di­ence was long­ing for these two char­ac­ters to fi­nally con­nect with each other. Ru­pert and Emma were like brother and sis­ter and best friends by that point, and it was such a nerve-rack­ing mo­ment for both of them. That sort of crys­tallises so much of the ap­peal of those movies and Jo’s sto­ries. They’re writ­ten on huge can­vases and with big fire­works and lots of spec­ta­cle, but fun­da­men­tally they’re about the small hu­man mo­ments and the de­tail. They’re the things that I think peo­ple came back to see again and again.

There was a real sense of com­mu­nity and fam­ily do­ing those films. Whether it’s the cast or ev­ery­one be­hind the cam­era, there were no prima don­nas. The whole mak­ing of those films was very grounded. It felt like we were mak­ing in­de­pen­dent films, not some gi­ant fran­chise. It was only when you came out of the stu­dio gates and turned up at a red car­pet in Trafalgar Square, which was full of scream­ing fans, you thought, “Oh my God, this is what we’re do­ing. We’re do­ing some­thing that peo­ple around the world want to see.”

When Pot­ter ended, I felt empty. It’s a be­reave­ment of sorts. Sud­denly you’re at home in the gar­den with a glass of wine think­ing, “Oh my God, what do I do now? I need to find a film that can give me as much as these movies do.” There was noth­ing I’d done be­fore that came close to the level of chal­lenge and scale and the de­mands. You’re tested at such an in­tense rate, day to day, that you be­come an adren­a­line junkie. You’re so im­mersed in it. I loved di­rect­ing all four films. I was to­tally in af­ter the first one. Af­ter Or­der Of The Phoenix, I was so bitten by the bug be­cause, and I know this is a cliché, it’s like a big train set. It’s kind of yours. Ev­ery day you come to work and you’ve got all these lovely peo­ple you’re work­ing with. And the sto­ries were get­ting more elab­o­rate. Once I’d done two, I re­ally, re­ally wanted to fin­ish the se­ries, see the jour­ney through to the end. I be­came ad­dicted to it, to an un­healthy de­gree in some ways. By the end of di­rect­ing four of them, I was so knack­ered that I needed a year to find my­self again, but it was too dif­fi­cult to walk away. That’s the truth.

Far right: Di­rec­tor Al­fonso Cuarón on a snowy Pris­oner Of Azk­a­ban set with Grint, Rad­cliffe and Wat­son. Mid­dle: Cuarón talks to Rad­cliffe by the Knight Bus.Right: Cuarón and Rad­cliffe listen to Gary Old­man, who plays Sir­ius Black, be­tween takes.

Above left: Di­rec­tor Mike Newell at­tends to Rad­cliffe dur­ing the film­ing of Goblet Of Fire. Left: Newell with the Tri­wiz­ard Tour­na­ment Cup, which fea­tures in Goblet Of Fire. Right: Di­rec­tor David Yates shares a laugh with Grint and Rad­cliffe on the set of Deathly Hal­lows Ñ Part 1.

Above right: Deathly Hal­lows — Part 1: Yates on lo­ca­tion in London with Grint, Wat­son and Rad­cliffe. Above: Yates, Wat­son and Grint in amongst Hog­wart’s de­struc­tion in Deathly Hal­lows — Part 2.

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