Exclusive: Harry Potter interview

David Heyman, producer on the upcoming Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, speaks to us about avoiding pitfalls, muggles and living outside of Hogwarts…

potterDavid Heyman, producer on the upcoming Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, speaks to us about avoiding pitfalls, muggles and living outside of Hogwarts

John Glen directed four James Bond movies in row and a kind of sameness settled in. Is it challenging to make sure that each film has its own coloring when you’ve got the same person directing four Harry Potter films in a row?

We’ve been very conscious of that. I think you’ll see that five and six are very different in spirit, and I think the very nature of seven and the fact that we’re out of Hogwarts and on this very clear sort of path to the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort in itself provides a different color. So there’s no real concern on our part. There’s an awareness of it, absolutely.

Are those differences based more in the novels  themselves?

The novels themselves are quite different. As I say, most of seven takes place outside of Hogwarts. We move to Hogwarts for the last portion of the last act of the movie. Up until then we’re on the road.

Which in itself will make it very different from what’s come before.

And that’s exciting.

These films for the most part have been set in a magical world, but when you’re coming closer and closer to the real world, how challenging is it to make it viable in a real world setting as opposed to magical one, if that makes sense?

Hogwarts itself does not make it magical. I think the thing we are most drawn to is the relationship between the three kids, and that remains and sustains through all the movies, particularly the last two. In a way, what’s so interesting about seven-A is the dynamic between the threesome. For example, this horcrux they’re carrying around affects each of them and that’s wonderful. In terms of the magic, there’s plenty of it. There’s the opening sequence of seven where you’ve got seven Harrys, which is incredibly fun and magical. Then we have a wizard wedding, which is kind of magical. All along the way, when they’re on the run they’re in a tent that on the outside seems small but when you go in it’s substantially larger. Jo’s world, even when they’re not at Hogwarts, is infused with magic, so that’s not really an issue.

But for an audience, I think it will be interesting to see, because there’s much more interaction with the Muggle world.

I think that’s exciting, too. In a way, what we liked about that is that it makes you look around and you can imagine the magic in your world. That’s actually one of the things that works with Jo’s books as well. Even though Hogwarts itself has magical qualities, it is a school like many of the schools that we’ve all been to. It may not look the same, but we’ve all had teachers we get along with and those we haven’t. It’s all grounded in relatable institutions and relationships, and so by placing that magic in the Muggle world, it highlights that. The very fact that magic may be around any corner, makes it that much more magical. I think. We’re having quite a bit of fun playing with that, a little bit in six and a little more in seven. I think it will be really, really good.

Interview: Ed Gross