Dan Radcliffe: “We’re the French Resistance”

May 06, 2007

Posted by: SueTLC


The L.A. Times has a brand new interview with actor Dan Radcliffe about working on the set of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In this lengthy new feature on the fifth Harry Potter film, which also contains new quotes from director David Yates confirming again his return to the helm of the Half-Blood Prince movie, as well as quips from actress Emma Watson and producer David Heyman, Dan Radcliffe talks about the pivotal battle in the ministry between Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)

As these two great wizards parry and thrust their dueling wands, shooting out spells and, for now, imaginary rivers of fire that will meet and crash together like sparking electrical currents, off-camera wind machines blast and tug at their robes. Cowering to one side, Daniel Radcliffe’s terrified, ashen-faced Harry Potter recoils from the pyrotechnics exploding above his head, smaller, tributary spells that rat-a-tat-tat the walls like machine-gun fire.

“It’s a very intense scene,” says Radcliffe during a break in filming the sequence, part of the climax to “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which premieres July 11. “Harry’s so out of his depth, he’s emotionally pretty much destroyed by this point and given up all hope.”

The political under themes of the movie are on the mind of the cast and crew, but producer David Heyman says while it is present, its not the entire focus of the movie, noting “”There’s no question there are political aspects to this story.” I don’t want to give the impression it’s a political film. It’s an entertainment.” However Dan Radcliffe and David Yates have a bit more to say on the nature of the politics found in the fifth movie.

“We’re the French Resistance,” he explains of Dumbledore’s Army, “and Voldemort and the Death Eaters are the Nazis. Obviously, in a magical context.” Not that his analogies end there. “Harry’s like a Vietnam veteran,” he says. “He’s seen awful things and come back into a society that’s rejected him. That’s the main parallel I’ve been drawing on.” Fudge, meanwhile, he equates to Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair.

“Dan’s absolutely right,” says Yates several months later in his Soho office. “What Fudge does is he spins everything all the time. He’s a great manipulator of information, and there is a bit of Blair about Fudge.”

Finally, as reported previously this week, David Yates again mentions his return to direct the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as he says

“I know Alfonso and Mike, when they came out, they were kind of shredded, but I’ve come out feeling invigorated,” Yates says. “And I don’t think I’m quite done with this world yet. These can be great films about childhood. The next one’s full of sexual politics, and the kids are getting better as actors, and I want to push them even more. This one’s quite lyrical and intense. The next one is more fun.”

He grins. “I’ve had more fun in the last two years than I’ve had making anything. The whole thing’s slightly addictive. It’s difficult to let go.”

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.