Rhys Ifans Says He Has Not Yet Read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Jun 03, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

Several weeks ago, TLC first told you that actor Rhys Ifans would be portraying the role of Xenophilius Lovegood, eccentric publisher of the Quibbler magazine, and the father to DA member Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Several times now Rhys Ifans has spoken about his involvement in the series, the most recent in an interview for Wales Radio. Scores of readers have emailed saying a translation of the interview is online via Forum Wales, that reads as follows:

can’t reveal much about the new HP film, which I don’t understand
because the book is out anyway, but I had to sign a clause that I
wouldn’t. However, I play Xenophilus Lovegood, a wizard who is the
father of Luna Lovegood, one of HP’s friends. That’s all I can really
say because I haven’t read the book! There’s been so much money thrown
at the project, with there having been 5 other films. They’re filming
up in Levenshue near Luton in an old Rolls Royce airplane engine
factory. It’s an enormous place, so you walk about and see things like
a zoo full of owls, so if you need an owl for a scene, you pick up the
phone and someone comes across with an owl. It’s a like a machine. I’ve
never been – in America – with an employer of so many people. I’m not a
big fan of HP but it feels like a priviledge to get called up with
people like Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon so it’s an honour that they
thought of me to play a cross-eyed wizard.

TLC believes Rhys has filmed several times already in the part of the flamboyant magazine editor, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One due in theaters Thanksgiving weekend, November, 2010. Thanks so much M for the translation, to Mary, David, Bill, SS, and all who emailed!

77 Responses to Rhys Ifans Says He Has Not Yet Read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Avatar ImageZivlok says: Now, that's a bit harsh. It didn't come across as prideful that he'd never read the books, more like he was excited to get to work along such great actors, and also answering that no, he hadn't read the books. Also, it's very interesting what he said about how the HP "machine" works.Avatar ImageZivlok says: Also, I like how the title of the article is that he hasn't "yet" read HP. Ever the hopeful Hufflepuff, aren't ya, Sue?Avatar ImagePrisoner Of Azkaban says: Hmm, for someone who is meant to be playing a character from a book and not to have read it seems downright short sighted to me. Oh well i guess we will have to wait and see, but i don't think I'm looking forward to seeing him in this part. Isn't this the same dude that played Eyeball Paul in Kevin and Perry go large? :SAvatar ImageKennedyJames says: Well, that's alright, I mean. He'll prolly pick up the book. :/ I still think he's perfect for the part He'll porlly change his mind about some of his opinions once he starts shooting LOLAvatar Imagesueml says: I'm not surprised that he hasn't read the book, and he isn't too young for the role - He's at least 40 yrs. old - and many of these wizards seem to have started having children in their early 20's, so he's actually about the perfect age to be Luna's father (I prefered enjoying my 20s before having children). If I hadn't had children who were interested, I never would have bothered to go out and buy and then read the books. At my age, you initially think they are children's books. I'm very glad I found out otherwise (and I have read them more than once). The actors are hired for their skill and suitability for the role, it doesn't really matter that much if they hadn't read the book. Perhaps he will and will get more insight into the character, but Xenophilius is really not that hard to get a handle on. I'm sure he's a fun character to play.Avatar Imagesaffran says: It will be interesting to see what he does with hes caracter.Avatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: Though he has not read the books, I am more than certain that he will fill the shoes of the character perfectly. Remain optimistic...and let us hope that he will eventually decide to expose himself to these marvelous books.Avatar ImageProfessor Alan Rickman says: To be fair, Rhys isnt the kind of man to read harry potter, he's an actor and a job is a job.Avatar Imagejojojojo says: I think it's disgusting the way so many people are slating Rhys. He's says he's not a "big fan" Who cares if he is a huge fan or not?! It's not a pre-requisite to be one to act in the film. And as for not reading the book, that's hardly a crime either, especially as the scripts deviate from the books. And this doesn't make him ignorant! I bet lots of the other actors haven't read the books!! My mum always told me, if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all. I think Rhys is perfect for the role! He's got a quirky charm which can lend itself well to the role of Mr Lovegood. Avatar ImageLinnyish says: I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be too disastrous if he didn't read the books. Xenophilius, while being very interesting and delightful and such, is not the most complex of characters. It would be far worse if he were playing, you know, Dumbledore... :|Avatar ImageCool Grandma2 says: I actually think he will do a good job. He's great at playing quirky characters. I don't think you have to read the HP books to play this character.Avatar ImageWoodette says: I would hope as an actor...acting out Jo's character, he would want to research his part in order to portray Xeno accuratelyAvatar ImageDances with Dobby says: He sounds good enough for me, but he HAS TO READ THOSE BOOKS PLEASE!!!! It really annoys me when people with big roles don't read the books (yes, I'm talking about you, Michael Gambon) while actrors with the smallest roles ever read them (like the actress cast to play Hermione's mom). I guess his role isn't major, but still, it's bigger than Hermione's mother's role which isn't even in the books. Avatar Imagepotterrock says: I hope that I could read the deathly hallows ..... though he says that he should not be very a fan of harry potter, good interview .... rhys is brilliant for xeno lovegood :)Avatar Image9and3qtrs says: I think he'll do fine a Xeno. He was my favorite in Little Nicky. (Yes, I liked that movie.) I'm sure they have a least suggest he read the parts of the book in which his character is involved. If not, oh well. No the end of the world.Avatar ImageGraymayne says: I don't suppose Evanna will be very impressed by his ignorance, lol. I hope she shows him the error of his ways. Fortunately they don't have much interaction.Avatar ImageZivlok says: Really, Xenophilius isn't that big of a role. Sure, he introduced a bunch of huge plot points, but he's not a character that was developed over multiple books, and from an acting perspective, he only really has two modes: kooky spreader of "knowledge" and worried parent. Anything he needs to know that isn't in the script will probably be explained to him by his "daughter" - Evanna! ;)Avatar ImageMera004 says: I'll be optimistic about it. He doesn't have a huge role, and I'm sure he'll be able to play the part just fine. And perhaps he will happen to pick up the book. :) Avatar ImageNeil in Scotland says: This is pretty disappointing in my book (excuse the pun!). I don't care that he's not a fan, because he's a talented actor, but I do think that he should have at least read the parts of the book with Xeno in, as background research if nothing else. Look at the mess Sir Michael Gambon made of Dumbledore's character in GoF because he hadn't done any reseach to find out what his character is like! Not good!Avatar Imagemystifiedbymuggles says: hes not who i imagined would play the role but i think hes a realy good actor! i dont know if he will be able to resist reading the books once hes played the part and see the films! Avatar ImageWeasleyBoy says: I don't think a lot of adult actors in HP have read the books. His part is quite small. He will certainly have one scene and he's gone ! But he is an actor who knows how to play crazy so that's a good point for him !Avatar ImageMary11_hplvr4l says: how can he nnot be a fan of harry potter? & how can he have not read the books??? how the heck is he supposed to know how exactly his character is?? ugh. but i guess xeno acts like he doesn't know whats going on anyways so it MIGHT work out. my theory is if you are going to do something, do it right.Avatar Imagemaimiaa says: he looks like he'd do a decent job. let's all hope he does.Avatar Imagebadger666 says: While I agree that an actor isn't required to read the books or to be a fan of HP, I do prefer the actors who read the books because it shows that they are taking HP seriously and care about bringing their characters to life in the most accurate way possible. So I hope he reads the books, but if he doesn't, it won't be the end of the world since he's playing a pretty small part. I definitely think all the actors playing main characters should be expected to read the books, though. I mean, part of acting is understanding your character as much as possible and so if you refuse to read the books which have a bunch more descriptions of and insights about your character then that's kind of weird.Avatar ImageHeavenly_Horcrux says: I hope he reads the books. I would think it would give him a better perspective into who he is playing.Avatar Imagesevpatronus_93 says: why are people bashing him for not reading a book? he's not saying he hates the series, he got a role, and he obviously wants to play it. as for the title of the article, HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO READ THE SCRIPT SOMETIME. stop trying to be witty.Avatar Imagesevpatronus_93 says: why are people bashing him for not reading a book? he's not saying he hates the series, he got a role, and he obviously wants to play it. as for the title of the article, HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO READ THE SCRIPT SOMETIME. stop trying to be witty.Avatar ImageR-for-H says: Hm... Interesting to hear wwhat he was sayingAvatar ImageR-for-H says: Hm... Interesting to hear wwhat he was sayingAvatar ImageRin68nyr says: I did picture Luna's father as much older for some reason....not sure why! ErinAvatar Imagemouse68 says: Has it ever occurred to the people who say "what! they haven't read the book" that these actors are busy people, who have their own interests that may not include reading Harry Potter before they get the role in the film? Sure, it's great if they are fans, or if they decide to read the book once they get the role to get some background to it, but when it comes down to it, they are working from the script, not the book, and it is their perogative how they prepare for a role, especially when it comes to a role as relatively minor as Xeno Lovegood. I'm also a bit over all the Michael Gambon bashing, most of which started because of ONE scene in GOF where he acted un-Dumbledore-like. People seem to forget that the director plays a major role in how a scene is interpreted and in my opinion Mike Newell deserves to cop the blame for that scene, not Gambon. If he had issues with "angry Dumbledore" he could have told Gambon to play the scene differently but he didn't, so we can only assume that Gambon played the scene the way Newell asked him to. As for him not having read the books, give him a break. He's an older man who wouldn't have necessarily sought out what have by most people been regarded (even if unfairly) "children's books". He has a very busy career, would be ready many scripts as well as his having his own reading interests, and in case you haven't noticed, Harry Potter books aren't exactly slim volumes, even if we Potterfans can gulp them down in one day, most people don't. I think it's wonderful when an actor takes the time to read the book of the film they are playing in, but many don't, no matter what the book, and they shouldn't be bullied and bashed for this choice.Avatar Imagekenmarekestrels93 says: yeah he definitely should read the book...haha i think he's a great actor for that role though! haha "it's an honour that they thought of me to play a cross-eyed wizard"Avatar Imagemuzic823 says: I know not everyone is a HP fan (gasp!) but it's probably not a good idea to mention that in an interview about doing a HP movie. Avatar ImageMatea says: well,I recomend him to read it!Avatar Imagelaceratiusbloodletter says: He seems a little too young for the role. I really hate it when these ungrateful actors brandish their ignorance with pride. Stick to romantic comedies Mr. Ifans. Who needs you?Avatar ImageHagrid 713 says: "i'm not a big fan of HP?" hmmm - we'll seeAvatar ImageFresca says: I think Rhys will do a good job as Xenophilius Lovegood, and who knows, he may be intrigued by the story once he finds out more about it. Most of the other actors have read the books, so they may get him "hooked". Avatar ImageLuce_depp says: He'll get around to reading it i suppose...then again with a character synopsis he really wouldn't need it. As long as he can get as nuts as Xeno we're all good :)Avatar ImageBrosia23 says: I think it is hilarious that he doesn't get why he can't talk about the movie. Well, genius, maybe it has something to do with what they have to change to make it into an entertaining and a cohesive end to the epic series. They so need to do this one justice, and I think the first step was to cut it in half. Avatar Imageagentzac says: I seriously doubt he will ever read the books, at least while he is filming. And if he's already filmed some scenes there is no real incentive to read them. It sounds to me like he's looking at the opportunity for nothing more than a paycheck, some high profile exposure as an actor and the chance to work with some great actors. azAvatar Imagethallo says: To read or not to read HPatDH... i dont know anything about this actor, but usually they're a bit posh and dont care very much about the original characters of a cinematic transposition... expecially when they're hired for side roles. Let's be honest, in your opinion how many scenes Xenophilius Lovegood is going to get in the new movies? I think very few... knowing the panorama of the action, the entire book or the entire saga wouldn't change the movieAvatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: TBH, i dont know if he has even read the other ones. i think he'll be an okayish xeno but he seems very unlike lunas father.... hmmAvatar Imagebudgie says: He would be at the wedding to introduce the Symbol, maybe, and would be at home to introduce the Deathly Hallows concept and number. After that he would just have to be anxious or distracted till the death eaters show up and the house explodes, unless they give him something more to do.Avatar ImageTilly71 says: maybe it's better that he hasn't read the book. Then he won't have any preconceived notion about his character. Sometimes knowing too much about your characters background can be a bad thing.Avatar ImageHermioneRon4ever says: Well some people with much larger roles haven't read the books and do a fine job with the character so I think it should be okay. He looks a lot like how I imagined Xeno and (although I've never seen him act) he sounds like he's good at it!!!Avatar ImageDolemite says: He's like the British Owen Wilson or something?Avatar ImageLivelaughlovepotter says: I really hope he gets to reading it still... just bc its full of so much magic. I dunno much about this actor, but hopefully he'll rock my GRYFFINDOR SOCKS, which I still wish I had...Avatar Imagefloridianhp says: ...... i hpe he reads deathly halolws thenAvatar ImageLeo_Lovegood says: To everyone bashing him for not reading the books: Shut up. Thank you. More than half of the cast hasn't read them. Including your beloved Richard Harris.Avatar ImageBellamont says: Personally, if the guy doesn't read the books, he might find a new way to take the character and make it interesting. I say, let him decide how he wants to play his character. If he screws it up, we can point and laugh later.Avatar ImageWingardium Leviosa says: I think he'll do well, but I really do hope he finds time to read the book!Avatar ImageFleur-de- Lily says: It will be interesting to see what he does with he's caracter in the movie. Avatar Imagesachem says: Different actors employ different methods. And to be honest, Rowling isn't exactly Shakespeare. Most of the characters are rather simple.Avatar Imageenchantedsocks says: Well Xeno is only there for about 2 or 3 scenes so I don't suppose it makes much difference whether Mr Ifans' has read the book or not. And hopefully the screenplay and directing etc. is good enough for him to play the part convincingly. But if he does find the time and motivation to read the books than that is good as well.Avatar ImageDanielleD says: What on Earth!! He HASN'T read the book!?!?!?! :OAvatar ImageRin68nyr says: I did picture Luna's father as much older for some reason....not sure why! ErinAvatar ImageDobbyWinkyKreacher says: if this guy is portraying Xenophilius Lovegood...I sincerely wish he will do a fantastic job of Xeno's role. The belief has to be there, the sincerity, the very essence of Xenophilius is what he has to be. What I don't understand, is - he isn't really a fan of HP....so why is he even auditioning for the role? He will be terribly lacking in substance, there will also be absolutely no belief there whatsoever. Avatar Imagejennluvsharry says: what?? he accepted a role in a hp movie and hasn't read the books? i feel a little insulted as a hp fan that he wouldn't at least research his role and read the books that his character is in. well, i hope he does good, being that he's "not a hp fan".Avatar Imagemaera-kyrie says: Shame shame shame. x)Avatar ImageCellar Door says: Come on, man, reading the couple of chapters in which the character you play appears isn't too much trouble. It'll take you just a little while, and this way you'll do us a big favour. You know, it's the last movie, and we don't want it to suck. Thank you very much. The HP fansAvatar ImageWON_TWO says: In all fairness, any actor worth his or her salt needs not to read any book... Only the script...Avatar ImageSophie Treklemmer says: "I'm not a big fan of HP..." There is no such thing as "not a Harry Potter fan", only those who haven't read the books and those who have. Those who have are all Harry Potter fans. He should read the books.... I dread the thought of having another fourth-movie-Gambon-Dumbledore up on the screen. I can just imagine Xenophilius Lovegood in the Lovegood house, shaking Harry by the shoulders, screaming: "DON'T YOU KNOW ABOUT THE DEATHLY HALLOWS??!!!" Yuck.... Avatar ImageLupa says: Finally a comment thread that does not consist mostly of one word LOL-kind of comments due to people's (annoying) attempts at earning a few housepoints on the side ... so thank you everyone who actually had an opinion to share here, as opposed to the usual lame "yays" and "cools" that have erupted all over the place since the (wonderful) invention of myleaky. Having said that, it's pretty cute that we all revere the books so much that we take offense when an actor comes out as a non-fan of the phenomenon. However I agree it's not a prerequisite for doing well in the movie. I expect a satisfying performance from him. Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: Wow, he admitted that he hasn't read the book and that he's not into HP, that's not something we all want to hear Rhys!Avatar ImageSnapesSilverDoe says: He was great in Notting Hill. He's not how I imagined Xeno but I am sure he will be fine! Having a stong Welsh accent himself I hop he can pull off a convincing Irish one!Avatar Imageamyriddle93 says: wheeeeeeeeeeey!!! He's welsh!!!! so glad hes playing Xeno :D COME ON RHYS! Dwi'n caru ti!! Rhys am byth! :P xxxAvatar Imageamyriddle93 says: Dwi'n caru ti rhys! ;) welshyyy :)Avatar Imageamyriddle93 says: Dwi'n caru ti rhys! ;) welshyyy :)Avatar ImageLucilla says: yeah, he's just on the right side of weird to be papa LovegoodAvatar ImageCatherine says: well he' s certainly not alone.....although i wish all the actors would just read them! i mean they are awesome! it wouldnt take them that long to read once they are imerseced into the wonderful world Jo has created!Avatar Imagestarkitty313 says: As long as you understand your character, I think it's ok if you haven't experienced the source material. I haven't seen him in any of his works, but I'm sure he'll be fine.Avatar Imageharrypotter1991 says: As long as he portrays his character accurately it doesn't matter if he has read the books or whether he's a HP fan or not.Avatar ImageKC Nox says: hes perfect!! i just hope he reads the book for his parts at least...Avatar Imagekingdom says: hope he reads the book soon, he's missing out on good stuffAvatar Imagekingdom says: i do take it kind of offensively that he hasn't read the books, i know it's not required, but the books are a sort of manual to his acting... i hope he doesn't ruin the movie, all because he didn't read the amazing booksAvatar Imageblackravens says: Cool!Avatar Imageblackravens says: Cool!

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