Father We Love Best: Mark Williams Talks His Role as Arthur Weasley

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Jun 24, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

Tonight we have a bit of a treat as there is a new and rare in depth interview online in the LA Times with actor Mark Williams and his role as Arthur Weasley. In this interview we learn Mark, who has protrayed the Patriarch of the Weasley family in all Harry Potter films, read the series long before he was cast in the part. He offers his thoughts on Arthur, and has high praise for author J.K. Rowling, and the decision to make Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two films. While the entire interview is well worth the read, some fascinating comments can be found below:

So, how much freedom did you get to shape Arthur Weasley to your liking?
Well,
in the book he’s kind of balding and said to Chris [Columbus] ‘Well, do
you want me to shave my head or something’ and he said ‘No! No, don’t
do that!’ He looked at me and said ‘Don’t take it so literally.’ J.K.
Rowling has been very good about that. She’s allowed the films to
develop sort of in parallel to the books, but she hasn’t changed the
sort of characterization of the books either … And with “Deathly
Hallows,” I think for the first time, as the books got bigger, Steve Kloves’ job got harder and harder. But having two parts to the last book is
good. I’m a big champion of it, and not just because I’m in them. She
[J.K. Rowling] has such a mathematical brain, or better put, a musical
brain and all the themes and the melodies were resolved in the last
book.

Arthur Weasley’s role has increased through the series — how did you approach him having a more active role?
I
didn’t know, but I believe that she has said that he’s the only
functional father left. Actually, though, I think he’s the only
functional father. Lucius isn’t a functional father. “Proto” fathers
Sirius and Dumbledore are dead, and there’s no nice way to put that, so
he’s the only good image of a father really. But you should ask her
about that, and believe me when we finish I will ask her.

So, the movies still have the whimsy, but they’re getting a
little darker it seems. How have you and your character dealt with that?
Well, it was always dark … John Williams
picked it up perfectly, I mean with music being 30% of the film .. I
mean, you know, his parents were killed. There’s just these great
Dickensian — I’ve never said that before and I kind of wished I hadn’t
– but these great big scenes that you can play on the cello, you know
what I mean. As time’s gone on, I’ve just been more and more impressed
about her (J.K. Rowling) sense of geography and
knowing where she’s going. There’s a big map in there and I’ve never
felt that any of the concerns or themes or problems have been swept
under the carpet.

What’s nice is that going into the last two films, thinking that
this is a great pleasure to play this character .. and it’s great that
when we finish, we’re gonna BE finished. Not gonna be left hanging.

Is there anything that Arthur Weasley has done in the books that you wish he had done in the film?
Yes! Well, I talked about this with Christopher Columbus
and he was very clear that this was not gonna happen. But when we first
see Arthur Weasley, he arrives home and a load of gnomes is eating in
his garden and he kind of zaps them … I so wish I could’ve done that.





74 Responses to Father We Love Best: Mark Williams Talks His Role as Arthur Weasley

Avatar ImageKC Nox says: I love him as Arthur!!Avatar ImageJohn-Robert says: he is such a great guy and a great arthur. he portrays arthur so well, and i love love love him.Avatar Imagemonicahp2009 says: It seems to me that he took this role for the fun of it. Avatar ImageThatJordanEdwards says: Great interview! He is great as Arthur; I can't remember how I pictured the character before the films! Avatar Imagemaimiaa says: way neat. awesome as Arthur :]Avatar Imagexxkristeen says: He's a brilliant Arthur! I'm glad he knows so much about the actual series; it always makes me happy when an actor really loves the books.Avatar ImageFresca says: This is a good article. It is interesting that Arthur is the last father or father figure left. JK nearly killed off Arthur too! Avatar Imagelisajean65 says: He is such a perfect Arthur! Avatar ImageLovelySlytherinWitch19 says: Love the end :DAvatar Imageplacebowiz says: niceAvatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: After reading this interview, I am not only convinced that he was perfect for the role, but that he was, actually, born for it. He understands the character as though he were Arthur's twin.Avatar Imageoldenoughtoknowbetter says: He is the perfect Arthur. Just as I pictured him!!Avatar Imageempressa says: it's good to see an actor that understands the inner workings of the character he portrays! kudos to mark williams for an outstanding job.Avatar ImageR-for-H says: He is a treat Arthur. Nice to hear and see him talking about his role in the film!Avatar Imageforgetmenot_007 says: I couldn't think of anyone else as Arthur Weasley. He really fits to the character.Avatar ImageNot Slytherin says: Yay -- Mark Williams is great, and I love that he knows the books!!!Avatar Image-MischiefManaged- says: Lovely interview! <3 When I saw the first HP films for the first time, all I could think of when seeing Mark as Arthur Weasley was "suit you, sir!" and some other bits from The Fast Show. But that went away soon and now he's just Arthur for me. Mark really gets the character, he's the most perfect Arthur Weasley there could be. The same with Timothy Spall, btw -- when I first saw him in POA, all I could think of was Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.. But since then he's been all Peter Pettigrew for me. For example, when I saw him in Sweeney Todd, I was like "oh, look, it's Peter Pettigrew", LOL.Avatar Image-MischiefManaged- says: Lovely interview! <3 When I saw the first HP films for the first time, all I could think of when seeing Mark as Arthur Weasley was "suit you, sir!" and some other bits from The Fast Show. But that went away soon and now he's just Arthur to me. Mark really gets the character, he really gets what Arthur is all about. He's definitely the most perfect Arthur Weasley there could be. The same with Timothy Spall, btw -- when I first saw him in POA, all I could think of was Auf Wiedersehen, Pet... But since POA, Timothy's been just Peter Pettigrew to me. For example, when I saw him in Sweeney Todd, I was like "oh, look, it's Peter Pettigrew!" LOL :DAvatar ImageFlourished Blot says: I love hearing him praise JK. Not like many others, he's actually read the books, and clearly to a considerable depth, and uses this to portray his character. It's wonderfully refreshing. He does a GREAT job in the films.Avatar Imagesupergirlinfrance says: He's so good as Arthur , and such a great actor !Avatar Imagesuh says: cool !! Avatar ImageRin68nyr says: He fits the part perfectly! ErinAvatar ImageLloyd says: Good interview. I like MW.Avatar ImageCandyCane2304 says: "The Harry Potter Police", lol. I wonder how nay people got caught, trying to steal thing's? Avatar ImageMJedi says: Good interview. He mentions John Williams. *sigh* I wish he stayed on to compose the score.Avatar ImageLuce_depp says: haha he wanted to zap gnomes...haha awesome!Avatar Imagesiriusismyhero says: This was a great interview. It was lovely to hear from him. He fits the Arthur I pictured so well.Avatar Imagehewy says: Great interview! But when in what book did Arthur zap the garden gnomes? As I recall he was soft on them. And he is right, John Williams should have followed through with all the films but that's show biz..Avatar ImageHydrus says: I particularly like hearing from the actors who were fans first.Avatar ImageDiamondWings says: long! will read it later!!!Avatar ImageKatetheKeeper says: I really love it when the actors give in depth interviews about their HP characters. I think Mark is perfect as Arthur!Avatar Imagebudgie says: I missed the St. Mungo scenes in OOP too. He makes a great Arthur!Avatar ImageHPNAIV says: Yeah, where does Arthur 'zap gnomes'? Anyway, good interview. It'll be sad when these movies are all over.. ):Avatar ImageRavenclaw98 says: He is amazing as Arthur!!!Avatar Imageliv-wa says: Just seeing that he knows the character so well is really nice. That makes me happy. I've always really liked him as Arthur.Avatar ImageForsakenSeverus says: I really like how he portrays Arthur. He is the Father. Not only of the Weasly's, but of Harry too. Mark Williams really bring that to the screen. He makes the character seem like a buddy to the kids, but still a parental figure. I believe he is the perfect Mr. Weasley. Avatar Imagefelixfelicis11 says: Aw, I love him :)Avatar ImageBellamont says: Oh dear gods, potter police would HATE me. I'd be trying to stick my wand in my pocket and run off. "Oh no, how did that get in there? I have no clue!"Avatar ImageHorcruxalej says: he really does a great job as arthur. Avatar Imagemegan_702 says: cool! Avatar ImageJTEL99 says: Mark W. is right that he is the only decent father figure alive in the books. I can't believe JKR wanted to kill him off! Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: Mark Williams understands Arthur and portrays him wonderfully! :)Avatar ImageLiderc says: He definitely knows his role. He's very fluid in his delivery and also looks the part.Avatar ImageVioletPhoenix says: He's cool!Avatar Imageugurbocegi says: Love him. :-) Avatar ImageGarden State Geek says: It's nice to see that Williams, unlike Gambon, reads the books! Avatar ImageCool Grandma2 says: From the first time I saw him on film, he was perfect for Arthur. I'm so glad that JK decided to keep him alive. With so many deaths, we do need a constant and Arthur fills that roll. The films and books wouldn't be the same without Arthur and Molly. I just wish we could say the same for the actress who is playing Narcissa. The actress may do a good job but they really have her hair so off. Now this does bother me. LolAvatar Imagebookishgal says: What a great interview. Arthur is one of my favorite characters in the books and I'm always disappointed when his role has been limited in the movies.Avatar ImageLivelaughlovepotter says: Interesting interview!Avatar ImageHeavenly_Horcrux says: He's a great Arthur!Avatar Imagececmal says: He's the one and only Arthur! Avatar Imagehermione06 says: He portrays the spirit of Arthur Weasley so well. I can't imagine a better person to play him. He's just the lovable dad everyone wants!Avatar Imageele0206 says: I love him as Arthur. I love how he's in the series, and how much he likes his charachter and the whole Harry Potter world. I coulnd't imagine someone else as Arthur Weasley. And he's better with the hair!!! ;)Avatar ImagePrincess Leia says: I love Arthur Weasley! I hope they include the line with his "dearest ambition!" (I am still a bit disappointed they had to cut the part where he blasts the wall at the Dursley's.)Avatar ImageLunabelle7 says: Jo has a "musical brain." I like that. Well put. I also like the fact that he read the books before he got this job, and that Kloves has yo tell him to pull back on his willingness to be faithful to the text. Aa a fanI appreciate that a lot.Avatar ImageGraymayne says: I was sorry that the whole St. Mungo's part in Order of the Phoenix was omitted, and as a result Arthur's near-death attack was seriously down-graded. The Weasley family is so much a part of Harry's life I can't see the justification for the decision.Avatar ImageDolemite says: As long as he stops stealing puppies :DAvatar Image-MischiefManaged- says: Lovely interview! <3 When I saw the first HP films for the first time, all I could think of when seeing Mark as Arthur Weasley was "suit you, sir!" and some other bits from The Fast Show. But that went away soon and now he's just Arthur to me. Mark really gets the character, he really gets what Arthur is all about. He's definitely the most perfect Arthur Weasley there could be. The same with Timothy Spall, btw -- when I first saw him in POA, all I could think of was Auf Wiedersehen, Pet... But since POA, Timothy's been just Peter Pettigrew to me. For example, when I saw him in Sweeney Todd, I was like "oh, look, it's Peter Pettigrew!" LOL :DAvatar ImageFereverto says: I just love Mark and am so glad he has given life to Arthur Weasley, he does it so well! I am also happy that Jo left Harry with this wonderful father in his life. Avatar Imageanne1 says: @MischiefManaged, Fast Show and Auf Wiedersehen Pet, two great shows! Mark will always be 'suits you' to me but is also totally Arthur Weasley; they are such totally different roles that I can associate him with both quite easily. Avatar Imagemolly43 says: He's perfect for the portrayal of Arthur. Maybe his reading the book gave him a better understanding of the character. I love his character. Arthur's so caring to Harry and a great person for Harry to talk to, and Mark Williams plays the character greatly.Avatar Imagebeewell says: He is Arthur. No doubt about it. He plays his part perfectly and understands the character. Kudos to Mark..keep up the good work. Can't wait to see him the last movies.Avatar Imagebengtson_98 says: Great Interview!! Go Arthur!!<3Avatar ImageHagrid 713 says: Love the way he portrays ArthurAvatar Imagemegan_702 says: mark is the perfect arthur!!Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Sometimes Casting Directors get it soooo right!Avatar Imagelpikaard says: i think it's interesting, his take on fathers. He said he's the only functional one left after dumbledore and sirius die, however, I don't believe either of them were actually functional fathers. I love sirius more than any other literary character ever (except maaaybe darcy, eh they're tied) but he was never a functional father. he didn't know how to be and he didnt have the best example. dumbledore was raising harry for slaughter (though that's harsh, it's true with just a fools hope that he could survive). neither was a functioning father. Arthur Weasley was the only functional father in the series everAvatar Imagespicefan1978 says: He the perfect Arthur! Great interview. I love reading interviews from the extended cast members!Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: cool!! i like that interview! the LA times have a had a lot of interviews recently!Avatar Imagekraamerxmich says: Show your Support! Go GREEN for IRAN!!! xD http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/myleaky/groups/5921Avatar Imagesessionka says: I wish could have zapped the gnomes too :-)Avatar Imagebadger666 says: Wonderful. I love hearing about the actors being enthusiastic about their characters and the films. He's a great Mr. Weasley.Avatar ImageLinnyish says: Yeahh let's see some gnome-zapping action from Arthur! I always thought they could have done so much more with Arthur in the films.Avatar ImageMary11_hplvr4l says: I'd never read an interview w/ him..I'm glad I did..he really fits the part :)

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