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


Jun 24, 2009

Posted by: SueTLC

HBP Film

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?
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

Arthur Weasley’s role has increased through the series — how did you approach him having a more active role?
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.

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