Tens of thousands of screaming Potter fans filled Trafalgar Square, swarming the central plaza, and lining the access roads with crowds that completely covered the pavement. The same was true for Leicester Square, as well as the series of passageways, dressed to look like Diagon Alley, leading between the two. Everywhere we looked, all we could see were excited people, clamouring for a glimpse of Daniel Radcliffe and his castmates.
What was most remarkable about the crowd was their love of the franchise, not just the films and their stars, but of the books that inspired them. One person we spoke to summed up the general consensus perfectly, “The atmosphere’s just amazing, because everyone’s here for the same reason, but the books are great, the films are great and the actors are great as well.”
They are also by far the most dedicated group of fans since the guys who translated Hamlet into Klingon, travelling from as far afield as China, and sitting out for days in weather that ranged from wind and rain to sweltering heat. And yet, in spite of sleeping in Trafalgar Square, and living off of takeaway pizza for the best part of a week, they were all in high spirits, and incredibly, overwhelmingly loud. And then the cast began arriving, and the noise, somehow, increased.
Over the course of the evening we managed to grab a few, very quick interviews with some of the cast, and remarkably, when we played the back we could (just about) hear them over the crowd.
CIaran Hinds – Aberforth Dumbledore
On being a part of the series
There’s some people who, at the moment can’t live without it, and I think they’ll have severe cold turkey when it all ends because they’ve been devoted to it. I suppose it’s a matter of taste, some have been more successful than others, but there’s something at the heart of it about following these three main protagonists, from their youth, to their teenage, to their young adulthood, that they’ve kept very faithful.
Clémence Poésy – Fleur Delacour
When you first stepped on to set however many years ago, did you ever imagine this is what it would result in
No. I had no idea. You really have no idea until it comes out and you’re facing that really.
So what’s your reaction to what you’re seeing now?
I’m always amazed. I’m always a bit overwhelmed by it all.
Nick Moran – Scabior
On filming for a short appearance.
They spend weeks and weeks making a brief appearance, so it might have seemed brief at the time, but it was two weeks on a rainy hillside, with 3000 people.
On the expansion of his role in the film.
They made it bigger, but also there was an amalgamation between – I got a lot of stuff that Greyback got in the books, and then as we went on they were throwing extra scenes at me, so I sort of made it my own.
David Bradley – Argus Filch
On the destruction of Hogwarts
It’s just very strange. It was quite shocking to see Hogwarts in a state of disrepair in the last one. Having known the building for ten years, to see it destroyed was quite shocking really, but it’s been fun, for ten years it’s been quite an interesting ride, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
On playing the same character for ten years
What I found easy after a few years, just coming into the studio, putting on those dirty old boots, putting in those fake teeth, and it was quite easy to slip back into it. I could improvise, and it was quite easy to get back into the character, very easy. But you’ve got to move on to other things, and that’s it, but what a wonderful way to finish, with all these people. It’s incredible, isn’t it?
Natalia Tena – Nymphadora Tonks
On this being the last film in the series
I think everything needs to come to an end, and it’s such a banging end. You’re all going to love this movie. This is my favourite. I thought the first one was my favourite, but it’s this one, definitely.
On performing at the after party with her band, Molotov Jukebox
Yeah, we’re playing tonight. I’m not even watching the movie, I’m going straight from here to sound check, because we’re playing the after party
Matthew Lewis – Neville Longbottom
On the films
I just feel very proud to have been a part of the whole thing. What a series of films that the filmmakers have made, what a series of books that Jo Rowling has written, I’m so proud to be a part of it. Fortunately for me this year, Neville gets to play quite a big role, but this is still Dan’s film, and what a bloody good job he does of it too.
On the fans
[They] are the best fans in the world, and they’re what I’m going to miss the most, this lot right here. I suddenly realised when I stood on that podium, this is the last time we’ll have a Potter premiere in London, and I’ll miss them. They’re great.