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RADCLIFFE, Grint and Watson topbill Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, whose set the columnist visited.



Only in Hollywood
Ruper Grint talks of much-awaited kiss with Emma Watson

By Ruben V. Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:04:00 04/30/2010

Filed Under: Entertainment (general), Cinema, Celebrities

LONDON ? On our return to Leavesden Studios to visit the set of ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts I and II,? which director David Yates is simultaneously filming here, Rupert Grint wasn?t needed on the set, but he graciously came to talk to us. The actor who plays Ron Weasley shared his feelings as the blockbuster franchise ends (Part One bows in November, while part II opens in July next year): ?It?s a weird feeling. I?ve spent half of my life doing these movies. It?s quite emotional. But, at the same time, I?m looking forward to the freedom to do other films.?

The red-haired actor, more talkative now than when we first met him several years ago, also talked about his much-awaited kissing scene with Emma Watson (Hermione Granger). Saying he was nervous since he has known Emma as a friend for 10 years, Rupert revealed that it was hard to concentrate. ?The first take was quite hard,? said Rupert, who recalled that they did four takes of the smooch, which many ?Harry Potter? fans around the world can?t wait to see.

One of the highlights of our set visit last Tuesday was the arrival of Robbie Coltrane in a chauffeur-driven golf buggy. Costumed as Hagrid, massive hair, beard and all, Robbie took in the cavernous Ministry of Magic headquarters, a spectacular green and gold space, where we conducted our interviews, as the ?coolest set.? Blessed with a winking sense of humor, Robbie said that while it takes many hours to put on all that hair, ?two young ladies? come with oil to help him take off all that expensive wig and makeup at the end of the day. ?Somebody has to do it,? Robbie said with a smile, as he played with his mile-long beard.


Like Rupert, who had scenes with a boy actor who plays his child (?The kid looks just like me!?), Tom Felton also acted with a youngster who portrays his offspring. ?It was bizarre, nerve-wracking and poignant at the same time, because it reminded me of how I began,? pointed out Tom, who is as nice in person as he is evil as Draco Malfoy. Some ?Harry Potter? buffs are known to be rabid, but one of Tom?s followers takes the cake. This fan actually changed his name to Lucius Malfoy, built a house similar to the Malfoy Manor described in JK Rowling?s novels, and even asked Tom?s mom if he could adopt him. ?Luckily, Mom turned it down,? Tom quipped.

Co-producer David Barron disclosed that no decision has yet been made as to where the much-anticipated movies will be split into two parts. ?There are three sensible places where we can do the split,? he shared. Watch for our full interviews with these key talents and others in the cast and crew in future columns.

* * *

A visit to the ?Harry Potter? set in Leavesden always invites a sense of anticipation and excitement, since it involves an hour?s journey by bus from London. The studio encompasses 200 acres of open space dotted by giant sound stages and production facility structures. There?s an eight-acre covered studio complex that houses virtually everything a movie production needs, from dressing rooms to a preview theater.

The site began just before World War II as the Leavesden Aerodrome, which manufactured fighter aircraft. Rolls Royce took over the place in the ?60s to house its aircraft engine production facilities. When Rolls Royce ceased operations on the site in the ?90s, Eon Productions transformed it into a film production studio.

?GoldenEye,? the James Bond movie, was the first to be shot there. Other films made at Leavesden include ?Sleepy Hollow? and ?Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace.? When the ?Harry Potter? cast and crew has its wrap party at the Leavesden Studios, it will mark the end of an era for the site. But, with its legacy of hosting one of the world?s mega-successful franchises, Leavesden Studios will surely entice more movie productions and other blockbuster franchises.

E-mail rvnepales_5585@yahoo.com

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