Daniel Radcliffe: “Alfonso Cuaron and Gary Oldman brought a wind of freedom to Azkaban”

Daniel Radcliffe: “Alfonso Cuaron and Gary Oldman brought a wind of freedom to Azkaban”

The actor recounts the filming of the third Harry Potter, with director Alfonso Cuaron and producer David Heyman.

Here is a third extract from our special issue Harry Potter, during the rebroadcast of the entire saga on TMC on Wednesday evening. At 9:05 p.m., it’s The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) which will be in the spotlight, the only one directed by Alfonso Cuaronwho recounts in our pages having received a soap from his friend Guillermo del Toro when he admitted to her that he had been contacted for the film, but that he had not read the books. Then, he details having had the approval of the author JK Rowling to adapt his novel quite freely, when he explained to her that he intended to make a personal work from it despite the scale of the project: “JK asked me to stay true not to the book, but to the spirit of the book. 'Don't be literal'.” A successful mission, The Prisoner of Azkaban being a separate film within the franchise, which immediately stands out from the others, notably by its visual atmosphere.

David Heyman, for his part, remembers with sadness that the production of this third episode began with mourning. The actor Richard Harris, who played Albus Dumbledore, having died just before filming, the producer had to replace him, and it was ultimately Michael Gambon who played him afterwards.

During this discussion full of filming anecdotes, the team also discusses at length the arrival of a key character, Sirius Black, played by Gary Oldman. Selected piece.

Summary of the special issue Premiere n°15: special 20th anniversary of Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe: Azkaban is one of the films that meant the most to me because it sealed my meeting with Gary Oldman. He is one of the actors who taught me the most. I was a fan before I knew him and meeting him was one of the greatest experiences of my career. He's an extremely kind guy. Since he knew I loved music, he showed me some bass lines. You should know that he plays the guitar very well. With Daniel Day-Lewis, he's one of the greatest actors of his generation… He hates it when I say that, but I think he has a gift. And he knows how to transmit it. One day he gave me some great advice: 'Don't be afraid to use your own emotions.' Even if I play using my experience, I will always have glasses and a scar to protect me. What the audience sees is Harry, not me. Understanding this was like a trigger, a liberation. (…) Alfonso and Gary brought a wind of freedom to Azkaban. It's a rock'n'roll movie.

DAVID HEYMAN: Sirius Black was an extraordinary character. I think that with him, we touch on one of the specificities of Jo's work. Never judge people by their appearance. Snape, for example, was long perceived as an evil force until we discovered another side of his character. The same for Sirius: at first he is frightening, but we quickly understand that in reality he is a very positive character. It had to be handled very subtly. This was one of the most sensitive points of this episode: we had to succeed in the incarnation of Sirius.

ALFONSO CUARÓN: For this role, I was looking for an icon, an actor with the aura of a rock star. Throughout the first part of the film, his face alone printed on wanted posters is enough to create a distressing climate. We needed someone powerful, black… And we thought of Gary. With a wig, bearded, looking hallucinated and hunted, we know that his nerves are on edge from the first shot. We tell ourselves that he is capable of killing at any time. As soon as he appears, Gary contributes to the dramatic intensity of the film by composing this character of astonishing darkness and fragility for a tale intended for children.

Read also :

Harry Potter: “Many would have liked Terry Gilliam to shoot the first film” Harry Potter 2: “I have a small regret: we had to cut the scene of Almost Headless Nick's birthday”

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