HBP Episode 3

Posted: March 13, 2011 in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

On the note of extras, there are over 650 children working as extras on this film. They don’t just come from stage schools, but also from local schools and theater groups. Besides feeding and clothing, they also have to have school lessons between filming, even if they are only on set for one day. Although most of the extras are used as background when eating in the Great Hall, we will delve deeper on the experience of what it was like being an extra in the Diagon Alley scene.

As mentioned earlier, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes is one of those places that are meant to be outside but are built inside. As hard as it is to believe, there is no green screen inside despite the loads of toys, including empty gravity hats and dancing chickens; basically, it is “an emporium stuffed with over 40,000 packages  and boxes”. It took fifteen people nearly a year to design and over fifty people to create. According to an extra, it smells like a combination of a tourist and a sweet shop. According to Ben Shephard, who plays an extra in this particular scene (and also mainly responsible for reporting behind-the-scenes info since the  release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire film), stated that his favorite item in the joke shop was the 10-second pimple vanisher.

When Shephard asked Oliver and James Phelps who play George and Fred Weasley respectively, they said, “It’s awesome. [The outside] is freaky, kind of like a twenty-foot version of [Ben Shephard]. [We] think it’s one of the best sets in the film throughout the whole series.” Their favorite items include the puking pastilles and the 10-second pimple vanisher.

When Shephard asked advice for acting as an extra in the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes scene from Dan Radcliffe, replied, “I think you should play someone who’s not necessarily a wizard, just totally confused by everything around you, or surprised.”

The nice thing about being an extra is that you don’t have to be available for all the days of filming, as the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes scene took about five days to film, despite that it is running in the film for 1:22 minutes. Shephard admits that despite being an extra is nice and rewarding, it is actually pretty nerve-racking: even just being a small part of the background action, you’re not allowed to mess up.

Curious about the Pensieve memories? It is clear they are based on Tom Riddle, who eventually evolves into the most evil wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. Dumbledore and Harry use them so they can learn how to destroy him for once and for all.

According to Michael Gambon, “This is a little boy in [an orphanage], he seems to be odd; he is played by Ralph Fiennes ‘s(who plays Lord Voldemort) nephew; he’s brilliant.”

Said casting director Fiona Weir, “When you’re casting for kids, you turn every stone; you look in every direction, and Hero (Fiennes-Tiffin) had done a little acting before and I was aware of him, so I thought he was an interesting kid and got him in to have a go. I think why these films have been so successfully cast is because they have always cast for the right quality and no other reasons. Hero is a great kid and a really good actor and he was the right kid to play the part. The fact that his uncle is Ralph Fiennes, is neither him nor that, he got the part for him, Hero, completely on his own merit.”

And onto Fenrir Greyback, one of Voldemort’s henchmen, who has a rather scary yet interesting costume. He is played by Dave Legano. Said Weir, “It was really interesting with Dave, because when I met him, I did think ‘You’re just a lovely gentle bloke’ but then when I talked to him about his life, different from his other career, I thought, ‘maybe you’re not as quite as dandy as I think you are!’ ” When asked about his everyday job, Legano said, “Well, I’m a professional cage fighter for the past two years; two men enter and two men leave as well. But “mixed-matched-lots” is the term for it, where all the combat sports in the world combined, and you can use any technique you want.” Weir added, “What Dave has is an ability to switch his head to a certain angle where he can completely understand someone who’s ferocious and mercenary as Greyback was.” Legano added, “[Greyback] is a transformed werewolf; he’s an outcast, and he’s shunned by society by being a werewolf, and so rather being drawn into it, he wants to affect as many people as possible, especially young children, so when [Greyback] grows up, being a werewolf becomes the norm.” Michael Gambon, who plays Dumbledore added, “[Legano] is a world champion kickboxer; I’ve met him, he seems quite and amiable man but didn’t go too near him. He looks terrifying- he looks sort of a shark, sort of dead-eyed, and so I stayed well-away from him.” Radcliffe commented, “[Legano’s] a big, tough guy, but I have almost no idea what he actually looks like; I’ve only seen him once [in his costume].” Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in all the films to date said, “It doesn’t matter how close you get to Dave-you can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. Even though I’ve met him in a flash and he’s a lovely guy and a very handsome chap, I cannot look at him in the eye when he’s fully robed up. It’s terrifying.”


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