This week's cover: 'Harry Potter Deathly Hallows - Part 1' exclusive

EW-1128-Harry-Potter-CoverIt’s the beginning of the end. The seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, has been split into two films, and the first installment will hit screens Nov. 19. (Part 2 will open on July 15, 2011). After a decade of playing the three young wizards waging a battle against Voldemort and the forces of evil, the three stars of the $5.4 billion franchise, all in their 20s now, spoke with Entertainment Weekly for this week’s cover story, reflecting on their childhoods inside Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy and discussing their plans for the future. EW’s Los Angeles Bureau Chief, Sean Smith, has been interviewing these actors — Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) — since the very first film, The Sorcerer’s Stone, and mines his 10 years of access and observations for this in-depth portrait of the three most famous kids in the world as they transition into adulthood and life outside of Potter.

Emma Watson, 20

At 11, Watson was chatty, precocious and thrilled to be cast as brainy Hermione (“I reckon she’s very, very bossy,” she said at the time), but as the years went on Watson became increasingly conflicted about whether she wanted to keep playing the role, or to even act at all. “Dan and Rupert seem so sure,” she said on the set of the fifth film, The Order of the Phoenix. “I love to make people laugh, and I love being creative, but there are so many other things I love doing, too. I’ve been given such amazing opportunities with this, but … I don’t know.” This summer, she had finished shooting Hallows and was headed back to school for her sophomore year at Brown University. She’d just gotten a new pixie haircut — the first time in 10 years she’d been able to choose her own hairstyle — and was elated by her life on campus. “I have such a structure when I’m working on Potter,” she said. “I get told what time I get picked up. I get told what time I can eat, when I have time to go to the bathroom. Being at college, I took pleasure in the smallest things. Like, ‘I’m going to wake up at 10 o’clock if I want to.’ Or, ‘I’m going to eat a sandwich now.’ It feels wonderful.”

Rupert Grint, 22

Grint has always been the least verbal of the three stars. From about age 12, when he made Sorcerer‘s, through Phoenix, his two (perhaps only) adjectives for everything were “wicked” and “cool.” But his near-silence has earned him a certain mystique — after he got his driver’s license he bought an ice cream truck to drive around instead of, say, a Ferrari — and he’s built a fan base who seem to get his offbeat sensibilities. His screaming female fans don’t mail him underwear in the mail, he says, but he gets “a lot of pajamas. And origami.” Shooting Hallows, though, he finally began to open up, and a few weeks ago he reflected on what it had all meant to him. “The alternative, of just going to college and school never really appealed to me,” he said. “On set there were times when it was really quite slow, but I’ve always loved it. There was never a doubt that I was going to do this.”

Daniel Radcliffe, 21

Radcliffe has always been pretty fearless. At 11, when most boys are afraid of being vulnerable, he talked about how he found out that he’d been cast as the boy wizard, after months of auditions. “I was in the bath at the time,” he said then. “My dad came running in and said, ‘Guess who they want to play Harry Potter?’ and I started to cry. It was probably the best moment of my life.” In the years since, Radcliffe has proved he isn’t afraid to reveal himself. He famously appeared naked on stage in Equus, both in London’s West End and on Broadway. (There’s even a reference to it in Hallows-Part 1. In one scene, Ron, Hermione and Harry, on the run in London, enter a café. On the wall in one corner is a poster for Equus.) Radcliffe is still taking risks. He’s currently rehearsing to star in a stage musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and trying to not think about saying goodbye to Harry after all these years. “It’s key for me to keep working,” he says. “Focusing on other things rather than moping around the house.”

To read more about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, including what happened on the final day of shooting that made them all cry, the story behind an intense kiss between two of them, and details about what happens in Part 1, pick up the new copy of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now. Check out the morphing videos below to see the three stars transform through the years, then relive the Deathly Hallows trailer at the end.

Comments (118 total) Add your comment
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  • chris

    why can’t others learn from these young people?

    • Karate Pants

      So true. I wonder if they all just happen to have wonderful parents that insist on keeping their lives “normal”, clean, and balanced, or if there was someone involved with the movies that was a common influence. I think it’s remarkable that despite basically growing up constantly under the lights, they all seem so steady, humble, and mature.

      • harry

        I Agree!

      • I Can’t Wait…

        …until all of this overrated nonsense is finished.

    • Marion

      I love how they seem so normal, stable, and intelligent despite the huge attention they grew under. I never had to fear for their sanity. I don’t know whether its their close family or the legendary and surely wise actors they got to work with all these years on the set of Harry Potter that had a good influence on them, but I’m just happy for them.

      • Sarah

        Exactly! I believe it’s because they never had the intense scrutiny of Hollywood; being somewhat “normal” British kids probably had something to do with it. I do think it is so refreshing how Emma Watson is actually at Brown now, as opposed to numerous stints in rehab and jail.

      • Dana

        I bet it was the magic of Potter. :)

    • Rush

      It’s because they’re British.

      • Larry David

        Since the movies are over they won’t be under such a tight leash you’ll see! Hermione will have a sex tape out soon enough!

      • Sukayna

        Of course it’s because they’re British. We have the best sense of humour to save us from ourselves!

      • couronné

        pourquoi dire qu’il son britanic ses des gens qui on de la chance,ils on été choisi,par des réalisateur,si il son bon dans la comédi tan mieux la jalousi est un mauvais défaut a vous de faire vos preuve a bientot

    • Hermione Rocks!

      I know right. They’re all such well-rounded, talented, smart young adults. The US child stars could learn a thing or two from them.

  • Michael

    O MY GOSH! I am SO excited for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kam

      Same!!

  • Janizzle

    I’m a big time Rupert Grint fan…why no mention of his current/future filming projects?

    • Traci

      Because they want you to buy the magazine.

      • mary q contrary

        Bingo.

    • CanaLyn

      Because he’s not really doing much, from what I hear. I think he’s got one other film coming out; a comedy, I think, but he’s just gonna chill for a bit.

      • sabn

        yup, he doesn’t have any projects coming up

  • Liz

    This tidbit about Rupert Grint buying an ice cream truck just made me love him more. His surliness has always made him my favorite of the 3, but i’m disappointed in the way they made Ron a bit of a joke in the movies. He’s there for laughs but he’s a real hero and they don’t show that in the movies, maybe the first one but not really the others.

    • Bri

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I always thought that he was the most talented of the three actors, but he is sort of shoved aside since Steve Kloves always insists on showing more Hermione than is necessary. I don’t even think Watson is all that good of an actress, since all of her expressions are pretty similar and stagnant. I never feel much for Hermione in the films. Poor Ron :(

  • meliot

    I’m so sad we are finally coming to the end of the Harry Potter series. My daughter, who is now in college, grew up with the HP world. We read the books and watched the movies together. This series has been an important part of both of our lives. Thank you Daniel, Emma and Rupert, and mostly thanks to J.K.Rowling.

    • Loto

      I feel this same way. I was 13 when Harry was 13 and grew up with the rest of the books, although I eventually outpaced Harry and graduated from college the year book 7 came out. I have written to JK Rowling before thanking her for creating this world, where I had friends when I needed them, family when I had none, and a home when mine was in turmoil. i can’t wait to share these books with my children some day.

      • Sarah

        Me too, Loto…and when I finished that last book (not long after college graduation), I sat down and cried for a long time. It’s amazing how fictional characters can be such a real part of life.

      • Mag

        I started reading the books when I was 10, and now I’m a senior in college and will be spending my Thursday night on Nov. 18th waiting outside a movie theatre for this, and seeing the 2nd part 2 months after I graduate. I cried immensely at the end of the book, I can’t even imagine how I’m going to feel after the movie. I love them all so much.

      • mary q contrary

        Funny you should say that about wanting to share them with your kids, because that’s been the best part so far for me. I was a freshman in high school when I started reading them, and now my daughter, who’s 8, has read them all and is an even bigger fan than myself. Being able to share the experience of these amazing books with her has made us both so happy, and those books had a huge hand in shaping her into the voracious reader she is today. J.K. Rowling FTW.

  • Cheri

    For as popular as this franchise is, you really do have to marvel over the fact that these 3 have been role models for their peers. They don’t seem to have let the success go to their heads or ruin them. It can be done Hollywood – but apparently you have to be British. LOL

  • Megan

    I am so excited, and I’am about 5 chapters shy of half way through book 7. That morphing video is really cool, they have all grown so much. I feel so much older than them and I’m only 25!

  • Beth

    Can’t wait to get this in my mailbox!

  • RBys

    uggghhh!!! I can’t wait for this stupid Harry Potter junk to be over with!!!! Please just go away!!!

    • chris

      GO READ!

      • Marie

        I already did read the first 3 books when they first came out!! Terrible books, I am not going to read the rest of this horrible so called literature!

      • chris

        Just curious – what would YOU consider good literature then?

      • @Marie

        You’re probably a Twilight fan.

      • Mike

        The first 3 books were great, but ironically, 4-7 are simply fantastic. Your loss marie!

      • Marie

        I AM NOT A TWILIGHT FAN!!! Once again…I read real literature. You know, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, East of Eden.

      • James

        Oh, OK, so you’re a snob, then.
        So you know, HP will one day be considered literature in the vein of Lord of the Rings and Narnia.
        And Gone With the Wind is vastly overrated and borderline repugnant in its romanticization of the South’s plantation culture. Yeah, I said it.

      • Hannah

        I read “real literature,” too, and I love Harry Potter. No one on here is terribly impressed with your high-school English reading list, I promise. If you think it’s somehow “beneath” you, it’s your loss.

      • meliot

        @ Marie – I found it very odd that every single book you mentioned is also a movie. There is so much more to literature than what you have listed – books by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift, William Shakespeare, I could go on. Your list is extremely myopic. That being said, the reason the Harry Potter books are so important is they introduced a whole new generation to the joy of reading. While the movies (to me) are wonderful, they will never live up to the imagination of a good, engrosing book. Your obvious hatred for this franchise is very much misplaced.

      • Marie

        Gone with the Wind and East of Eden weren’t on any reading list.

      • Lynn

        Not to take sides here, but we read East of Eden junior year of high school for American list, and the neighboring district assigned part of Gone With the Wind as summer reading.
        So saying they aren’t on “any” reading list is incorrect. ;-)
        I do agree that people who look down their noses on HP for not being “real literature” are missing out. The first three books (although the third is my favorite) are innocent and childish because they’re children. There’s arguably nothing childish about books 4-7.

      • Miranda

        Marie:
        I read literature too. The Stranger by Albert Camus, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and Hamlet by William Shakespeare are some of my favorite books. However, I can also appreciate Harry Potter. I personally began reading them with Goblet of Fire and was quite skeptical that I would enjoy it. However, as I read through the book, I found myself captivated so I decided to read the first three books as well. As I read them backwards, I discovered that the first three books did not begin to compare to the first book that I read, but when Order of the Phoenix came out, I decided to give it one more go. Beyond any doubt, I was hooked after book 5. The first three books were a beginning author’s first attempts at creating literature. They were rough and at points badly edited. My personal opinion is that J.K. Rowling did not really hit her stride as an author until the fourth book of the series. Perhaps you might want to give them one more go before condemning them.

      • Michelle

        Wow Marie, you can’t consider yourself a literature snob when every book you mention I had to read in school. It sounds like the only things you have read are those you have been forced to. While I respect your right to an opinion on Harry Potter, I hope you respect my right to call your choice in ‘literature’ as stunted and pedestrian. Move out of the required reading section of Barnes and Nobles and develop your own opinion of what is “good” literature not dependent on your tenth grade teacher’s point of view. You can do it. I believe in you.

      • Rae

        Marie:
        As a previous person said, HP DID indeed introduce a new generation to reading. I was in elementary school when the books came out, and I read them repeatedly. Now after having graduated high school, I still read constantly, anything I can. HP is always my all-time favorite, and holds a special place to me for inspiring the love of learning. Tell me they aren’t real literature. I dare you. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    • Kam

      Really. Harry Potter is the best movie ever. GO WATCH THE MOVIES!

      • Joel

        They’re amazing. And I’m SO GLAD that EW is now giving Harry Potter the limelight instead of Twilight.

      • Jessica

        Personally I like the Twilight saga but it comes no where near the HP series. I have all the movies so far and I watch them ALL the time, I cant wait until Deathly Hallows comes out on DVD, I will own it too!

    • Mandy

      If you think these are horrible books why would you take time to read about something having to do with Harry Potter?

    • chloe

      Why are you even looking at this article in the first place?

      • Cameo

        & then taking the time to comment, then reply & reply & reply. Sad, really.

  • Michelle

    I can’t believe it’s almost over! I don’t know how or if I can get through DH without crying. Thank you, Dan, Rupert and Emma for bringing the Trio to life!

    • pede

      Heck I teared up just watching the video of Harry (Daniel) changing and growing in each movie. It’s like watching your own children grow up. Thank you J.K. Rowling for creating such a magical world where both children and adults can get lost in the story, and to all the actors and actresses for bringing them to life.

  • Jen

    i love harry and ron so much. i want a threesome with them both and hermoine can join if she wants.

    • Danny

      OMG! TMI! ;-)

  • Lincy

    oh i really really luv harry potter it is the best movie ever!!!

  • Jeff

    Awesome cover!

  • Kam

    This is going to be the best movie by far. I am so freakin exited. I want to give a BIG shout out to Emma Watson saying” You are the best actress ever!” Daniel and Rupert are cool also. I love you Emma!

  • Nick T

    I don’t like the title…

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