I had the great pleasure of meeting Jamie Waylett (Vincent Crabbe) while he was in New York on break from filming Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire this week. It amazes me how someone who has acted in some of the most well-known movies of all time can still be so down-to-earth, polite, friendly and happy. One would have to thank his mother, Theresa, and his agent John Inniss (both wonderful people) for keeping him so well-grounded. Regardless, it would never be a problem, as Jamie has many interests and dreams that don't involve being in the Harry Potter movies:
On your website you said that you auditioned for the role of Dudley Dursley, but they picked you for Crabbe. Are you happy now that you got the role of Crabbe, since the Dudley role seems to have been removed from Goblet of Fire?
I'm happy to be Crabbe because he's in the school, he gets to be part of the wizard school and stuff, but I would have been happy if I had got the role of Dudley as well. When I look back on it, good job I got Crabbe instead.
How has it been to work with Mike Newell and how is he different from Alfonso Cuarón [director of Azkaban] and Chris Columbus [director of Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets]?
He's good. I mean, to work with all three of them, it's good as I got three different styles of directing. You can't really say one is better than the other because... they have different styles.
Do you get to ad-lib at all during the filming?
It's great, you say your opinion and if they like it, they like it. At the end of Chamber of Secrets when you see me stand up, that wasn't in the script. I just didn't know what we were supposed to be filming and got up to join the rest of the cast in clapping and Tom [Felton; Draco Malfoy] pulled me down. Chris was like, "Great Jamie, we'll film that tomorrow!"
What did you think of Cuarón adding new Slytherin "cronies" in Prisoner of Azkaban? It seemed to take scene time away from you - was it in the script that way?
It didn't make much of a difference to me. I thought it was good to have a couple more bullies in it.
What has been the most memorable scene that you have acted in thus far?
The upcoming ferret scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -- it should be good... it will be the best, and it's so funny.
Can you tell us anything about the current filming? What's in, what's out?
Current filming – I can't give away too much. The ferret scene, that's one to look out for. The Yule Ball – that scene is in, but I haven't filmed it yet.
Are you doing any filming in Scotland or are you in the studio all the time?
At the moment [I'm] at the studio. I went to Oxford where we did the whole scene with the ferret.
I know it might be a bit soon, but many fans may want to know, have you signed up for Order of the Phoenix?
Is there a joker on the set?
Not so much. It really is like little jokes, we just have a good time, not so much big practical jokes.
What is a typical day on set is like for you?
Filming starts reasonably early, [I] have breakfast, get all ready and stuff. [We] do some shooting if it's a normal day... as much shooting as we can. Have a laugh; it's more like have a laugh everyday. Have our breaks, film again, and then go home. It's a long day, you kinda get used to it, I think it's like 12 hours. They make sure we get breaks though.
Have you done any work with Ralph Fiennes [Voldemort], Brendan Gleeson [Mad-Eye Moody] or Miranda Richardson [Rita Skeeter]?
I've worked with Brendan Gleeson in the ferret scene and in his classroom. I haven't worked with any of the other actors. No, just Brendan Gleeson so far.
Do you know how long filming is going on for?
I'm filming till March.
Which Harry Potter book/movie is your favorite? How long did it take you to read Order of the Phoenix and did you like it?
Number two [Chamber of Secrets]. I read it before I was in the film. My part I thought was good.
You said in a previous interview that you loved playing Ron in Chamber of Secrets. Does that mean you would like to have a bigger role in the movies?
Yeah, if it comes my way I'd love it, but I'm happy at the moment. It was great doing Ron for Chamber. During the summer holidays we had to do lessons with a drama coach, me and Josh [Herdman; Gregory Goyle]. We had to watch the film a few times -- seven times -- and we had to do different exercises, keeping your mouth loose, [me] trying to copy Ron. The coach would give us a scene, any type of random situation, and I had to act like Ron acts. I had to be Rupert at the time. We did that for about six weeks: speak like him, everything like him. I had to lip-sync to Ron's words. It paid off in the film.
How does it feel to work with so many veteran actors and actresses in the Harry Potter movie series? Is there any one in particular that you really enjoyed meeting and working with?
I was really scared of Alan Rickman, not because of who he was playing but because he's Alan Rickman. He's great. When my mom was on the set one day she heard me yell, "Hey Maggie" to Dame Maggie Smith, and she nearly beat me. "You can't talk to her that way," but that's the way [Maggie] wanted it. (Jamie had a very funny story here to tell about Richard Harris, but alas, I can't repeat it.)
I remember seeing you at the New York premiere of Prisoner of Azkaban. What did you think of the reception from the fans? How was the premiere in London?
Big, amazing. When I went to my first premiere I didn't think it could get any bigger, then I come here and I realized it could. The London premiere was good, not as big, but still a lot though. At the New York premiere we had gone out for a meal first and our driver was going to pick us up and we couldn't find him. When we did, he dropped us off at the wrong entrance and we told him, "The red carpet!" But he said, "Just walk through the crowd." When I got there everyone started going nuts. I wasn't scared, but my heart was going a bit fast. I felt like freezing. People were asking for my signature, so I had to greet the fans and stuff. At one point a police officer was with me and the barrier started to give. The girls where just pushing it, and he said, "Sorry kid if I grab you by the collar, but they're going to get a bit rough." The police office was yelling, "Ladies, you have to get back now, I'm taking him away." You could see that the barrier was on its hinges. Now that I think about it, it was good fun. I actually got to meet LL Cool J. He was saying, "Great job!" He was actually saying that to me.
How do you feel staring in such a famous movie, media-wise?
I didn't realize how big it was. I never really saw how big. Maybe when I'm older I'll see. It's amazing, really. At the first premiere we rolled up in the car and I thought no one was going to know me because I'd never acted. I was unknown. There was nothing about me in the papers or anything and as I got out of the car the girls were screaming my name. That was the first time it hit me. Now the more times I [experience] it, I realize how big it is.
You said in a recent interview that you go to college one day a week. Do you still go? What are you studying and what do you hope to do when you're finished?
This year it's back to painting. In first year you do entry-level courses like painting, wallpapering, the basics. For six weeks in mechanics, we had a car that we had to work on, change the battery, change the tires, check tire pressure, all the odd jobs on it. We've done bricklaying. I didn't get to do much of that as I was filming. When I go back this time it will be [level two] painting, then mechanics.
Have you laid any bricks in any famous places?
I laid 16 bricks at Wembley Stadium in the conference room. When I do bricklaying the college has their own building near it. For a couple of weeks we went over [to the stadium]. We built the roof (just the structure and walls). I laid bricks and signed my name but it got covered over.
What are you going to do when you graduate?
I'm going to go to college full-time. I'm going to see if I have the fifth film, and if I have, I won't go until I'm finished filming. I want to carry on with filming, yes; [but] I like to have a trade if I ever need to do anything like that. I can fix my own house, I don't have to go to the mechanic or garage when my car breaks down. I can save a lot of money.
What kind of movies do you see yourself in?
One type of film I'd like to be in is one of Guy Ritchie's, like Snatch; those types of films. I'd like to try different roles, but I'd really like to be a baddie.
Did you always want to act or was it something that just happened?
It wasn't a plan of mine. I hadn't done drama school or anything. I'd only done a couple of school plays, that's about it.
What made you decide to start your own web site?
So the fans can get to hear more. As far as plans, I just want to make it bigger. We get e-mails from all around the world; it's amazing. From places like Bolivia and Iraq.
What do you like to do on your time off?
See all my friends. I have quite a bit of interest in music, making music, like rapping and stuff like that. Trying to make my own little album... see what I can do with my own skills.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of music - hip hop, rock, dance, not pop.
Do you get noticed on the streets?
Not so much here [in New York City], but at home, all the time, especially around my area. [As soon as] one person knows, everyone knows. Wherever I am, I always see a couple of heads turn and [I] know they know. In New York while eating dinner, this waitress came out of nowhere and started saying that she knew that it must be terrible to recognized, hoped that she wasn't interrupting, giving all the reasons why people shouldn't do this but wanted to have a signature. I always sign everything -- especially for the little kids -- because if it wasn't for the fans, I wouldn't be here.
Have you visited any countries other than the US?
I've been to Spain, France and Ireland.
What's your favorite site in New York?
I haven't been all over New York; I might do that one day. So far I'd have to say Macy's and the Empire State Building. The view is breathtaking.
What did you do for your birthday?
We just went out for dinner, as I was filming that day. I got a little surprise on the set - it was actually in Mad-Eye Moody's classroom. We were doing wildtracks (where we just record voices) and out came two cakes – one for the extras and one for the cast. From production I got a mini fridge and it has a heater as well.
Do you share your trailer with anyone?
Well actually at the studios I have a room. I bring my Playstation, telly, my fridge. But when we're on location there are three rooms in the trailers - 3 different rooms.
How was it meeting the president of the United States?
Exciting. It was really exciting. I would have just been happy to stand outside the White House gates. When they told me I was going to the West Wing I was like, "Wow!" They took me to watch the president land and he came up to shake my hand and said "Nice to meet you." Then all the people who had wanted to meet the president came up to see me and ignored him! They started asking me questions. I'm like, "that's the president!" but there they were asking me questions [instead]. I was invited back the next day to see the East Wing and have a tour. I saw the conference rooms with names on all the chairs like Colin Powell, all the flags. The security guards looked like the Men in Black with the ear pieces, the glasses, the gun holsters. I was told that on the White House lawn there are two cement dots for the wheels of the helicopter, and if the pilots missed those dots they were put in prison. I said, "I'd hate to be the pilot." There are actually four helicopters and they all switch around so you don't know which one the president is in, then one lands on the spots on the lawn.
Can you tell us anything about what deleted scenes may be on the DVD?
They cut so much from all the movies. At the last launch party they showed a blooper reel put to music. I had to eat trifle for three days and I hate trifle. I was sitting with Tom and Josh and I just turned and threw up into the bowl. Tom and Josh jumped out of their seats. A very funny scene which should be on the DVD (but may not be) - there is a scene with Devon [Murray; Seamus Finnigan] in Lupin's class where Dracula (his boggart) takes off his cape and it's a woman in a bikini. She starts dancing because Lupin is playing music, and we all start dancing and Malfoy just hits me like I'm a dog or something. The conga line was funny, that was cut out too.