The production notes (a 51-page, MS Word file) provide an in-depth, behind-the-scenes read that explains the film's special effects, stunts, and costume design, with discussions about the characters, old and new. Since spoilers abound if you read about the special effects for the tasks, instead here are a few tidbits from members of the cast and director Mike Newell:
Michael Gambon on Dumbledore
Dumbledore is no longer in control and he’s frightened. He carries tremendous weight on his shoulders, ensuring the safety and well-being of the students, and when evil penetrates Hogwarts, he doesn’t know how to deal with it.
Brendan Gleeson on Mad-Eye Moody
Moody is a gunslinger with a wand. He’s someone who has chased the demons away from goodness to the extent that he’s gotten quite warped by it. One of the things Mike Newell suggested when we first discussed the character was that Moody’s great wounds have damaged him greatly. It’s a very interesting arc to play with this character, who comes into Hogwarts as death warmed over and grows into someone the kids learn to trust.
Miranda Richardson on Rita Skeeter
Rita feels it’s as much her duty to dress for the occasion as it is to tell the truth – as she sees it – for her readership. As far as she’s concerned, she’s the only one who is well-dressed.
Ralph Fiennes on Voldemort
Mike was very keen to explore Voldemort’s unexpected mood swings, his explosive rage. There are moments when anger spits out of him at Harry and other moments when he can be almost pleasant. You never quite know what he’s going to do. People are incredibly scary when they’re charming but you suspect they might suddenly do something very violent. If you sit across the table from someone who offers you a glass of wine and a present, but you know that he stabbed his wife to death, it’s quite unnerving.
Newell on Stanislav Ianevski
Stan doesn’t just look the part, broodingly dark and handsome and athletic, but he can really act.
Newell on Clémence Poésy
Clémence typifies French poise and dignity but at the same time she is strong and determined, like Fleur. Clémence is also a very gifted actress. She was able to embody the dignified inner strength and fearlessness necessary to be the Beauxbatons Triwizard champion.
Newell on Robert Pattinson
Cedric exemplifies all that you would expect the Hogwarts champion to be. Robert Pattinson was born to play the role; he’s quintessentially English with chiselled public school boy good looks.
Rupert Grint on his Yule Ball dress robes
My outfit is horrible, all pink lace and flowers! But it was actually quite fun wearing it. It was kind of like something out of the 1970s and so hideous I actually quite liked it!
Emma Watson on dancing at the Yule Ball
The girls were really looking forward to the dance and the boys, being typical boys, were very nervous about it. I love dancing and really enjoyed learning to waltz, but what was interesting was that Mike didn’t want us to be perfect dancers. He wanted the camera to pick up that we weren’t exactly sure what we were doing.
Daniel Radcliffe on his dancing skills
It was terrifying. My parents are both very good dancers, but it seems to have skipped a generation. Everyone else had about three weeks to learn the steps, but because I was so busy filming other scenes, I only had four days. So I would get halfway through the steps and just lose it completely. Luckily, Harry’s not supposed to be a fantastic dancer.
Newell on lyricist and Yule Ball performer Jarvis Cocker
Jarvis was a wonderful collaborator. He had a lot of fun with the whole thing. He said that when he was a kid, he used to be called ‘four eyes’ because he wore glasses, so for the scene he wanted to be four eyes. Then he shut his eyes and revealed eyeballs painted on his eyelids!
Also, we now know what songs the band will be playing at the Yule Ball. This is the Night, Magic Works and Do the Hippogriff are three of the songs that were previously reported to be on the soundtrack.