Richard Griffiths: 'Everything starts' in Potter 3

  July 15, 2003 at 3:50 PM ET
  Cheeser     HPANA (via Potterish)

Brazilian site Omelete in May interviewed Richard Griffithsopens in new window (Vernon Dursley) and Harry Mellingopens in new window (Dudley) at the Chamber of Secrets DVD release party. Some revealing details seemed to have slipped under the radar at the time, but thanks to Potterish.comopens in new window, they have surfaced.

The online translationopens in new window is rough at best, but here are some highlights, via my own interpretation:

Omelete: How do you think people will react to this darker Potter?

Richard Griffiths:: The kids in the first film were 13, 14 years old and they are growing with the movies. It's natural that the films also have to grow more mature and complex. Hormones are changing these children ... I find that everything starts in the Prisoner of Azkaban. (See correct translation below - hey, I tried!)

O: What is the difference between Alfonso Cuarón [director of the third film] and Chris Columbus [director of the first two]?

RG: Clearly there's a basic difference, the way each one treats the project ... we all know the story gets shadier. What I found interesting is that Alfonso said we [the Dursleys] must have more fear. Harry is more powerful in each book. At the beginning, we were evil. Now, we want to be, but ... we're always fearful that Harry will do something.

I hope my translation fares well enough. If anyone can do a real translation, please send it in!

UPDATE: Below is a human Portuguese-English translation of the entire interview, courtesy of HPANA member KarenEikoo. Thank you!

During the launch party of the Chamber of Secrets DVD, Omelete (the site), had the oportunity to talk with some of the actors of the series. Read below for the interview with Richard Griffins (Uncle Vernon) and Harry Melling (Dudley.)

Omelete: Are you guys already filming with Alfonso Cuarón?

Richard Griffiths: To tell you the truth, we're already done. The only reason that we are here, it's because they don't need us at the set anymore.

O: What's the difference between Cuarón and Chris Columbus?

RG: You can't tell yet. We're a bad part of the story, the unliked. Of course there's the basic difference, which is the form of how each one treats the project and everyone knows that the story will become more darker from now on. What I thought was interesting, is that Alfonso showed us that there should be more fear. Harry's more powerful each time. We're not a threat to him anymore. Now he can act on his own, in a frightening way. In the beginning, we were evil. Now, we want to be, but we don't have this power anymore. We were scared all the time, that Harry was gonna do something to us.

O: Is it hard to be a Dursley in the real life?

Harry Melling: Truthfully, the people practically don't know me for Dudley, which is great. It would be really bad if they knew [Translator's note: I think he's referring to girls].

RG: What no one knows about Harry [Melling, (Dudley)], is that he wears those "fattening" clothes, which makes him gigantic. When he puts those clothes on he turns into Dudley Dursley, but at the end of the day, he takes it off and goes back to being this normal, healthy kid. I don't have that problem (slapping his enormous belly) Hahahaha.

O: And at school, what do your friends say?

HM: They keep on calling me Dudley Dursley, but they're joking around. It's fun.

O: Would you like to be Harry Potter, to change a little?

HM: No. I like Dudley. I like to interpret evil people, hehehe.

O: How do you think people will react at this darker Potter movie?

RG: The stories are becoming more dark and I think that's what makes them more attractive. Because the people that saw the first movie were 13 and 14 years olds, they're growing along with the story. So it's natural of movies to also grow, and become more complex and mature. Of course there will always be new children of 10 years, to see the first movie and repeat the cycle. They wouldn't be able to use the same people and repeat the stories changing just a little. It wouldn't be fun.

In the fourth book, new problems begins to arise, in normal relations of sexuality. The hormones are changing these kids. But I think everything starts in Prisoner of Azkaban.

O: And what about the fourth movie?

RG: I hope it is made. When I signed the contract for the first movie, there was an option on whether I wanted to be in the fourth one. But the difference between this option and really filming it, is really big. First the producers need to decide if they'll make it.

If this movie (Azkaban), goes well, they should make the next one. I don't know what will happen, but that production is something big. On one side, you think that there's no way that there won't be a fourth movie, since there's a lot of money invested here. But I've seen projects that were being filmed, and suddenly cancelled. Out of nowhere the people come and say "We don't have any more money to continue. Here's your payment, you can go home."

O: And you Harry (Melling), also have this option to be in the fourth movie?

HM: Yes. I received that option when I signed the contract for the second movie. But just how Richard was saying, it's just an option.

RG: But it's great. It means they like you!

O: How long did you guys work on this movie?

RG: We worked for about a month, and maybe we'll go back for a few more days, if they need to redo something.

O: Harry, do you get along well with the other kids?

HM: Yes, always. This month that we spent filming, I had to go to school with them.

RG: The children here have to study. It's classes with more than 300 kids.

O: Is participating in the Harry Potter movies turning into a routine, or is this impossible?

HM: A little. It's kind of like going to school: you wake up, change clothes and go. But of course it's more fun.

Once again, thanks to KarenEikoo for this translation.


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