This is a truly bittersweet moment for all 'Harry Potter' fans. While we all get to see the final chapter of the series (finally!), we also have to say goodbye to Harry, Hermione, Ron, and all of our other favorites. No more Malfoy, no more Snape, no more Hagrid -- how we wish there were a spell to counteract our sadness about this!
From what we've seen so far, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2' looks to be an absolute blockbuster. When you get goosebumps from a trailer (not to mention the latest clip), you know good things are coming. Warner Bros. invited Moviefone to the London set of 'Harry Potter,' and we sat down to talk with Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), director David Yates, Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), and Mr. Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe.
Back in May, we filled you in on some tidbits from the set visit, but now we can share everything we learned about the last 'Harry Potter' movie. So, of course, fellow Muggles, if you haven't read the books, there are some spoilers ahead.
1. The Final Battle Scene of 'Deathly Hallows Part 2' Will Be Epic
The trailer gives you a tiny taste of the mind-blowing final battle scene between Harry and Lord Voldemort. We see the pair fall down a chasm together -- but what will happen after they land? Will they land? Daniel Radcliffe insists that the scene is one of his favorites, and for good reason: It's the moment where Harry finally embraces his manhood and leaves that troubled little boy behind.
"For me, this whole series is about loss of innocence, and about Harry going from this wide-eyed child to this slightly grizzled young man by the end," he said. "It's essential that he doesn't entirely turn into a man in the film because that's what makes all that fight stuff at the end so powerful. It's also kind of horrible to watch, because you're seeing a kid get beaten up by a very strong, very angry man."
2. Wizard Battles Take Cinema to a Whole New Level
Director David Yates is all about making each battle as intense as possible, for both the fans and characters in the story. The beauty of magic is that it's boundless, so there aren't any cinematographical limits. Oh, and did we mention there are dragons? Yep, dragons.
"The notion that you're in the middle of this wizard fighting is exciting, so it feels very visceral," says Yates. "I did a wizard battle at the end of 'Order of the Phoenix,' and it was the first wizard battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort. What I really loved was the kinetic power of the exchange, because the magic I had seen at that point had always been pretty and clean. There are moments in this battle that are very visceral, frightening and percussive."
3. You'll Be Able to See 'Deathly Hallows, Part 2' in 3D
Unlike 'Part 1,' the second half of the finale will be shown in theaters in 3D. How awesome will it be to witness magic battles, flying creatures and the glory of Hogwarts in 3D detail? Yates insists that he doesn't overuse it, either. "My own idea about 3D is that it's there to enhance the viewing experience, but I don't think that you have to use it in a tricky way," he says. "I think the minute you sacrifice story and character for something coming out of the screen, I think you've lost it, really."
4. Just As With 'Deathly Hallows, Part 1,' 'Deathly Hallows, Part 2' Is Fiercely Loyal to the Book
Yates insists on maintaining consistency with the story that the J.K. Rowling books tell: "I'm sure some of the fans will be frustrated, but fortunately we've kept more than we've ever been able to keep than with other adaptations." He credits the accuracy to the fact that they split the final movie into two parts, saying, "Because we can spread the whole story into two movies, we're able to address some loose ends that we can tie up as we go."
There are parts where 'Deathly Hallows, Part 2' diverges, though. "Ultimately, the battle and the magical fighting is a counterpoint, and that is where we differ from the book a little bit," says Yates. "I felt that in the book and the earlier drafts of the scripts (before we worked them out), there was an opportunity to be had counterpointing Harry's desperate race for the Horcrux with the Dark Lord's ever-encroaching ability to kill everyone in the school, so there is this race against time. So we counterpointed these two strands."
5. There Will Be an Epilogue at the End of the Film
At the end of the 'Deathly Hallows' book, there is an epilogue that looks 19 years into the future: We know Harry and Ginny are married, as are Ron and Hermione, and we know the epic final line: "The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well."
Both Rupert Grint and Yates hint heavily that this is going to be included at the end of 'Deathly Hallows Part 2' (which we finally got visual evidence of last year).
6. This Movie Takes a Gigantic Emotional Toll on the Actors -- and the Viewer
The actors and director all expressed some form of emotional exhaustion, whether it was from acting out a particular scene or just due to the knowledge that this was the final movie. In one scene, Grint had to muster all of his strength to get through it. "Especially when Ron loses his brother ," he says. "That was quite a big scene with the whole Weasley family. It was a depressing scene to do because you've got Fred lying on the floor and it's quite shocking. It involves a character we've associated with jokes and mucking about. It's quite horrible. There were a lot of heavy, emotional scenes like that."
Mark Williams, who plays Mr. Weasley, agrees. "Oh God, yeah, that scene was rough. We've actually just finished shooting it. Those scenes are all behind us and they were not very nice. It's not very nice spending days thinking about your children dying."
7. The Violent Scenes Aren't the Only Tough-to-Handle Ones
It seems that Grint gets a lot of action in 'Part 2,' and we're not just talking about fighting. "It's really taken to another level -- it's quite gory. It's really graphic, actually," he says.
But it's not only the physical action that was taxing on Grint. In 'Part 2,' there comes a time when Ron and Hermione finally share their first kiss. "I kind of built up this thing in my head," he says. "We were both kind of dreading it really, just because we've known each other since we were really small. It's like kissing your sister."
8. Radcliffe, Grint and the Rest of the Cast Will Always Love 'Potter'
Some people insist that because the 'Potter' movies mark the main actors' careers, they must be somehow resentful of the franchise for, in a sense, typecasting them. According to Radcliffe and Grint, nothing could be further from the truth.
"I think it's very important that no matter where I go from here, Harry Potter's one thing ... and every opportunity I will get for the rest of my life, I would not have gotten if it wasn't for Harry Potter," says Radcliffe. "And it would be the height of ingratitude if I was ever anything but proud to be associated with these films."
Grint agrees in his own way: "Yeah, ['Potter'] has become quite a big thing and I'm proud to be a part of it. I'm loving it."
9. It Wasn't Like This for Us When We Were Kids
Inevitably, when dealing with child/teen actors, there will be chaos on-set. While there were definitely hijinks, Williams (Mr. Weasley) insists it wasn't that bad.
"Well, they all went through adolescence, which was a bit tricky here and there," he says with a giggle. "They've been great. We've had great fun. When Dan and Rupert were little, after lunch was always useless. Do you remember being at school after lunch in the afternoon when you were either really -- you went kind of tired, and then you went really giggly, and then it was time to go home. You remember? [Director] Chris Columbus would be like, 'C'mon, you guys, action!' There was nothing you could do. It was great fun."
Radcliffe thinks it's extraordinary that the films turned out so well, and the actors emerged through adolescence relatively unscathed. "In terms of the young cast, given what a lot of people might have expected of us at the very beginning, I think we should be prouder of that than even the films themselves: the fact that we've all come through and remained who we are and not become horrible nightmares. I think it says a lot about our parents and about the crew here.
10. The Kids Have Grown Up Together, Will Stay Together
Of course, now that the "kids" of 'Harry Potter' are young adults, they're moving on with their film careers and various ventures outside of the 'Potter' franchise. But that doesn't mean that they won't stay in touch and remain friends for life.
"I'm suddenly thinking, Oh God, I'm only here for another three months!" says Radcliffe. "It'll be very odd and upsetting when it does come to an end, because I've spent so much time here and made some fantastic friends who I hope will stay with me for the rest of my life. I suppose whenever you go through periods of transition ... it's a definite closing of a certain chapter of your life. I suppose those times are always going to be both upsetting and exciting by their very nature, because things are changing and you don't know what's going to happen."
"We get on very, very well," he continues. "We also have the knowledge that no matter what happens in the rest of our lives, no one will have had this particular experience other than the three of us. And I think that is something that will never, never leave us."