Transcript #172

MuggleCast 172 Transcript

Show Intro

[Intro music plays]

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[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you enjoyed – Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I’d just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!

[Show music plays]

Andrew: Because Mary GrandPre is joining us this week, this is MuggleCast Episode 172 for March 6th, 2009

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Oh, this is a show for the mantle, ladies and gentlemen. This week we have, as promised and previewed, an interview with the illustrator of the American Harry Potter covers. Mary GrandPre is on the show this week. We conducted a great interview with her and we’ll be having that later on in the show, and it’s actually been awhile since our last MuggleCast, so we’re going to be catching up on a lot of news this week. So, let’s get right into the show. I am Andrew Sims.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Matt: And I’m Matt Britton.

[Show music continues]

News: Today Australia Airs Half-Blood Prince Clips

Andrew: Okay, Micah, we’re all looking forward to the Mary GrandPre interview, but first, what’s in the news?

Micah: Well we got a lot of news, because, as you said, it’s been a while since we did our last show, and…

Andrew: Yes it has!

Micah: We’ll get right into it. Today Australia debuted a new look at Half-Blood Prince back on February 23. And there were a few new scenes that were revealed in this – could you call it a trailer? Or is it just a sneak peek?

Andrew: It’s just as good as a trailer.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: It’s better than the Japanese one, that’s for sure.

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Andrew: I mean, first we saw the – this was in theaters, then, like Micah said, it was on Today Australia, and then W.B. officially released it in beautiful high definition quality. And, oh, just everything in this trailer – the scenes with Bellatrix jumping up and down in front of the Burrow – or, sorry, in front of Hagrid’s hut, it’s just – oh, my God…

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: These scenes were great.

Laura: Yeah, they really were great. I have to say, I really enjoyed the one opening scene where she flew down in front of the Burrow.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: I mean, which you just mentioned, but it looked so cool.

Andrew: Yeah. She did a little twist.

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: So awesome. I also love when she’s running on the tables in the Great Hall.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: It was so insane. I love crazy Bellatrix. I’m so excited to see that.

Laura: [laughs] Well you get to see Hermione sicking the…

Matt: Oh, yeah.

Laura: Birds on Ron.

Andrew: That was pretty cool.

Laura: It looked really cool, but at the same time, that clip also shows – you know the original trailer where it shows Hermione crying and she looks really emotional?

Matt: Mhm.

Laura: I thought…

Andrew: Yeah, that’s that shot.

Laura: Yeah, I thought maybe it was because of Dumbledore dying.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: I just think it’s a little bit too much. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.

Andrew: A little too upset?

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: [laughs] Well, she’s heartbroken, I guess. I mean, I don’t know.

Matt: Well, you know, you – maybe Ron in the film said something after that and it made her more upset.

Laura: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true.

Matt: Because she didn’t seem very emotionally upset when she did the spell to cast those birds onto Ron. She just looked kind of just a little bit upset. But then you – we saw in the trailer she looks like she’s on the verge of a mental breakdown.

Laura: [laughs] Maybe she is.

Andrew: Laura, you’re a big Rupert fan. Do you like his hair in this movie?

Laura: Yeah, I like it…

Andrew: Do you?

Laura: I don’t know. I like it shorter in general. I mean, I hate to sound like one of these people who sits around and scrutinizes how they all look…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I really didn’t like it in Goblet of Fire. I didn’t like Dan’s hair in Goblet of Fire, either.

Matt: No. None of the hair was happening in Goblet of Fire.

Laura: Yeah. No, it was bad. [laughs]

Andrew: At the end of this was that – the “I am the chosen one!” clip again. And at this point, like, it’s funny, but it’s like, okay, it’s going to provide zero excitement in theaters, because we’ve all…

Matt: Well…

Andrew: …seen it now. So…

Matt: There’s always that scene in every film…

Andrew: I guess.

Matt: That they keep playing over and over…

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: In TV spots and trailers and behind the scenes, everything. And then they – when you see it actually in the film, you’re like, “Ah. Eh, we’ve already seen this a million times.” So that’s just going to be the scene that everybody’s going to be already tired with.

Andrew: So, yeah. Really cool, I mean this just – the clips are top notch. I mean, in the cave – the cave looks incredible.

Laura: And the Inferi.

Andrew: And we’ve talked about – yeah, yeah, just crawling up there. What an epic scene that’s going to be.

Matt: The fire looks really good, too.

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: The ring of fire that he casts.

Andrew: Yeah. And I just love how the camera starts out above him and it swoops down.

Matt: It’s pretty epic.

Andrew: Yeah, it really is. What else is going on, Micah?

News: New Half-Blood Prince Website

Micah: There’s a new Half-Blood Prince site, and we get to hear a little bit of music from Half-Blood Prince.

Andrew: Yes, well, let’s play it, because its stuff from the score, we can only assume, right, Matt?

Matt: We can only assume, because it’s not from any other film that we’ve heard from, yes.

[Music plays]

Andrew: So you have the “Hedwig’s Theme.”

Matt: That sounds just like John Williams, too. That’s what I’m really…

Andrew: Yeah, well, they always use the same.

Matt: No, I mean, they always use variations of it.

Andrew: This part’s new. Shh.

[Music continues]

[Matt hums along to music]

[Music stops]

Andrew: So, it’s very exciting.

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Guess the scene. What could that possibly be from?

Matt: Oh, that’s definitely that one – that part in that one scene, remember?

Laura: That one scene?

Andrew: In Half-Blood Prince?

Matt: Yeah, in the film. In Movie 6.

Andrew: Maybe it’s like in Fred and George’s Wizarding Wheezes.

Matt: Nah, I would assume that would be more like silliness and crazy score.

Andrew: Well, that’s kind of – it’s a little upbeat, a little…

Micah: Actually, I hate to break it to you guys, but we had Patrick Doyle record that last week.

[Andrew laughs]

Matt: Ha, ha. You guys fell for it.

Andrew: I see. So it’s all fake. Well, you guys did a good job hacking Warner Brothers’ site and putting that on there. What else is going on, Micah? Let’s shift out of Half-Blood Prince. We’re all tired about that. There’s a new movie coming!

News: Deathly Hallows Filming Underway

Micah: Yeah, I’m sick and tired of this. We’re going to be able to piece the movie together by, you know, these next couple of months, with all these videos and photos. It’s getting tiring. So let’s go to Deathly Hallows. Filming’s officially under way, and Emma Watson…

Andrew and Laura: Woo!

News: Hermione’s Mother Cast

Micah: …updated her site that she began filming on February the nineteenth. And speaking of Emma Watson, her mother, or the woman who’s going to play her mother, Michelle Fairly, was cast today. And this brings up an interesting question, because we know that her parents don’t appear, at least in terms of any dialogue, in Deathly Hallows, so what are they going to do for the movie that’s going to have a scene for these two characters? I’m assuming they’re going to cast her father, as well.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: This is really kind of weird, because we only see it in like – it’s only Hermione who actually talks about her parents in the movie…

Laura: Or in the book.

Matt: But we never see interaction.

Andrew: Well now they’ve got two parts to fill, so I think they – this is a perfect little extra thing to add in there that the fans will appreciate. I think it will just be a little, like, while Hermione’s explaining it to Ron and Harry maybe there’s a flashback to Hermione getting them off to Australia or something.

Micah: Right.

Matt: Well they may have even been casted…

Andrew: I think it would be funny…

Matt: To take like a photo shoot so she has a picture of them with her.

Andrew: Oh, yeah, maybe.

Laura: That’s true.

Micah: Now, is this the same woman who played her in Chamber of Secrets?

Andrew: No.

Matt: No.

Andrew: And people in the MuggleNet comments were saying, “Hey, well why not hire that woman? The one who had played her in Chamber of Secrets, because she looks more like her,” or something like that. But, I mean, the photo we posted on MuggleNet, it’s not, you know, that’s not how she’s going to look in the movie.

Matt: Mhm.

Laura: No, they’ll – I’m sure they’ll give her the same hair, at least.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Not bushy.

Andrew: Give her the same hair color.

Matt: Non-bushy hair?

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: But I think it’s a good sign for these two parts, because you would never see them do this in a one-parter thing. I mean, that would probably be cut from the movie…

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Altogether, that whole…

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: You know, Hermione explaining to Harry and Ron what went on with their parents. I mean, I think that would be cut.

Matt: Mhm.

Laura: But I mean, at the same time I feel like they could just do it in the movie the same way it was done in the book. Hermione just told them what she did, and I feel like that would be a really quick way of getting that issue out on the table. I feel like casting somebody was kind of – not a really smart move, just because they’ve cut characters before who were more important. So why would you cast characters who you never actually see in that book?

Andrew: Well, I see it as, like, it’s going to be B-roll footage, where while Hermione is explaining it – over-top of her explanation, you see Hermione sending them off to Australia.

Laura: [mumbles grudgingly] Eh, I guess, I don’t know.

Matt: Yeah. I honestly…

Andrew: I think that would be a funny moment.

Matt: I honestly think it’s going to be just for like a picture or something she has. Because…

Andrew: Maybe. I don’t know, but the casting site said she was cast for it, so…

Matt: Mm, I kind of agree with Laura on this.

Andrew: I mean, have we ever seen, like, casting announcements for people in just pictures?

Matt: Well, we heard about Timothy Spall being in Order of the Phoenix, but only being for that photo, of the Order of the Phoenix.

Laura: That’s true. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, yeah. I guess, I guess. I suppose.

Matt: And I’m actually looking through Michelle Fairley right now on Google, and all these images, and she does look a lot like Emma Watson.

Andrew: And then it’s also interesting, because the article…

Micah: Ben’s going to be happy.

Andrew: Yeah. The article also says, “However, producers for the blockbuster have insisted that they wanted Michelle to play the part of Mrs. Granger.” So why would they insist? Unless, you know, there’s – I think they’re adding something. A scene. I think it’s more than just a picture.

Matt: They may be at the wedding. You never know.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. Maybe. What else is going on with Deathly Hallows?

News: Brent Klovstad Update

Micah: Well, it was reported back on February 27 by the Telegraph, that 21-year-old Brent Klovstad was camping outside Leavesden Studios in an attempt to get a part in Deathly Hallows. Now, Andrew, I know you spoke to him…

Andrew: He’s crazy!

Micah: …and it’s actually discovered that he was just looking for any job on the set, not necessarily a role in the film. He even told you that he’s clearly not British and he’s not an actor. He just wants to be involved in some capacity.

Andrew: Yeah. And the Sun initially reported it, and then the Telegraph I guess just took their story, or something, because they both said he was there just to be an actor – you know, to act in the film. When we reported this, I thought it was a rather intriguing story. The story ended up getting 177 comments from people, the large majority being like, “he’s crazy, why should he get a role, he’s American, he says he can’t act, blah blah blah.” So what I did is, I went on good old Facebook. And I Facebook-ed his name, and sure enough I saw a picture of him, sent him a message, said “Hey, do you want to talk about this for MuggleNet?” And I tried to record it, but the recording turned out bad because he’s over there right now, and he had a poor internet connection. So I just wrote up the summary of the interview instead. And he revealed, like what Micah said, that he was just trying to get any sort of job. And he was also just trying to brighten up the days of people who were there on set. He held signs that read things like “You Are Magical,” “Have a Harry Happy Day,” “We Can All Be Heroes Like Harry,” and “Smile.” Like, it was just a really nice story, I thought. I mean, he was just trying to brighten up people’s days, and, you know, if he’d gotten a – little intern job where he was sweeping floors one day, he would have been happy with that. But, you know, he was still happy with the outcome, and he talked to a couple actors as well. So that’s that. And it just shows you – and now everyone’s upset at the press for screwing up the story and making him look like something he’s – like someone he’s not.

Matt: Yeah. And that’s all due to you, Andrew. Good job. Yeah.

Andrew: I saved him. He’s welcome. No, but [laughs] he’s a really cool guy, and I wish him well. He lives in Southern California actually, too.

Matt: Oh.

Andrew: He’s going to be heading back here soon.

News: Deathly Hallows Part II Release Date

Micah: Continuing on with Deathly Hallows, we got a release date for the second part of the final film: July 15, 2011. It was originally scheduled for May 2011. [sarcastically] I can’t imagine why they would move the film back to July.

[Andrew laughs]

Matt: Yeah! Why is everybody all pissed off? Like everyone is still angry at Warner Brothers, “Oh my God, they’re doing it twice to us, I can’t believe Warner Brothers, oh my God!”

Laura: I don’t get why these people are complaining. It just means the movie’s going to come out in the summer, when you don’t have school.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: And do you really want…

Laura: Stop complaining.

Matt: [laughs] Yeah, I don’t get it. I think it’s ridiculous.

Andrew: I think, and you know, this is the final release date, so they can’t do this in the future, but I think that they should stop announcing release dates so early. They’ve been doing this since Order of the Phoenix, where they release the release date two years early. And it’s just – and they end up changing them. [laughs] So, you know…

Matt: Yeah, also fans – especially of the films that are coming out – they shouldn’t really consider all the release dates that studios provide set in stone.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Because movies don’t have a certain schedule. Things happen.

End of the Fandom: July 15, 2011

Andrew: The bigger side to this is that we finally, in a way, have an end date for the fandom. [laughs] Because for the first time after July 15, 2011 there will be no new books and no new movies…

Laura: Oh man.

Andrew: …based on the original seven books.

Matt: Yeah. Thanks for making that a reality, Drew. That was really nice.

Andrew: It’s kind of sad, it is kind of sad. There’s that final date now. It seems so far off, but it will be here…

Laura: Two years.

Matt: It does seem really weird, yeah. Two years.

Andrew: What do you guys think about this? Is it kind of weird?

Laura: It’s weird that I am going to be twenty-two when the last movie comes out. I’ve been reading these books since I was eleven years old.

Andrew: We should – I’ll be twenty-one too. I’ll be older. Or twenty-two or something like that.

Micah: I’ll be twenty-eight. Does that make you feel any better, Laura?

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Well no, I’m not talking about age, I’m not using that as a factor. It has just been a long – road, I guess, if you think about it.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: A lot of changes have happened in everyone’s lives since we started reading these books. And it’s just weird – who knew when you were a kid or a teenager or whatever and you picked up the first Harry Potter book, how different it would be ten years down the road.

Andrew: I know. It’s going to be twelve years since MuggleNet opened, which is insane. And this year is MuggleNet’s 10th Anniversary. October…

Laura: That blows my mind. It is so weird.

Andrew: I know.

Matt: That is really odd.

Andrew: By the way, we are going to be doing a few things to celebrate that. To all the listeners…

[Matt gasps]

Micah: It would be six years of MuggleCast.

Laura: Oh my God.

[Laura and Matt laugh]

Andrew: Crazy! I hate time. Why does time exist?

Matt: It just makes you feel older, doesn’t it?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. So there you go, July 15, 2011. And we definitely will be doing some sort of party…

Matt: A big one.

Andrew: End of fandom extravaganza somewhere, but…

Matt: The fandom will never die, Andrew. So stop it.

Andrew: No it won’t, it won’t and I’m wondering if J.K. Rowling is considering releasing the encyclopedia after this final movie comes out.

Matt: Maybe.

Andrew: Because I don’t know, I just feel like once the movie is over…

Matt: Well it’s definitely not coming out anytime soon. She hasn’t even really talked about it.

Micah: Speaking of big events, the year before there is going to be an opening, right?

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: The theme park?

Andrew: Yes!

News: Theme Park Update

Micah: We got a little bit of new concept art from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And this one is for Dervish and Banges. It’s going to be in Hogsmeade and it looks pretty cool.

Laura: Yeah, it does.

Andrew: I like it.

Micah: Not your average convenience store, that’s for sure.

Andrew: [laughs] You won’t see this in a 7-Eleven.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: It is pretty cool. And it kind of reminds me of Fred and George’s store because there’s that banister up on the second level, and if you see some video from the Half-Blood Prince preview there’s a banister on the second story.

Laura: Oh yeah.

Matt: There’s a lot of banisters in the films too, even Flourish and Blotts.

Andrew: Okay, so banisters are in the films. But it looks really cool.

Matt: I’m really excited to see the merchandise they have in that store. Because, it’s always very hard to find Harry Potter stuff to look at and buy, you know?

Andrew: I wonder if it is going to be – if they are going to be having exclusive merchandise that you’ll only be able to get in the theme park.

Laura: Oh, I’m sure.

Matt: Oh, definitely.

Andrew: That would be sweet.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Because it is going to have official Harry Potter theme park stamps.

Andrew: Well no, I’m hoping stuff that doesn’t have that. Like obviously, you’ll be able to get Wizarding World shirts and stuff like that; which will be awesome, by the way. I wonder if – like, look at the stuff in the picture. The – Jack-in-the-Box right in the front. Of course they have the scarves.

Matt: Mhm. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of stuff that we’ve never seen before.

Laura: Did you notice – I don’t know, one of the first things I noticed, maybe because I am a girl – but they had Hermione’s Yule Ball dress on display.

Andrew and Matt: Yeah

Laura: That’s cool if you’re interested in buying that kind of thing.

Matt: What’s right next to it? Is that the Goblet of Fire Tri-wizard Tournament…

Andrew: It looks like…

Matt: Thing that Harry wore?

Andrew: Yeah, looks like something of Harry’s. Because in Order of the Phoenix, he wears that grey sweatshirt and red shirt underneath…

Matt: And the red underneath shirt. Yeah.

Andrew: In a couple scenes.

Matt: It looks pretty big too, if you look there’s a hallway that goes pretty far back.

Andrew: Yeah. So yeah, it’s pretty sweet. I can’t imagine – I’m really excited to see the different stores they have in Hogsmeade. I mean, you’re going to be able – Harry Potter fans will be able to spend the whole day just in Hogsmeade.

Matt: Jeez.

Andrew: It is so exciting.

Matt: It is.

Andrew: We still haven’t seen any actual – there’s been a couple of buildings going up but there’s been no clear construction photos where you see a picture and you’re like, “Oh, that’s Hogwarts.”

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: They’re working on it, but…

Matt: I’m excited about that, though. I really want to be surprised on a lot of the stuff in the theme park.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: I don’t want to see every little piece of construction that’s been going up and it’s just going to look…

Andrew: Yeah…

Matt: You want to absorb the magic as they want you to see it.

News: J.K.R. Defacing Property – Again

Micah: All right and one final piece of news. Back on February 21st The Scotsman reported that J.K. Rowling visited a local hospital and graffitied the walls of the Young People’s Unit at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Morningside. And the hospital cares for teenagers with complex psychiatric conditions. And the people who work over there said that not only did she do a good job with the graffiti, but she really identified with the teens that were there.

Andrew: That’s really cool.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I’d love to see her with a can of graffiti and just like…

Laura: A can of graffiti?

Andrew: Yeah, or how does graffiti work? I don’t even know.

Laura: It’s spray paint or paint and you…

Andrew: Yeah, a can of spray paint. Whatever.

Laura: Yeah, but graffiti doesn’t come canned. [laughs]

Andrew: Oh.

Laura: That’s what I was saying.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Well, regardless. It’d be funny to see her doing that.

Matt: You know you’re famous when your graffiti becomes priceless.

Laura: When you don’t get arrested for it.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Exactly.

Matt: You actually just make it more valuable.

Andrew: Speaking of that, in response to this story Chelsea, 14 of New York wrote to us. She said:

“Hey MuggleCasters! I just want to express my love for you guys and all your podcasts. I was writing in about the news of Jo’s graffiti at the hospital. In Episode 75, I believe you were all discussing about the release date for ‘Deathly Hallows’ and how Jo wrote on the marble bust when she finished D.H. in the hotel room in Edinburgh. I think it was Ben or maybe Eric who was saying how maybe Jo would make this her new career, and now she’s done it again! Coincidence? Maybe you all were just a little too good in Divination. Anyways, love the show and hope to hear from you all soon.”

Andrew: So I thought that was pretty funny. Maybe Jo likes doing stuff like that. That’s her thing.

Matt: Maybe she had a history of graffiti.

Andrew: Maybe at her house.

Micah: She’s letting loose, now that all of the books are over.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: She just went crazy.

Andrew: Woo!

Matt: She’s a loose cannon.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Her house is like a New York City alley. It’s like graffiti everywhere.

[Matt laughs]

Laura: Don’t mess with her.

News: Robert Knox’s Killer Convicted

Andrew: And one final story, shifting gears for a moment. We’re recording on Wednesday, and we heard today that Robert Knox’s killer was convicted of murder today. As everyone remembers, last May – May 2008, Rob Knox, who plays Marcus Belby in Half-Blood Prince, was tragically, so sadly, killed out in front of a night club in London. He was stabbed to death actually. Terrible story, and his murderer was finally convicted today and he will be sentenced tomorrow. So…

Matt: That’s sad.

Andrew: Good to hear that he got justice, but very sad story.

Matt: Very sad circumstances.

Laura: Mhm.

Announcement: New MuggleCast Website Design

Andrew: Yes. So anyway, moving along to some announcements before we get to Muggle Mail and then the interview with Mary GrandPre. We have a new design on Has everyone seen this?

Matt: Yes!

Laura: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Matt: Yay!

Andrew: People are loving it much more than I thought they would…

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Andrew: …which is great. So thanks everyone. We’re glad to hear you like the new layout. It’s really nice. It’s slick, it’s easy to look at. It’s got more information on there. It’s just nice.

Matt: I like it. It’s very clean looking too.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s better organized and it’s got some fun buttons for Twitter. And finally our pictures are up there. Because some of our listeners still haven’t – they don’t know what we look like yet, because they don’t go on Facebook or MySpace or MuggleSpace, for whatever reason.

Micah: And now they wish they didn’t.

Laura: Oh my God.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Now they’ll see…

Laura: Now they know that we’re all social hermits.

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Andrew: Wow, these guys are nerds. Look at them.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: So our pictures are up there. So if you want to see the true us just go to and you click “About.” That’s been a long requested feature.

Matt: We need to pick a new picture for Micah, because his is…

Laura: You know Andrew, if you picked a crappy picture for me I’m going to kill you.

Andrew: I didn’t. I picked Facebook profile pictures for everyone because I figured if you used them once – it’s a very nice picture of you.

Laura: Okay, I’ll take your word for it.

Announcement: Podcast Alley and Azkatraz

Andrew: Anyway, we’re in March now, so don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley. We’re in the Top 10 as of right now, so thank you to everyone who has been voting for us. We really do appreciate your vote. And finally in the announcements we have a couple things about Azkatraz to talk about. As everyone knows, we’ll be doing a podcast after the midnight premiere of Half-Blood Prince with our friends at Leaky. It’s going be a lot of fun. And we’re doing a couple of other things too, on our own. And actually we heard just the other day – and I want to thank everyone who has signed up – we heard that we’ve referred over a hundred people to Azkatraz.

Laura: Wow.

Andrew: Like a hundred of our listeners signed up. So that’s great news…

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: And that’s going to help us out a lot. So thank you to everyone who’s been registering. And we can’t wait to see everybody there.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Also today I found out that our panel on “How to Podcast” has been approved. So we’ll be doing a discussion on how to make your own podcast and how to come up with ideas and such. I can’t remember if I ever told you guys about this…

Laura: You did, you did.

Andrew: Okay good.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: For once.

Matt: But you are finding out now and you are doing it.

Laura: Okay, Mason.

Matt: [imitating Mason] Oh yeah!

Andrew: It will be a lot of fun. I did this once before with Ben and Jamie at Enlightening 2007, the convention in Philadelphia. And it was a lot of fun and the fans enjoyed it too. So we’ll be doing that.

Matt: I’m really excited for Azkatraz.

Laura: Yeah, me too.

Andrew: Yeah, we’re also going to do a MuggleCast meet-up like we did last year at Portus. That was a lot of fun. This year, maybe if we got some extra money, we’ll order a ton of pizzas, whereas last year…

Laura: Instead of just pizza for Andrew.

Matt: Yeah, except one for yourself.

Andrew: We just ordered pizzas for ourselves! [laughs]

Laura: It wasn’t even for us, it was for you.

Matt: It was just for you.

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: I ate like three pizzas. [laughs]

Matt: Yeah…

Andrew: I gave…

Matt: We were sitting there for a half hour waiting on you to show up with your pizza.

Andrew: I awarded slices to the people who asked questions and such. But anyway…

Matt: The leftover slices…

Andrew: We’ll have like fifteen or twenty pizzas.

Matt: You didn’t want to eat.

Andrew: Yeah, sorry. So we’ll have a big pizza, Pepsi, soda party. Water, orange juice, whatever you want, it’ll be there. So that’ll be a lot of fun, and like I said, that will be the MuggleCast meet-up and we’ll be doing “How to Podcast.” And lastly, one more thing that we are doing. And Micah’s going to talk about that.

MuggleCast 172 Transcript (continued)

Announcement: The Next Biggest Podcast Idol Survivor

Micah: Oh yes, I am.

[Matt laughs]

Micah: HPEF and MuggleCast are teaming up to create “The Next Biggest Podcast Idol Survivor.” I think we included just about every reality TV show in there.

Andrew: Put Bachelor at the end.

Micah: A contest to make the next great Harry Potter podcast. Yeah, they’re missing that. And we mentioned this last episode, but the competition is great because it culminates on July 20th when the winners are going to get the chance to podcast live from Azkatraz in San Francisco as part of the Podcast Palooza. The reason why we’re talking about it so much is that you only have a small amount of time to get your audition tapes in. They need to be submitted by March 15th to YouTube, with “HPEF The Next Biggest Podcast Idol Contest” and then your name in the subject field. Now full details, including all the info on the remaining stages of the competition, are available on But that’s the first step: you need to get your audition tape in so you have a chance at being a part of this at Azkatraz.

Matt: Wait, Andrew, I got a question for you. On this thing, are – us the hosts – are we going to be the judges?

Andrew: Yes.

Matt: So like American Idol judges?

Andrew: Yeah, you’re going to be the Paula.

Matt: I don’t want to be Paula. I’m not crazy.

Andrew: I’m going to be Randy. “Yo, dawg. Yo, man, that was really kickin’.”

Laura: Who gets to be Simon?

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Who gets to be the mean host?

Andrew: Micah can be Simon. Laura you can be the new host.

Matt: I think, Andrew, you seem more like Simon than anybody else.

Andrew: “Dreadful, absolutely dreadful.” [laughs] That’s my best Simon.

Announcement: Smart Mouths Podcast Reminder

Andrew: One last quick announcement before we move into Muggle Mail. Just want to remind everyone we have a new podcast, everyone on the show this week is doing, and it’s called Smart Mouths. You can visit for more information. We’re talking about anything and everything in the world and it’s a lot of fun. So check it out:

Muggle Mail: Who Would You Date from the Potter Series?

Andrew: And so with that, let’s move into Muggle Mail this week, to catch up on some e-mails. People really enjoyed our favorites discussion last week on who we would date in the Harry Potter series as part of our Valentine’s Day discussion.

Laura: First one comes from Molly Gwin, age 20 of Madison, Wisconsin. She writes:

“In your Valentine’s Day episode, you asked people who in the ‘Harry Potter’ series would they date. I thought it was interesting that no one said that they would date Harry. I wondered why that is because I know I would.”

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, why didn’t anyone say Harry?

Laura: I wasn’t there.

Matt: I think we just – yeah, Laura, who do you think you would date?

Laura: I would date Harry. I like Harry. He seems like…

Andrew: Anyone else? Pretend like you didn’t see this e-mail. Who would you have said?

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: Who would I have said? I mean, I like Ron, too. I don’t know.

Matt: I think why a lot of us didn’t really think about Harry was because we just know too much of Harry.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Well, there were also five guys on the show.

Matt: Yeah.

Micah: That might have had something to do with it, too.

[Andrew laughs]

Muggle Mail: Who Would You Date from the Potter Series? #2

Micah: Next e-mail comes from Mary Margaret of Germantown, Tennessee. She says:

“I loved hearing your answers to the ‘Which HP Character Would You Date’ question. However, I was surprised that none of you guys said Molly Weasley. She obviously likes to get it on since she has seven kids and her nickname from Arthur is ‘Mollywobbles.’ She’s a great cook and she’ll even knit you a sweater. This is a woman who knows how to take care of her family and her man.’
[laughs] “I have to say…”

Matt: No, you had to say it with a little soul, too: [in soulful voice] “This is a woman who knows how to take care of her man.”

Micah: [laughs] You do it for me.

“I have to say I would date Harry since I always seem to end up with the guys who have emotional baggage and lots of drama.”

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: So that’s from Mary Margaret.

Andrew: I would date Molly.

Micah: She’s married, though.

Andrew: No, before. I mean, if she was…

Micah: Oh, before.

Andrew: You know, in her teens or her young adult years. I mean, she’s – Mary’s absolutely right. She’s a very nice lady. She’s very caring.

Muggle Mail: No MuggleCast Episode for Australian Footage

Matt: She’s the only character who actually swore in the series. Our last e-mail comes from Zach, 21, of Ohio, and Zach writes:

“You gave a live MuggleCast to that piece of trash from Japan, but we didn’t get this actual new footage from Australia? Plus, the little bit from Spoilers and the Oscars and there isn’t even a recorded MuggleCast? I’m afraid I just don’t understand. And I’m not mad, I’m just curious as to what you thought of all this new footage. Love the show and Ben needs to be on more.”

Geez, a little demanding of this kid.

Laura: Yeah, really.

Andrew: Well, I included this because a lot of people were asking why we didn’t do a show after the featurette was released that we discussed a little bit earlier. I mean, it was just because it wasn’t a trailer and we had some other stuff going on at that time. I mean, the stuff – the footage was really awesome.

Matt: Australia was definitely…

Andrew: One of our best looks yet.

Matt: The Oscars and Spoilers things, I don’t think, holds any water at all because the Oscars suck.

Andrew: Yeah, they both kind of sucked. The Oscars…

Matt: Let’s be honest. Spoilers and the Oscars, there’s no reason for us to do anything for that. It wasn’t even worth it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It was what? All of not even five seconds, I think.

Matt: It was five seconds of stuff we just – already saw six months ago.

Andrew: There was like one new clip, and it was a second long.

Matt: Yeah, but you had to pause it.

Micah: And I wouldn’t call the thing from Japan a “piece of trash”. I mean, that’s a little harsh.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: He was just upset.

Mary GrandPre Interview

Andrew: And there was a lot of new stuff in there. But yeah, next time there’s a new trailer, we’ll do a live show. Hopefully, there will be a lot of new stuff to discuss in it. But yeah, that featurette was awesome! Okay. Well, that’s Muggle Mail this week taking in all of your feedback from previous episodes of MuggleCast. Now it is time for our interview with the illustrator of the United States Harry Potter books, Miss Mary GrandPre.

Matt: Yay!

Laura: Yay!

Andrew: We’re now joined by the illustrator of the U.S. Harry Potter books, Mary GrandPre. Mary, it’s an honor to be talking with you. How are you doing?

Mary: I am doing just great today, thank you. How are you?

Andrew: Good, we’re doing good.

Laura: We’re great. We – we heard you’re in Florida right now. So we have to wonder if you’ve been to Universal Studios by chance and caught any glimpses of the Harry Potter Theme Park they’re building?

Mary: I have not. I’m waiting to do that. We have a little girl that we will take with us, and when she’s old enough, we’ll explore it.

Andrew: Aww.

Laura: Aww. [laughs]

Andrew: Well, let’s – let’s get into some questions about the books, because we do have a lot of them and, of course, all the fans know you for your amazing work with them. But let’s start with the basics. Could you – could you explain to us the process of designing one of the Harry Potter covers? We know that you read the books first, and then what?

Mary: Yeah, I’ll get the manuscript and then I’ll just go through and highlight descriptions of characters, descriptions of places, or creatures, or whatever is something that I might end up drawing. And I kind of have a code system that I, you know, highlight things that might be good for a chapter heading or a different color for things that might be good ideas for covers. And then make all my notes and try and get a really good understanding of the story and emotionally and visually as well. And then I just start out with writing notes and making some little sketches, and then at that point, after I feel like I’ve got some ideas, I’ll call David Sailor at Scholastic and we’ll discuss what some of my cover ideas are, and he’ll discuss with me what they’ve been talking about at Scholastic for cover ideas, and we’ll kind of come to a decision about a couple of different approaches. And then I’ll go back to the drawing board and sketch those. It’s usually a scene – sketch those scenes out. And, you know, working with the type, all the covers have – are
handmade, or hand drawn – title in them, so I kind of have to design the cover with that in mind. After the cover is decided we’ll go through and discuss what each chapter heading might be, and sometimes David will give me a list of his ideas, and sometimes I’ll have a different idea so I’ll shoot that to him, but I’ll just then continue on with those sketches. I mean, everything’s done in pencil first, pencil on tracing paper, and then it goes to pastel on paper after the pencils are approved.

Andrew: How long of a process do you think this is from, like, month-wise? It sounds like it must take a while.

Mary: It does, but there’s not enough time. There’s never enough time…

Andrew: Right.

Mary: …because the, you know, the print deadline is really always looming, and since, like, the artist is the last one to get the… [laughs] …to get the thing handed down…

Andrew: The book. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Mary: So, you know.

Andrew: Not fair.

Mary: But I would say from the time I get the manuscript to the time the final piece of art is due is probably about two and a half months or so. Two to three months, maybe…

Laura: Wow.

Mary: …to get a cover done and then all the spots, yeah. And they’ve also been including frontist pieces, which is that colored piece at the beginning of the book, too, so…

Andrew: Right.

Laura: Mhm. How…

Mary: And then there’s also a separate cover for the special edition too.

Laura: Wow.

Andrew: And is that done in that two and a half month period as well?

Mary: Yeah, I’d say maybe three months for that.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Mary: Yeah.

Laura: How many ideas do you come up with per book? Is it ever hard for you to decide which scene you want to depict on the cover?

Mary: It is before I talk to David, but after I get some kind of validation and really knock some ideas around on the phone with him, we’re pretty focused on a direction. I mean, it’s hard to decide before that point because there’s so many,
you know, exciting scenes to show, and J.K. Rowling really gives us a lot to work with visually. She’s such a – her writing is very rich in that regard, so it is hard to pick, you know, what wonderful scene to show, but once I talk with David, there’s a pretty good direction, and then my challenge is just to work within those
boundaries and make that scene shine the best way I can. Initially, I’ll come up with maybe four different ideas for what a cover might be when I speak with David.

Micah: Was there any book in the series you had a particularly hard time designing? And, if so, what was that challenge?

Mary: I would say Book 5 was hardest for me because it was a very dark book. It was kind of a hard book for me to read. I mean, I think it was really good, but it seemed like that’s when Harry was kind of coming into puberty and becoming this
young man, and it was emotionally really – it seemed really heavy and dark, and so – and there were a lot of dream scenes, and Harry running through hallways, opening doors, and as dramatic and interesting and rich as that is, it was hard to find a scene that was not depressing to show on the cover, and…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Mary: …so that’s why we went with the round spinning room with the candles, the blue lights. But, you know, I like to work with dark things too. I mean, it had that fun part about it, you know, dark is fun too, but it also can be kind of
overwhelming if you get caught up in it emotionally, so…

Andrew: Right. Now that was also the first cover that was – had a single, I guess – I don’t know what the technical term is – but a color tone, it was all blue.

Mary: Yeah.

Andrew: What was the reason for doing that?

Mary: Well, I think when I looked back at the first – the first three books were kind
of jewel-toned, you know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Mary: Reds, and blues, and purples, and golds, and then the fourth book became pretty green, and I started to kind of think in terms of, you know, let’s do something different with the fourth book. And then by the time the fifth book rolled around,
and color seemed actually to be mentioned a lot in the fifth book, there was a lot of dark blues in the writing. And it just so happened that the next book, Book 6, The Half-Blood Prince, there’s a lot of green. And so, I mean, it really made sense to kind of start making the books more poignant in their color…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mary: …themes.

Andrew: Now what about a character? Did you ever have a hard time coming up with the idea for a character? Because there are so many you have to illustrate when you’re including the character in your pictures too. Were there any challenges with that?

Mary: Not so much, I think, because she really describes well…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mary: …how people look. I mean, it’s not like I had to make them up, I really just had to pay attention to what she was saying and kind of envision the character in my head, and I really stayed away from watching the movies because – well, for one thing, they come out after the books, you know, and I didn’t want to get caught up in the special effects and the “wow” factor of the, you know, laser beams or whatever you see on the T.V.

[Micah laughs]

Mary: But, I mean it’s just – you know, I really wanted to make the books pure and simple and true to the writing, and – so I really just paid attention to the writing when it came to deciding how characters look, or places look. And so I don’t think there was so much challenge. My biggest challenge was always the ticking clock to get everything done on time.

Andrew: Ah, right.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: Yeah.

Laura: Kind of going off of that, have you ever received complaints from fans who may not have liked the characters as you depicted them in the cover art?

Mary: No. I mean, I think – I know that I can go online and look at websites where they kind of pull apart the art and criticize the art, and I choose not to do that because, really, what’s the point? I get more positive feedback and that’s really what moves me forward.

Andrew: Yeah. I think in general, the fans just – they really do love your work and they seem to – we know they tend to get critical about the actors playing the, you know, the roles, so we were wondering if maybe they had any problems with the characters, too, but I guess not.

Mary: Well, I’m guessing they do, I just don’t know about them. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Mary: I don’t want to know about them because, you know – I mean, I’ll do some public appearances as far as going to schools and talking to them about the process and the experience and about making pictures for books, and not just Potter books, but all books that I do, and, you know, I’ll always have a Q&A at the end and kids talk about – asking questions, why I do something this way or that way, or have comments, and it’s that kind of feedback, you know, in a public forum that I enjoy. Getting complaints in the mail or something like that doesn’t interest me… [laughs] …too much.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: And I don’t. I don’t really get them. I get some great letters, and there’s some wonderful fans, and it’s – and I – the encouragement is the biggest gift. So, you know, it’s a funny thing because you can’t really draw something in somebody else’s mind. I mean, you can only draw from what – how you see it, that’s how – the nature of art in any form, so that’s that I guess.

Andrew: Okay. And you talked a little bit before about designing the covers, but we’re wondering if you’ve had any involvement with the author, of course, J.K. Rowling? Do you talk with her at all when designing them? Or does she give you any feedback?

Mary: The way that it’s set up, and it’s this way with picture books as well, is it’s usually the publisher is the go between. They kind of keep the author and illustrator separate so that they can each do their job, and of course they would send sketches to J.K. to get her approval, but I never dealt with her directly. I mean, I’ve met her and spoken with her, but I never – when we were working I never dealt with her directly. It’s just not the way the agreement is set up. The relationship is set up. But if she wanted something changed, you know, or if she was concerned about something, she would relay that to the art director and the editor, and they would then speak to me about it. So far there’s never been a complaint, really, I don’t think, on her part about the covers.

Andrew: Cool.

Mary: She’s quite agreeable.

Laura: [laughs] Do you work with the international illustrators at all?

Mary: No. I don’t. I know there’s a lot of different publishers around the world and some of my artwork shows up in different countries, like a lot of the Asian countries. But no, I don’t speak with the others.

Laura: So there was never any concern about, maybe, like, the U.S. artwork and the U.K. artwork looking too similar? Or is that sort of a non-issue?

Mary: I think it’s a non-issue, and I don’t think they look similar at all, really, but…

Laura: Oh no, no, no, they definitely don’t, but just in terms of scenes being used on the different editions.

Mary: Oh. No, I don’t think there’s ever really been a concern about it.

Micah: When you’re designing the covers, do you have any other influences aside from the stories themselves that you may use?

Mary: That’s a good question. You know, it’s hard to say. I think so many of our influences are indirect and we don’t really know what we’re pulling from sometimes in creating something, but I guess I would really have to say my biggest and most tangible influence is the writing itself, the story, and the mood that it sets and, you know,
how this book cover differs from the last one, how it progresses, you know, how Harry’s aged, and just to think in progressive terms as a series. That’s – that’s really where my focus goes in deciding, you know, how the books change from one to another.

Andrew: Now, some more specific cover questions about your work. What, in your mind, was the significance of the heavily worn curtains on the Book 7 cover compared to the Sorcerer’s Stone cover. And I know you spoke – you did a small interview, I think, when – when that cover was revealed you said that every little detail on the cover mattered. So could you talk about the significance of that curtain, because that was particularly interesting.

Mary: Yeah, well, the last book we wanted to harken back to the first book and the curtains was one element of that, and, you know, the book really changed from – from one through seven, the look of it. I think it just got more mature and developed, as did Harry. And, you know, Harry’s more of a grown young man on the last cover, and so the curtains are more worn and older too, and, you know, a lot has happened. So we just had fun
making this dramatic scene, and making the covers tie back to the first one. And also the outstretched arm, you know, it’s a different – it’s almost a different Harry even though it’s the same Harry. He feels older, and more mature, and different, and he’s in a totally different environment. So part of it was – the curtains was just this kind of staged, dramatic effect and – but most of it was to tie back to book number one, just visually and also, in a way to say, you know, this is the closing scene, almost like a stage.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Laura: Mhm. Speaking of tying back to Book 1, how did you decide what to do for the Sorcerer’s Stone 10th Anniversary Edition cover?

Mary: When David and I talked about that, we just both agreed on the idea that we would show Harry in a more emotional, up-close way, because we’d been showing scenes. And Books 1, 2, and 3 were really scenes of these little figures, you know? And I really don’t like doing little figures very much. I like to get up close and do more of a portrait, more of an emotional connection with the characters, and so when it was time to do the anniversary cover, book – let’s see – we wanted to just show him in a vulnerable place on a real human level, a side that we hadn’t yet shown him on a cover that way, really, where he’s just really in this reflective state, looking at his parents in the mirror. So – and the fact that we never really got to see his parents on a cover and parents were a big part of his
spirit, you know, his – his strength. So that just seemed like a really good scene for those reasons.

Micah: Speaking of the 10th anniversary, both Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban celebrate their 10-year anniversary this year. Have you thought about cover ideas for them? Have you even been approached about those books?

Mary: We’ve thought about them. I’m not sure what’s happening right now with it. I really – I don’t really think I can comment on that. I’m not sure…

[Laura and Micah laughs]

Mary: …where we’re at with it. I know it’s – it’s approaching and then – I’m not really quite sure about it.

Micah: Yeah, no comment, right? [laughs]

Mary: Yeah. No comment on that one. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, and one other future cover that’s possible is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Encyclopedia. She says she
wants to do this down the road. She’s basically giving the impression that she really wants to do it. Obviously,
everyone would be looking to you to do a cover for the encyclopedia for the American edition. Have you heard about
the encyclopedia? Have you given any thought to it? What you could possibly put on – on an all-encompassing cover, you know?

Mary: Yeah, I know, that would be a tough one. That’s a tough – a tough cover to figure out because there’s so much and that’s going to be a really big encyclopedia.

[Andrew laughs]

Mary: And, you know, the cover should represent what’s going on inside. So that’s just – that would take a lot of thought. I don’t know if I’m going to be doing it or not, I – but should I be approached about it I would have fun trying to figure that one out.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: Yeah.

Andrew: I think it would be cool if you drew, like, every character and every item ever, and just fit it all on…

Mary: Yeah.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Mary: Okay, and the next ten years I’ll be doing Potter. Yeah, there’s so much. There’s so much.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: But I think, you know, a collection of portraits would be very cool.

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

Mary: Colored portraits, yeah. Because so many times we only see a lot of the main characters in just a black and white form in a tiny little spot, you know, at the chapter headings.

Andrew: Right.

Mary: But I think really getting to see them – their portraits – would be very cool.

Laura: Yeah. One of my favorite things about reading the books has always been the chapter art, because you always seem to be so good at not giving away too much with the drawings. Do you find the process of selecting a piece of work for each chapter challenging?

Mary: I found it more fun than challenging. Yeah. Challenging in a fun way. Yeah. Because that’s exactly what you have to do. You just have to entice – the writing, of course, entices you enough, but the chapter headings just really had to give you a little glimpse of what’s about to come without telling you too much. And, like I said, those chapter headings are also opportunities for us to meet some of the characters and then when we read on we find out who they are and what place they have in the story. So, you know, those are, I’d say, as much fun for me to do as the actual covers, because they really kind of mark places in the story that are important without giving it away, and that is fun to do.

Micah: Now, you’re one of the first people to read these books when they come out. I want to know, how difficult was it with knowing the end of Deathly Hallows and not being able to share it with anybody? And then, also, how did you feel once Harry’s story was done, because obviously you played such a big role in series as well.

Mary: Mhm. As far as the difficulty level of not sharing it, it’s kind of hard, but I’ve gotten used to just, you know, signing the confidentiality contracts and just being true to that. And my focus is always so much on, you know, the artwork and doing a good job and getting it in on time and just really being true to the writing that, you know, the other element of the social aspect of not sharing my work is just kind of not that important. My family doesn’t really – they know enough to not even talk to me about it at that time, and…

[Everyone laughs]

Mary: … my friends know. And they just know when I’m not coming out and socializing I must be working on a Potter piece.

Andrew: Right.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Mary: So, you know, they know the program and it just has become a way of working when that rolls around.

Andrew: A couple people…

Mary: And the other – yeah, I’m sorry…

Andrew: Sorry.

Mary: …the other part of your question was…?

Andrew: How’d you feel once Harry’s story was done?

Mary: Oh! Sad. Sad, but also kind of happy. It’s kind of like – I think I’ve said it before – like your eighteen year old is leaving for college…

Andrew: Right.

Laura: Aw.

Mary: …and they’re going out on their own, and now you move on to other things too. But sad too, because he really has been a part – and of course I look back at the work and I wish I could redo parts of it and do it better, you know, but that’s what artists do. And that’s what anybody does when they look at their work. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, a couple of basic questions: what’s your favorite character in the Harry Potter series? And what do you think your favorite book is too?

Mary: Well, Harry is my favorite character. But aside from Harry, I would say Hagrid.

Andrew: Oh, Hagrid.

Laura: Aw.

Andrew: Why Hagrid? Did you have fun drawing him too? He looks like a lot of fun to draw.

Mary: Mostly I love Hagrid because I’m drawn to… [laughs] …lovable, big, scruffy…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Mary: …guys – people, characters, I guess. And he reminded me a lot of my best dog Chopper who was a big St. Bernard mix and he was there and loyal and protective, and that’s what Hagrid was. And that, to me, is just really sweet. But I, you know, I also love Dumbledore and, you know, that, but I guess emotionally there’s a little tug at the heart for Hagrid. But certainly Harry.

Laura: Out of all the cover art you’ve done for the Potter books, which one is your favorite?

Mary: I would say the last one is my favorite.

Laura: Mhm.

Mary: I think it’s the best portrait of Harry, and I think, you know, I like the dramatic quality of it and the simplicity of the composition. I kind of like the curtain. I liked how it tied it up and it kind of related back to the first book.

Andrew: Right.

Mary: So, yeah.

Andrew: And also, what is your favorite book?

Mary: My favorite book of the Potter series?

Andrew: Yeah, like the stories in general.

Mary: It’s a draw between the first book and the third book.

Andrew: Now, why’s that? Why – was there anything…

Mary: You know, I think the third book because of Harry – the first book certainly because we’re just meeting this kid, and it’s just an amazing story and the fact that he lives in this little cellar under the stairs and, you know, and the funny parts. It seemed to be a little more lighthearted, and there was some good humor, and I guess when you meet a character and you’re finding out about their quirks, or their personality, it’s kind of – it’s kind of exciting in that way.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mary: And just being drawn to Harry as this orphaned boy, and discovering in that first book that he has this power, is pretty exciting. And then Book 3, I think it was about him finding out who Sirius Black was, and that he had this connection with him, and that he wasn’t alone, and there seemed be a real camaraderie between him and Ron and Hermione in that book, too. I mean, they are in all those books, but they really seem to come together physically and dramatically in Book 3.

Micah: Well, wrapping up, can you tell us a little bit about your exhibit that was recently held at Cedar Rapids?

Mary: Yeah, the exhibit was – it’s a great museum, and, you know, I’m from the midwest. I’m from Minnesota, and so Cedar Rapids is just a couple hours south of where I’m originally from, and so I felt a kinship to go back to the midwest and have this pretty extensive show in a museum. And the curator Sean Ulmer is a great guy to work with. But I showed a variety of my illustration work from throughout the years from other children’s books, and book covers, and posters, and opera, pieces I’ve done for the Cincinnati Opera, and also some sketches from the Potter series that I’ve got. I don’t own any of the originals, but I do have a few of the sketches. So it was interesting because people were drawn to this show, I think initially, because the illustrator of Harry Potter was showing some of the sketches, but once they got there they saw that my work expands into other areas, and they ended up, I think, leaving with a bigger picture of, you know, what an illustrator does, or what certainly – what I did outside of the Potter books, and it was nice to be appreciated for the other work too, since I’ve been working in illustration for twenty-five years, and…

Andrew: Sure.

Mary: …Harry’s been around for ten, so…

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, definitely.

Mary: …yeah, it was just a nice opportunity to show both sides of my work and to be appreciated on that level.

Andrew: Yeah, and we’ve received some reports from your exhibit from fans, and they sent in some pictures showing, you know, the galleries, how it was laid out, and really it was great, and we heard you went around and – I guess you probably didn’t do this for every day, but I guess maybe the first couple of days, you were there and took everybody through with the exhibit.

Mary: They just had – I did a few things. I visited some schools, and had – there was a family day, and I helped kids with art, and so there was a lot of community involvement. But then on one day I did a gallery walk and walked through and just talked about different pieces in the show, and took questions from the audience. It was a good turnout, and then I think the curator – I think the curator might be on YouTube, you probably saw, Sean Ulmer. He goes through and talks about some of the pieces too.

Andrew: Oh, cool.

Mary: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, it sounded like a lot of fun too, just seeing you explain your work and all that.

Mary: Yeah, it was. It was a really nice opportunity, and it’s really nice to see people interested in art, and in, you know, the art that goes with literature, and other kinds of illustration. Most people don’t know what illustrators do and so when you get the opportunity to kind of support the craft and talk about it with them, it’s fun. Just it feels almost educational.

Andrew: Before we let you go, just a quick question. Are you working on any other projects right now outside of Harry Potter? What’s going on?

Mary: I’m working on some other picture books, and I’m working on a bunch of personal work for me. It’s just, you know, painting and other kinds of medium. So, I’m experimenting with some of that, just trying to grow as an artist.

Andrew: And maybe you’ll get a call from Scholastic about those two books.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: Maybe I will. We don’t know.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

[Mary laughs]

Andrew: All right, well, Mary, it was so great having you on with us. Thanks so much for…

Mary: Thanks.

Andrew: …talking with us. We learned a lot today.

Mary: Well, thanks. Good questions, guys, and keep up the good work.

Andrew: Okay, well there you have it. Big thanks to Scholastic for helping us set up that interview, and to Micah as well. You were a crucial part of getting that interview with Miss GrandPre.

Laura: And of course, thanks to her for talking to us as well.

Andrew: Oh, absolutely.

Laura: It was great.

Matt: Yeah, she’s really cool. I like her.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: It was a lot of fun, and we hope you guys the interview too.

Make the Music Connection

Andrew: Now let’s move on to a fun game called Make the Music Connection!

Laura: Where’s the…

Andrew: Now I didn’t play the sound effect.

Matt: Yeah, where’s the – that wasn’t the clip. Where’s the clip?

Andrew: People request that I do it live now, instead of the clip, because, you know, live is live.

Matt: Now who are these people? You keep mentioning people.

Andrew: It’s a focus group. It’s a MuggleCast focus group.

Matt: I think it’s just you.

Andrew: No, no it really wasn’t me. People have requested that, so – let’s see, let’s have – Matt, you go first. Here is your selection for Make the Music Connection. If you don’t know how this game is played, basically I’ll play a hot song right now in the world, and the contestant has to make a connection between that song and Harry Potter. So here we go.

Matt: All right.

Andrew: Here’s…

Matt: I’m nervous, let’s do it.

Andrew: Here’s your choice.

[“My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson plays]

Andrew: This is of course, “My Life Would Suck without You” by Kelly Clarkson.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: She’s a popular artist.

Matt: Yeah. That’s a good song. I really like it, too.

Andrew: Let me read back some of the lyrics to you to help you out.

Matt: I know the song.

Andrew: “Because we belong together now, yeah. Forever united here somehow, yeah. You got a piece of me, and honestly, my life – my life – would suck – would suck – without you.”

Matt: Well, if you go by the lyrics, I would think it would be like, the showdown in the forest when Harry sings to Voldemort.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Matt: Don’t you…

Micah: I missed that part of the book…

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: …where he sang to him.

Laura: Yeah I must have gotten one of those editions where the pages were missing.

Matt: Well it was more like a ballad slash lullaby when he was singing it to him: “You’ve got a piece of me inside me.”

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Here maybe this will help your case…

Matt: Honestly, honestly though, I think this would be more relevant to Hermione when she’s beating the crap out of Ron in the tent in Deathly Hallows.

Andrew: Good one.

Matt: When she finds out that she really loves him.

Andrew: Well here’s another part of the verse that I think is good for your Voldemort thing. “Being with you is so dysfunctional. I really shouldn’t miss you, but I can’t let you go, oh yeah.”

Matt: “Oh yeah.” [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I think that seems to fit too.

Matt: Can you imagine him actually just speaking the lyrics to Voldemort instead of just singing?

[Laura and Matt laugh]

Matt: I really shouldn’t…

Andrew: [in an English accent] “Being with you is so dysfunctional. I really shouldn’t miss you, but I can’t let you go, oh yeah.” [laughs]

[Laura and Matt laugh]

Matt: And you just see Lucius in the side, “I’m like so uncomfortable right now.”

Andrew: Anyway, okay, next song, this is for Micah. Now this isn’t a current song. It’s actually from 1965, however when Watchmen is released on this weekend, it’s going to be – be coming back.

Matt: Is it Bob Dylan, from “The Times are Changing”?

[“The Times They Are A-Changin'” by Bob Dylan plays]

Andrew: This is of course, Bobby Dylan, “These Times are Changing,” and Matt and I caught a screening of Watchmen a couple of weeks ago, and this was in there.

Matt: This is a really good song.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It almost seems like a song that you would play during a somber moment, so I’d probably go with Dumbledore’s funeral.

Andrew: Oh no!

Micah: Or after Dumbledore’s funeral.

Andrew: That’s so sad.

Matt: That is really sad. Thank you, Micah.

Andrew: I’m tearing up. That’s really – crap.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Now I’m just depressed.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Damn it!

Matt: You know, I’ve been noticing a lot though when this song is played throughout movies, it’s always played during montages too.

Andrew: Yeah. All right, well that’s good Micah. They should really start incorporating some real songs into Harry Potter.

Matt: Yeah. Well, we’ll talk about it in eighty years when they remake the series.

Andrew: Okay.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: Exactly.

Andrew: And Laura, I know this is one of your favorite songs.

Laura: Oh, really?

Andrew: So this final one is for you.

[“Right Round” by Flo Rida plays]

Matt: Oh yeah.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: This is of course, “Right Round” by Flo Rida.

[Laura laughs]

Matt: Do you honestly love this song Laura, really?

Andrew: No I completely made that up. [laughs]

Laura: No but it reminds me of…

Andrew: Here I’ll give you some lyrics to it.

Laura: No I already have my answer.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Laura: It makes me think of the way the Pensieve works.

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Andrew: That’s great. That’s excellent.

[Matt laughs]

Andrew: Here’s some lyrics from that song. “Hopped out of that house with my swagger. Hop in that with girl.” That makes no sense. “I got places to go, people to see. Time is precious. I look at my crowd and they out of control. Just like my mind where I’m going. No women, no shorties, no nothing but clothes.”

Matt: God that’s Shakespeare right there isn’t it?

Andrew: Yeah it’s excellent. So there you go. That’s how we play Make the Music Connection! Im just going crazy with it now.

[Matt makes siren noise]

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Andrew: And we’ll wrap this excellent episode of MuggleCast up today with two Chicken Soups. The first one is rather sad. It’s from Matthew Dredge, 14 of Victoria, Australia. He writes:

“Hey guys. As you may have heard, the people here in Australia are suffering the worst bush fire disaster in decades. Fortunately as the fire swept through my state, my family survived but I cannot say the same for my house. We’d evacuated three hours before and escaped with a box of my possessions. For the past week my family and I have been living in a community center and the atmosphere here has been quite depressing. I can’t express how lucky I am that there’s wireless internet here, otherwise I would not have been able to download episodes of MuggleCast to my iPod Touch. Your hilarious jokes, insightful comments, thoughts and voices makes this difficult time just that bit more easier. Thank you so much. Love what you’re doing. G’Day from Australia.”

That’s from Matthew.

Laura: Oh.

Andrew: And we hope him and all the others who are victims of the Australia wild fires make it through and hopefully you know, get back to normal lives.

Laura: Our next one comes from Dana, 20, of Tucson, Arizona. She writes:

“I’m a long listener of the show and I love you guys. My Chicken Soup is in three parts. Firstly, I want to thank you for getting my boyfriend to read these books. I would always be listening to the show and he would want to. I would never let him because I didn’t want to spoil the movies. He ended up loving the series so much. We started downloading all the episodes so he can listen and now he loves you as much as I do. Secondly, I feel you Laura and Andrew. On being poor college students, you give us hours of entertainment because we don’t have cable. Finally, last September my sister technically died. She did some stuff that isn’t really good to talk about on the show. I know you like to keep it PG for the most part. She was in a coma for three days and in treatment for another four months. Thank you for supplying me with happiness on the way” – I can’t read today – “thank you for supplying me with happiness on the forty five minute drive to the hospital, which I made about four times a day. She is doing very well now. I really love you all and can’t wait until the next episode. Thanks so much. Dana.”

Matt: Awww, we love you too.

Andrew: We’re glad to hear Dana and Matthew and everyone who listens, and is sending in Chicken Soup’s are using MuggleCast to brighten up their days a bit.

[Show music plays]

Contact Information

Andrew: Anyway, that wraps up this 171st episode of MuggleCast. We’ll be back to talk to you guys more very soon but before we go we want to remind everyone about our contact information. I’m sure lots of you have feedback about this episode.

To contact us, don’t forget you can always call in your voicemail question or comment to us. If you’re in the United States you can dial 1218 20 M-A-G-I-C. If you’re in the United Kingdom you can dial 020 8144 0677. Don’t forget you can also Skype the username “MuggleCast.” Just remember no matter how you call us, keep your question under sixty seconds and eliminate as much background noise as possible.

And of course, on the brand new you can find a handy feedback form to contact any one of us or just use our first names at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and don’t forget we have the community outlets. Follow us on Twitter, fan us on Facebook, vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley and we have a variety of other community outlets: MySpace, YouTube, Frappr, Last.FM and the Fanlisting and Forums over at But just remember, has all the links you need.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: So, there you go. We’ll be talking to you guys again soon.

Show Close

Micah: Real quick I just want to say thanks again to obviously Mary GrandPre but also Kris Moran over at Scholastic for helping us with that.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Yes.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Thank you very much.

Matt: Scholastic, you rule.

Andrew: So with that, it is time to go. Once again, I’m Andrew Sims.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Matt: And I’m Matthew Britton.

[Everyone laughs]

Matt: Well I don’t know. Everyone was talking so fast.

Andrew: I thought Micah’s was a glitch – whatever. We’ll see everyone next time for Episode 172. Buh bye!

Laura: Bye.

Micah: Bye.

Matt: Bye.

[Show music continues]


Andrew: Because Mary GrandPre is joining us this week, this is MuggleCast, Episode 172 for, I don’t know the date! 2009.