Transcript #176

MuggleCast 176 Transcript

Half-Blood Prince Premiere

Borders – Columbus Circle

New York, New York (US)

July 12, 2009

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 begins]

Andrew: Welcome to Borders. Thanks to Borders for hosting us today. Nice sized crowd here too. I’m Andrew Sims, we’ve got Emerson Spartz here, Micah Tannenbaum and Ben Schoen on my far right. Who went the premiere yesterday?

Fun on the Red Carpet

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Everyone get good seats, good pictures?

[Audience responds]

Andrew: Front row? Anyone get autographs?

[Audience responds]

Andrew: From who?

Audience Member: Rupert and Emma.

Andrew: Rupert and Emma?

Audience Member: Rupert, Emma and Tom.

Andrew: Oh wow, a lot of autographs that’s pretty impressive. Emerson, I saw you signing out there you were quite the celebrity.

Emerson: Some people must have felt sorry for me.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: It was obviously a lot of fun. Did anyone go to the Goblet of Fire premiere – podcast, or premiere which was – got one guy. It was November 2005, it brought back memories to me because it was at the same exact theatre, doing it with Emerson all over again. But yeah so, it was a lot of fun.

Emerson: At the Order of the Phoenix premiere in L.A. we borrowed our friend’s camera and we had this giant TV camera with a shoulder strap and everything so we looked like we were an actual TV crew.

Andrew: This time we looked like noobs.

Emerson: Yeah we did.

Andrew: But they put us in between – and we have got to give W.B. credit for this because…

Emerson: This is awesome.

Andrew: And they put us right in between CNN and Reuters.

Emerson and Ben: Reuters.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: They got their big cameras, I got a nice camera, it’s small, but – first of all what’s so funny about that? I mean…

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Emerson: It’s great because it just shows the power of the Harry Potter fandom; that instead of having us stuck at the end of the line, having to club other reporters with your microphone to get in there and ask a few questions. They’re now – Warner Brothers recognises how large this community really is so they actually put us at the front of the line were we can be comfortable and talk to the stars as they come through, at our own pace.

Andrew: And of course, the Reuters guy was to our right, and Emerson immediately knocks the guy’s camera over…

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: …And doesn’t say a word about it…

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Andrew: …And the Reuter’s camera guy was like…

Emerson: I was hoping he wouldn’t notice!

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Andrew: So that was kind of embarrassing.

Fun with the CNN Lady

Emerson: The best part was that, we had great placement except we just happened to be placed right behind a giant lamp post.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah it was literally right in our spot!

Emerson: So when you see the footage online, you’ll notice that for every interview, instead of – you know we are standing comfortably and having a nice little chat with Emma. I’m like this.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: Like, pressed up against – I had such an awkward moment, the very first – it was very cramped, and the very first person who came through – it was…

Andrew: Yates. Yates.

Emerson: David Yates, the director, and we hadn’t figured out how we were going to stand next to the other journalists, the lady from CNN, as soon as Yates got there she got launched into position and was pressed up against me so hard and I like choking to death, standing there really awkwardly, not wanting to move. I didn’t want to bump her hand while she was on camera. So I had to sit there through the entire interview with our bodies pressed together so awkwardly!

[Andrew and Audience laughs]

Emerson: Ugh – we eventually figured out our position that wouldn’t involve that much physical contact. Thank God.

Andrew: Some teamwork. But then she asked for your number so I think she liked you.

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Alan Rickman Makes an Appearance

Andrew: There were a couple of interesting things that we learned on the red carpet. Once again we waited till the last minute to come up with questions. But that is okay, because CNN was on our left – how it works the stars will go one by one down the press line, and right before us was CNN, and CNN asked some question and Alan Rickman was there – and Alan Rickman was right there.

Audience Member: Woo!

Andrew: Yeah it was really cool.

Emerson: Yeah. We never see him.

Andrew: He never comes out to premieres. I don’t know what his deal was this time – anyway, so CNN somehow gets him to reveal – and I don’t know if we heard this yet, when J.K. Rowling – when he first got the part of Snape, he said to J.K. Rowling, “Look, I need to know something about Snape that nobody else knows.” And Jo said, “Okay, but you can’t tell anyone.” And this was like, ten years ago. So, the CNN reporter naturally was like, “So what was it?” And he was like, “Oh, sorry, I cannot reveal this information.”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: And then the CNN guy’s like, “Well, MuggleNet is right next door so they’re going to be bugging you more about it,” because, you know, we’re the fansite and we want to know. So then we ask him…

Emerson: Repeatedly.

Andrew: Yeah.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: And he still refuses to ask! Now, first of all – to reveal. So does anybody have any theories what Jo could’ve told Alan and not have – he’s like, still refusing to not tell it! And as Emerson said to Alan, I mean, all the books are out, you don’t need to hide it anymore!

Emerson: Yeah, I really don’t know. I asked him, I said, “Okay, the books are out, you know, there’s no reason to worry about spoiling anything anymore.” And his excuse was that not everyone has read the books.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Emerson: I’m like, “Well, everyone who visits has read the books, so…” [laughs]

Ben: So does that mean that it was something in the books?

Andrew: I don’t know! We don’t know. He may not even know. Has he read the books?

[Audience and Emerson Laugh]

Andrew: He really may not know! But, yeah, I think that’s like – that’s a question for Jo now because I guess – okay, Alan Rickman promised he wouldn’t tell anyone, so it’s a question for Jo. Maybe Jo’s ready to tell. But I really want to know because we all love Snape.

Emerson: Yeah. It was so weird, talking to him.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: I kept – I had to stop myself not actually calling him Snape.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Well, he has that voice.

Emerson: He talks exactly like Snape all of the time!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: He’s not acting, he is Snape!

Andrew: Yeah.

[Audience laughs]

The Press Junket

Andrew: It’s the same thing with Michael Gambon – because he was at the press junket. We didn’t interview him, but he was at the press junket and I was there yesterday, that was before the premiere yesterday. And he walks in with David Yates, David Heyman, David Barron, and Steve Kloves, the screenwriter. And he starts talking and I turn to the girl next to me, I was like, “Snape’s in the room, he’s – or Dumbledore’s in the room! He’s talking to us!” Because the voice is exactly the same.

Ben: Was he still wearing the tie in his beard?

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: No, but it was funny – during the junket, he was like, “Yeah, I had a wardrobe and a sort of pocket in my cloak to hold cigarettes.” [laughs]

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I Tweeted about that, that was so funny.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: The updates were – did anyone follow those, the Twitter account? Anyone have a Twitter? Were they good updates?

Audience Member: Yeah.

Andrew: I was trying to Tweet as much as possible. I know people are like, “What’s Tweeting? What a stupid word!”

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: Finally got Emerson to come around to Tweeting, right?

Emerson: I’m starting to see the value in it now. I didn’t get it at all for a long time. I signed up for an account, like, a year ago and I thought it was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. But I realize that I hadn’t actually known how it worked, so now that I’m actually understanding how it works, it’s actually starting to get fun.

Andrew: Micah’s a hardcore Tweeter, aren’t you?

Micah: Yeah! No, not really.

[Everyone laughs]

Harry Potter Phenomenon

Andrew: One last thing from the premiere I wanted to talk about – well, actually, two more things. You asked them a good question and they were like, “Oh, wow, I’ve never thought of that before!” Which was, “How are you going to explain this phenomenon to their grandkids when – or they’re great grandkids twenty or thirty years from now?” And you asked pretty much the entire cast that, right?

Emerson: Yeah.

Andrew: And what did some of them say?

Emerson: They all had different ways of – it was kind of like, “What does Harry Potter mean to you?” You know, when you really zoom out on something like this that has, you know, taken up a huge part of your life and all the hype and the hubbub. And Heyman in particular was just knocked down by this question. And basically he – to them, it’s like this moment in time in which the entire world sort of started reading fiction again. You know, you all have experiences, you all have friends, you may be one of those yourself who didn’t really read until someone said, “Hey, read Harry Potter,” you know? And all of the sudden it gave you new life and it suddenly made books seem interesting again but I think you’ll enjoy seeing their reactions to this question.

Andrew: Yeah. And we have the interviews, they’ll probably be up on the site tomorrow or whenever I can get to a computer that imports video. If anyone has a MacBook who would allow me to import the premiere footage, I’d be happy to do that right now.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: And I’ll let you keep the footage, too.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

News from the Red Carpet: Deathly Hallows Filming

Andrew: And also you asked them what they were looking forward to filming in Movie 7 because, they’re five months into it now. Alan Rickman actually revealed he starts in October so that was interesting.

Emerson: Mhm.

Andrew: What were they looking forward to filming?

Emerson: I remember Tom Felton and Rupert both mentioned – right away, that they were looking forward to the epilogue. They were really looking forward to seeing how Warner Brothers was going to make them look, you know, old when they clearly weren’t.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: So simple pleasures I guess, right? They’ve been filming these for years now, they’ve had to do all kinds of crazy stunts and CG and all these different sets and yet they’re most interested to see how the makeup’s going to work, that’s funny.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: Well it’s going to be more than makeup, and they said at the junket yesterday they’re not sure how it’s – they’re going to do it yet. The producer said they haven’t figured out and so one of the press was like, “Are you going to do it Benjamin Button style?” And they were like, “No because with that you go from older to younger and we’re trying to make them seventeen years older.”

Audience Member: Nineteen.

Andrew: So – nineteen? Sorry.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Nineteen years. I haven’t read the books I just showed up at the junket yesterday.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: So nineteen years older, and so it will be interesting to see to see how they do that. I thought it was interesting that they still haven’t figured out how they are going to age them. But David Heyman said to wrap that all up – he said that the actor’s will be playing those roles definitely. Which was good to hear because there was rumors that they were going to hire some new cast to play those roles, but the last scenes of you know movie seven part two can’t be other actors, it has to be the trio. So and Tom and Bonnie and all of them.

Emerson: It just reminded me of a really random part from the premiere. When we first got there and saw that where we were stationed and like how cramped it was going to be all of the TV crews had people stationed outside – there’s like this barrier, there’s the carpet, and then there’s the camera guys. And so we thought we were going to have all the room in the world on the actual carpet to talk and then this big burly security guy says, “Nope, you got to get behind the barrier.” And so we just kind of looked at each other and like looked at the size, like how tight it already was and then just how – how can you ask us to try – try to fit there? And so the entire – you’ll watch on the video and you see it like about every five seconds Andrew’s like pushing my head back like, “Get your head out of the way,” because you couldn’t even see the – the on camera because it…

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: …it was cramped, but –

Andrew: And then one last person, Dan – you asked him what he was looking forward to filming.

Emerson: Mhm.

Andrew: And what did he say?

Emerson: [whispers to Andrew] What did he say?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I have it right here. Let’s play the video. No, he was most looking forward to the final walk through the forest.

Emerson: Oh yeah.

[Audience Member sighs]

Andrew: Yeah, I know.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: It’s really cool. And you know what else was interesting? At the junket yesterday somebody asked him I guess what his favorite scene was in Half-Blood Prince, and I thought this was really interesting. He said, “My favorite scene – and this is all time ever, and I know I’ll never shoot something as cool as this.” And he said it’s the scene in Half-Blood Prince where he comes out of the water in the cave. He comes out of the water and he looks up and he sees Dumbledore spinning that ring of fire. And I was like, “Wow!” And I mean it’s really cool.

Emerson: When you see it you’ll understand why.

Ben’s Premiere Story

Andrew: Yeah but I just thought it was really bold to say you’ll never shoot something as cool as that again. Because, you know you’ve still got the seventh movie and who knows what else you’ll do in your future, so. It is a really cool scene though yeah so – that is that. And Ben I know I’m so sorry you two haven’t – weren’t at the junket or didn’t do the press so you guys were just watching us, but I couldn’t help but notice you have something on your elbow right there that you got from a little too much excitement at the premiere.

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Ben can never go to a premiere and not have a story.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Well after the film let out we walked out and there were still just tons of fans still across the street just waiting for people to walk out, and they were still cheering and it was wild. But anyways I walked out – I went to go to cross the street and there was a car coming, so naturally I broke into a jog.

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Ben: And as I sped towards the barrier I said, “This is it. I’m going to – I’m clearing this.”

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: And I still had the premiere pass in my hand which was my fatal flaw…

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: …and as I bound towards the barrier I go to shift my weight up and just jump over it and I caught my leg and I fell hard right on the pavement.

[Audience groans]

Ben: But luckily the crowd wasn’t watching me, they were too busy staring at the theatre…

[Andrew and Audience laughs]

Ben: …but Emerson saw it, and it was painful both psychologically

[Audience laughs]

Ben: …and physically. But I hopped right up and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

[Andrew and Audience laughs]

Emerson: I can’t lie, I’ve seen a lot of comical falls in my life, but this one was just perfect. Every step of the way I thought, “There’s no way he’s actually going to try to jump over this.”

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Then I thought, “Oh there’s – he catches his leg on the top and – oh there’s no way!” I can’t believe he even caught his leg right? And then he starts to fall…

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: …and he starts twisting…

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Emerson: …and then he just lands like – like a pancake on the pavement.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: I think Emerson must have saw it in slow-mo…

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: …because I think it happened a little bit quicker than that.

Emerson: I was savoring every moment.

Andrew: Saw it on the Zeigfeld Theater security cameras later.

Emerson: Yeah.

Andrew: And then – and then right after it Ben calls me and is like, “Dude I’ve got something special to show you.” And I thought it was like…

Ben: He was getting all excited.

Andrew: …I thought he got like his premiere ticket signed by Emma or something – like something legitimately cool.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: And then he knocks on the hotel room door and I open it up and he’s like, “Check this out!”

[Audience laughs]

Ben: I’m bleeding everywhere at this point.

Andrew: And he’s bleeding, and I’m like, “What are you doing? Wash it.”

Ben: And then I proceed to go and re-enact what happened on the bed with a bloody elbow still and yeah Andrew had bloody sheets by the end.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: Sorry, Andrew.

Andrew: If they charge us for that you’re paying. It’s my card but you’re paying.

Ben: Fun times.

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: Okay so we’re going to talk a little bit about the movie, but we’re trying – we’re not going to try to do spoiler stuff. So we’re going to talk about some broad stuff related to the movie because – I saw it last week, Ben and Emerson saw it last night, Micah saw it the other day, so we’ve all seen it.

Micah: Yeah, I actually saw it.

Andrew: Yeah!

Micah: Unlike Order of the Phoenix.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: When – for anyone who doesn’t know – when, how long did it take you to see Order of the Phoenix?

Micah: Few weeks, months?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: You’re not a fan.

Micah: I know. I just show up.

[Audience laughs]

The PG Rating

Andrew: Anyway, well one particularly interesting thing was, we’ve been talking for the longest time about the PG rating on MuggleCast and just how it really didn’t make any sense, and you know, why it got a PG rating. Micah, do you think it deserved a PG rating?

Micah: After watching the movie, I think it can get away with a PG rating. I really do.

Andrew: Aw!

Micah: So all that stuff that we talked about – they did it justice. They did the PG rating justice.

Andrew: Because it’s been interesting because for Goblet Of Fire and Order Of the Phoenix they were rated PG-13, and you know, the cast every is “Its darker, darker, darker, darker.” And then, with this film – I think it’s just the balance of how they really mixed the romance – and they say there’s romance, they’re not kidding. There’s a lot of romance. It’s basically romance, action, romance, action, romance…

Micah: It could’ve gotten the PG-13 rating more for the romance than actually for the violence.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Emerson: My issue with the PG rating is there’s – when you see the Inferi, you’ll know what I mean about the PG rating.

Andrew: They’re pretty freaky.

Emerson: They’re creepy.

Andrew: Ben, do you think they deserved it?

Ben: Yes.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: David Heyman at the junket, somebody asked him that question, and he had a great line. He said, “I saw the rating, and I didn’t know what – I thought, ‘What the hell were the MPAA thinking?'” Because it was a surprise, I think, to everyone. And yet, in England and in Australia they rated it the PG-13 equivalent. So that’s that.

Hands Down, Best Movie Ever!

Andrew: Do you guys think – and we ask this question every single time and naturally you’re going to say yes, but was it truly the best movie yet? Emerson, we all remember at the Goblet Of Fire premiere when you said your classic line. You were like, “Hands down, best movie ever.”

Ben: Hands down…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: And then the crowd roared.

Emerson: The funny thing is, I actually, I tweeted the exact same thing.

Andrew: [laughs] Yes!

Emerson: Without even realizing that that was the same thing! I totally forgot that that’s what people been making fun of me for, for years.

Andrew: Why do you think it’s the best movie yet? Get everyone excited. Why do you think it was the best movie yet?

[Emerson sighs]

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Because I liked it a lot. [laughs]

The Trio’s Acting

Ben: I feel like they just took it, everything to a new level. Especially the acting of the trio. Emma’s gotten a lot better…

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: By better do you mean sexier or acting wise?

Ben: No, her acting, her skill.

[Andrew and Audience laughs]

Ben: She stopped doing the eyebrow thing that she used to do.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yes. I immediately noticed that. First close-up shot, and her eyebrows didn’t move a bit. She was just talking.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: It was really cool. I was like, “Yes!” Improving, finally.

Ben: I just feel like they’ve gotten a lot better at taking a book and turning it into a movie. I think that’s what now that they have more and more experience doing that and they know what to cut, they know what to keep, they’ve done a lot better job at doing it justice.

Andrew: Micah?

Micah: Yeah, I agree with Ben, and also Michael Gambon – I was not a big fan of his for most of the movies that came before this and I think he did a great job in this one.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Did he finally read the books or something, or what?

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: No. He still hasn’t read the books. At the London premiere, it was funny. Somebody was like, “So what do you think of this movie?” And he’s like, “Oh, I forget already I filmed it a year ago and there’s been five movies since then.” I’m like, “PR nightmare, okay.”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: But yeah, I think Michael Gambon, he’s really grown. And we’ve seen in the trailers, he’s a weak Dumbledore in this film. And it really comes through and the cave scene. I didn’t read the book before I saw the movie – re-read the book before I saw the movie, I read parts of it after and the cave scene is pretty loyal to the book because particularly, I was a little confused. I was surprised one thing happened so quick, but when I re-read it, I saw it happened just as quickly. So yeah, the cave scene, that’s of course the epic scene. Did you guys cry at all?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: During the movie? You can be honest, Ben.

Ben: My eyes got a little wet.

Andrew: Your eyes got a little wet?

Ben Falling Asleep During the Premiere?

Ben: Yeah, well I get – to be honest? I didn’t get very much sleep the night before, so I was like – the theater was just so comfortable, and I was just…

[Andrew and Audience laughs]

Ben: I was struggling to stay awake. Don’t hate me. But it was, I had to keep jolting myself…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: But it was awesome though.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Particularly the part where the fire is just like making fire tornadoes and stuff.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Gave me chills.

Emerson: I don’t know how you slept when the girl – Ben was sitting right in front of me and there was this small girl to my right, who was – let’s just say she was providing commentary throughout the movie.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Like the best Harry Potter fan, though. You know, when it would show Lavender being, you know, Lavender, she’d be like, “No!” You know? [laughs]

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Which I want to do at Azkatraz now. When Jessie Cave is like – what did she say, “He’s mine,” or something?

Ben: Ron’s in the hospital wing and then Lavender comes in and says, “He’s my boyfriend!” and that’s when the girl behind me who was sitting next to Emerson goes, “No!”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I want to do that at Azkatraz. Just have a group of people just go, “No!”

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Andrew: That was really serious. But I got to admit, I got a little emo during the scene where you see Slughorn’s real memory and when – the Hogwarts Tom Riddle. First of all that actor, not just the young Tom Riddle that we saw in the initial trailer but the guy who plays the Hogwarts version of Tom Riddle – who’s not the same one as in Chamber of Secrets, Christian Coulson?

Ben: Yeah, that’s his name.

Andrew: He’s a different actor and he’s a lot better. He’s really – okay, maybe not better but he was just really creepy, he was very serious.

Ben: He pulled off the whole vindictiveness…

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Ben: …very well.

The Ending

Andrew: And that’s the scene where I was like, “Oh wow, I can’t believe – ” Like, hearing them talk about Horcruxes for the first time made me like, “Oh my god. It’s like they’re setting everything up. You know, this is the rest of the movie now. It’s all about the Horcruxes.” And another thing that was interesting was this felt like really the real part one to Book 7 because at the end it sort of left it a little open-ended. There’s no big – they don’t run off on the train like in all the years past and Hagrid waves bye and…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: It’s just a cute, happy ending. But this time it just sort of just stops. And it felt complete but it was left open, you know what I mean?

Emerson: Well Yates might be trying to make reparations for the Chamber of Secrets ending with Hagrid coming to the Great Hall and like a ten-minute long of cheese fest and smiles and hugs.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I was to say, that was the worst ending.

Emerson: It was so awkward.

Ben: When I was little kid, that made me – I was like “Yeah, Hagrid’s back!”

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: “Hagrid’s back, everything’s good again!”

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Emerson: When I saw that scene, I couldn’t help but think, “They cut out what scenes for this?”

David Yates

Andrew: Yeah, that was pretty drawn out. Well speaking of David Yates, how about his directing style? Because this of course is the first time since Chris Columbus who directed one and two that we’ve seen a director direct two films. So do you guys think David Yates expanded on it, do you think he improved?

Emerson: I thought he had a really interesting comment, I think it was at the junket or perhaps it was at another interview. But he mentioned that when he filmed the last movie, he didn’t really realize how big Harry Potter was. He’d never seen, you know, how you guys were at the premiere. And so he knew that Harry Potter was big but he really didn’t grasp…

Andrew: The fan power.

Emerson: Right, how serious it was. He said he found himself with this movie being much more – second-guessing himself more because he was more worried about sending us into a bit of a tizzy. And I think this movie – I loved how it was just so balanced; the teen drama, injected humor and awesome action. It’s like when you see the movie, it’s just one after another. It’s like in a row, one, two, three, one, two, three.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Emerson: But it’s perfect. It’s a perfect balance.

Ben: There’ll be a really serious part and then all of a sudden something funny will happen to interrupt that and they do a great job.

Andrew: Micah, did you think Yates expanded or…?

Micah: Yeah, the thing overall everyone just seemed to feel more comfortable watching it on screen. Everyone seemed to work together very well. Whereas I thought Order of the Phoenix that didn’t happen a whole lot. But I agree with what both Ben and Emerson said. I think it was much more balanced.

Andrew: Yeah. Like the one thing that bothered me with Order of the Phoenix was some of those transitions when they were going in and out of the newspapers, I just thought that was such a bad way of moving the story along. It was – I don’t know, cheap? I don’t know to describe it really.

Emerson: It was tough because they had…

Andrew: It was forced.

Emerson: …a lot of material to cover.

Steve Kloves

Andrew: They did but – and Steve Kloves, the screen writer, said this at the junket yesterday, well he said Jo said to him, “Look, I understand you can’t make the movies what the books are, but just keep the character development because that’s what really matters to me the most.” And they were emphasizing a lot how the books are really character-driven. I mean, that’s what it really comes down to. That’s why the stories are so great. I mean, the plots are great too, and like David Yates says, “I’m not a fan of magic really. I like it, but I’m not a fan. And, I’m not a fan of school stories. I like it, but I’m not a fan. But what I am a fan of is character development and that’s what makes it work.”

Emerson: I’m sorry, I have to – go ahead.

Ben: I was going to say, I think Steve Kloves did a great job. The actual writing in this film was great because I felt at the end of Goblet of Fire, when he messed up the Dumbledore speech it was kind of a hack job, I thought and I feel like maybe taking a movie off with Movie 5, maybe did him some good and then he was able to, I don’t know, perform better for this latest film.

Andrew: Yeah, plus I think maybe when he was looking at Movie 5, he was like, “Damn, I could have written this better, I could have written this better,” and he’s getting – you know, it’s pumping him up, so… And he said too, at the junket yesterday, he’s such a big fan. And he’s a really nice guy, he’s like the only American guy on the crew, and…

Ben: U.S.A.!

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: Sorry.

Andrew: Yeah, but he’s just a really big fan and he’s made that clear so many times, so he said, you know, “It pains me just as much to cut stuff out, but you have to do it because we don’t have eight hours.”

David Heyman

Emerson: You know who’s a great guy to talk about Harry Potter with? David Heyman, the producer. When you talk to him, you can tell, he’s so sincere and legitimate in his interest and desire to make the Harry Potter series as true to the books. And just respect our story, and it really comes through, and you can tell, when the movie got out I saw him on the way out and you know, I said, “David…”

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Emerson: …with this big grin on my face and he just…

Ben: Hands down…

Andrew: And what’d he do?

Ben: And he just looks at me and you can just tell that he’s really happy because he knows that we are not going to be forgiving if justice is not done to these books. So, it’s – fun.

Andrew: Yeah, but also with Movie 7, I mean that’s going to be a lot of pressure, and I wish I had asked one of them about that. You have these two parts of the film and they keep saying, “Oh, now we don’t have to cut out as much, we don’t have to cut out as much,” But in reality, they’re still going to have to cut out something, and when they do cut something out of Movie 7 parts one or two, fans are going to be more upset because we were promised more content. So I think it’s going to be hard and I think there’s a lot more pressure on them with that one.

Emerson’s Story

Emerson: I have to have a completely unrelated anecdote that just popped into my head…

Andrew: Oh.

Emerson: …and I apologize for this but at the actual showing of the movie, right – the way it works is you go in the theater and Alan Horn, the president of Warner Brothers, comes out on stage and he says, “I’d like to thank X, Y and Z, thanks the cast..”

Andrew: Did you boo him?

Emerson: What?

Andrew: Did you boo him?

Emerson: I didn’t boo him.

Andrew: He’s the one that delayed the film.

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Emerson: Yeah and so he comes on stage and the cast come on stage and Dan says a few words, saying, “Hope you enjoy the film, had a great time filming it..” And so before that, Alan Horn – Heyman rather, introduces all the cast. He has them all come up on stage individually, and everyone claps and cheers for them and you can see who the most popular actors are based on how many screaming girls are just, you know, letting loose…

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: …and he made a joke, right? That Dan, Emma and Rupert hadn’t gone on stage yet and he was making a joke that, “Oh, that’s everyone, thanks, enjoy the film.” And then, so he starts asking Dan, Emma, and Rupert to come on stage, he says, “And finally, Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint…and then really inexplicably, he asks Verne Troyer. Verne Troyer was there with his family. And if you haven’t seen them, they are the absolute cutest people in the entire world…

[Audience laughs]

Was it Verne Troyer or Warwick Davis?

Ben: It’s not Verne Troyer, it’s Warwick Davis.

Emerson: No, Verne Troyer was there.

Ben: Oh, was it Verne Troyer?

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: Yeah, Verne Troyer was there, who plays Griphook, and he’s also Mini Me from Austin Powers.

Andrew: And he’s little.

Ben: So he’s this big, and it’s just so cute, he’s this big, and…

Andrew: If he’s standing on the table, not stage-wise.

Ben: Oh yeah, standing on the table.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: So his entire family stacked on top of each other is about how tall I am. [laughs] So anyway, randomly he says, “Oh and Verne Troyer,” and it’s just really conspicuous. It’s like, why wouldn’t you announce him earlier with all the other cast? And I realized…

Ben: Is it Verne Troyer?

Emerson: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, it is, it is.

Ben: Warwick Davis plays Flitwick.

Emerson: Yes. Verne Troyer plays Griphook.

Ben: Oh.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Yeah.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Well…

Ben: No.

Andrew: …I need to – no, you’re right, you guys are right. There was some discrepancy with Movie 1 or something like that…

Ben: But it was Warwick Davis who was in the theater though…

Andrew: I think, yeah, but I thought on the cast list it said Verne Troyer. I was positive…

Emerson: Yeah, it was Verne Troyer. Yeah, it was Verne Troyer, it said Verne Troyer.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ben: It wasn’t, but okay.

Emerson: It was.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Because after they said it – like I used to…

Andrew: Hold on.

Emerson: Yeah, we have a sheet. Ben, they gave us a sheet with names and faces on it…

Andrew: And, yeah…

Emerson: …and pictures and it said Verne Troyer.

Ben: That’s fine, but it was Warwick Davis.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: I can tell you it was Warwick Davis because after…

Andrew: I’m going to go check…

Ben: …he said Warwick Davis, I leaned over to Melissa and said, [puts on Hagrid voice] “Warwick Davis.”

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: I really did. It was Warwick Davis.

[Andrew laughs]

MuggleCast 176 Transcript (continued)

Half-Blood Prince Premiere

Borders – Columbus Circle

New York, New York (US)

July 12, 2009

Emerson’s Story: Continued

Emerson: So anyway, it was really conspicuous that he didn’t call up Verne/Warwick up on stage and then I had this realization that it’s because when he was looking over to see which cast he hadn’t called up, he couldn’t even see him. [laughs]

[Audience sighs]

Emerson: It was like an ‘oh my god’ moment…

It Was Warwick Davis

Andrew: You know, it was Warwick Davis…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: But I swear on the cast list…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: …they give the press the list of names and faces and who they play so when people like [pronounces incorrectly] Reuters, you know, they don’t know who the cast are…

Ben: It’s [pronounces correctly] Reuters. Sorry.

Andrew: [pronounces correctly] Reuters.

Ben: I’m here just to argue with everybody.

Andrew: I’m a Rooter. I’m a Royters, Rooter – whatever. Anyway, they give a cast list with pictures. I swear it said Verne Troyer. I think you’re right.

Emerson: It did.

Andrew: But another e-mail said Warwick Davis so – wow, whatever, that was the worst…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: That was the worst debate. You should put that in this book.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Jessie Cave and Jim Broadbent’s Portrayals

Andrew: Let’s talk about a couple of other actors who really stand out; Jessie Cave and Jim Broadbent. Jim Broadbent plays Slughorn and Jessie Cave plays Lavender. Extremely impressive, over-the-top portrayals, these guys had. I mean, Micah, you want to talk a little bit about Jessie Cave or Jim – Jimmy Boy?

Micah: Sure. Yeah, she was really nutty in her character. I thought she did a really good job. She was pretty like – she matched the teenage psycho pretty well…

[Audience laughs]

Micah: I will say that. And Jim Broadbent, I thought, just did an amazing job. I mean, he was spot-on with Slughorn.

Andrew: Yeah. Jessie Cave in person – I don’t know if you’ve seen interviews with her, but she’s a very shy person in the interviews and stuff, and she’s new. She’s never acted before, but in this movie she’s over-the-top in love with Ron and it comes off so well. It’s just so funny to watch. Every scene that she’s in is just hilarious. And then Jim Broadbent – Emerson or Ben, do you want to comment about him?


[Audience laughs]

Emerson: I…

Andrew: Well did you like his portrayal? Did you…

Emerson: He…

Andrew: This is what happens when we record a real episode of MuggleCast but then we always edit this out, when nobody talks. [laughs]

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Emerson: I agree with Micah.

Andrew: Yeah. This is where I would be pausing and deleting this area.

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: What’d you think of Jim? I mean, was he good?

Ben: Yeah, he was excellent, particularly the whole modified memory scene and all of that. He did it a lot of justice because when he finally tells Voldemort about the Horcruxes he says, “Oh, this is for pure academic reasons, right, Tom?”

Andrew: That was really good.

Ben: And Tom was like, “Yes, yes.”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: And was the girl behind you like, “No, no!”?

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Yeah.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I’m going to do that in the movie next time. Be like, “No!”

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: But what’d you think of Jim?

Emerson: I just said I agreed with Micah…

Andrew: Oh, that’s right. [laughs].

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Okay, well I’ll comment about Jim. He was just really good, really impressive, really into the role. He wasn’t at the premiere even though he was supposed to be originally, but yeah. He did really good so I was impressed by that. And they were the two standout actors, I think, in this movie just because one, they’re new to the films and they really did a great job. And also the Christian Coulson replacement for Hogwarts Tom Riddle, he was really good, too.

Emerson: I think after you watch Jessie Cave portray love-struck Lavender, you’re going to – it’s so gross. You’re going to have to take a shower when you leave the theater.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] This girl right here just reacted like you said something way extreme.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Just [makes vomiting sounds] It’s not gross, it’s just funny! It was funny.

Emerson: No, I mean, like in a good way gross.

[Audience laughs]

Question Time

Andrew: Does anyone have any questions about the film? We’re still trying to keep this spoiler-free. If you could just come up here, I’ll just call you guys up and then you’ll work your way up. You want to come out here? We need some – what?

Emerson: We’ll just have them yell?

Andrew: Well, yeah…

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: It’s a podcast, people have got to hear it. Look, I can do this cool thing with my mic. But, yeah, it’s all guys. We need some girls talking.

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: Or these speakers are going to break. Okay. Hi, what’s your name and…?

Question: Helen McCrory

Audience Member: My name is Joan Miller.

Andrew: So what’s your question?

Audience Member: I was just curious about what you guys thought of the casting of Narcissa Malfoy.

Andrew: Oh yeah, Helen McCrory. Because she was set to play Bellatrix, and then she got preggo, and then they…

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Andrew: And it was really cool, you could tell how bad they wanted her for the role because, you know, they brought her back for Narcissa. What do you guys think of her?

Ben: She was only in one scene, right?

Andrew: Yeah, she’s not in it that much. She was in the…

Ben: The Unbreakable Vow scene.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: I thought she did a good job. That scene, it was just awesome because having read the book already, they do the Unbreakable Vow and you’re like, “Oh. Sorry, Dumbledore. That’s it.”

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: Did you really think, when you saw that, that he was going to die? When you read it for the first time?

Ben: Not when I read it…

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Ben: I’m saying, knowing how it ends…

Andrew: Oh. Oh, okay, all right. Yeah. I mean – Micah?

Micah: Yeah, she did a good job holding out her hand.

[Audience and Ben laughs]

Micah: She didn’t say much. She was in, like Ben said, one scene.

Andrew: It was, yeah – who else has a question so we can bring someone up here? How about you right – yeah. That scene in particular was just cool because Narcissa was really upset. It’s an emotional scene and you feel for her, so – Hi, what’s your name?

Question: Harry and Ginny

Audience Member: My name is Gracie.

Andrew: What’s your question?

Audience Member: I read in the L.A. Times interview with Bonnie Wright that the thing between Harry and Ginny was changed a little bit.
The kiss was in a different setting, there wasn’t any people around them. How was it changed and was it okay?

Ben: It wasn’t that juicy…

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: …to be honest. I was – I was hoping for something a bit more juicy…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: …but then they might have had to make it PG-13.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: It was – it was really just kind of a glorified peck I guess you could say.

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: Yeah.

Andrew: And actually in the junket there was a really funny moment. Dan apologized to Bonnie at the junket. He was like [imitating Dan], “I’m so sorry. I watched that kiss back and it looks like I have the lips of a horse. I was just like…”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: And then everyone was laughing so hard. He was explaining how his lower lip was off or something, I don’t know. But he’s really disappointed with the kiss I think!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Because David Yates for some reason doesn’t let them watch play back. Like they film a scene and normally you could just go behind and be like, “Okay, let me check out what I did.” But they don’t let them do that. David Yates doesn’t let them do that for some reason.

Ben: Why?

Andrew: I don’t know, just not his style. Okay, so is that our question mic? Sweet.

Question: Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley

Andrew: Okay. Well, thank you. All right who else has a question? All right test out our new mic. Hopefully it works.

Audience Member: It has a fancy cover.

[Andrew and Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Okay, I’m Amy. I was wondering because Bonnie Wright, I love her, but she’s kind of been in the background for most of the movies and they tried to play up, “Oh, I like Harry in the fifth movie.” And, “Oh no! Hermione said that Cho likes me!” And, “Oh no! I’m going to kiss Cho and everything is sad because Ginny’s in the back,” and whatever. So is it out of the blue completely?

Andrew: Well, there was a really awkward scene in – in the Burrow. When Harry and Ginny first see each other and I just had to laugh because it was so I don’t know, corny, cheesy? I don’t know. I was just like, “Oh come on. This is so ridiculous.” It’s like – it’s like in the Chamber of Secrets was it, when they give the awkward hug? Right, wasn’t that Chamber of Secrets? It’s sort of like that. That’s what it reminded me of. What did you guys think of Bonnie? What was your question, did she have more of a prominent role?

Audience Member: [unintelligible]

Andrew: Oh, was there any set up?

Emerson: There wasn’t really any set up. It was – I think if you hadn’t read the books you’d be so confused. You would have absolutely no idea why all of a sudden where these sparks came from, the background for it. But because we have read the books, so, it was – I think – the acting I thought was I think very comfortable. I think they did as good a job as they could. I think this – I think there may be needed to be some more help from previous movies to really make it flow. But I thought they did as good of a job as they could by actually having – just starting really in this movie.

Micah: Yeah, there’s a lot of subtlety in the first I would say the first half hour, hour to the movie. And also I thought, Hermione and – and Harry kept playing off each other between Harry knowing that Hermione liked Ron and Hermione knowing that Harry liked Ginny.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh, and there is this scene – there is this Quidditch scene where they are having practice, and I picked up on this. Harry is wearing the number seven and Ginny is wearing the number six, and seven goes after six.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Its bit of a stretch don’t you think? [laughs]

Ben: No, you don’t think that was on purpose?

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Andrew: Yeah maybe. It’s a good theory I suppose.

Emerson: And why is it you even noticed that?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: When you saw that, you were like, “Ah, I get it.”

[Audience laughs]

Ben: I was like I got to bring this up on MuggleCast.

Andrew: [laughs] You write it down. Did you tell the girl behind you.

Ben: I told Melissa.

Andrew: Okay, who else has a question? How about this girl in the Pickle Pack Shirt? Okay, we’ll get to you next.

Emerson: We could do our line up now and we could do this faster.

Andrew: Yeah, sure. Go ahead. Ah, for anyone – for anyone at home, we have about a 95% girl population here. A few guys. A shout out to the guys. Oh, I said five percent! You’re in the five percent! Okay, maybe a little – maybe eight percent.

Ben: This line is big enough. We will wait till some people clear before other people come line up.

Question: Dumbledore’s Funeral

Andrew: Okay, what’s your name? Where are you from?

Audience Member: Okay, I’m Chelsea. I’m from Long Island and I was just wondering about this funeral because I know that Eric said that they didn’t really have a good funeral for Dumbledore. So how did they do that? Did they pay homage to him at least.

Andrew: There’s no funeral but there is a moment of unity.

Ben: Dumbledore, he’s dead of course.

[Everyone laughs]

[An audience member screams, “What?!”]

[Everyone laughs]

Audience Member: Like, was there a sense of finality to his life?

Ben: Well, yeah, he’s dead. So then of course everyone comes out to look at the corpse. And…

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: …they all – they all stand in the yard and then there’s this big moment when McGonagall’s like, “Huhhh!”

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: And then you know everyone claps and it’s all – it’s all good. There’s no white tomb or anything like that though.

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: Did they have like a Fawkes song or anything like that?

Andrew: No! They – they have…

Ben: You do see Fawkes flying.

Andrew: Yeah, but no song which was a bit disappointing. I thought they would do that too.

Micah: And you do get a portrait.

Audience Member: Oh, you see his portrait in the office?

Andrew: Yeah, you do see the portrait.

Audience Member: Okay.

Andrew: Yeah. Actually, he looks kind of weird in the portrait. I laughed a little bit.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: He was like – he was like snoozing, and he was just like – just like…

Emerson: Sleeping.

Andrew: I thought I saw him like…

Emerson: He was really slumped over at a really awkward angle.

Andrew: Yeah. It looked like – it looked like he was dead still…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: …or something and they just threw him in a chair.

Emerson: Yeah.

Andrew: I didn’t get that. All right, well anyway, thanks. Thank you.

Audience Member: No problem.

Question: Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Victoria. I’m from Louisville, Kentucky. And…

Andrew: Did you come here just for the premiere?

Audience Member: Oh, well, we happened to be here…

Andrew: Good.

Audience Member: …and then we heard about this.

Andrew: Good.

Audience Member: I was wondering about how Tom Felton did as Draco Malfoy, because he has really kind of been in the background for most of the movies. And this is the first movie where he has a really prominent role.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. And besides that, I mean have you guys seen how much promotion he’s doing for this tour? I mean, it’s insane. He was in Canada the other day, and I think he just flew to Southern Africa, and later tonight he’s going to be back. I’m – I’m – I’m just kidding.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: And tonight quick plug, he’s going to be at the Hot Topic in Paramus, New Jersey. And – is anyone going to that?

[Audience answers]

Andrew: Oh, okay. But myself and Melissa Aneli from the Leaky Cauldron, we’re going to be doing this panel thing – with her. And so I’m bailing out of here in twenty minutes to go do that, but they’re going to still be podcasting. But anyway, Micah, what did you think of Draco?

[Prolonged silence]

Micah: He was good. Sorry, I’ve been [laughs] – yeah, no. I thought compared to the past movies he’s definitely more on the forefront, for obvious reasons. And I thought he did a really good job when he got tense about the whole situation he was put in by Voldemort.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: You could see a lot more emotion coming out of him in this movie.

Andrew: He did a good job of showing – portraying how nervous and unsure of the situation that he was. I mean, particularly at the end when he’s about to kill Dumbledore. You’ll be pleased.

Ben: Yeah, I feel like – I feel like all the – the child actors who were once children are finally coming into their own.

Andrew: Hm? Yeah.

Audience Member: Thank you.

Andrew: Thanks.

Congratulations Emerson

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Patricia from Long Island. Well, first I just wanted to congratulate Emerson on his engagement. Because I still can’t…

[Audience cheers]

Audience Member: …get over how cute that was!

Emerson: Thank you.

Andrew: Where’s Gaby? Did she arrive?

Emerson: Gaby is on her way…

Andrew: She’s on her way.

Emerson: …and when she does I’m going to make sure I give her a really embarrassing shout-out. So get ready – okay, guys, when she comes…

Ben: Everybody stare and point, please.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: No, no, seriously. When she comes I want everybody to stare.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Okay? Stare and smile and clap so loudly and wildly, and it’ll be awesome. Okay?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: She may be here already, you know.

Ben: And Emerson will be sleeping on the couch.

Emerson: She is pretty short. I probably wouldn’t be able to see her in the back.

[Andrew and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: Anyway…

Audience Member: Oh…

Andrew: Go ahead.

Question: Quidditch

Audience Member: My other question was about Quidditch. And I know it hasn’t been in the last few films. So, was it better? Or was it refreshing? What did you guys think about it?

Andrew: CG wise it was really impressive. And later that night, after I saw the movie I watched Sorcerer’s Stone. And – unbelievable how much more detail is in the Quidditch now, just the stadium alone. You know, in Sorcerer’s Stone the stadium’s all bright – bright colors, everything’s cheery? It’s very vibrant, red, green, yellow and blue. But in this all the colors are depleted. And it just looks more realistic. It looks really good. I can’t wait to see it on Blu-Ray, too. It’s going to be incredible.

Question: Promo Clips

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Nicole. I’m from Long Island. I go to Syracuse.

[Andrew, Audience and Micah laugh]

Audience Member: Sorry, had to. I was just curious if the clips gave away too much of the movie?

Andrew: No, I don’t think so.

Micah: No.

Andrew: I mean, there – there was a lot of clips. Did you guys think there were a lot of clips this year?

[Audience responds]

Audience Member: Yeah, too many.

Andrew: Then again I guess when you have to add seven months of promotional time, I guess that’s what you have to do.

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: But who knows how many more are still to come, or what? We’ve still got – what, five more days? So, no, I don’t think so. Did you guys think – when you watched – I mean, we’ve all seen the promo clips. There are some. But honestly – okay, I didn’t watch them. Have you guys been watching them?

Audience Members: No.

Andrew: Really? Okay, can I just take a quick poll? Who – who – who watches them? Like all of them, or close to all of them. Okay, see most people don’t. I guess they’re more for people who are just not hard-core fans. Because us fans, we don’t really want to be spoiled, right? So…

Ben: Well, I used to watch all of the clips.

Andrew: Really?

Ben: Because I would – used to be like, man – every day I’d be like, “I want the movie now, now, now, now.” So I’d watch – I’d watch all of them.

Andrew: And now you’re like, what? I want the movie two weeks from now?

Ben: When it comes.

Andrew: When it comes?!

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: I see.

Ben: Because who knows when they’re going to delay it again.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah.

Audience Member: I accidentally saw the first German clip, too. The five minute leak.

Andrew: Oh, the first five minutes.

Audience Member: I killed myself when I saw that.

Andrew: Really?

Audience Member: Yeah. Anyway.

Andrew: Cool. Well, thank you.

Question: Pensieve

Audience Member: I noticed that they haven’t…

Andrew: What’s your name?

Audience Member: Sarah.

Andrew: Are you guys twins?

Audience Member: Yeah, we’re twins.

Andrew: Aw.

Audience Member: I can’t get the mic.

[Everyone laughs]

Audience Member: We noticed they – they said that they…

Andrew: Hold it a little closer.

Audience Member: …that they said that they cut out some of the Pensive scenes. And they haven’t cast Ralph Fiennes. I know he’s not in – he didn’t shoot any footage for this movie. Do you think he would have been in the Hepzibah clip with Hokey, that memory? Do you think they introduced the Horcruxes enough so that Harry knows what to go look for, the cup?

Andrew: Yeah. Well, not so much the cup.

Audience Member: Will he know to go look for it?

Andrew: I don’t know. That’s a good question. Do you guys remember any references to the cup?

Micah: Nope.

Emerson: Nah uh.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Me neither. I mean, they – I thought they did set up the Horcruxes good because they see the real memory. They come out – Harry and Dumbledore see the real memory – they come out of it, and then they start talking about it. And I guess – isn’t that when Dumbledore goes, “This is like no other magic I’ve seen before,” or something like that? It’s a really cool line. Whatever it was, I butchered it, but yeah. So, I think they set up the Horcruxes well but that is going to be a problem. Yeah. Thanks, twins.

[Audience laughs]

Question: Lines from the Book

Audience Member: Hi, my name is Martina and I was curious to know if there is any lines straight from the book that when you heard you were like, “Yes! I’m so glad they included that.”

Andrew: Do you guys remember any?

Micah: I could tell you one that wasn’t in there, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

Andrew: Well, the “coward” line, of course, that was in there. And I’m sure they felt like it was really important to include that just because that’s a pretty crucial line. It really shows how above Snape Harry feels now. But what – what were you thinking?

Micah: Well, Snape’s response wasn’t there.

Andrew: Oh.

Micah: “Don’t call me coward.”

Andrew: Yeah. I read that scene back afterwards and I was like, “Why didn’t they include that?” That scene goes by really fast. So when you watch it try to – in slow motion, or something. [laughs]

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. Other than that, I honestly don’t know. Can you guys remember any others? It’s hard.

Emerson: It’s sad because I just re-read Half-Blood Prince about three days ago and I’m still drawing blanks.

Andrew: Oh, so you look even more stupid. [laughs]

Emerson: Yeah, I look even more stupid. I’m probably going to save that from not announcing it.

Andrew: I think there…

Emerson: Sorry.

Andrew: I think – I mean, I honestly can’t tell you, but there was some really good dialogue in there that reminded me of the books and I felt like it was from the books, so yeah. I’m sure they try. I mean, they got to try.

Question: New Scenes

Audience Member: My name is Valentina.

Andrew: Hi.

Audience Member: What did you feel about them putting the scene with the Burrow on fire with Bellatrix, even if it didn’t happen in the book? Do you think they set it up for the seventh movie?

Andrew: When she says she’s on fire?

Audience Member: It’s all on fire, the field and stuff.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. Setting it up? I mean, that was – that scene that they added, everybody knows about that now. They added a new scene that wasn’t in the book. I mean, really, it’s just a pacing scene more than – that’s what they keep calling it, so it’s what I’m calling it. It’s just there to – what they said was in the book you see all these references to the Dark Magic going on around them. But they wanted the Trio to experience it rather than just read about it. So that’s why that scene was added where the attack happens on the Burrow when they’re actually in there. And yeah, so really, I don’t think it has much to do with Book 7. Or Movie 7. What’s up, dude? Thank you, our first guy.

Question: Snape: Good or Bad?

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Irvin and I was curious about the portrayal of Snape in the movie. Do they leave his loyalties ambiguous like they were in the book or are they obvious like, “Here’s a hint he’s good, here’s a hint he’s good”?

Micah: I think that if you’re a fan you’re going to go into the movie, you’re going to watch it and you’re going to know that he’s good.

Andrew: Really?

Micah: I think so. I think…

Andrew: Well, having read Book 7 we’ll know.

Micah: Yeah, yeah. But there wasn’t a lot of ambiguity and I think even some of the other people could have picked up on it, too.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean – well, of course you see that scene where Snape’s talking to Draco saying, “Let me help you” and Draco’s like, “I don’t need help.” So that obviously puts him in the bad side.

Audience Member: Thanks.

Andrew: Snape – Alan Rickman was really good though. And there’s a couple of – you know how he always draws out his – his phrases? He drew one out so long. It was like four words, but it took like twenty seconds.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: And I thought he must have done it just to mock himself, because it was so drawn out and I was laughing so hard.

Ben: Do you remember which one that was?

Emerson: Is he at Slughorn’s party?

Andrew: No, I was thinking about when he’s examining the necklace, because he says something to the Trio, or something. Or he said something to McDon – McDon – McGonagall. McDonald’s. Ronald McDonald.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. And anyway, it’s so drawn out that it was just hilarious.

Emerson: “You…” I can’t – I’m not even going to try.

Andrew: Yeah. Don’t even.

Emerson: I can’t even possibly make it last that long without my voice cracking and sounding horrible.

Question: How Was Snape Overall

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Christine. Basically, I was going to ask another Snape question. How was his performance, Alan Rickman? Does he get more screen time since this is such a big moment for him with the Unbreakable Vow and with the Astronomy Tower scene?

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: Did they do that justice?

Andrew: I wanted to bring up that – that Unbreakable Vow scene. Going into his house I got all excited because, “Oh, we’re going to see Snape’s house.” And we’ve – we’ve seen a couple of pictures from it, but yeah. It was really cool seeing that scene. And I think – I thought he was really good. Didn’t you guys think so? Ben, did you enjoy Alan?

Ben: Yeah, I did a lot actually. Particularly the scene at the end when Harry tries to do Sectumsempra on – on Snape.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Ben: And then Snape is just like, “Trying my own spell on me? I am the Half-Blood Prince!”

Andrew: Yeah, that’s another line that was straight from the book, come to think of it.

Question: Fenrir Greyback/Bill Weasley

Audience Member: Hi, my name is Aaron.

Andrew: Hi, Aaron.

Audience Member: Hi.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: I was wondering what you thought about Fenrir Greyback and if Bill’s injury was in that at all?

Andrew: Oh, yeah. That – that was disappointing how Bill’s injury wasn’t – I mean, Fenrir – he didn’t have that much screen time. You know, we all got excited when we saw the first pictures of him, but there wasn’t too much screen time for him. And he doesn’t even say much.

Emerson: Yeah, he just kind of stands there looking scary.

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: Every scene that he’s in.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: He’s just with the Death Eaters, and that’s pretty much it. Hi!

MuggleCast 176 Transcript (continued)

Half-Blood Prince Premiere

Borders – Columbus Circle

New York, New York (US)

July 12, 2009

Question: True to the Book

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Celecia and I came from Canada.

Andrew: For the premiere?

Audience Member: Yeah, for the premiere.

Andrew: Nice.

Audience Member: No. Well, I came to visit my cousins. But the premiere fell on the date, so.

Andrew: Well, that worked out nicely didn’t it?

Audience Member: I have two questions. One of them is, do you think Half-Blood Prince deserved the PG rating? And the other one is, do you think the movie was as canon as possible?

Andrew: Well, we talked about the PG rating at the beginning and basically it – you know, it – it did. It did deserve it. What was your second part?

Audience Member: Do you think that the movies were as – as true to the book as possible?

Andrew: I mean – as much as they can be they have to cut stuff out, and that’s just – that’s just what happens.

Emerson: They didn’t – there wasn’t much – I don’t think you’ll see this movie and think, “Oh, why would they add this scene and then not include this scene?” There wasn’t any really annoying, gaping holes in the story plots like having the Marauders in the past – stuff that when you – when you – the absence of it was very conspicuous and very alarming. This movie didn’t have anything that really stood out to me as being crucial to the plot. They couldn’t be used in some other way, couldn’t be glossed around somehow.

Question: Added Scenes

Andrew: Hi.

Audience Member: Hi, my name is Sarabelle and I wanted to know what you thought of the scenes that they added in after and how you thought they helped or took away from the movie as a whole.

Andrew: The – the attack on the Burrow?

Audience Member: Yeah.

Andrew: What did you guys think of that?

Emerson: It was – it was a cool scene. I don’t – I don’t know how necessary it was. I guess it did kind of show that there’s trouble going on in the – outside of Hogwarts.

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: So, it did accomplish its purpose for that, but I think there was other ways to do it. I didn’t mind it, though.

Andrew: I think it was weird for me. Like, it started off cool, then it started sucking, and then it got better…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: …and then it got bad again. Because it’s a whole – it’s like four things happen in that scene – four main things happen in that scene. I don’t know, it wasn’t as tense as I thought maybe they were hoping. It worked, but – and that’s one of the scenes you see Greyback in, of course. It is sad, though.

Ben: I thought it was weird…

Andrew: Huh?

Ben: I just thought it was weird when all of a sudden the Burrow just bursts into flames…

Andrew: On fire.

Ben: …and they’re all standing there. And the next scene everybody’s happy again.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah! It was so weird. It went from sad to happy like really quick.

Ben: And all of a sudden there’s just an explosion outside or whatever, and then Harry sees Bellatrix and he just takes off running like an idiot. Harry Potter should have died.

[Everyone laughs]

Emerson: That, by the way, in a nutshell is Ben’s entire argument.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: He’s dumb.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Yeah, and then Harry and Ginny run out there, and then he’s in the middle of this field and I don’t know. They could’ve – they should have gotten killed right there.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: But the show must go on.

Arrival of Gaby

Emerson: I’d like to take a moment here to announce the presence of a very special guest, my beautiful fiancée hiding behind the CDs, Gaby Montero. Give her a hand!

[Audience applauds and cheers]

Andrew: Gaby, you’re so lucky. I wish I could be you.

Emerson’s Shameless Plug

Emerson: Gaby is – for those of you who don’t know – the co-founder of two, I like to think, amazing websites. One of which – this is my time – my shameless plug, I apologize for the interruption.

[Andrew laughs]

Emerson: One of the websites is called It’s a website where people post stories – really hopeful uplifting stories, very short, 300 characters or less – and I guarantee you, if you go on there, unless you’re the most cynical person on the planet, I think you will go there and you will smile. Okay? So, your homework for the night is to go check out the website if you haven’t already. If you have, I appreciate the support. Another website – shameless plug number two, apologies for the interruption – it’s called

Emerson: It’s a website that Gaby and I launched together. It’s spelled G-I-V-O-O-G-L-E. It looks and functions exactly like Google, but – every time you use Givoogle – we have a banner ad on the page – advertisers pay us for every 1,000 people who see the banner ad, and then we donate that money to the American Red Cross – or, sorry, to the American Cancer Society. So you can raise money for Google just by – or raise money for charity – just by searching the web. So I encourage you all; if you’ve set Givoogle as your homepage and you don’t do anything else, you just use it like you normally would use Google, you can raise $74 a year. So I encourage you all to – when you get back to your computer, set it as your homepage. It’s a great way to make a difference in the world without having to really do all that much, so, all right, shameless plug over. Let’s continue.

Question: Lupin

Andrew: We now return to our normally scheduled programming.

Ben: Anyways…

Audience Member: Hi, guys.

Andrew: Hi!

Audience Member: I’m Christine, and I have two questions. First, what’d you think about the development, if any, of the relationship between Harry and Professor Lupin – or Lupin now – especially since Sirius died he’s kind of only the sort of family he has.

Andrew: In a nutshell, you don’t see any of it. You see Lupin…

Audience Member: Aww.

Andrew: Really quick. Huh? Sorry. In a nutshell, you don’t see any of it really. You see Lupin a couple times, but I don’t really think there’s dialogue between them. I don’t think…

Ben: Yeah, there is…

Micah: He yells at him, I think.

Ben: Yeah, Lupin basically says…

Andrew: Oh right, there’s that.

Ben: “If Snape trusts Dumbledore, you should trust Dumbledore” kind of thing.

Andrew: Yeah, okay, there was that, but it didn’t advance the relationship…

Ben: Or “If Dumbledore trusts Snape, you should trust…”

[Audience laughs]

Ben: “Dumbledore.” My bad.

Question: Lily and James

Audience Member: Okay, and then the second question; do we see Lily and James at all in this one?

Andrew: No.

Audience Member: Okay.

Andrew: Are you going somewhere?

Audience Member: Am I going somewhere?

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know, you’re just walking with your coat and your purse and it looks like you’re ready to…

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: Bounce out of here.

Audience Member: Well I have to go back to New Jersey later…

Andrew: Oh.

Audience Member: But…

Andrew: Me too!

Ben: Are you going to Hot Topic?

Audience Member: I can’t!

Ben: Aww.

Audience Member: But I would.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: You can tell them I said, “Hi.”

[Audience laugh]

Andrew: Okay.

Question: Getting the Memory

Audience Member: Hi!

Andrew: Hi!

Audience Member: I’m one of the…

Andrew: Are you two twins, too?

Audience Member: Yeah.

Andrew: Oh, wow.

Audience Member: I’m one of the impatient, hardcore fans so I watch all of the clips and interviews for the movie, and when I was watching them I noticed when Daniel Radcliffe was talking, he was like, “Well it’s very important in this one; Harry has to get the memory from Slughorn.” So I just wanted to know if the movie is more centered around Harry trying to find the memory about Horcruxes.

Ben: I feel like that’s kind of when the movie – the action kind of starts, really – is when Harry finally obtains the memory…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And then that’s when it kind of breaks into – I don’t know, the conclusion.

Emerson: It breaks out of – it’s like Stage One is humor and teenage drama, and then Stage Two is awesome action.

Andrew: Yeah. And that’s when I started shedding a tear or two. Maybe. Allegedly…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Because it just sets everything up for the rest of the films, the next two films too. You know, this is it.

Question: Tonks

Audience Member: Mhm. Oh, I have another question. Is Tonks in this movie at all or not really?

Andrew: Yes, very briefly.

Audience Member: Is there Lupin and Tonks or not at all?

Andrew: I mean they’re not like…

Ben: She calls him “honey.”

Audience Member: And that’s it?

Ben: Or he calls her “honey.”

Audience Member: So they’re just kind of “together” or not?

Ben: Yeah…

Emerson: They’re standing really close together.

Audience Member: Oh!

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Okay, thank you!

Andrew: Yeah!

Question: The Locket

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Cassandra…

Andrew: Hey.

Audience Member: And my question is…since they didn’t introduce the locket in Grimmauld Place in Movie 5, how did they introduce that in this movie?

Ben: Well Katie Bell just – all of a sudden just flies up into the air…

Andrew: Yeah.

[Audience Member laughs]

Ben: BOOM! And then…

Andrew: And that scene was – go ahead, sorry.

Ben: I was saying, and then in the books all that was was foreshadowing, so they didn’t have to introduce a thing because it didn’t really play that big of a role, I don’t think.

Andrew: And that scene was weird because they’re coming back from Hogsmeade, the Trio were there, and Hermione seems drunk and I don’t know if this was…

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: I don’t know if this – was that in the books? Because she’s standing in the middle of Harry and Ron and she just – she’s like – she’s walking between them and she just goes like this. She’s like [demonstrates].

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: And then Katie Bell comes in and, you know, they run into Katie Bell.

Audience Member: She probably had too much Butterbeer.

Emerson: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, well that’s, yeah… probably.

Audience Member 2: Maybe Emma Watson was drunk.

Andrew: Maybe Emma Watson was drunk?

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: Allegedly.

Question: Dumbledore/Voldemort

Audience Member: Hi! I just want to know how much of the relationship between Dumbledore and Voldemort you get to see in the course of the memories, kind of divulging that history, I guess.

Andrew: Between who again? Sorry.

Audience Member: Dumbledore and Voldemort.

Andrew: Oh.

Audience Member: Or, I guess, kiddie-Voldemort [laughs].

Andrew: Not – well there is that one scene…

Audience Member: Like the orphan scene, but is that – that’s it?

Andrew: Yeah. Right? I think that’s pretty much the only thing.

Emerson: Yeah.

Ben: Yup.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: That is a really cool scene though.

Andrew: It is a good scene though, yeah.

Ben: Because it kind of reminds you that Dumbledore is the entire reason that Voldemort came to Hogwarts…

Audience Member: Right.

Ben: To begin with and, I don’t know.

Andrew: Yeah, Dumbledore has a cool line about that to Harry, I think, about “how I should know how he works,” or whatever “because he’s my student” or something like that. I think that was in the book, too.

Audience Member: Okay, thanks!

Question: Dumbledore Plummeting?

Audience Member: Hi, I just wanted to know, the scene where Dumbledore and Harry are on the tower with Malfoy, is that – how is that worked out? Does, like, Dumbledore actually fall off the tower?

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: Like, was it good?

Andrew: It was quick.

[Audience Member laughs]

Ben: Yeah, it was pretty quick. Malfoy is kind of, like, crying. He’s just, like: “Oh, but I can’t do it!” And then…

Audience Member: Because I was…

Ben: …boom!

Audience Member: …listening to your other podcast and you were discussing the trailer. And you said, like, Malfoy has a whiny voice. Is – does that – is that throughout the whole scene there? Or…

Andrew: Hmmm. No.

Emerson: He starts crumbling.

Andrew: No, because you know in the book how Dumbledore is really, like, trying to get into Draco’s mind. He’s like, you know, I can help you out. You can be on our side. We can protect you. He’s doing that, but Draco’s not the whiny voice thing. I think it was just that one line.

Audience Member: Okay. Thank you.

Andrew: So before you just state your name, you have to explain yourself. [laughs] Why you are wearing a pink wig and purple glasses.

Emerson: Spectrespecs.

Audience Member: Spectrespecs.

Andrew: I know, but…

[Audience Member and Emerson laugh]

Andrew: …the pink hair. It still…

Audience Member: I’m Tonks.

Andrew: It’s awesome.

Audience Member: Thank you.

Andrew: No, it’s awesome. Yeah. Anyway…

Question: Harry Potter Mini-series?

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Jennifer.

Andrew: Hi.

Emerson: I thought you said you were Tonks?

[Audience and Andrew laugh]

Audience Member: I’m both! I can be both. I have a question not really about the movie. More like – do you think Warner Brothers will ever allow the BBC to make, like, a mini-series of each book? So…

Andrew: Hmm.

Audience Member: …like, you can see more of what they’ve left out. And do you think that’s a good idea?

Andrew: I don’t think so. I mean, I think it’s a good idea. But I don’t think W.B. would allow them to do that because it just seems like a rights thing that – W.B. would want to protect the franchise. That may be going a little too far because suddenly that sort of cheapens the movies, I think, maybe. What do you guys think about that?

Emerson: I don’t think they’re going – it’s just like you said. I think that unless they have a huge budget for it…

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: …and they can get, you know, the right people, the right actors, the right everything, in place, it seems, like – I don’t think they’d want to mess with it, considering how protective they are about making sure that every little detail is taken care of and done right.

Andrew: Yeah. Anything else guys?

Audience Member: Thanks.

Emerson: Thank you.

Question: Kreacher? Dobby?

Audience Member: My name is Miranda. And I was just wondering if Kreacher was in it and, like, what they did with him. If he looked…

Andrew: No.

Audience Member: …like Dobby.

Andrew: [laughs] He wasn’t in it at all.

Ben: No Dobby. Every time the house-elves come on the screen, it costs a lot of money.

[Andrew and Audience laughs]

Andrew: But that’s true. I mean – but still, I think it was just a plot thing. But he’ll be back for 7 at least, Kreacher. And Dobby, of course. We saw the pictures.

Audience Member: Hi.

Andrew: Hi.

Question: How Many Memories?

Audience Member: I’m Jen. I was just curious. I’ve heard that they’ve dwindled down – or shortened how many memory scenes they have from the book into the movie. I was wondering if the transitions with memories gave it enough plot to keep going with – the movie, if it was understandable enough for Harry to…

Andrew: Want to go after the Horcruxes.

Audience Member: Yeah. To look back and see if…

Andrew: Yeah, I think so, because Dumbledore was really emphasizing how important it was to get that memory. And you see the whole scene where Harry tries to get the real memory from Slughorn. So yeah, I think the importance was there.

Micah: Yeah. He explained the ring too.

Andrew: The what?

Micah: The ring.

Andrew: Oh, the ring. Yeah.

Micah: How he went and – what did he say it belonged to his mother? I think.

Andrew: Yeah. I’m not sure. I can’t remember. Yes?

Emerson: Yeah.

Audience Member: Thanks.

Emerson: Cool.

Andrew: Well…

Ben: I…

Andrew: What?

Questions: Wizard Paparazzi?

Ben: Before, a question that I had was at the beginning of the movie, I did not understand this when Dumbledore is walking with Harry. And there’s, like, all these cameras flashing.

Andrew: Oh.

Ben: And then…

Andrew: That was so good!

Ben: Like, I didn’t get that in the movie.

Emerson: Oh yeah.

Andrew: Okay…

Ben: Because they didn’t really tie it in or anything.

Andrew: …the movie starts out and if you guys saw the featurette on the Harry and Dumbledore relationship, you see it in that too. The very opening scene – of course, you see W.B. logo in the clouds like you do every film. But with this one, you – there’s this quick flash. It’s a flashback to Order of the Phoenix, but it’s not from Order of the Phoenix. It’s, like – it’s during that Ministry thing when the Ministry – I guess it’s not the Ministry paparazzi. But the paparazzi was, you know, taking pictures because Harry had just, escaped Voldemort, in the Order of the Phoenix. So that’s what it was. It was just a flashback. It was really cool. A really – heartbreaking because Harry and Dumbledore are just surrounded by press and Harry is just holding on to Dumbledore and all that. Yeah, but I got to say, it was a really good film. As much as you guys…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: As much as we’re, like, putting it down a little bit right now. I mean, it was the best one yet.

[Audience and Emerson laughs]

Ben: Oh. The other thing was the blackened hand. Dumbledore had the blackened hand…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: …but I think they could do it in a better job. Like, having Harry ask about that or something, because that could have played into…

Andrew: He did address it briefly, didn’t he?

Emerson: Well, Dumbledore mentioned it when he was explaining to Harry about the ring. He mentioned that – you know, that’s how…

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Emerson: For 7.

Andrew Ditches MuggleCast for Hot Topic

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. But okay, so these three are going to take it on from here and I’m going to bail out of here. It’s a shame none of you are going to be at the Hot Topic event tonight. But yeah, so that’s where I’m going. But thanks everyone for coming, I just want to say, and I’m sure you’ll be left in good hands.’s Harry Potter Should Have Died

Emerson: We won’t keep you too much longer. I think you guys want to stick around just to hear Ben’s defense of the title of this book.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: So Ben, you think Harry Potter should have died, huh?

Ben: What’s wrong with that?

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Ben: Everybody dies.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Go on, we’re intrigued. We would like to hear the – the reasoning.

Ben: Well he’s just an idiot.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Ben: Like it doesn’t – it doesn’t make any sense. Time and time again, like he should have died – like there’s no denying this, that he should have died a long time ago because how many times can you survive the most powerful dark wizard?

Andrew: [From the back of the room] Bye guys!

Audience and Emerson: Bye!

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Emerson: That was like out of a Broadway musical.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Ben: So, yeah he should’ve been a goner a long time ago. Emerson lives in fairytale land so he – he disagrees with me but – it – the word is “should”.

[Ben accidently hits his mic]

[Emerson laughs]

Ben: Oops, karma. The word is “should” and yeah, he should have died a long time ago and the movie proves that he’s an idiot. He doesn’t – he doesn’t listen. He just got lucky, period. Yeah.

Emerson: So Ben what would your response be if somebody used the – the logic that, you know the whole thing…

Ben: What’s your response? Why should he have lived?

Emerson: Okay well I would say that the overarching theme, if you had to pick one throughout the entire series – the one singular overarching theme is Dumbledore’s contention that love is the most powerful force in the universe. You know there’s like – there’s the famous quote from the first book, you know, “there’s only power and those too weak to seek it.” So if love – if the overarching message is, you know, what is love? And is it really more powerful than, you know, dark magic than hate than power. Then how could J.K. Rowling construct this plot and then – kill him.

Ben: So…

Emerson: Well what I keep going back to, and yes I’ve said this about a thousand times, but it just – it still makes perfect sense to me – that when I kind of zoom out on Harry Potter and I think about J.K. Rowling right? What she was – what must have been going through her head when she came up with this idea for the series – I just have trouble getting past thinking about her sitting on that train. Sitting on this train when she had the idea for Harry Potter, and I just imagine her just sitting on the train and all of a sudden in this flash of inspiration she gets this idea for a book. And it’s going to be the greatest story, one of the greatest stories ever told. It’s going to be about…

Ben: I doubt she thought that.

Emerson: It’s going to be about a boy – whose life sucks.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: And then he dies!

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Well, Emerson – Emerson you talk about love and the purveying a theme of love. He could die in a very loving way…

[Audience laughs]

Ben: If he was to, you know, perhaps sacrifice himself for his friends or for the good of the wizarding community because yeah, you can die in a loving way. It would not necessarily have to be – it wouldn’t have to violate that theme for him to die, that’s what I’m saying. Plus he’s an idiot.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Just think what kind of message that would send to children all around the world who are reading these books and reading about this kid who’s had every obstacle thrown in his way, every unfortunate thing happen to him, you know, born an orphan, all these, he’s been asked to sacrifice so much already and then, he dies. It’s just – it seems really depressing and I think I would have trouble re-reading the books just knowing that there’s no happy ending.

Ben: If he was going to die…

Emerson: I’m not one of those people. I don’t like when I’m watching a movie and the hero dies at the end. I need to know, you know, that all the stress I’m enduring for this character – at least he’s going to live at the end. And I need to know that and I – I can just see this being just a bit of a blow, if you’re – if you’re eight years old and you’re reading this book and then – it just seems – it just – how much can – how much can one person possibly sacrifice and then not get a little something at the end – called being able to live?

Ben: How many times can one person possibly get so lucky as to – to have fought the Dark Lord eighty-five thousand times and – yeah. I don’t know. Kill him.

Emerson: I – I – what do you guys think what happened if hypothetically, if J.K. Rowling…

Ben: What does Micah think? I want to know what Micah thinks.

Micah: I didn’t – I didn’t write the book.

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Ben: I don’t care, Micah. Should he have died? Should, should, Micah, should.

Micah: Well he did, technically…

Emerson: Oh!

Micah: For a brief moment.

Emerson: Did he?

Ben: But did he, that’s the question. I don’t know, I didn’t read the book.

Emerson: I think – can I see a show of hands here? Who thinks Harry Potter actually died in the seventh book? Wrong.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Very – very simply, J.K. Rowling said, years and years and years ago, when only – I think it was after the third book had been released, she said unequivocally, you cannot come back from the dead. The dead cannot be brought back to life. I know there’s ways that you can twist it to make it seem like, “oh well, maybe she meant this, maybe she meant that,” but that statement seems pretty hard to get around.

Ben: But wouldn’t you agree that he was dead-ish?

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Mostly dead, mostly dead.

Ben: Dead for the most part?

Emerson: The way – but J.K. Rowling, in – I think it was The Today Show, after the book was released, she said specifically: “No, Harry didn’t die. The Horcrux – the Horcrux was destroyed, but Harry didn’t die.” He had a choice – that was what the metaphor of the platform was for. He could choose…

Ben: It is our choices, Harry…

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Emerson: He got it in, he got it in!

[Audience cheers]

Micah: But if he did, you wouldn’t be able to write the book.

Ben: If what?

Micah: If he did die, you wouldn’t have been able to write the book.

Ben: Yeah. Harry Potter Died.

[Audience laugh]

Ben:’s Harry Potter Died. Oh really?

[Audience laughs]

Ben: So, yeah. Hand me one of those, real quick.

Emerson: Are we going to get a reading session from – Mr. Baritone?

[Audience and Emerson laugh]

Ben: No, let’s see. Okay, one question – we’ll do a few more, then we’ll let you guys go. But – Voldemort – in Half-Blood Prince, in the movie, you know, you see Voldemort at the orphanage, and you see him as a young kid, and you realize that – it seems to me that he wasn’t given much of a chance, because, you know, he grew up. And you know, your environment shapes you a lot, and it’s the old nature-versus-nurture debate, and asking the question, should we pity Voldemort, or should we hate him? And obviously, based off of his actions, you can hate the actions of what he’s done, but is it Voldemort’s fault that he turned out the way he did, or was he just a victim of the circumstance? Any input? Does anyone want to come up here and talk into the microphone?

Audience Member: Well, if you’re going along with choices, then he chose to do these things, and if your choices defined you, not your actions, then he is evil, because he chose to do these evil things.

Ben: But how much can you actually choose, though? Like, do you choose what environment you’re born into, do you choose who your parents are, do you choose…?

Audience Member: So then, did Harry choose to live?

Ben: Hm?

Audience Member: Did Harry choose to live?

[Audience laughs]

Ben: That’s the question, I don’t know.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: Yes.

Audience Member: I’ll existentially leave it up for debate.

Ben: What do you think, Emerson?

Emerson: He did! He, I mean, Dumbledore said it, you know, You have a choice, you can continue on with this fuzzy existence, this kind of half, you know, half-alive but still happy warm fuzziness, or you can go back to face the potential pain that the real world is, and Dumbledore went back, and faked being dead, and then came and kicked butt.

[Confused silence]

Audience Member: You said “Dumbledore”!

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: If I did, you know what I meant.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: But do you think we should pity Voldemort or hate him, that’s what I was actually asking.

Audience Member: Like, if you’re comparing Harry to Voldemort, like, look at all – even though they were both orphans, and they both had a really crappy life, before they ever got to Hogwarts. Like, when Harry got to Hogwarts, he was already Harry Potter. And he was already loved by everybody in the Wizarding World. Whereas Tom Riddle, was like, this crappy kid who was Sorted into a house that a bunch of people probably already didn’t like. And like, even though it’s choice versus opportunity, Tom Riddle had nowhere near as many opportunities as Harry Potter, though.

Emerson: Hmm. Yeah, it’s really difficult, it’s difficult. I’d like to think that I’m capable of just, you know, being strong enough to pity him, but it does kind of come back to choices. I think that, you know, if it wasn’t – another large theme of the book being choices – if it wasn’t for that, I would say, pity him. But because J.K. Rowling was so clear about choices being what determines your destiny, it’s hard for me to reconcile that. They were very similar. Harry Potter certainly – they both lived lives as orphans that were unloved and ill-appreciated, and treated badly, and yet they took radically different paths.

[Prolonged silence]

Ben: Okay.

[Audience laughs]

Show Close

Emerson: So we’ve been – now we’ve been talking here for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and we don’t want to keep you guys here until midnight, so this is the point at which we are going to – we’re going to say thank you, to everybody who showed up – I want to say thank you to Borders, thanks for coming out to support us…

[Audience applauds]

Ben: One quick thing though. You just have to remember that the magic is real if you choose to see it…

[Audience laughs]

Ben: And don’t be a Muggle. That’s all I’ve got to say.

[Audience cheers and applauds]