MuggleCast 249 Transcript
[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Andrew: Because even JK Rowling gets un-followed on Twitter – by who?! – this is MuggleCast Episode 249 for February 12th, 2012.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: This week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome everyone to MuggleCast Episode 249! Micah, Eric, and I are here this week. And also on the show, first time in a long time, Mikey B!
Mikey: Hi everybody!
Andrew: [in a funny voice] Hailing from Kentucky, America.
Mikey: What is that voice, Andrew?
Andrew: [in a funny voice] North America!
Andrew: I don’t know, it was what you were doing.
Mikey: Is that what I did? Okay.
Andrew: Kind of.
Mikey: I don’t know.
Andrew: Anyway, good to hear from you, Mikey.
Mikey: I know.
Andrew: How is life out there, living the married life?
Mikey: Yeah, living the married life. It’s a little bit different than what I was used to out in California, but it’s fun. It’s colder out here.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, you ain’t in California no more.
Mikey: I know.
Micah: But he’s got California weather.
Mikey: Oh, I did for a while but now it’s like 24 degrees. I’m freezing.
Eric: I know. Mikey, what is that?
Mikey: I know! You’re in Chicago.
Eric: Chicago is…
Eric: Chicago is the same way, and we had…
Mikey: You’re only five hours from me, so I know.
Eric: Yeah. That’s cool.
Andrew: Well, we have lots of interesting news to get through. Thanks to Dan Radcliffe and his Woman in Black publicity tour. That’s of course his new horror film, and he’s been going all over the United States and United Kingdom promoting it, probably other countries as well. And now that he’s done Harry Potter, he sort of is like speaking more off the cuff, I feel.
[Eric and Mikey laugh]
Andrew: These interviews have been insane.
Andrew: Like every new interview, there’s something else to be talking about that is surprising or shocking.
Andrew: So, go ahead, Micah. Lead us through it, please! Like always.
News: Daniel Radcliffe Discusses Potter and Twilight Fandoms
Micah: Well, the first piece of news that we have here was Dan Radcliffe discussing Twilight as a potential threat to Potter. And he also went into which series he believed was more [laughs] sexually aggressive, and this just goes to what you were talking about before, Andrew. It seems like he’s opening up a bit more. He has freedom of speech now, whereas maybe Warner Bros. put a little bit of a lid on him through all of these films. And it’s interesting. He told I guess a magazine in London that there was never really any kind of competition between Potter and Twilight, and – I kind of agree with him though, because I think you have to have two things that are on equal footing to be competitive. Isn’t that right?
Andrew: Yeah. And it was funny because he kind of called the whole comparison between – you know, Harry Potter versus Twilight, that whole versus concept in the first place, just odd for people to be doing that. And then addressing these sexual aggressiveness of things, I think he was more referring to the content of the books. [laughs] But still very funny. It’s always interesting to hear Dan, who is so of course attached to Harry Potter, talk about other fandoms.
Mikey: Well, I like that he said he was Team Edward because he’s friends with Robert Pattinson. So…
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Mikey: I was like, “Oh, that’s interesting.”
Mikey: They’re two book series, that’s the common thread between the two of them.
Andrew: Yeah, you really can’t compare it. I mean, there’s no point in comparing it and people like to say, “Oh, one is better than the other,” but of course listeners of this podcast will probably say Harry Potter is better. But it’s just silly. It’s all entertainment. It’s all the same trip.
Mikey: Yeah, one has got wizards, one has got vampires. Again…
Andrew: Sparkly vampires.
Mikey: Sparkly vampires. You’re right, you’re right. I can’t – the only thing I can compare is Wizards of Waverly Place had wizards and vampires so that might be the common thread between the two of them.
Mikey: I watch that on Disney Channel, you guys know that, so I have to bring that in. [laughs]
Micah: Well, wasn’t it – I saw a graphic recently saying that Disney created a better love story in seven minutes with Up than Twilight did…
Andrew: Twilight did in four books.
Micah: …in an entire series.
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Eric: Well, not a whole lot of things can top Up, that first seven minutes.
Micah: That was an awesome movie.
Mikey: Yeah, Up was phenomenal. So…
Andrew: Anyway, what other shocking statements did Radcliffe make?
News: Daniel Radcliffe Says Potter Oscars Snub was “Snobbery”
Mikey: Well, he also said that Potter Oscar snub was snobbery. So he’s really laying it all out there, and he went on to say:
“I don’t think the Oscars like commercial films, or kids’ films, unless they’re directed by Martin Scorsese. I was watching ‘Hugo’ the other day and going, ‘Why is this nominated and we’re not?’ I was slightly miffed. There’s a certain amount of snobbery.”
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Andrew: It’s so funny to me that he would put down Hugo, which has gotten very, very, very good reviews. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard good things.
Eric: I don’t know that he…
Micah: Did it top Deathly Hallows – Part 2‘s 97% on Rotten Tomatoes?
Eric: Oh, 96%, look at that. Well, I think – I haven’t seen Hugo, I do want to, but I think people are misreading that quote where he says, “Why is this nominated?” He says, “Why is this nominated and we’re not?” It’s kind of the second half of that that’s…
Andrew: Oh, that’s true. That’s true.
Eric: …more important because I think what he’s saying is that Hugo and Potter are very similar, which – based on what I read about Hugo, it’s not. But when I first saw the trailer for Hugo, it looked exactly like a Harry Potter film.
Andrew: Yeah, it did have that feeling. And maybe what he also meant was that up to ten films could have been nominated for Best Picture and only nine were nominated. So…
Eric: That was the most shocking thing. We didn’t even cover that, because before – on our last show, the announcements hadn’t come yet. It was like the day before the announcements.
Eric: So nine categories – or nine nominees for Best Movie this year instead of the…
Micah: When he says “commercial films” though, is he referring to Potter? Or when he says “kids’ films,” is he referring to Potter? Because I wouldn’t consider at least the latter half of the Potter films to be kids’ films.
Eric: Well, you wouldn’t, but would critics?
Mikey: It’s a children’s story. I would say that’s what he can consider. At the same time, I think commercial films – like when you look at all the films that are Best Picture, none of them made nearly what Harry Potter did. But again, it’s a huge franchise, so…
Andrew: Well, we’ll discuss the Oscars more in a little bit. We have a main discussion on this.
Mikey: I know.
Mikey: I’m excited.
Andrew: Let’s hear more in a bit.
Mikey: I’m excited.
Andrew: Before we continue with today’s news, we’d like to remind everybody that this week’s podcast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service. One audiobook to consider is The Red Pyramid, The Kane Chronicles, Book 1, by Rick Riordan. You probably know Rick because of his great series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but this is an entirely new series. One Audible listener said it is “a marvelous listen. The book follows Egyptian gods that are on the loose and at the heart of the story, a brother and sister. Faster paced than the Jackson series in some regards, this one excels from two excellent voice actors, each playing one of the main characters. Although targeted for early teens, it is still an adventure any lover of the genre will enjoy,” and we know all MuggleCast listeners love this genre. So for a free audiobook such as The Red Pyramid, visit AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. That’s AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
News: Daniel Radcliffe Reveals Who He’d Want to Play if Potter Films Were Remade
Micah: Well, one of the other things that Dan was asked about was if the Potter films were to be remade, what character would he want to play. And not surprisingly, he said he’d want to play James Potter.
Micah: Not a very exciting choice.
Andrew: No, but he selected it for that reason, it’s because it wouldn’t require much work of him.
Mikey: See, if he was going to come back to Harry Potter films, they’re remaking them, I’d want him to play Hagrid.
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Mikey: I think it would be fun!
Andrew: I don’t think he has the stature.
Mikey: I think it would be fun. But see – come on, they could do amazing things in post. Like come on, wouldn’t Dan Radcliffe being Hagrid just be fun for fans?
Eric: Not as cool as it would to see him as Snape.
Mikey: Ehhh. But see, Hagrid is just a love-able character. Snape – I still have a hard time loving Snape.
Eric: No, me too, which is why it would be really cool if he were like this dark – oh, maybe in like fifteen, twenty-five years, something like that.
Mikey: We’ll see.
Micah: It’s interesting though because I wonder how the people who are behind The Woman in Black feel about the fact that Dan Radcliffe is putting out all this material related to Potter when he should be promoting that film. Or do you guys think that it kind of lends to the promotion of the film anyway? Because he’s saying some pretty interesting stuff here that we’ve never heard before.
Mikey: It’s lending to the film.
Eric: Yeah, he’s showing up at the places. Whenever they talk about promoting a film, it just means appearing in interviews. And when they get introduced like on Letterman, “Oh, appearing to talk about his new film Woman in Black is Dan Radcliffe.” But then when you get to the interview part, they can talk about anything. And it doesn’t really matter because…
Andrew: And people want to hear talk about Potter.
Mikey: And at the same time, it’s Dan Radcliffe. He is Harry Potter.
Mikey: So here’s what happens, is if they can bring in a quarter of the Harry Potter fandom in to see Woman in Black, that movie does well.
Mikey: So they’re – it’s kind of like taking the best things [laughs] that Dan Radcliffe did…
Mikey: …and put it in this film, so it’s like, “Hey, come on, let’s get him in here.”
Eric: The other thing is – guys, how often do you think he gets asked, “Oh, are you sad Harry Potter is over?” Or, “How often do you think -” if you had to divide the questions that people ask Dan Radcliffe these days, how many do you think have to do with Harry Potter and how many do you think don’t? So I think just in general there’s this – people still want to talk about it and he’s like – I think he’s being forced to kind of…
Andrew: But he knows it’s good though because if he does say these surprising, interesting things, then it makes for a good headline, then people read the article, and then at the end they see “Dan Radcliffe is in The Woman in Black in theaters now.”
Mikey: Yeah, that’s exactly it.
Eric: Yeah, I like – yeah. He’s definitely able to open up about Potter now a little bit more. It’s been some time…
Andrew: Which is good.
Eric: Yeah. So it’s a good thing.
Andrew: And then a little side-note to that story, he also said he would be Harry Potter again.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: So he’s kind of contradicting himself. And the “I would play Harry Potter again” comment came out before the James Potter comment, so…
Micah: Well, it’s just headline of the day, whatever fits with how he’s feeling, I guess.
Andrew: Yeah. But it makes you think what – I mean, is he saying that because he knows he has some theme park work coming up, or what?
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Mikey: “Get your picture taken with the real Harry Potter!”
Eric: Oh no.
Micah: Book 9.
Andrew: I mean, I don’t mean that. I mean like new video stuff for the upcoming theme park expansion or whatever.
Eric: Gosh. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I wonder. Huh.
Andrew: So maybe he’s just playing to save – if he said, “I will never play Harry Potter again,” that probably wouldn’t go well…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: …when we knew he had to go film some theme park stuff.
News: Daniel Radcliffe Says He Considered Leaving the Potter Franchise
Micah: Well, it’s interesting you say that, Andrew.
Andrew: Oh why?
Micah: Because there was a time he thought about never playing Harry Potter again.
Micah: He told the…
Andrew: Man, he just really can’t make up his mind, can he?
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: He told The Fan Carpet that, quote:
“There was a time after the third film when I thought about quitting. It was only for a second, but I thought, ‘If I do the fourth, I’ll have to do them all,’ and that seemed quite daunting. If I was going to leave, that would have been the perfect time because it would have given whoever came in to play Harry enough films to establish himself properly. It wouldn’t have totally dumped him in the…”
[censored] I guess is what he meant to say.
“But then I started thinking…”
Oh, am I allowed to say that?
Andrew: Yeah, whatever.
“…’What other good parts are there for fifteen-year-olds? None.'”
Andrew: Yeah, and my feeling on this is, okay, he considered it. Let’s say he actually decided, “Yeah, I’m going to leave Harry Potter,” first of all, very stupid decision; second of all, WB wouldn’t have let him go. They would have just kept throwing money at him until there was an offer that he would have accepted. You can’t get rid of your lead character halfway through the series. I mean…
Eric: I feel like – but we had heard those news stories – even we reported on those stories. Even during the first days of MuggleCast, there was – wasn’t it for Movie 5 or Movie 6 we weren’t even sure? Because they didn’t have contracts.
Eric: They never had contracts all the way through.
Andrew: Up until Movie 5.
Eric: Up until Movie 5.
Andrew: Yeah, and then I remember there was a big press release about how [in a dramatic voice] Warner Bros. signs the trio on for all the remaining Harry Potter films.
Eric: Right. So up until Movie 5…
Andrew: It was like a sigh of relief.
Eric: Yeah, I remember that being a big deal. So it was interesting to me, reading this story, because Dan said as early as – before Movie 4 he considered – or at least was thought – it came to his head about possibly leaving. So that’s interesting.
News: Daniel Radcliffe Says He Went to Potter Set Still Drunk From Night Before
Micah: Yup. And another piece of information that came out probably a couple of months ago was that Dan Radcliffe had a pretty bad drinking problem. But what we found out more recently was that he was drunk night before going in to film Harry Potter. So – I mean, this is something that is dicey to talk about. It kind of falls under that tabloid label almost.
Micah: But I guess it’s still news.
Eric: [sighs] This story is – this story upsets me. This is the one where I’m like, “Okay, Dan talking about this is not going to serve any good purpose.” Like, it’s not going to help you to talk about “Hey, go back and view all these movies. I’m going to point out scenes where I’m dead in the eyes and that’s because I had been drinking the night before and was still drinking – or still drunk when I arrived on set.” Okay, that to me hurts the film and it hurts his – how people view him.
Eric: On one hand, it’s good that he’s being open about it. But it’s also saying…
Micah: Yeah, he’s not afraid to talk about it.
Eric: He’s not afraid to talk about it, okay. But – “What was the context?” I guess is what I’m asking.
Micah: Well, the information was revealed, like I said, months ago where he was very public about the fact that he had a drinking problem, and he said it was due to his addictive personality. And he felt that this is something that would have happened whether or not he was a part of the films from the beginning. And so I don’t know. I mean, I just think that it’s something that he had to combat in his life, and…
Mikey: If anything, it’s kind of him showing that he’s overcome this drinking addiction.
Mikey: Although I will say that I think the interviewer – like I’m looking at it right now. In context, it’s really the person that’s kind of baying him at it. It says:
“You’re only 22. Don’t most people in their early twenties drink too much?”
And he’s like – and then he goes on and said it’s because of his addictive personality, so he admits he was at fault here. But then he also says he can also say he never drank at work on Harry Potter, so he didn’t drink while doing Harry Potter. But he went to work still drunk, meaning he had drunk the night before. And that’s being honest. He’s not trying to say that – “I had a drinking problem but I can honestly say at work I tried to stay as professional.” And then they go:
“You mean Harry Potter had a hangover?!”
And he’s like, yeah. If he went to work drunk, he knows where he was. Probably – I dare someone to point to certain scenes and say that that’s when he was drunk. He might see it but it’s because this was a hard time for him. It’s like anyone dealing with addiction. So I think that’s being taken out of context and…
Andrew: It is.
Mikey: It’s a good tagline, “Harry Potter was drunk at work,” you know?
Andrew: Go ahead.
Eric: I misread this, yeah. Mikey, that’s a – okay, I see it now and having read the interview now or the part of it that’s quoted from HeatWorld, now I see it. And you’re right, I think the fact that he can see those scenes doesn’t mean that anybody else can. It just means that that kind of thing – it’ll always be there kind of…
Mikey: To haunt him. It’s going to haunt him.
Eric: To haunt him…
Eric: …in a way, yeah.
Andrew: And it’s good that he feels confident enough to speak about it now. That’s the other thing. He’s not particularly ashamed by it because he has moved passed it and he accepted that time of his life. But very interesting. [laughs] This is going to sound kind of bad, but [laughs] I was considering – because he says in the interview he can point out scenes where he looks dead in the eyes [laughs] and I was thinking of watching Half-Blood Prince and making a list like, “The top ten scenes Dan Radcliffe is definitely drunk or hungover in.”
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Andrew: But then that would have been bad taste. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, it would have been. But I think, too – the other thing is I don’t think it was that obvious.
Andrew: No, me neither.
Eric: Yeah. But if we go back and look, of course, then yeah, we might see something that…
Mikey: Well, it’s hindsight – in hindsight you can see things and now that I know this, I might be watching Deathly Hallows – Part 2 again and re-watching…
Andrew: Half-Blood Prince.
Mikey: Or Half-Blood Prince, sorry. I’m where it’s at. But going back and looking for specific stuff like this. But you know what? Am I really going to notice it? Probably not.
Eric: Yeah, I think it’s probably one of those things where you know yourself so well you can tell when you’re buzzed or whatever. But I don’t think anybody else – because the other thing is the director – this one – the movies – whatever you see on the finished product went through a hundred other eyes, and if there was a problem with it, Dan was obviously one way or another. It wouldn’t have made it into the film.
Mikey: If anything, I think for this right here, he can see it and I think if anything we just think that, “Wow, he is a better actor. He really was sullen from Dumbledore’s death or something like that.”
Eric: [laughs] The bags under his eyes are real because he didn’t sleep well.
Mikey: Yeah, the bags under his eyes are real but we thought it just, “Wow, they did great makeup on him.”
Eric: No, that’s…
Andrew: Somebody left this comment on Hypable and I think this about sums it up. She said:
“So that’s how he did the Felix Felicis scenes…”
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Eric: Which are the best scenes in any of the movies.
Andrew: That was from Katelyn.
Micah: But I think – it’s interesting that we expected all of these kids really to go through the series without having any sort of blemish on them, and really we talked about how insulated they were and how they grew up really out of the spotlight and kind of maintained those images over time. And now we see a story like this, but – I mean, I don’t think it should shock anybody, right?
Andrew: Well, it’s…
Micah: I mean, this kind of stuff happens all the time. It’s just magnified by the fact that he played Harry Potter.
Eric: Well, I mean, if anything – if anybody was lashing out in rebellion it was Emma Watson when she cut off all her hair. “Finally! Got a – I’m free!” That was what that said. So…
Andrew: But you’re right, Micah, and we’ve always thought about, “Wow, all these kids have really grown up well.” And they all really did, and Dan Radcliffe obviously did grow up really well and he’s a great guy and professionally has a great career ahead of him. But you never know what’s happening behind the scenes sometimes, and…
Mikey: But that’s – Dan Radcliffe and the trio themselves are kind of put under a microscope because of who they are. But it’s the same with anything else. Like, look at Disney. Anything that happens in their parks – Apple, they’re huge now and so everything that they do, it goes everywhere. So big companies, actors – you see it all the time. TMZ makes a living out of this type of stuff, so…
Eric Reviews The Woman in Black Movie
Eric: Oh, I don’t know that TMZ does anybody I care about. [laughs] I think now would be a good time to ask, have you guys seen The Woman in Black? Did you guys all see it?
Micah: No, I didn’t.
Mikey: [laughs] No.
Mikey: Did you, Eric?
Eric: [laughs] What?
Andrew: Honestly, I’m not that into horror films and I’m not going to be…
Andrew: …following Dan Radcliffe through every film that he does, so…
Mikey: You know what? I…
Eric: That’s fine.
Andrew: Did you like it, Eric?
Eric: Yeah, I saw it. [laughs]
Andrew: You like it?
Mikey: See, the thing is I want to see it but…
Eric: Yeah, it was good.
Eric: It was – yeah, it was good.
Andrew: Oh. [laughs] Well said.
Mikey: That’s good.
News: Emma Watson Wanted for Lead Role in Kristy
Andrew: Well, speaking of that, there’s a related story – well, not really related but I hear somebody else is going to be in a horror film too, huh, Micah?
Micah: [emphasis on “I”] I am? Really?
Andrew: Emma Watson.
Eric: Goat Night. [laughs]
Micah: [laughs] Goat Night? Is that what you said?
Andrew: [laughs] The Goat in Black.
Micah: According to Bloody Disgusting – I’ve never heard of them before.
Andrew: They’re a horror site.
Micah: Oh. Well, that makes sense.
Eric: It was the first time I had heard…
Micah: They’re reporting that Emma Watson may be up for a lead role in an upcoming horror film entitled [pauses] Kristy. Sorry, I couldn’t find the title.
Andrew: Kristy. Just Kristy.
Micah: So it’s a slasher film.
Andrew: And what’s interesting about it is that – yeah, and it takes place on a school campus.
“It follows a college coed who stays in her dorm during Thanksgiving and is terrorized by four masked assailants…”
Eric: Over Thanksgiving?
“…on the empty campus – the killers are up against far more than they bargained for.”
Micah: That means boobies.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Well, I just think…
Andrew: The reason I kind of think it would be a good role for Emma Watson is because she is in school right now, so it’s kind of like this interesting little connection. And when she’s doing all the press interviews, she can be like, [poorly imitating Emma Watson] “Well, I’m in school right now, so I thought this was a great role for me. I could really get behind it and really get into the scene.”
Mikey: [laughs] Is that your Emma Watson voice, Andrew?
Micah: Are you her spokesperson?
Andrew: No, but – yeah. Well, I just figured that’s what she’ll say. [poorly imitating Emma Watson] “I went to Brown and I’m at Oxford now, so…”
Mikey: Not your Emma Watson voice?
Eric: I don’t know that this is – this film is in good taste or that it’s – well, I mean, it’s a horror film, so – just contemporary horror films, I’m over it. If it’s compared to – what? The Strangers but on a college campus. Like, that’s a messed-up movie and it’s…
Micah: That’s the thing, though. Compare it to what you just saw, though. Compare it to The Woman in Black which is a real horror film versus just cutting people up and – I don’t think they should call it horror, I think they should call it…
Micah: Slasher, yeah exactly.
Andrew: The Woman in Black got a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, by the way, so it’s a fresh movie by Rotten Tomatoes’ scoring system. But obviously…
Micah: I wonder how the woman feels about that? Maybe we could get her on the show.
Micah: I wonder how the woman in black feels about this.
Andrew: Oh. [laughs]
Eric: Oh, you don’t want her on the show, Micah.
[Micah and Mikey laugh]
Eric: You really, really, really don’t.
Micah: I’m afraid to turn around right now.
Andrew: There’s other Emma Watson casting news too.
Eric: As long as you don’t have any kids, it’s good. As long as you don’t have any kids, things are safe.
News: Emma Watson and David Yates to Work on Your Voice in My Head
Micah: Well, apparently she is reuniting with director David Yates on a project called Your Voice in My Head.
Andrew: And this is the role that David Yates said a few – or maybe a couple of months ago at this point, that…
Eric: He has something.
Andrew: …[poorly imitating David Yates] “Oh, I have this great role for Emma. It’d be perfect for her. I really want to work with her again. Blah blah blah.” [back to normal voice] So this looks like the role. That will be nice for them, to work together.
Micah: I’m sure David is very happy with your impersonation of him.
Eric: Apologize now.
Micah: Treating former guests on our show. Such disrespect.
Andrew: All right…
Mikey: I think that’s the last of the news.
Andrew: Yeah, that is it for the news. That is it for the news! Okay. Thanks, Micah. Great job as usual.
Micah: No problem.
MuggleCast 249 Transcript (continued)
Favorites: Person to Play in Harry Potter Film
Andrew: You’re a news superstar. So in light of this news that we just mentioned earlier, Dan Radcliffe saying who he would like to play in a Potter film, another Potter film – or a remake I think was the exact question he got, I was wondering – and this leads into our Favorites segment – who you guys would all like to play in a Harry Potter film. I don’t think we’ve ever really asked this question before. We’ve always – we’ve asked questions like, “What’s our favorite character in a Harry Potter film or in a Harry Potter book?” but who would you actually want to play?
Mikey: Oh, I know this.
Andrew: Who, Mikey? Go ahead.
Mikey: Mad-Eye Moody.
Andrew: You would fit into that role. I was going to guess that or Hagrid.
Mikey: See, the thing is I would love to be Hagrid but I feel like Ben kind of has always had that, and…
[Eric and Mikey laugh]
Mikey: But I think it would be fun to be Hagrid because he’s such a lovable character, but I think Mad-Eye Moody would be kind of fun because one, you can play the villain for like one movie and then you can – because you know, it’s Mad-Eye Moody. Not really. And then you get to be the good guy the next movie. So I think it would be fun. Or Shacklebolt.
Andrew: I think I would like to play Severus Snape because – now, I would never be able to be Alan Rickman or be as good as Alan Rickman, but it seems like such a fun role to play, to be the bad but secretly good guy. And not too much work for filming, either. He’s not a lead, so that would be pretty easy. So yeah, I would take the role of Snape if I had such an opportunity.
Mikey: [laughs] Micah?
Andrew: Micah and Eric?
Micah: I’d go with Lupin.
Andrew: Hmm. Why Lupin?
Micah: I just – I mean, I’ve always liked the character in the books. I thought there was a great role in Prisoner of Azkaban. He’s kind of really the key to Harry’s past, the first real insight he gets into Harry’s past, and he’s the one who really instills in him Defense Against the Dark Arts and sort of begins him on that path. I don’t know, that’s just my reasoning. I guess Aberforth would be the ideal choice, right? [laughs]
Micah: Considering past episodes of the show. But…
Micah: No, I’d definitely go with Lupin.
Eric: I was going to say Sirius, but I think I’m going to go with instead young Tom Riddle, like last couple of years of Hogwarts into first couple of years post Hogwarts, the transition into Lord Voldemort, that sort of thing because it’s a very dark role but it’s also very – I don’t know, it just seems like it would be interesting. I think if they remade the films, one of the reasons for them to remake the films, is to spend a lot more time on the backstory and they could really make completely different movies if they focused on just different things than the first films did. So I think there would be more memories about Hepzibah Smith, about Merope Gaunt falling in love with Tom Riddle, and all that stuff. So I would vouch for that role.
Andrew: By the way, my second choice: Professor Trelawney.
Eric: Why don’t you play both? You could give the prophecy and then…
Eric: …hear the prophecy at the door and run to Dumbledore. That would be cool.
Main Discussion: Harry Potter At the Academy Awards
Andrew: Okay, so our main discussion today, as we mentioned a little bit earlier, is the Oscars. This is our last episode before the Academy Awards which are…
Micah: We’ll all be there, right?
Andrew: …February 26th. What?
Micah: Aren’t we up for an award?
Andrew: Ummm, yeah.
Eric: Best Commentary Track. [laughs]
Andrew: They’re going to be on, what? ABC, I think, hosted by Billy Crystal. And we discussed the Potter nominations a few weeks ago. We had – they were announced January 24th which was basically a month before the awards themselves, and Potter got four technical nominations and I’ll refresh your memory in case you forgot. They were – Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup – oh no, three.
Andrew: Not four. Okay, yeah. [laughs]
Mikey: That’s why I’m like, “Wait, where’s the fourth one? Maybe I missed it.” [laughs]
Andrew: And Best Picture!
Mikey: Yay! Awww.
Andrew: Not Best Picture.
Andrew: So we’re not just going to talk about those three because we’ve talked about that before, but we have a few questions and the discussion is based on this e-mail from a reader, Hunter, 19, of Rock Spring, Georgia, and the subject line is “Why Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was ignored by the Oscars.” He wrote:
“Hi MuggleCasters, with the release of this year’s Oscar nominations I’m sure you all will be discussing how and why ‘Harry Potter’ was effectively ignored. As something of a film buff, I’ve so far been quite dissatisfied with the range of opinions that I’ve encouraged on MuggleNet in regards to this subject.”
Micah: I think he meant “encountered.”
Mikey: “Encountered.” [laughs]
Andrew: “Encountered.” What did I say?
Andrew: Oh. I can’t read today, apparently. I’ve screwed up three times already.
“Many fans seem to feel that ‘Harry Potter’ was robbed of recognition that it rightfully deserved. Personally I believe that a realistic approach is the best way to get to the bottom of this and that the aforementioned fans simply aren’t being honest with themselves.
I’d argue that ‘Deathly Hallows – Part 2’ never really stood a chance to be nominated in any of the Oscar categories that fans were hoping it would be. It’s unfair for people to keep comparing these films to ‘Lord of the Rings’ and saying, ‘But, but ‘Return of the King’ won Best Picture!” because those films are the very definition of high fantasy and epic filmmaking. Hollywood had tried for decades to make ‘Lord of the Rings’ and many felt that it flat out couldn’t be done. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ‘Harry Potter’ films as much as the next guy, but there’s no denying that the ‘Potter’ film series as a whole isn’t as cohesive and meticulously executed as that of ‘Lord of the Rings’. I believe I’ve gotten slightly off topic.”
Eric: So do I.
“But still, all of these things are signs of quality that greatly effect a film’s Oscar potential. For instance, one must ask themselves questions like: ‘Was ‘Deathly Hallows – Part 2′ really the best film of the year? Really?’ or, ‘Just how long was Alan Rickman actually in the movie? Barring previous performances of Snape, was his presence in ‘Hallows: Part 2′ enough to leave an impact equivalent to that of, say, Heath Ledger’s 2008 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as Joker? How about to filmgoers who hadn’t read the books?’ Keeping that in mind, one might ask: ‘Does this movie make any goddamn sense to somebody who’s never picked up a ‘Potter’ book?!’
In short, yes, the 96% fresh rating that ‘Deathly Hallows – Part 2’ carries on Rotten Tomatoes does signify that critics found it to be a very good film, wonderful summer popcorn fare, and a fitting end to an always-above-average series. But it is not, and nor has ‘Harry Potter’ ever been, Oscar bait. To many of the die-hard fans like us though, ‘Harry Potter’ has been our childhood. The magic of these films and the world they brought to life is far greater than anything that an Oscar can possibly validate. And that is enough. :)”
Micah: Before we get into this – I mean, that’s exactly what David Heyman said after the “snubs,” was that the fan reaction was enough validation for him because that shows that the films were appreciated by the people that they care the most about, as nice as it would be of course to get an Oscar in some category.
Mikey: Yeah. As much as I would love to say, “Oh no, Harry Potter really deserved it and this is X, Y, and Z why,” when you look at the nominations this year and when you look at the nominations of Harry Potter in the past – I have the Academy’s website pulled up with all the nominations Harry Potter has received over all the films. The only one they didn’t get a nomination in – let me just make sure I’m counting that right – is Chamber of Secrets – three, four five – and Order of the Phoenix. So there’s two films they didn’t get any nomination on. But if you look at the history of what films beat them out on – they were in Visual Effects one, two, three times including this year, and honestly, as much as I love the visual effects in Harry Potter Part 2, I don’t think it’s going to win this year, mainly because the films they’re up against this year – even in Art Direction where I think it has a phenomenal art direction, but every year that they’ve been up they’ve lost against films that – honestly, Harry Potter since the first film, the art direction has been kind of set by that film, so it’s not like a groundbreaking thing. In Visual Effects this year, they’re against Hugo, Planet of the Apes – like, have any of you guys seen that? With…
Mikey: Yeah. You know who I’m talking about? It’s just – oh my gosh. Malfoy. [laughs] What’s his name? Tom.
Andrew: Tom Felton.
Mikey: Tom Felton! Geez. It’s like stopping me. And even Transformers: Dark of the Moon, all those films visually, for Visual Effects – yes, Harry Potter has some great things this year, but nothing groundbreaking. I would say probably Goblet of Fire had more groundbreaking effects, just the reveal of Voldemort and no nose. That was huge visual effects-wise. But it’s all been done. [laughs]
Andrew: Well, I know this doesn’t apply to one film, but you can also argue that the Harry Potter films have been pretty groundbreaking on a whole, in that the success of them, how long the entire – I mean, the entire cast has stuck around with the entire thing. For that reason alone, I find it very groundbreaking.
Mikey: I’m not saying that they don’t deserve some type of special achievement or something.
Mikey: Because it is a phenomenal series, much more so than many other film series out there.
Eric: Well, how – I guess I have to ask, Mikey, too – and I wasn’t going to think about talking about this, but the year that Lord of the Rings swept and had – was it eleven Academy Awards? I mean, those are the Oscars and Return of the King got them all that year.
Mikey: Well, here’s the thing, is – I actually pulled up Return of the King and it’s – let me find it real quick. But just to see what it was against…
Mikey: …and what it earned…
Eric: That’s what I’m asking, is…
Mikey: All right, so – actually no, that’s not true. Return of the King won one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven. Eleven. You’re right. Andrew, cut out my counting, okay? But – [laughs] all right, so Best Picture…
Eric: Why? [laughs] Your counting sounded fine. It was accurate.
Mikey: It was.
[Eric and Mikey laugh]
Mikey: I just wanted to make sure. All right, so Best Picture – and I actually saw every single film in Best Picture in 2003 when Return of the King won – it was Return of the King, Lost in Translation – don’t get me wrong, I love Lost in Translation. It’s sitting – actually, I see it on the shelf. It’s this silver box right over there.
Eric: That’s Sofia Coppola, right?
Mikey: Yeah. So – yeah, exactly. Master and Commander, that was interesting.
Mikey: I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I went to see it with my dad. Mystic River. I like Clint Eastwood but it wasn’t – I personally thought as a picture as a whole, the epicness that was Return of the King totally bet out Mystic River. And Seabiscuit. I really enjoyed Seabiscuit. I live in Kentucky now. So it’s one of those things where yes, I think it was great that it was nominated, but personally out of that series of films, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was a much more epic, well-rounded Best Picture film. Does that – compare it. What do you guys think about that? Lord of the Rings versus what Harry Potter would be up to against this year. And really take Deathly Hallows – personally I feel Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – I never was on the show to kind of talk about it. I enjoyed it, I loved it, it was a great ending to the series, but it kind of felt like the third Pirates of the Caribbean where it was all action and kind of just – it was just the climax of the series. If Part 1 and 2 were one film, the epicness of that long film with all that stuff in it, I think it would have been beter. But the fact that they broke it up into two pieces, taking each individual piece…
Eric: You mean if it were one five-hour film?
Mikey: Yeah. Or even…
Andrew: That’s an interesting take. But I mean, to answer your question about comparing it to the other films that are nominated this year, I haven’t seen enough of these to give you a solid answer, but I think what you’re saying about it being the climax lends to the fact that it does deserve a Best Picture because a Best Picture – story is obviously so important and for this film to wrap up this story, this seven-part story – eight-part story.
Mikey: But you’re looking at an eight-part story. No, each picture for Best Picture has to be taken as an individual film.
Andrew: No, I know. That’s what I’m saying. But I’m saying that Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is wrapping up this entire story.
Andrew: And you do understand everything going into this film and coming out of it, at least I think.
Eric: I think our reader here…
Andrew: And I think…
Eric: …would disagree, Hunter.
Andrew: Yeah, but then look at the reviews of the film. I mean, why did it get such good reviews?
Andrew: Just because there was a lot of action?
Mikey: No, because it’s Harry Potter!
Andrew: I mean, this isn’t…
Mikey: It was a phenomenal film.
Andrew: But it hasn’t been – it hasn’t gotten this kind of review before.
Mikey: [sighs] It’s…
Andrew: For a Potter film.
Mikey: I’ll tell you this – I love Harry Potter. I don’t want anyone to say, “Oh, Mikey doesn’t like it.” I really do.
Mikey: I feel like I’m just going to get bashed for…
Andrew: No, we believe you.
Mikey: I feel like…
Andrew: We all know.
Eric: Mikey, he likes it.
Mikey: I do! I do like it! I got Fawkes tattooed on my leg. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan.
Mikey: Yes. But it’s one of those things where as a picture in whole – Best Picture? Honestly, I think The Help was probably one of my favorite films this year, even more so than Harry Potter because it’s just a really heartfelt, touching story and the visuals were beautiful in it. Best Picture has a lot of things. It’s not just story.
Eric: Okay, so let’s – okay. So let’s put Best Picture aside for a second.
Mikey: Okay. All right. Let’s talk…
Eric: And let’s talk about Best Supporting Actor for Severus Snape.
Eric: And Hunter – in his e-mail, Hunter writes: “Was Snape – barring the previous performances of Snape, was his presence in Hallows: Part 2 enough to leave an impact equivalent of Heath Ledger’s award-winning Joker?” So…
Andrew: That’s a good point.
Eric: That was what Hunter said and I actually wanted to bring up – one of the readers sent – one of the readers to MuggleNet sent in a long explanation for – following the Oscars snub, where he actually detailed – his name is Stuart, and he wrote in and he said that actually the “For Your Consideration” campaign that Warner Bros. launched promoted eight candidates for Best Supporting Actor that they wanted the Academy to take a look at for that role. So it was – they equally promoted – Warner Bros. apparently equally promoted Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Matthew Lewis, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, and Alan Rickman. So I don’t know exactly how this works, but essentially it means that – they didn’t get fully behind Alan Rickman for Supporting Actor. They just threw this whole list of their best British actors at the Academy to review and then it was the Academy’s job to kind of review, “Okay, does this actor qualify? This actor qualify?” for the Best Supporting Actor not to achieve the nomination. Now, I didn’t know that. I thought this was great, some great insight. But it means that basically Warner Bros. is at least partially responsible for either confusing the Academy or just trying too hard and not really acting in its own best interests. Because if you’re talking about – some of those actors, Robbie Coltrane, even Michael Gambon, in the film for thirty seconds, whereas Snape actually has a character arc in the film. And so Alan Rickman’s performance should have been the focus there by Warner Bros. to get that nomination.
Micah: Yeah, I agree with that.
Mikey: No, I agree.
Micah: I was going to bring up what Stuart said, too, because it’s interesting that the attention was not focused solely on one individual. Had it been focused on Alan Rickman, maybe there is a better chance that he would have been nominated in that field. But…
Mikey: I read somewhere recently and I can’t find the article, it was nothing related to Harry Potter or anything, it was just how the Oscars are actually nominated, and how there’s a laundry list of people and how they get it down to the actual nominations and what the rules are. I’m trying to find the article on it, but basically it’s – I’m sure Snape was a character and Alan Rickman was on that list, just like Warner Bros. pushed him, but what happened was there’s just not enough push behind that one character. And when you have Warner Bros. pushing for everybody, it’s like they split their vote, kind of like the – what was it? The Teen Choice Awards when a bunch of actors were up and…
Andrew: Yeah, the trio – yeah, I was going to bring that up.
Mikey: …all the Harry Potter actors were up for it.
Mikey: And all four of them lost. Why? It’s because they split the vote between…
Mikey: …who’s your favorite Harry Potter actor?
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Mikey: Well, guess what? The person who was not a Harry Potter actor won! Why? Because all her fans voted for her. So it’s one of those things where it’s as much politics for some of this stuff as it is when you look at it. But for the most part – no system is ever perfect, and yes, Best Supporting Actor, Snape’s story arc in the book was phenomenal and in the movie, it came out really, really well. But it wasn’t – I don’t feel it was enough to be a Best Supporting – because he didn’t have enough screen time to be that character. And I think it showed with Warner Bros. pushing so many characters or so many actors as Supporting Actors…
Micah: And it’s almost like they were grasping at straws.
Mikey: Yeah, they were grasping because – look at it. Why would you do Michael Gambon as Supporting Actor in this film?
Eric: No, it doesn’t make any sense.
Mikey: It doesn’t make sense.
Micah: He’s got one scene. Yeah, exactly.
Mikey: But that…
Eric: It doesn’t make any sense. Yeah, I think they shot themselves in the foot a little bit with that.
Micah: Or two scenes.
Mikey: Yeah, and it’s not – it’s just…
Andrew: Could it be that they – it’s another thing to consider that these people who are nominating actors have to pick only one. So you have to consider, are all these people who are in the industry – do they look at Harry Potter and say, “That is my favorite film so I have to nominate this year Harry Potter in these various categories.” I mean, that could have hurt it, too, because if the nominations work where the voters only get to select one in each category – I mean, they have to pick Potter as number one? That’s very difficult to do.
Micah: Well – but the thing is it was the most popular film of 2011, it was the most successful film of 2011. Is it that hard to say that it should have been nominated? I mean, this goes to my question, are the people who are in charge of the nomination process out of touch with the public? Because this is the highest grossing film franchise of all time. Clearly, the people who are going to see the films and the people who are nominating the films have a very vast difference of opinion on what’s a good film.
Eric: Well, it’s like Avatar was nominated for Best Picture, right? Last year, wasn’t it? And it lost to The Hurt Locker. Was this last year or the year before?
Mikey: It was nominated – let me find it real quick.
Eric: Yeah. But…
Micah: I think it was two years ago, but I could be wrong.
Eric: The same thing is that Avatar was the highest grossing film – or grossed millions and trillions of dollars, this huge successful film, and it got nominated for Best Picture. The story was not original. The story was very bland.
Eric: The effects were great.
Eric: The effects were great.
Mikey: Now, on Avatar – again, they look at a lot of things for Best Picture. Even – and again, you got to remember, it’s not just story is what they’re doing. They look at everything. And Avatar more so than this Harry Potter did have some amazing, groundbreaking things in it.
Eric: I do agree with you there.
Mikey: Mainly the 3D. And a perfect example – if everyone wants to go back to Lord of the Rings or even Avatar in the groundbreaking-ness, look at the new Hobbit stuff that’s coming out. I can tell you the technology that’s going behind it – Peter Jackson bought a ridiculous amount of Red Digital Cinema Cameras and it’s so – he’s shooting at a faster frame rate than what Hollywood does now, he’s shooting in pure 3D which a lot of the films that are in 3D are just post-conversion. Like, he is doing something in Hobbit that has not been done before. Avatar is the closest thing to it, but he’s going so far beyond what Avatar did. Like, I can tell you, Hobbit is going to win Visual Effects award for the Oscars when it comes out.
Eric: Well – so that’s the thing, is that Potter did get nominated but all for technical awards.
Mikey: Yeah, and Best Picture…
Eric: But when it comes to things like Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor – when it comes to any of the meat and potatoes of the films…
Andrew: The story. [laughs]
Eric: …Harry Potter got snubbed.
Eric: But why?
Micah: Let’s talk about that for a minute.
Andrew: And – yeah.
Andrew: Arguably, it has to do with the story, and I think that – this is another question I want to raise: Are book-to-film adaptations kind of just cursed in this regard?
Andrew: I mean, there have been some, but – and I’m talking book-to-film adaptations and also this kind of – these fan bases that come with it.
Mikey: We’ve been talking about Lord of the Rings! Come on!
Andrew: No, but if you look at Harry Potter – I mean, a lot of people say, “Oh, Harry Potter is probably a little too mainstream. The critics tend to ignore it. They just see it as, ‘Oh, people love it just because people love it.'”
Eric: Well, Deathly Hallows too, was the film where everybody came together, even critics, and said that was good.
Eric: So there’s that. But the other thing I would argue is that there are actually a ton of – I mean, nothing really is original, like truly, truly original. No movie now that hits theaters isn’t based on a book…
Eric: …or another work, and that truth is scary.
Andrew: I mean, that’s…
Eric: Because it’s…
Andrew: I wouldn’t say almost all of them. That’s a little bit of a stretch.
Eric: It’s very difficult – I really would like if you could name some. I mean, it’s…
Andrew: Well, I would just – come to mind, like Pixar films. Like, those are all…
Eric: They only make one of those every couple of years, right?
Andrew: Yeah, I know, but it’s still not…
Eric: Well, Pixar has got the billions of dollars to make it happen, but – in other words – I think that the studios – it’s very hard to get a film green-lit these days, that is original as opposed to based off – like Water for Elephants.
Eric: Based off of a book with a built-in audience attached to it. It just seems like…
Andrew: And people know it can work.
Mikey: Yeah, and…
Eric: Well – and I really liked the Water for Elephants film.
Micah: I just want to say this, though.
Micah: You’re talking about taking the most successful book series of our time and turning it into the most successful film franchise of all time, so how do you not award David Heyman who has been there from the beginning as a producer? How do you not award David Barron who has been there from the beginning as a producer? How do you not award Steve Kloves who has done all films except Order of the Phoenix? That’s what bothers me.
Eric: Well, is the BAFTA enough then? That the British…
Micah: Well, maybe.
Eric: …Film Institution saying Lifetime Contribution Film…
Micah: But the fact that they’re not even recognized – I mean, how many times, Mikey, when they were nominated was it for – is there a Best Producer? Aside from Best Director. I don’t know if that’s an actual award. But…
Mikey: They do Special Achievement awards. Here’s the thing, is – I don’t want to get into it because…
Micah: I was going to say, was Steve Kloves ever nominated for an award for his screenplay?
Mikey: Yeah, give me a second. I’ll look it up.
Micah: Sorry, I didn’t mean – I just – I mean, that’s what I look at because those are people who have been there – aside from the actors. If you’re going to say the acting wasn’t great throughout with the exception of Alan Rickman in the final film, okay, we can have that debate. But these guys have been there since the very inception of the film, and it brought it to life over ten years. How do you not acknowledge that?
Mikey: Yeah, and…
Eric: Well, the Oscars are year to year. I mean, that’s the thing about the Oscars. And I think…
Micah: Well then give them an achievement award. I mean, you give them something that recognizes the work that they’ve done.
Mikey: And that’s what I’ve been saying, is as an individual one – right now, I have like forty tabs open with everything so I don’t want to misquote any facts or anything. But really, if you look back at what Harry Potter has had nomination-wise – and again, you have to look at it as an individual film – when you look at it, they’ve gone up against films that were really, at their time – actually, I felt a little bit better. A perfect example is for cinematography in 2009, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You know what it lost to? Avatar. Like, how can it compare to that?
Mikey: Like, seriously, look at what James Cameron did with that film.
Eric: Yeah. And it was a lot more colorful that the sixth Harry Potter movie.
Mikey: Yeah, and that’s just one example. When you look at Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which is arguably one of my favorite Potter films still. I thought it was wonderfully shot, it was big and epic, it was the Triwizard Tournament. All these great things. It lost to Memoirs of a Geisha, again which was – that’s in art direction. That was very specific things. So a lot of times…
Eric: Also based on a book. [laughs]
Mikey: Yeah, I know. When you look at Deathly Hallows – Part 1 for Visual Effects, what did it lose to? Inception. Yes, it was a phenomenal film in the sense of effects, but have you seen Inception? [laughs] The stuff – like, I know you guys have. So it’s one of those things where it’s been put against some really good films. And when you look at what it’s up against this year – like, I really want to bring it back to what it’s up against this year. A perfect example is Makeup, that it’s up against. It’s up against two other films – and I will admit, I haven’t seen it. But honestly, looking at what the films are doing with a little research – it’s up against Albert Nobbs and The Iron Lady. Well, The Iron Lady is – what’s her name? Meryl Streep.
Andrew: Meryl Streep.
Mikey: As Margaret Thatcher. I haven’t got a chance to see it, so I can’t say anything on that part. But Albert Nobbs is Glenn Close playing…
Andrew: A dude!
Mikey: Passing as a dude! And you know who else won an Oscar for that? Mrs. Doubtfire. Mrs. Doubtfire…
Mikey: …when Robin Williams played a woman. Okay? So honestly, for Makeup, is Harry Potter going to beat that? It’s been up against really good films in these categories.
Andrew: Are you saying Glenn Close as a man is more shocking or unbelievable than Warwick Davis as a goblin?
Eric: [gasps] Oh snap!
Mikey: I’m not saying unbelievable.
Eric: Oh snap!
Mikey: I’m saying…
Andrew: Here’s the thing, though. I mean, how could you put down – and I’m not disagreeing with you, Mikey. But I’m saying, how could these people not vote for Harry Potter when you look at the entire film? There’s extreme amounts of great makeup work.
Mikey: No, no, I agree with you. And it’s just one of those things where I think it has – like I said, it’s a lot of politics, too. It’s…
Andrew: And – yeah.
Mikey: And it’s…
Andrew: And I think the question is: Is makeup adding to the story? That’s important as well.
Mikey: Yeah, and I think – and you’ve got to remember – again, I’ve never seen the other films so I can’t say how well it adds to the story or – but again, the whole thing evolves around makeup changing the character. So it’s one of those things where I will say I think Harry Potter has done some phenomenal stuff and I think it should receive some type of special award for being this franchise, by actually making all the films. That’s a huge achievement and I have [laughs] every single one of the movies myself. It’s one of those things where it’s definitely done a lot. But when it comes to Oscars, it’s been up against some really good stuff and it’s hard to say that it got snubbed. It’s just bad luck, you know? It really is.
Andrew: Are the Academy voters – now, I know Mikey’s answer to this, so Micah, I ask you: Are the Academy voters out of touch with the public and what moviegoers are actually going to see?
Micah: Yeah. I mean, I brought this up a little bit before. I think that they are, but I think I also have a slight bias towards the Potter films and I think that they deserve to be recognized in some capacity. But I just don’t understand how – again, we talked about the fact that Potter was the most successful film of 2011. It has been nominated for three Oscars, so okay. I mean, is that just do, though? I mean, is that enough? And knowing that there’s probably not a good chance of them winning any of those three – Mikey just pointed out the facts of what they’re up against. And I don’t know, I just think that – but it’s hard because what would have happened – and let’s say Alan Rickman gets nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Let’s say Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is nominated for Best Picture. Would that have been enough, even if they didn’t win? I mean, it’s almost like you have to take a look at the entire series and that’s why I really feel that an award acknowledging the series as a whole would be more fitting.
Mikey: I agree with you. An award nominating – showing the whole series. Sadly, there’s not an award for Best Series.
Eric: Or Best Eight-Film Saga.
Mikey: You got…
Eric: Because how many – what would be the competition then?
Mikey: Star Wars.
Andrew: James Bond.
Mikey: Star Wars.
Andrew: [laughs] Or Star Wars.
Eric: No, not eight films. I’m saying eight films. Star Wars is only six, and if you count the special editions it’s nine. So the award would have to be – or ten now.
Mikey: Before we got Clone Wars.
Eric: That was not released in theaters, was it?
Mikey: Yes, it was! I went to see it! I dressed up!
Eric: Oh, I forgot about that. Okay. And then…
Mikey: And Episode 1 in 3D, that’s a different film!
Eric: Yes. Have you seen it yet?
Andrew: Mikey, you play…
Mikey: You want to go up against me with Star Wars?
Eric: Have you seen it yet?
Andrew: No, we don’t need to get into this.
Andrew: Nobody needs to hear this.
Eric: Have you seen Episode 1 in 3D yet, Mikey?
Mikey: I’m actually going on Tuesday. Anyone in…
Eric: Oh, guess what? Guess what? I was there Thursday at midnight. Thank you so much.
Mikey: All right.
Andrew: Sounds like Eric is a bigger fan.
Mikey: You know, Eric? I was out of town on Thursday. I was working, okay?
Eric: Okay, that’s fine. That’s fine.
Mikey: I’m sorry.
Eric: I don’t need to know what you’re doing. I’m sorry.
Andrew: Well, the good news is that Star Wars plays everywhere, Mikey, not just in your town.
Mikey: I know.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Mikey: Actually, no, no. Where I was at in Kentucky on Thursday night, it was not playing.
Andrew: I’m just messing with you.
Mikey: So I was at a small – like I said, I was only on the eastern side of Kentucky, really small area. So, okay.
MuggleCast 249 Transcript (continued)
Main Discussion: Harry Potter At the Academy Awards (continued)
Andrew: Okay. Well, we’re nearing the end of the discussion here. I think one thing we can kind of wrap up on is just final predictions. Will Deathly Hallows – Part 2 get anything at the Oscars in two weeks?
Eric: I think Mikey makes a good point. It’s up against a lot of tough…
Andrew: Great stuff. Mhm.
Eric: Well, I think – I mean, looking again at the BAFTAs, there have been – I think it received most recently Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema, and that was an award that was presented to the producers and was shared among the entire cast. That’s a great thing and a great award, and I don’t know that the Oscars are the right venue for any kind of award like that, as much as we’d love to see it. I mean, I’m a little shocked. I just – at least having some of the Potter cast to be present at the Oscars – I mean, do we know if any of them are even going to be at the Oscars? I mean, not even necessarily even to accept an award but you don’t have to have an award to attend the Oscars, do you? To be nominated for something.
Andrew: I think they invite people, though.
Eric: I feel like…
Andrew: It’s not just sort of like a…
Eric: …seeing the cast as a presenter in the past or in the future would really do well, I think, to alleviate some of the anxiety that I have about this whole thing.
Mikey: Talking about them winning, I think if they’re going to win one of them – I really don’t think they’re going to win Makeup. I don’t think they’re going to win Visual Effects. I do feel that the strongest chance they have is Art Direction, and mainly because this is the first time we’ve seen Hogwarts completely destroyed. That’s a completely different art direction than all the previous films. So…
Eric: [laughs] To the opposite art direction, one might say.
Mikey: Well – but you got to remember, every time it’s up for Art Direction before, it’s like – it was all kind of based on the first film. It couldn’t really do too much. This one they were able to break from it. They were at war, and war itself is really hard to do. So I think compared to what it’s up against…
Micah: Well, wouldn’t you say that that could put them in contention for Visual Effects, too? Because I mean, you look at everything that went on there: the Dementors, the statues coming to life, the giants…
Andrew: The giants.
Andrew: Hogwarts on fire.
Micah: The dragon. Don’t forget about the dragon.
Eric: Okay, there were giants in…
Andrew: Harry and Voldemort’s fight?
Eric: There were giants in Deathly Hallows – Part 2?
Mikey: I’ll tell you this: Hugo and Planet of the Apes – don’t get me wrong, I think Transformers did an amazing visual effects. I saw it and I’ve looked at ILM’s VFX reel for this, and it’s actually making the huge Twitter rounds because it’s really amazing. But I think Planet of the Apes and Hugo visually kind of outdo Harry Potter, just because Planet of the Apes – bringing Caesar to life – bringing the guy who played Gollum to life…
Eric: Andy Serkis.
Mikey: There it is. I can never remember his name. But bringing him to life and seeing the emotion in the ape, and at the very end where he just says no – that is just like – the visual effects to bring that character to life…
Eric: There you go, Mikey. You spoiled the film for everybody.
Mikey: I’m sorry, it’s the Planet of the Apes. If you’ve never seen it, then – it’s an old series. It’s been around. But the fact that that was in there – it was visually beautiful. Like, I forgot that this was not a real ape the whole time. I forgot. So – and that’s the thing, is visual effects are not about – Avada Kedavra, you see the green light…
Mikey: …and you go, “Yes! That looks cool!” But when you look at it, the best visual effects are the effects that you don’t realize are visual effects. You know what I mean? Because that’s hard to sell. Trying to make something look real – like, I love Star Wars but look at the original – not the original, but Phantom Menace and look at Jar Jar Binks, look at it now. How dated does that character look?
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, all CG has increased tremendously, I know.
Mikey: Yeah, but the point is if you can do visual effects and make it not look CG – like even then, you can tell Jar Jar Binks was not – he was an alien on purpose because they couldn’t do hair texture on him.
Andrew: And I bet you a lot of critics will agree with you on that. [in a funny accent] We should not even realize the special effects are here.
Andrew: [continues in a funny accent] Everything should appear real. You should be drawn into the story.
Eric: That does make it a little bit more special. I mean, I guess Mikey is right. They gave the ape more emotions than James Franco had in that whole film.
Mikey: And that’s my point, is the Visual Effects category for Harry Potter – if it wins I will be stoked because I love Harry Potter. But seriously, I don’t think it has a chance. I think the best chance it has is Art Direction, to win something, and I would love for Harry Potter out of all the films to at least win one Oscar, because I think it would almost validate me loving the series as much as I do.
Mikey: I want Harry Potter to win for me! It’s one of those things – not just for the people who made it and how awesome eight movies – we got eight movies out of this series. But the fact that it would validate that yes, it’s an Oscar-worthy franchise.
Andrew: Micah, do you think any of these have a chance?
Micah: I mean, I defer to Mikey because he probably knows…
[Micah and Mikey laugh]
Micah: …better than I do, but – no, it’s true. I mean, this is – like he lives and breathes this stuff. So – I mean, I would think though if you ever saw the piece – what was it? – “The Goblins of Gringotts” on the Blu-ray – I mean, there was a ton of work that was put into creating these guys – and gals.
Mikey: Oh yeah.
Micah: In the bank. And I guess that’s part of the reason why they were nominated. Let’s leave the epilogue out of the discussion because I don’t think that helps them at all in that category. But…
Mikey: Well, that’s makeup. That’s makeup.
Micah: I don’t know, it’s tough. Like I said, I’ll defer to Mikey, maybe Art Direction is where they have their best shot. I just think though that it’s so – to me, at the end of the day, it looks so poor that either this series – yeah, it has a chance to walk away, let’s say right now, with three. Right? Okay? But the reality is it probably only has a chance of walking away with one, and that this series may have only one or zero Oscars after everything that it’s done.
Andrew: Has happened.
Micah: So that’s my take. I think that they should – if they’re not doing it this year, which they’re probably not, next year they owe it to this series because let’s face it, this series has also contributed significantly to the industry when it has suffered tremendously over the last several years.
Eric: That’s good point.
Micah: In terms of what it’s meant to the box office.
Mikey: And that’s not to say that they won’t give an Academy Honorary Award to the series.
Micah: That’s what I think.
Andrew: Wouldn’t they have announced that by now?
Micah: Well, maybe next year. I mean, I think though…
Andrew: Oh. Yeah.
Micah: …that they should do it the right way like the BAFTAs did it. Bring back all the directors, bring back the producers, bring back the cast or how ever many you can…
Andrew: Yeah, that would be cool.
Micah: …and do the right thing.
Andrew: And I really do think the film industry does have to thank the Harry Potter franchise because it has done so much for it in this time when movies just don’t do well at the box office. There are films like the Harry Potter‘s and the Twilight‘s and soon The Hunger Games and – all these. James Bond, Transformers – there’s all these franchises that just do extraordinarily well. And we should appreciate them, darn it!
Mikey: No, I agree, and I would love for them to get that kind of validation of a Special Achievement award or something because honestly, it is an amazing work to get all eight films done. And it could be this: you brought up the thing about a book translation to a movie. It could be one of those things where the book translation to a movie happened too soon before the full impact of the series was felt. It’s one of those things where we didn’t even know what the end of the series was going to be while the movies started. So it could be something along that line for an achievement, that maybe the book series did translate to a film too soon. I don’t know. But I would like them to get something.
Micah: The one thing I will say is – that I was surprised about was that the score wasn’t nominated at all.
Andrew: Yeah, it should have. It really should have. Eric, do you have any final thoughts on this?
Eric: Go Big Red!
Andrew: You get the last word.
Eric: Go Big Red!
Andrew: What does that mean?
Eric: I don’t know. Go Harry Potter!
Mikey: [laughs] Okay.
Andrew: [laughs] Okay.
Mikey: There it is.
Micah: What? [laughs]
Muggle Mail: Snow in Hogsmeade
Andrew: Well, all will be revealed soon and I’m sure Harry Potter fans will have a lot to say about it no matter what happens. To wrap up the show today, we have a couple of e-mails. This first one is from Sabrina, 22, of Rostock, Germany:
“Hey MuggleCast, I’m Sabrina from Germany and 2011 has been a very special year for me because I started listening to MuggleCast.”
Awww, how nice.
“You guys are awesome and I love listening to your show on my way to university. While watching ‘Deathly Hallows – Part 2’ on Christmas Eve (it was a Christmas present, in Germany we get our presents on Christmas Eve), I was wondering why there was so much snow in the Hogsmeade scene. The trio enters Hogsmeade and there is snow everywhere. The weird thing is it is May, so why would there be snow at that time of the year? And there is no snow in Hogwarts or in any other scene of the movie. I started thinking about the other Hogsmeade scenes in the other movies and realized that there is always snow…”
We talked about this recently, actually.
Eric: On the last episode, somebody wrote in…
Eric: …and said that there was an answer, but I don’t think it was answered.
Andrew: Well no, I have two answers, it’s either one or the other: a) Hogsmeade is at a higher physical elevation than Hogwarts…
Eric: Oh, that’s…
Andrew: …so there’s going to be more snow.
Andrew: Or b) There is a theme park with Hogsmeade with a lot of snow in it and they want to connect the two, and I’m serious! They want to connect the two, so that when you go to Hogsmeade in the theme park you see the snow just like you did in the film, and vice versa.
Eric: I think…
Mikey: So question – it’s been a while since I read Deathly Hallows and I don’t remember seeing this – were there Dementors in the area in Hogsmeade?
Andrew, Eric and Micah: No.
Andrew: There were Death Eaters.
Mikey: Okay, so no Dementors. Because Dementors, they make – we saw them in the third film where they go by and things turn to frost.
Andrew: Oh, that’s true.
Mikey: I’m thinking…
Micah: I apologize, actually. I put the wrong e-mail in here. I wanted to put in a response because this was actually – this e-mail was on our last show and people wrote in to respond to this e-mail, basically saying – Andrew, what you pointed out, and I think they quoted JK Rowling or I think it was somebody from the movies, saying that Hogsmeade is at a higher elevation.
Andrew: Yeah, that makes sense.
Micah: And that’s why it always snows there.
Andrew: I mean, they’re in England so there’s a lot of precipitation, too. So if it is – if you’re higher up and it’s going to rain, then it’s going to turn to snow. Simple! And the theme park thing.
Mikey: I like a Dementor flies by and turns the whole thing to snow.
Eric: I like that.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s a good idea.
Eric: That was a great visual effect, wasn’t it?
Mikey: Yeah. It’s like, whee!
Micah: That they didn’t get an Oscar for?
Eric: Not Oscar-worthy, apparently, but…
Micah: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: …that’s a great…
Muggle Mail: Two-Way Mirror
Andrew: And the second e-mail is from Angela, 22, of Levittown, PA – I have been there quite a lot – on Book Mirror versus Movie Mirror.
“I’m not sure who else to vent to about this so here goes: In the books, the small sliver of mirror that Harry has left was part of his own mirror that Sirius gave him. Sirius had another mirror. They supposedly could communicate through the two mirrors. The rest of Harry’s is smashed in his trunk. Sirius’s mirror should be whole when it’s sold to Aberforth by Mundungus. In the movie, Harry’s small piece of mirror matches with a piece missing from the mirror sold to Aberforth, like a puzzle. That makes no sense!”
Well, the mirror he is looking at – Aberforth’s mirror is the one that’s on the wall that Aberforth always looks through, so – I mean, that’s the movie explanation.
Eric: Yeah, because remember he never gives him the mirror in the movies. In the book, he gives him the mirror. Sirius gives Harry the mirror.
Mikey: And it also has a big backstory related to Sirius and James Potter. That’s the thing, is they didn’t go into a lot of that backstory in these films, so…
Eric: So the explanation of there being only one mirror…
Mikey: It’s easier to tie-in.
Eric: It works both ways. Yeah, it’s easier to tie-in and also – because there is a line that made it into the films when they’re talking about the Vanishing Cabinet, and Dumbledore asks Harry, “I suspect there are a pair somewhere, Tom.” But it’s not explained, and – so we know that two mirrors that are somehow a pair that you can communicate through them that James and Sirius did when they were kids, that kind of thing. But I guess visually – they were able to explain it visually by Harry matching up his piece of the mirror with the rest of the mirror. You got the sense that that made them magical, that – because it was from the same mirror they could use to communicate. That was just like really well communicated, I think, just like visually. They didn’t need to spend any time explaining it, but it kind of made sense, “Oh, that’s why Harry could see Aberforth, it was because Aberforth is looking into the mirror and that was still part of the mirror.”
Mikey: Now, how did Harry get that sliver of mirror? Do we know?
Eric: He just pulls it out.
Mikey: So my point, going back to the Oscar thing, is that’s what Hunter says. He’s like, “Do the movies even make sense for us that haven’t read the books?” There’s lots of little things like that that is there because of how – it was in the book…
Mikey: …but they’d have to try and tell a story with it.
Micah: Exactly. I was going to say, let’s not forget how many episodes that we sit here and shred the movies apart because of things they left out.
Mikey: I like the movies, though. [laughs]
Eric: But I think their goal in leaving things out was to make each movie stand on its own, though. I mean, do you disagree?
Mikey: No, I agree.
Eric: Because they – but then that’s obviously flawed because I’m thinking, “Oh, these films didn’t really make sense to anybody who hadn’t read the books.” So if that’s the feeling then really, they failed on both accounts, right? I mean, if these films are being penalized because they don’t make sense if you haven’t read the books, then they’re not stand-alones and they’re being penalized because they’re only one part of the eight films. Is that why Harry Potter hasn’t won an Oscar so far, is because oh, this is only the fourth movie, there’s going to be four more, we can’t give it an Oscar, or what?
Eric: What exactly is the case here?
Mikey: No, I think it’s – I’ll tell you this: I watched all the Harry Potter films leading up to the release of Deathly Hallows – Part 2 with – two? No, three people who had never seen any of the films and who had never read the books and had no intention or how much I tried, they were not going to read it. But there were willing to watch all the films with me before the movie came out. I literally had to pause halfway through – starting at Prisoner of Azkaban. Only the first two were able to follow along on their own, but starting from Prisoner of Azkaban I had to pause and explain certain aspects that were not in the movie so they can follow along and understand it. And this is – and that’s just the way these movies were made, because…
Andrew: Yeah, that’s what we’ve always had to deal with, unfortunately.
Mikey: Yeah. But again, when you look at Return of the King that won, it translated really well from the book to the movie. But again, it also had three-and-a-half hours.
Eric: I still can’t – I still get Gondor and Rohan mixed up. I’m sorry. I don’t know who that – and what’s with the dead army? I don’t get it. It’s – and who is he the king of? Return of the king? What…
Andrew: You know what’s something that’s not dead, though? The MuggleCast website.
Andrew: Over at MuggleCast.com, you can get all the information you need about the show. You can also write in to ask Eric and Micah – Mikey any burning questions you have about Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or other films [laughs] that don’t connect to this podcast.
Mikey: I didn’t even talk about Star Wars on this episode, so stop…
Andrew: No, you did.
Mikey: No, I…
Andrew: Just enough.
Mikey: Awww, all right.
Andrew: It was just right. [laughs] You can also – I think we’re just about caught up on transcripts. Yeah, we are caught up on transcripts. So…
Micah: Yeah, we’re about there. There’s a couple missing here and there, but everybody…
Andrew: The most recent ones are all there.
Micah: Yeah, all the most recent episodes are there. Tracey has done a great job leading the transcript team and they do a great job.
Andrew: Yeah. Thank you.
Micah: There’s nothing else to say. I mean, I know it’s not easy work. That’s how I started out. So we tip our hat to them because we really appreciate it. And all the listeners who can’t download the show or are hearing impaired or English is not their first language and they can translate it, they really appreciate the transcripts. So great job.
Andrew: Mhm. Also, a couple of plugs: all the MuggleCast outlets. We have the iTunes page where you can subscribe and review us, we have our Twitter which is Twitter.com/MuggleCast, we have Facebook which is Facebook.com/MuggleCast, our fan Tumblr is MuggleCast.Tumblr.com. And also, a plug for another podcast none of us are on but I realized I don’t think I’ve really plugged this yet. It’s called Glee Chat and it’s a podcast over on Hypable. And I know some of you guys, quite a few of you, are Glee fans.
Mikey: I am.
Andrew: Are you, Mikey?
Mikey: Yeah, yeah.
Mikey: Dude, I watch every…
Andrew: What aren’t you a fan of?
Mikey: I know, that’s true.
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Mikey: That’s true. I’m a big fanboy for everything now.
Andrew: So just head over to the iTunes store and do a search for “Glee Chat.” They do a great job with that show and they record – they do an episode just like the Game of Thrones show that we talked about on the last episode. After each new episode of Glee, they record a new episode of the podcast.
Micah: I was going to say, they record it – after every podcast for Glee, they record one for Game of Thrones. But…
Micah: It’d be an interesting dynamic there.
Eric: Those two series are so alike they can actually record them back to back.
Andrew and Micah: Yeah.
Andrew: And I actually am going to be on a Glee Chat episode coming up because I was recently a convert to Glee, so – I have to admit, I was brought over to the dark – I mean bright side.
Mikey: To the Glee side.
Andrew: The Glee side.
Micah: [laughs] And speaking of Game of Thrones, we’re recording our first show very soon. So…
Andrew and Eric: Ooh.
Micah: …keep an eye out. We’ll promote it through the MuggleCast website, Twitter…
Andrew: I have a good feeling about that one. That’s going to be very good, I think.
Micah: I agree.
Andrew: All the hosts and the content. All that.
Mikey: It’s a good show.
Eric: We need a good theme song, I think. Huh.
Episode 250 Teaser
Micah: So Andrew…
Andrew: All right, guys – what? Oh yes!
Micah: We’re approaching a landmark episode.
Andrew: Next month, Episode 250. And we don’t want to get everybody’s hopes up too much just yet. And don’t start thinking – don’t start getting ideas. We don’t want people making guesses and getting their hopes up, and then being let down. But we are trying to get an important person related to the Harry Potter films onto the next episode to mark…
Andrew: Jamie Lawrence!
Mikey: Jamie Lawrence?
Andrew: To mark the 250th episode – it is a landmark episode, we are working to get somebody on for an interview. It would be a pretty special interview.
Micah: And it’s not somebody who’s been on the show before.
Micah: We can say that.
Andrew: And it’s not JK Rowling. [laughs] Let’s just get that out of the way.
Micah: Well, you said “films.”
Andrew: I did say “films.”
Micah: I mean, she’s been important to the films, but…
Andrew: But I want to remind everybody, just in case.
Eric: Plus I have a feeling that pen and paper are her priority at the moment.
Andrew: That’s true.
Mikey: Wait, what?
Andrew: That’s true.
Mikey: I’ve never heard this news before.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: You’ve got to – it’s the most fascinating news ever. She tweeted, Mikey, not once but like eight times.
Andrew: Yeah, we are working…
Micah: I stop following her on Twitter, by the way.
Andrew: Did you?
Mikey: I kind of did, too, a long time ago. [laughs]
Eric: Micah is just like – when she says something that’s not that – “Just let me know. I’ll follow her then.”
Micah: Well – yeah. I mean, usually when she says something, it gets picked up by websites…
Andrew: People will re-tweet it.
Micah: …and newspapers and things like that. So…
Andrew: So lots to look forward to and if – maybe we’ll announce it. We’ll announce it beforehand if we do get it confirmed. It’s not a hundred percent confirmed yet, so…
Eric: We’ll probably sort questions, right? From the audience, prior…
Andrew: Yeah, definitely. We’ll definitely do that.
Andrew: Get questions.
Micah: The person might have…
Micah: …red hair. I don’t know.
Andrew: Oh, you really want to drop that?
Eric: And a hand-me-down robe?
Andrew: Well, I guess that narrows it down to like thirty people. [laughs]
[Show music begins]
Eric: Does he have a hand-me-down robe as well, Micah?
Mikey: All right, so is it a he now? Is that what you’re saying?
Eric: Oh gosh.
Andrew: Too many – enough of this.
Mikey: [laughs] Oh God.
Mikey: I’m not going to go anywhere near it. You guys get it. [laughs]
Andrew: All right, guys. Thanks everyone for listening! I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Mikey: And I’m Mikey B.
Andrew: We’ll see you next time for Episode 250! With maybe a red-head. Goodbye! [laughs]
Eric: I could dye my hair red. That would get us out of the…
[Show music continues]