WARWICK DAVIS, the actor who portrays both Prof Flitwick and Griphook in the upcoming DH movie (interesting as it sounds), has spoken exclusively to SS prior to a book singing in LONDON'S FORBBIDDEN PLANET (must give that a visit when i'm over this weekend).
Here is the transcript:
How did the book come about?
I’ve been approached by lots of publishers throughout the past five years, and it’s not something I thought about. 1) I’m not that old. I thought you only write an autiobiography when you’re in the twilight of your career. I eventually took it a bit seriously and thought, maybe there is a story here. Then sat down, the arrangements were made, I was indeed going to write this. Then I started to think through, “Well, where do I start?” It was really plotting out all the things that happened to me basically. The bullet points being: First movie role: Star Wars, then moving on to Willow and then Harry Potter, and then the stand-out moments. Then fill in the blanks. Do some research with family/parents - talk to them about me growing up, being born in Ireland … load of things about myself that I didn’t know. It was actually quite a rewarding experience because you get to stand back from it and look at your own career and actually appreciate it. You’re living the life, you don’t always stand back and go, “Aren’t I lucky to be doing this?” So it made me appreciate it and, since then, it’s made me appreciate everything I’m doing much, much more. I recommend it to everyone. Write a book. You’ll appreciate your own life.
What was the process like?
It was quite hard at first, staring at a blank sheet of paper. I’d listen to music from the time I was growing up. I spoke to a lot of different people about me and what I was like to work with on a film. Looking at old photographs … 130 of those photos actually made it into the book. But looking through those brought back memories, as well. It’s been like doing a jig saw puzzle, but the more pieces that go into place, like a jig saw, the easier it became. Until I was quite happy with the finished product. I keep remembering things now, “Aw, I should have put that in” so I’ll have to write a second edition.
Would you consider writing again?
I enjoyed it but it was quite a difficult thing. Writing doesn’t come easily to me. I’ve only ever written some scripts in the past and even that I found very hard. I’m more performance-based than creative in the writing sense. But writing an autobiography is quite different than writing a script because it’s just writing down how your mind remembers stuff and how you might speak. And then going back and injecting little bits of humor and rewording it to make it quirky and fun. I really wanted the book to enlighten people, interest people, but also at the same time for them to actually hear my personality coming through when they read it. As if I was sat reading with them. So I did work quite hard on trying to do that as well.
You’ve got a few actors from the Harry Potter set in the book. Have you had any reactions from the cast about the book?
Not yet ‘cause, as of today, the book is more widely available now and filtered out to the shops. I delivered a couple of copies up to the producers’ office the other day, but apart from that I don’t believe anyone’s read it. No doubt in the coming weeks I’ll get some reactions. We’ll wait and see.
Do you think you’ll inspire any of the others to follow in your footsteps?
You never know. It may inspire an autobiography from somebody. Anybody who works on Harry Potter – they’ve got some interesting tales. One of the electricians could write an autobiography: “I was in the gantry, looking down at the Great Hall…” or whatever.
Did any of them contribute towards the book?
I wanted to make sure everything was OK in the book making reference to Harry Potter, done correctly. So I ran it through the producers’ office. David Heyman gave me a very nice endorsement. It’s included on the back of the book, no less. Obviously Warner Bros contributed a couple of images for the book as well. There not direct contributions. They’re stories about people.
Are you doing a U.S. tour for the book? (Question supplied via Twitter)
I’ve just about signed a U.S. publishing deal. I don’t know of a release date. I’ve been told over the summer there will be a U.S. version of my book, which will be slightly reworked to have a different cover, a different name, possibly, and I will have rewritten some of the inside to American-ize it. There are different things the publisher will demand of the book. Yes, very exciting. There’ll be two to collect then. If you’re an avid reader or a fan of mine, do get both versions.
You spent a lot of time in Pembrokeshire for the Shell Cottage scenes in Deathly Hallows. What was that like, being down in Wales?
Being down in Pembrokeshire was a bit like we were on holiday. It was an outing. I make the similarity to working on Harry Potter. It is a bit like going to school. We go back for each movie – that’s a new term. We spend our time at the school doing the shooting. And going down to Pembroke was a bit like a school trip. Then each movie that finishes – that’s the summer holidays. And we’re about to graduate, and finish, go our separate ways out into the big wide world. But Pembrokeshire, it was lovely to get out and about. It was weird being in a more public environment. We’re used to the studios. Closed doors. It’s just us.
Yes, there were a lot of photographers there.
Everywhere you looked on the sand dunes were the long lens looking at you. Big crowds gathered. We couldn’t do without it because we were right on the crest of the dune. They were trying to keep us down and covered up. But you just couldn’t do it the whole time, it was too hard. But the shell cottage was a marvelous looking set. It looked like it had been there for years. It was quite a spectacle. Sadly, they had to remove it. It would have made a nice tourist attraction. I very much enjoyed my time down there. It was actually nice in one way that it was out there, so there’s a certain amount I can then talk about. Because it is very hard. We work on Potter and it’s like working for the military. Everything’s top secret. It’s a lovely relief when the film comes out. You’re so used to not saying anything, you tend not to say anything.
Is it weird playing two characters or does it make it easier? (Question supplied via Twitter)
It is weird. I played two characters in the first Harry Potter, and contributed to a third ... I was the Goblin bank teller, Flitwick and then, Griphook, I did the voice. It’s weird ‘cause you never do it straightaway … ‘cause obviously there’s a huge amount of make up involved so you can only do one per day. But it is a little bit weird to do and it’s quite fun. I don’t think anybody on the set knows what I actually really look like. I never appear as myself. I’m always somebody else. I was just trying to add up how many different characters I’ve played throughout the Potter films. You’ve got two and a bit on the first one, then I had another goblin I played on the fifth film, and the new-look Flitwick - there’s a few in there. There’s about four or five different characters.
Have you contributed anything to the theme park?
I paid a visit to it. It’s all building work, it’s all very good. I’m looking forward to going there. Well, it’ll be a bit weird in one way because I’m used to going to Leavesden. I’m used to seeing the sets and how wonderful it all is. I’ve walked through Hogsmeade, but we’ll give it a chance. The whole world’s gonna get the chance to walk through Hogsmeade. So that’s exciting. I also want to taste Butterbeer.
Why did you join Twitter?
Why did I join Twitter? Because of Tom Felton. It was his fault. (laughs) Not his fault. We were sitting there on set – we spend lots of time sitting – and I said, “What are you up to there, texting and texting?” and he said, “Oh no, I’m on Twitter.” And I said, “What is this Twitter about?” and then he started to explain it. I said, “They’re interested in what you do?” and he said, “Oh yeah, I’ve got loads of followers.” He told me the app to get and he told me how to do it and I started doing it. It was really good fun. It’s quite interesting collecting followers – “Ooh, I’ve got that many now.” I follow him and few of the other Potters. James and Oliver are on there. Matt Lewis hasn’t done any tweeting for ages. So that’s why I did it. I just want to let people know what I’m up to because people are interested. We do these Q&A’s – it’s normally Potter fans. I’ll spend half an hour, because I’m in between whatever I’m doing, and it’s just a Q&A. It’s fun. But it is all the Potter fans.
alternatively, the audio can be found here: http://www.snitchseeker.com/harry-potter-news/exclusive-snitchseeker-talks-size-matters-not-deathly-hallows-warwick-davis-72921/
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