Categoria: Filmes

Entrevista com David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Mark Radcliffe, Alfonso Cuaron, e Jo Rowling

Tradução: BLiNd [TheusPotter]

Interview with David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Mark Radcliffe, Alfonso Cuaron, and Jo Rowling,
Prisoner of Azkaban DVD “Extra,” November 23, 2004

David Heyman: The books lead us. I mean, we’re in a good position of having Jo Rowling provide us with fantastic sorts of material.

Steve Kloves: All you have to do is read the book to kind of, I think, sense the place. It’s, you know, tone and atmosphere — which I thought she’d done, and continues to do, so grand.

David Heyman: In the very first one, Jo came to the set when we were designing, coming up with the design, and had a look-through of them to make sure we weren’t wildly off.

Mark Radcliffe: Jo created this world, we wanted to stay true to it and organic to it, and that’s been our mission.

David Heyman: All that vision is born very much from the book. Part of the universe that first Chris, and now Alfonso, has built upon.

Alfonso Cuaron: From the get-go what I was aiming at was serving the material.

Jo Rowling: Out of the five books I’ve published, writing Azkaban was the easiest, and in some ways I think that shows. Although it’s the tricky part in some was, as Alfonso will really appreciate, and Steve Kloves, as the script writer, will really appreciate, because they’ve kind of had to negotiate the same ascent that I had to negotiate. At the same time, I felt I was really given space to do that, so I — so it was an enjoyable process.

Alfonso Cuaron: The moment that I read the book I-I just felt so connected. I … for me, everything was so clear how it should look as a film, and how it should be told as a film.

Steve Kloves: We tried to discover the best way to convey what Jo was expressing in the page, in movie terms. And um, that lead us to some interesting places.

Alfonso Cuaron: You deal with so many abstract concepts, like the time traveling. It is so … such an abstract thing, and it is so difficult, that even trying to explain it right now….

Jo Rowling: Yeah, it’s hard.

Alfonso Cuaron: …is hard.

Jo Rowling: It is hard, ‘cause you just go in circles.

Alfonso Cuaron: But then in the book, everything just makes perfect sense.

Jo Rowling: I loved watching that part of the film, I loved watching the time turner sequence. There was just enough humor in it, just enough nearness is … Dumbledore’s comment when they come back is just perfect.

David Heyman: When we got to Scotland to meet with Jo — one, I think it’s important for Jo to feel comfortable and two, I think that jo is a wonderful source of information and is incredibly generous with us.

Chris Columbus: I remember when she walked in the door, for some reason I expected to meet someone who was like seventy. Jo walked in, she was younger than I was, we liked the same films and we liked the same music, and it was just an immediate connection.

David Heyman: When she met Alfonso, he talked about his vision for the film, talked through many ideas.

Jo Rowling: Alfonso was mentioned very early on, and I was really enthusiastic about the idea — and I loved “Y Tu Mama Tambien.” Alfonso just obviously understands teenage boys backwards and everything, at 13 now.

Alfonso Cuaron: these kids were starting to take themselves seriously as actors, so they were willing to explore more emotional territories. I was so lucky that I had them so raw and so willing to go there.

Jo Rowling: I think all three of them give their best performance to date.

Alfonso Cuaron: Poor Malfoy….

Jo Rowling: He deserves it, though.

Alfonso Cuaron: ..he deserves it.

Jo Rowling: Tom took that punch really well.

Alfonso Cuaron: He, oh….

Jo Rowling: He really did a good job on that.

Alfonso Cuaron: Oh, they loved it. Emma was looking forward for that moment, and I remember Tom telling Emma, “Oh if you want to hit me, just hit me, just hit me.”

Jo Rowling: What a hero.

Alfonso Cuaron: The universe that you created … you know every corner of that place.

Stuart Craig: This was a map of the world. This drawing is Jo Rowling’s drawing, that she executed in just a few minutes. As you see, it has all the principle ingredients. The Dark Forest is here, the Whomping Willow, the Quidditch Pitch, Hogwarts Castle itself. The Black Lake is there, the perimeter road, Hogsmeade Village. She had a very, very exact and precise understanding of her world and her creation. She knew exactly the relationship between all of the elements, she was able to give it to us – and that became our Bible.

Alfonso Cuaron: We needed a place where the kids could see the execution of Buckbeak, and we thought about having a graveyard. And we consulted Jo about it and she said “No, the graveyard is not there,” and I said “Why?” And then she gave me the whole explanation of why the graveyard cannot b there, because it’s in a different place of the castle. Because it’s going to play…and she knows her thing, she knows exactly what’s going to happen later. And once I remember having little people in some storyboards, playing some keyboards and an organ in the Great Hall. And Jo said “No, there are no little people in this universe.” I said “Yes, it’s like…” she says, “Yes, lovely image, but they don’t make sense in this universe.”

Jo Rowling: I was really mean; I wouldn’t let him do it. That’s not fair, is it?

Alfonso Cuaron: She was just about trying as much as possible to serve the story and the spirit of the story, because that’s what is great of the book. Because the third book is, for me, so abstract and deals with so many abstract concepts – but at the same time, it’s in the frame of an adventure.

David Heyman: I think it’s very, very important that Alfonso Cuaron be allowed to make this his own film. It’s important that any director come into a situation like this and feel the freedom, feel empowered to make it their own, that’s how you’re going to get the best films.

Alfonso Cuaron: Pretty much all the decisions, all the visual decisions, were made as we were shooting and not in the cutting room. We made most of those decisions either in the storyboard or while we were blocking the scenes with the actors, working with the actors, and we decided how to approach the scene.

David Heyman: What he’s done is he’s built from the foundations of the books, built from the foundations of Chris Columbus, who captured the first two, but made them very much his own to serve the story.

Jo Rowling: Alfonso had good intuition about what would and wouldn’t work. He’s put things in the film that, without knowing it, foreshadow things that are going to happen in the final two books. So I really got goosebumps when I saw a couple of those things, and I thought people are going to look back on the film and think those were put in deliberately as clues.

Steve Kloves: Jo wants the movies to be faithful to the books, on the other hand, she realizes that they’re completely different mediums. To be entirely faithful, these movies would be sixteen hours long.

Alfonso Cuaron: In this film, the film was about a child trying to find his identity as a teenager. We found the theme, and then whatever stuck there we kept, and whatever didn’t … sorry. As long as we didn’t affect or contradict either the universe, or what is to come.

Chris Columbus: My biggest concern for the visual effects, I want to make absolutely certain that the visual effects would again move up a notch from the last film. First film, we were fairly rushed and the effects were never up to anyone’s standards. In the second film, we improved them greatly, and I wanted to take another leap in this film.

Alfonso Cuaron: We’re watching it and it’s like “Wow, that hippogriff, he looks great.” And we’re just praising the conceptual artists and the CG artists that put it together, then someone said “Yes, but don’t forget who imagined it in the first place.” And here she is.

Jo Rowling: I think it’s important to say I didn’t invent the hippogriff. I invented that hippogriff, but the creature the hippogriff, as you know, is in folklore and mythology, so that’s not my creation. But I really thought hard about this, because it could’ve been, in the book, it could’ve ben an absurdity. And indeed, it really could’ve been in the film as well, but I thought you made him a real creature.

Alfonso Cuaron: There are not that many graphical representations of hippogriff, and that is something with the story that is very interesting. There are sphinx, there are several sphinx, or you see creatures that are half bird and half cat, a lot of different things. But for hippogriff, it was actually hard to find….

Jo Rowling: I knew that ‘cause I went looking.

Alfonso Cuaron: You knew that, yeah.

Jo Rowling: I could hardly find any anywhere.

Alfonso Cuaron: No, I know.

Jo Rowling: So I thought it’s complete liberty to invent. I had a nightmare in my teens, in which I saw hooded, gliding figures. They could almost be figments of your imagination in a sort of tortured imagination, as indeed they are. But you know what I mean? They could be figments of a mentally ill mind. And um, that was the thing that I was expecting in the book. Harry’s particularly vulnerable to them, but he’s got a much worse post, so he would be. You know it’s not weakness, it’s just the fact that he’s faced more.

Chris Columbus: I think Alfonso came up with an amazing design for the dementors, because they truly are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. They are sort of a close cousin to maybe what we’ve all perceived as death over the years, and that’s very, very frightening.

Jo Rowling: I thought the shrunken head was very funny, I really liked that. It was all done really well, and it was a really funny idea. I mean, I’ve said to Steve Kloves many times “Dammit, I wish I could’ve written them up.” You know? But obviously that’s what you want. You want to be working with people who come up with great stuff, it’s great you know, when I’m looking around for all these little bits that are completely consistent with the world. But I, you know, there you go.

Chris Columbus: For me, one of the great memories was sitting in a room with Steve Kloves, Jo Rowling, and David Heyman, the producer. Just the four of us for several weeks discussing quidditch, talking about what it’s going to look like. That excitement, that sense of making something really special, was something I took with me through the making of the first film and the second film.

Steve Kloves: The overall process is incredibly open, and incredibly creative.

Jo Rowling: I think in this case, the book and the director were really made for each other. There’s a unity about the film, there’s a consistency..its tone, its feeling, that’s very, very enjoyable for me – and that’s not a very easy thing, for the author of the original material. I’m completely happy, what more can I say?

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O novo filme Potter esgueira-se em spoilers para os próximos livros.

Tradução: Naty Granger
Revisão: {patylda}

Puig, Claudia. “New ‘Potter’ movie sneaks in spoilers for upcoming books,” USA Today, 27 May, 2004

It is almost as eerie as one of the plots from her beloved best-selling books. Harry Potterscribe J.K. Rowling says the new director, Alfonso Cuarón, has a “good intuition.”

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling says that Alfonso Cuaron, who directed The Prisoner of Azkaban, which opens next Friday, inadvertently foreshadowed events that will happen in books six and seven, which she has yet to complete.

The last book published was the fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The first two movies based on the Potter books were blockbusters.

“I really got goose bumps when I saw a couple of those things, and I thought, people are going to look back on the film and think that those were put in deliberately as clues,” Rowling says in an interview released by Warner Bros., which is distributing the movie.

Cuaron, for his part, says “in a way, it was intuition, but everything is so emotionally eloquent, the book gives you all the hints.”

Rowling cites Cuaron’s “good intuition about what would and wouldn’t work” in his film version, which is a less by-the-book take on her novel than the previous two films. It’s also shorter.

She particularly was impressed by his vision of the otherworldly prison guards, the dementors.

“They are just as frightening as I imagined, just superb,” she says. “One of the biggest themes in the book is Harry’s conquering the dementors. And the dementors for me were about depression, and not just sadness. I think Alfonso’s really done a great job on that, in showing what that can feel like and the circumstance in which you become vulnerable to that.”

Rowling said the process of creating the third book was “the best writing experience I ever had. Of the five books that are published, writing Azkaban was the easiest, and in some ways I think it shows. I was in a very comfortable place when I wrote (number) three: Immediate financial worries were over, and press attention wasn’t yet by any means excessive.”

Rowling said she was immediately intrigued by the idea of Cuaron directing the third movie. She had “really, really loved (Cuaron’s most recent film) Y Tu Mamá También. Alfonso just obviously understands teenage boys, and you know my characters are 13 now. … This is the book where Harry literally learns how to take care of himself. He finds his father, as it were, and he finds two father substitutes, but the one who actually saves his life is himself.”

Rowling says she was drawn by Cuaron’s ability to make a film out of classic children’s novels. “I’d seen A Little Princess, which I thought was an excellent adaptation, not a very literal adaptation, but very faithful to the emotional truth of the story.”

Similarly, she sees the movie as “Alfonso’s version of my world. It’s his baby. For the very obvious reason that books and films are such different media, to do a very literal adaptation maybe wouldn’t serve the material best, and I think he’s done exactly what I hoped he would do. He’s put a lot of humor in there, and I think it’s fantastic. I’d be very, very surprised if most people didn’t find their favorite parts of the book in that film.”

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Harry atinge a adolescência

Puig, Claudia. “Harry atinge a adolescência”. USA TODAY, 19 de março de 2004. Hertfordshire, Inglaterra – Hermione começa a usar jeans e – ugh – andar de mãos dadas com Rony. Harry é um bruxo de 13 anos de idade...

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Seu momento mágico

Tradução: Ronnie
Revisão: {patylda}
*OK Categorias e Conteúdo

Newsweek, 30 June 2003.

J.K. Rowling has this thing she does where her head dips down an inch or two into her shoulders and her hands twist the air in front of her, as if she’s wringing agony out of the air itself. And that’s what she does when you ask her what she thinks of her new book, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” “At the moment I’m at the stage when you can only see faults,” she says, her hands going in time with her voice. “I rang my sister and said, ‘The book’s dreadful, it’s just dreadful.’ She just laughed. I said, ‘This is not funny. It is not funny that the book’s dreadful.’ And she said, ‘You’ve said this on every single book.’ I said, ‘But this time I really, really mean it. It’s just dreadful.’ And she said, ‘Yep, you said that on every single book.’ So she was no help at all.” Not to pick a fight in the first paragraph or anything, but we’re with the sister all the way on this.
On the other hand, who wouldn’t second-guess themselves if their four previous novels about the world’s most famous boy wizard had sold more than 190 million copies worldwide in eight years and been translated into 55 languages? The last installment in the saga, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” sold 3 million copies the first weekend it was released in 2000, making it the fastest-selling book in history. The only book that stands a good chance of beating the record is “The Order of the Phoenix.” had more than a million pre-orders, and between midnight last Friday, when the book went on sale, and Monday, Barnes & Noble expected to sell a mil- lion copies.

When books did go on sale at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, bookstores reopened to thousands of costumed Harrys or just kids in pajamas who couldn’t wait an extra minute for their books. These scenes in bookstores were reminiscent of the midnight-madness sales for “Goblet of Fire” in 2000, but many of this year’s celebrations were much more elaborate. The Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Ill., talked the town into transforming an entire commercial block into the wizard street of Diagon Alley. Thousands of people turned out, including Bonnie and Vann Smith and their daughter, Bridget, 14, who came all the way from Mountain Home, Ark. Bridget said she’s read each of the four previous novels 11 times, and planned to read the new book to her parents on the drive home – “if I don’t finish it tonight.” In New York’s Times Square, people lined up around the block at Toys “R” Us to get a book, including Courtney Sadowsky, 28, of Howell, N.J., who said, “I already read the first Harry Potter book to my infant daughter of 7 months.” She plans to do the same with the rest of the series. Standing in a line around the block to buy a book at 2 a.m. is not everyone’s idea of quality time. Let’s hear it for Miami’s Books & Books: if you reserved a book, it promised doorstep delivery by dawn Saturday.

The week before “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” went on sale was, if anything, even more frenzied. Bowing to Rowling’s wishes, her British and American publishers did their best to keep the book locked up until the sale date, so that not one child, and certainly not one critic, got hold of a copy ahead of anyone else. The immediate beneficiaries of this policy were English bookies, who ran odds on which character would die in the new book, with Hagrid the gamekeeper the favorite at 7-2, followed by Sirius Black at 4-1 and Professors McGonagall and Dumbledore at 5-1. All week long, lucky shoppers kept finding books that had mysteriously landed on store shelves – in a Wal-Mart in Canada, in a health-food store in Brooklyn. (Ours came from a public library.) Scholastic, which spent more than $US3 million promoting the new book, was so adamant about not revealing the contents to anyone before the debut date that the National Braille Press said it couldn’t get access to the manuscript to produce a Braille version before the weekend. Very few authors get that kind of support from their publishers. But with all of publishing in the doldrums for two years (even Scholastic laid off 4 percent of its staff recently), which publisher wouldn’t jump to accommodate the creator of “Harry Potter”?

Not that Rowling is a prima donna. She doesn’t even like to complain. Her life, she wants you to know, is well beyond OK: “Only someone whose been as broke as I was could appreciate how happy I am. I appreciate every day not having to worry about money.” The 37-year-old author’s got a new husband, Dr. Neil Murray, a general practitioner whom she met through mutual friends and married the day after Christmas in 2001. They have a new baby, David Gor – don Rowling Murray, born in March. And she’s going to guest-star on “The Simpsons” next fall. Three years ago the Queen of England made Rowling an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. (And as long as we’re talking about the queen, Rowling is reportedly the richer of the two, although she denies that’s she’s worth anywhere near the rumored $US468 million.) When she gave NEWSWEEK a rare interview at her home in Edinburgh (there’s another house in the Scottish countryside and another in London), she acted like a celebrity only once: she kept us waiting. But that was so she could feed the baby and put him down for a nap.

The happy-ending address of the real-life Cinderella – the single mother who nine years ago was scribbling away in Edinburgh coffee shops while her baby daughter slept – is a rambling two-story Victorian stone house with some faded hydrangeas beside the front stoop. It sits in a tree-lined upper-middle-class neighborhood full of doctors and lawyers and politicians, and it’s not, Rowling points out, in the poshest part of town. There’s a freestanding office on the property where two assistants handle the thousand pieces of mail she gets a week. Rowling herself spends at least one day a week answering letters. There are no fancy cars in the drive, unless you count her husband’s Mini Cooper (oddest piece of Rowling trivia: she doesn’t know how to drive). Her daughter, Jessica, from her first marriage, still attends a public school. The only piece of evidence that you’re anywhere near rich-and-famous territory is the lock on the gate. Butch, the resident Jack Russell terrier, is much too friendly to frighten intruders.

When Rowling does get David down for his nap and comes strolling across the gravel drive to the office, she seems tall and gangly in jeans and a red shirt and not shy so much as preoccupied. But when she sits down and begins to talk, she crafts every answer with a true storyteller’s knack for detail and narrative.

Right off, you can’t help asking if fame doesn’t have its price – doesn’t it get harder and harder just to go for a walk? “No, no,” she replies, slowly and evenly. “I can honestly say there is nowhere I would avoid.” But then her hands start doing that twisting thing on the table. “Well, that’s not true. There is one thing I would avoid: I no longer write in cafes, I can’t do that anymore. And I know people might think, ‘Well, very small price to pay.’ But to me it’s a real privation, because it was the way I worked best. Very occasionally, as a treat, I take my notebook and go off to places that I’m not known to write in, and I write there. Last year I thought I’d been very clever: I went to the National Portrait Gallery’s cafe. I thought, ‘Well, no one will care, obviously, because they’ll all be interested in what they’ve just seen.’ Two days later the Edinburgh Evening News printed, ‘J. K. Rowling spotted in the National Portrait Gallery Cafe writing away. Is this Book 5?” Yes, it was Book 5, but now I can’t write there, you bastards.” That concludes the complaining portion of the interview.

Rowling’s first four books came out one right after another with hardly a year apart. By the time the fourth appeared, the strain of the pace was beginning to show. “Goblet of Fire” was compulsively readable, like a 734-page action sequence, but the writing was much sloppier than the prose in the earlier installments. “Order of the Phoenix,” in contrast, never goes out of control. She tells her story with her characteristic gift for pacing and surprise. Everything we’ve taken for granted – starting with the absolute power of Dumbledore, Harry’s headmaster at Hogwarts – is called into question. And that makes things much more frightening, both for Harry and for the reader, as evil Lord Voldemort consolidates his power, infecting even the Ministry of Magic with his malign designs.

“Phoenix” is the most atmospheric of all the Potter books. And since it seems that Edinburgh has a castle on every corner, you wonder how much Rowling has drawn on her surroundings. Not in the slightest, she claims. “I could live anywhere and produce it word for word the same. But I do think being British is very important. Because we do have a motley, mongrel folklore here, and I was interested in it and collected it. And then got the idea for Harry.”

Rowling makes no apology for having kept her readers waiting. “I wanted to know what it was like to write without having the pressure of the deadline. And it was wonderful. I had been writing very intensely, since ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ [the first book]. By ‘Goblet,’ I was writing 10 hours a day. And that’s just getting stupid. Because I have a daughter. I really wanted to see her before she turned 18 and left home and never spoke to me.” The extra time paid off in a very long, but never windy, chronicle where every page produces examples of Rowling’s astonishing inventiveness. Best new touch? A quill pen that Harry is forced to use in detention. As he writes “I must not tell lies,” the words are carved into the back of his hand. “Phoenix” is one of the best books in the series. How good is it? I peeked ahead to find out how it ended. So sue me. I peeked ahead in “Bleak House,” too. Only a really good book can make you do that.

Yes, a major character dies, but no giving away the ending here. In place of a spoiler, let’s pause for a message from the author: “I know that a certain number of my fans are going to be pretty upset with me by the end of the book. I really apologize to them. But it had to be so. And I am sorry because I know what it’s like to lose someone, albeit a fictional person, that you were quite attached to.” And yes, the plot gets darker in “Phoenix,” a point Rowling thinks is so obvious by now it’s hardly worth mentioning. “I’m surprised that people are surprised that the series is getting darker, because the first book started with a murder. And although you didn’t see the murder happen, that for me was an announcement that these things would continue within the series.” But she’s not blind to the fact that very young children will want to read these books, and that they will be disturbed: “I was always ambivalent when people told me that they’d read the first book to their 6-year-old, because I knew what was coming. And I have to say even with the first book, that is a scary ending.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise in “Phoenix” is that Harry, now 15, is finally acting like a moody, misunderstood teenager. “I’ve said all along that I want Harry to grow up in a realistic way, which means hormonal impulses, and it means a whole bunch of adolescent angst and anger, actually. Harry’s a lot more angry in Book 5, which I think is entirely right, given what he’s been through. It’s about time he got angry about how life has dealt him.” But isn’t it inappropriate for a 9-year-old to read about those things? “I don’t think so. They will be 14 themselves. There is no harm in them knowing what 14-year-olds may sometimes feel like. My daughter is 9, and I know that she can cope with Book 5 because I’m reading it to her at the moment. She’s coping.” She’s also, to her mother’s mild dismay, begun dictating plot points. “She’s told me unequivocally who I’m not to kill. And I’ve said, ‘Well, I already know who’s going to die, so now is not the time to come to me and tell me I mustn’t kill X, Y and Zed, because their fates are now preordained.’ And she doesn’t like hearing that at all. Not at all.”

Few authors are so passionately protective of their creations as Rowling, so it’s fun to listen to her put a subtle but very diplomatic distance between her work and the two movies derived from it so far. She likes the looks of the movies: “Chris Columbus [director of the first two films] was eager for me to tell him exactly what I saw in terms of sets particularly. And when I walked into the Great Hall of Hogwarts where they’d built it on a studio set outside London, that was absolutely like walking into the inside of my own head.” She was crazy about the scenes of Quidditch: “Quidditch really lived up to my expectations. That was phenomenal.” And she’s wild about Alfonso Cuaron, who’s directing the third movie, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Rowling points out that one of the reasons she sold film rights to Warner Bros. was that they’d done such a good job with “The Little Princess,” a Cuaron film. But that, she implies, is quite enough gushing for one day, because the next thing she says is, “Obviously, I prefer books. I’m a writer. That’s always going to be so. The thing about film is that everyone sees the – same thing, and that’s what will always make it substandard to the novel. Readers have to work with me to create a new Hogwarts every single time every book is read.”

When it comes to the merchandising of Harry Potter, however – the action figures, robes and vibrating broomsticks – Rowling makes it plain that she never set out to write “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Commerce.” There have been moments, she admits, “where I regretted selling film rights. Just moments.” While Warner Bros. has given her a lot of say in the way the stories are developed for film, “the one thing that I did not have the power to do was say no to merchandising. And I would have done if I could have. But you have to be realistic about this. These are very, very expensive films to make. And no film company in the world is going to make them faithfully to the books and not merchandise because they’ve got to get their money back somehow.”

Of course, it’s tough to imagine anyone in the Potter universe not making his money back. When you ask her to explain the popularity of her books, she wisely says she has no clue and advises you to go ask her readers. But she certainly knows who she is and what she wants from life. Toward the end of the interview, her face takes on that preoccupied look again, and her answers dwindle down to yeses and nos. But then her husband brings the baby over to the office for a visit, and she lights right up. Watching her cuddle her newborn, you remember what she’d said when asked if there were any parallels between having a baby and producing a book. “Yes, there are parallels,” she replied. “The difference is that I just look at David and think that he’s absolutely perfect, whereas you look at the finished book and you think, ‘Oh, damn it, I should have changed that.’ You’re never happy. Whereas with a baby, you’re happy. If you’ve got a perfect baby, you’re just grateful.” Those of us under Harry Potter’s magic spell are more reluctant to criticize Rowling’s literary creation. But we know all about being grateful.

With Jac Chebatoris, Nayelli Gonzalez and Andrew Phillips in New York and Karen Springen in Chicago

©2003 Newsweek, Inc.

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Entrevista com Steve Kloves e J.K. Rowling

Tradução: Frede_Potter
Revisão: Adriana Snape

Mzimba, Lizo, moderator. Interview with Steve Kloves and J.K. Rowling, February 2003.

Transcription: Eric of Mugglenet and Melissa of TLC

Lizo: Now, to bring a story like Harry Potter from the page to the screen, the starting point is your original novel, written by you of course, J.K. Rowling. And the script is based on that novel but is written by the screenwriter, of course you, Steve Kloves. Can you explain both how you worked together to produce the final script because it must be very very different writing a book as compared to writing a film.

Steve: Yeah, you know, I mean, I just… steal her best stuff, for the most part…

JKR: [Nodding] That’s basically it. And I don’t sue!

Steve: I think the thing…What’s always been great about Jo is that, from the beginning she gave me tremendous elbow room, but when you’re in the middle of a series like this it’s important that I talk to Jo along the way and ask her, beyond advice, just simple advice, and certain sequences and things, but just, ,”Am I on the right path?” and Jo’s always been good about, in that, she’s maddening in the sense that she will not tell me what’s going to happen but she will tell me if I’m going down the wrong path…

JKR: I’ve given you more than I’ve given anyone else which I probably shouldn’t probably say…on screen, or they’ll kidnap and torture him, and we need him. But yeah, I’ve told Steve probably more than I’ve told anyone else, because he needs to know. Because it’s incredibly annoying of me when he says “Well shall we cut that”, or “I wanted to do this” and I say, “Well no… because, you know, in book six, something will happen and you’ll need that in” or “that will contradict something that happens” and I can feel him on the end of the emails, you know, [does impression of frustrated Steve typing] “would you mind telling me why?” So I have told him things. But he’s very good at guessing. He’s guessed more shrewdly than anyone else, I think.

Lizo: How frustrating is it for you, working slightly in the dark with some of these issues, Steve?

Steve: Well it’s frustrating because, you like to know… when you’re writing a character, you want to know where they’re going…

JKR: I’d tell you if you were dying!

Steve: [laughing] That’s… that’s nice to know.

JKR: But you don’t need to know at the moment!

Steve: Well, you know, I am dying, hopefully it’s just gonna take a while! But I think it’s frustrating just, again, it comes down to the details and the magic of those details and I think just reading the books is just quite a wonderful experience.

Lizo: There are so many rich details in the books. Can you tell us how you decide what goes in and what stays out?

Steve: I will sometimes ask Jo. I will say, you know, this detail, you just seem to have cast just a bit more light on this in this scene than the other details. Sometimes I’m wrong, but often she’ll say “No, that is going to play.” There’s one thing in Chamber, actually, that Jo indicated will play later in the series. The hardest thing for me, honestly, is I’m writing a story to which I do not know the end. Which is, I’m not going to lie to you, has been the case sometimes in my own originals.

JKR: I was gonna say!

Steve: But I assume I will find an end. With this, it’s just I’m writing a story over a decade, and I keep waiting, you know, keep hoping that Jo will slip-up and actually tell me something.

Lizo: In this movie we’ve seen the kids develop from the first film, can you tell us about the relationship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione and how that is developing film by film?

JKR: Well I think it is developing in the films as it does in the books, which is to say that they are, they’re much stronger together than apart. They’re much more aware, in the second film, of their particular strengths. So they’re more effective, the children are able to do more complex things, for example the Polyjuice Potion. And also Chris in the second film has kind of foreshadowed what I don’t do until the fourth book, which is that you get hints of certain feelings between the three of them, that belong to a sort of slightly more mature person.

Lizo: Steve?

Steve: Yeah, I think you’re seeing in Chamber the magic’s becoming a bit second nature to them. At least simple magic is. And that basically it’s, you know, a little bit of knowledge will get you into a lot of trouble. And I think that’s what we’re seeing in the second one: is that they’re getting more mature but, it’s a dangerous kind of knowledge.

Lizo: How do you feel about what the kids were like in this movie?

Steve: Well the first thing that you notice when you watch the movie is that Harry and Ron’s voices have dropped about two octaves, which is just bizarre. Suddenly they’re not these cute little moppetheads running around. You know, children will grow.

Lizo: Steve, Hermione is a character that you have said is one of your favorites. Has that made her easier to write?

Steve: Yeah, I mean, I like writing all three, but I’ve always loved writing Hermione. Because, I just, one, she’s a tremendous character for a lot of reasons for a writer, which also is she can carry exposition in a wonderful way because you just assume she read it in a book. If I need to tell the audience something…

JKR: Absolutely right, I find that all the time in the book, if you need to tell your readers something just put it in her. There are only two characters that you can put it convincingly into their dialogue. One is Hermione, the other is Dumbledore. In both cases you accept, it’s plausible that they have, well Dumbledore knows pretty much everything anyway, but that Hermione has read it somewhere. So, she’s handy.

Steve: Yeah, she’s really handy. And she’s also just, I think, just tremendously entertaining. There’s something about her fierce intellect coupled with a complete lack of understanding of how she affects people sometimes that I just find charming and irresistible to write.

Lizo: Does Dumbledore speak for you?

JKR: Oh yes, very much so. Dumbledore often speaks for me.

Lizo: How do you see Dumbledore, Steve?

Steve: I think Dumbledore’s a fascinating character because I think he obviously sort of imparts great wisdom that comes from experience, but I’ve always felt that Dumbledore bears such a tremendous Dark burden, and he knows secrets and I think in many ways he bears the weight of the future of the wizard world, which is being challenged, and the only way that he can keep that at bay, the darkness, is to be whimsical and humorous. And I think that’s just a really interesting thing, I think he’s a character of so many layers and I think when he does say, that it is our choices and not our abilities. I just coming from him it doesn’t feel like a sermon, it doesn’t feel like a message, it just feels like an absolute truth and it goes down easy. And I like that about him. But that’s what I like about the books, I’ve always said that I thought that Jo’s writing is deceptively profound, which is that you never feel there are messages in there, but there’s a lot of things being dealt with in a very sort of clever way, and they’re never pretentious, the books, and I think that’s why kids love reading them.

Lizo: You say that you don’t set out to put particular messages in each book, they grow organically. But do you think that it’s important to have the right messages there when they do emerge?

JKR: Well obviously in the wizard world passes for racism, and that’s deeply entrenched in the whole plot, there’s this issue going on about the bad side really advocating a kind of genocide, to exterminate what they see as these half-blood people. So that was obviously very conscious, but the other messages do grow organically. But I’ve never, no I’ve never set out to teach anyone anything. It’s been more of an expression of my views and feelings than sitting down and deciding “What is today’s message?” And I do think that, although I never, again, sat down consciously and thought about this, I do think judging, even for my own daughter, that children respond to that than to “thought for the day.”

Lizo: What was the most important difference in doing the story for Chamber of Secrets as opposed to the first film?

JKR: Well we probably had a bit more contact on the first film, but we probably needed more contact on the first film because we were establishing a relationship that has lasted two years and is going to last hopefully longer, so that was really about getting to know what we needed from each other. So it’s probably a good sign that we had less contact on Chamber because I think there’s a lot of trust there. I was very prickly when I met Steve. Because I knew that they’d chosen this American guy, even though he wrote and directed one of my favorite films, The Fabulous Baker Boys, I still thought, “Well, you know, he’s American.” Not to be… I don’t know… He was just… I was most worried about meeting Steve. He was the writer, he was going to be ripping apart my baby. And it turns out I really like him, so that worked!

Lizo: How do you communicate, how does all that work, and how often?

JKR: Uh, it… it varies to what we’re doing at the time.

Steve: Owls.

JKR: Owls, mainly, obviously, a bit of Floo Powder. [laughs]

Lizo: How does this film differ from the first?

JKR: It is, I think we would both say an easier book to transfer into a film, isn’t it? The first one is episodic, you have individual adventures, it chops and changes more. I remember when we were working on the script of Philosopher’s Stone that was something that came up continually, wasn’t it, that you have these sort of discrete adventures. And Chamber is a more linear structure so it was easier to translate to screen, I think, wasn’t it?

Steve: Yeah, though I thought it was going to be easier than…

JKR: Than it actually turned out to be.

Steve: Because you do have that sort of Tom Riddle moment where Tom explains it all. And that’s always challenging in a movie. Also what’s interesting about, I think, what makes Chamber interesting is that things are occurring that you don’t really quite understand until Tom explains them at the end. So you’ve got to work toward that moment and hope you can hold the audience during that moment. But there’s no question, it had more of a sort of, it just more of a, tight plot to sort of play out.

Lizo: What were the biggest challenges for you in this film?

Steve: The challenge always for me is keeping it from being four hours. Because I like everything that, what I honestly think is magical about what Jo does is the details. And so my first drafts are always chock-full of details. I think for the thing for me is, the things I respond to sometimes are hard to sort of put in proportion. I mean, I was really interested in the whole Mudblood thread, so that became a very interesting emotional thing for me to write in the script. I don’t know that it’s still there in the way that I saw it entirely. But those, you want to give some of those things weight, in some ways, so that becomes a challenge always, but it’s mainly compression.

Lizo: Jo, were there any bits of Chamber of Secrets that didn’t reflect the way that you originally saw it in your mind?

JKR: It’s interesting what Steve says about the Mudblood theme because I would agree that there’s always the pressure of time and space with the film, that is a stronger theme in the book and yet it is present in the film but for me I suppose when I look back in the book or I think about that book that is the time in the overall entire series where the issue of pure blood becomes very important, so yeah, maybe more weight to that.

Lizo: What stands out most in this film?

JKR: It was scary, I’ve always thought Chamber of Secrets, people underestimate how scary the book is. And in fact it’s the book I’ve got the most complaints about, bizarrely. Possibly because people got upset at Chamber of Secrets and didn’t carry on reading the rest of the books, and I think that’s certainly translated to the screen, a couple of really frightening moments.

Lizo: The visual effects are a huge part of bringing the magic to life. In this film we have Dobby, we have the pixies, we have Fawkes, we have the basilisk. What do you make of the effects in this movie?

JKR: Dobby’s wonderful. Dobby’s really really good, and the Mandrakes…superb. I really love the Mandrakes.

Lizo: Is that a big challenge for you, Steve, getting the effects, getting those scenes right?

Steve: No, no, it’s easy for me because I just write it and dream it…

JKR: He just writes it, and watches them faint! [laughing.]

Steve: …and then someone else has to actually do it! But I’m amazed to see something like the Mandrakes, which is really, it’s essentially, puppetry.

Lizo: Which parts of Chamber of Secrets were you most excited to see on screen?

JKR: I was most worried about the spiders. Because you see these old sci-fi movies where they have spiders and they’re always hysterically funny, they’re never, never scary. And it’s easy to write a scene like that in a novel, and make it scary. But when I started thinking about how we were going to actually see that, in fact it was extremely frightening. They were the most frightening large spiders I’ve ever seen in my life.

Steve: I had the same concern, I just thought, as I was writing, I was thinking “How are we going to do this?” You’ve got Aragog saying “Who goes there?” basically, you know, this giant spider, and I was saying “This is just going to be hysterical,” sorry, I’m laughing as I’m writing it! I know I’m imagining it being…

JKR: We’ve had that problem a lot.

Steve: Yeah, well one thing that you learn about movies is that the thing that you’re more worried about often is the thing that’s not a problem. And the thing that you don’t worry about is a complete disaster. So I’ve found, it’s funny because you’re talking about the scares in the movie. I know the thing that terrified my son the most in the first movie was opening the book, and the book screaming. And I think it was because it was something he could identify with. Which is, he could take a book off the shelf, and open it, and there might be a face in there screaming. He wasn’t scared by the other things at all.

JKR: But I think I wrote that, those are the sort of details that I write because, that would scare me. I read all the time and to have to just open something and have it shriek at me. And one thing that I thought that was well done in the film, Chamber of Secrets, was the diary. Now, the diary to me is a very scary object, a really, really frightening object. This manipulative little book, the temptation particularly for a young girl to pour out her heart to a diary, which is never something I was prone to, but my sister was. The power of something that answers you back, and at the time that I wrote that I’d never been in an Internet chat room. But I’ve since thought “Well it’s very similar.” Just typing your deepest thoughts into the ether and getting answers back, and you don’t know who is answering you. And so that was always a very scary image to me, in the book, and I thought it worked very well in the film. You could understand when he started writing to see these things coming back to him, and the power of that, that secret friend in your pocket.

Steve: Yeah I’ve always loved that in the book. I thought that was just one of the great… that someone’s writing back to you that you do not know who they are and there is something inherently ominous in that, but the fact that they also know the secret you want to know and they’re inviting you, like a finger beckoning you into the past. I always thought that was an incredibly interesting concept.

Lizo: How different has it been working on the script for now the next movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?

Steve: Well we’ve just started, I honestly think it’s going as well as any of the others. Personally I feel it’s going to be the best movie.

JKR: Yeah, I think so too.

Steve: I think that we’re at a better place than we’ve ever been on the script.

JKR: Mm-hm.

Steve: And we’re months from starting shooting so I think it’s the best place we’ve been. I think Three could be really, really be interesting.

JKR: Yeah, I agree.

Lizo: Where does Three stand on your list of favorites?

JKR: Oh, I know it’s very corny and all to say it, but it’s like choosing between your children. It really is. But I have a very soft spot for Three because of a couple of the characters who crop up there for the first time. Lupin and Black, obviously very important characters and yeah, I’m really fond of them.

Lizo: So far you’ve had two very successful collaborations on Harry Potter, what are your hopes for the future of the Harry Potter series?

JKR: Well, I hope Steve keeps writing the scripts, because I’m used to him now, you know. Just keep being faithful to the books, I suppose. From my point of view I’m bound to say that, aren’t I?

Lizo: J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, author and the script writer, I’m sure we’re looking forward very much to the results of your future collaborations, thank you very much.

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A primeira olhada em Harry

Tradução: Miss Granger

Cagle, Jess. “The First Look At Harry,” Time November 05, 2001.

Robbie Coltrane is anxious. “I’ve had visions of being chased by millions of children who thought I got it wrong,” says Coltrane, the Scottish comic who plays the giant groundskeeper, Hagrid, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. “They’re chasing me up Fifth Avenue. ‘There’s the guy who ruined Hagrid! Let’s get him!'”

Memo to Coltrane: I have seen Harry Potter, and there’s no reason for you to hire bodyguards. When the film opens on Nov. 16, lovers of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series who have worried about what Hollywood had in store for the sacred text will be relieved to see that Coltrane’s Hagrid bears an impressive resemblance to the gentle giant Rowling described in the first volume: He’s a lovable lug–funny and slightly sad–with “long tangles of bushy black hair and…hands the size of trash can lids.” And just as he does in the book, he makes his entrance on a flying motorcycle, with a baby in his “vast, muscular arms.” Harry has arrived, and he has arrived in good health.

I flew to London and saw the film two weeks ago, before any critics (including TIME’s) were allowed to see and review it. Now it can be told: with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone–the first film in what Warner Bros. hopes will be a long and profitable franchise–director Chris Columbus has bravely gone toe to toe with the imaginations of readers who have purchased 100 million Potter books and made the boy wizard one of the most beloved figures in literary history. (The author, once a struggling single mom in Edinburgh, Scotland, has become an international celebrity since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as the book is known in Britain, was published there four years ago.) The big-screen adaptation is a film of such eye-popping grandeur, dazzling special effects and sumptuous production values that you may not notice right away that supporting characters like Peeves, a troublesome ghost, and Piers, a troublesome boy, have been given the heave-ho.

But these visuals serve what is essentially a greatest-hits compilation of the book itself, from the snake that winks at Harry in the zoo to the owls that swoop through his school, Hogwarts, dropping mail on the magically gifted boys and girls; from Hogwarts’ Great Hall with its soaring night-sky ceiling to the cavernous vaults and Munchkin-size goblins working in Gringotts bank (keep an eye out for Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in the 1999 Austin Powers sequel); from the wizard’s version of chess, in which queens and knights come alive and beat each other senseless, to the Quidditch field, where young witches and wizards on broomsticks fly through the air playing a magical hybrid of basketball and soccer; from Hagrid’s baby dragon to the 12-ft.-tall mountain troll (both computer generated), who wreaks havoc in the girls’ rest room; from the teetering magic shops of Diagon Alley to the secret Track 9 3/4, where students board the train to Hogwarts.

“Fans would have been crushed if we had left too much out,” says Columbus, whose adaptation runs a whopping 143 minutes. “My mantra has been, Kids are reading a 700-page book. They can sit through a 2 1/2-hour movie.” The book he is referring to is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, fourth in the series, which was published last year (at 734 pages, to be exact) and currently holds the record as the fastest-selling book in history–at least until the fifth Potter, which is expected in 2002. Says Columbus: “Instead of trying to overtake the readers’ imagination, we’ve just given them the best possible version of the book, which means steeping it in reality…I wanted kids to feel that if they actually took that train, Hogwarts would be waiting for them.” Indeed, from the moth-eaten tapestry of the dormitory common room to the well-worn Sorting Hat, which divides the first-year Hogwarts students into houses by reading their minds (as in the book, it speaks to the students and assigns Harry to Gryffindor house, but it does not sing), Sorcerer’s Stone does have a dusty verite.

Lest we burden Sorcerer’s Stone with expectations too great, however, we must note that it is not a perfect movie. Critics will certainly point out that the book is a more transporting piece of entertainment. (The movie assumes a sometimes too-heavy load in its ambitious attempt to bring all the novel’s most memorable elements to the screen.) And child actors often require some patience on the part of viewers. Sorcerer’s Stone marks the movie debut of Rupert Grint, 13, and Emma Watson, 11, who play Harry’s friends Ron and Hermione. Daniel Radcliffe, the 12-year-old who already has a number of websites devoted to him, thanks to his role as the title character, starred in the BBC’s 1999 production of David Copperfield and this year’s spy flick The Tailor of Panama. What British producer David Heyman calls a “brutal” search for the right Harry ended only weeks before the film went into production in September 2000. “He had to embody so many qualities–vulnerability and strength, an inner life,” says Heyman, who secured the movie rights for Warner Bros. for the bargain price of $700,000 before the books became a global phenomenon. (Tanya Seghatchian, a development executive in Heyman’s company, read the first book after it was published in Britain and was moved to tears by the scene in which the orphaned Harry sees his dead parents for the first time in the Mirror of Erised–“Desire” spelled backward.) Columbus praises his young star’s “tendency to play things so subtly,” though some may wish he seemed a bit more rowdy, like the Harry in the books.

At the same time, for fans of the novels, there will be much pleasure in seeing Sorcerer’s Stone brought to the screen with all the attention to detail that a budget north of $125 million can buy. And those familiar with Columbus’ previous work will be glad to know that he hasn’t poured on too much sugar. Despite his solid box-office track record, Columbus, 43, wasn’t a natural choice for the much-sought-after Potter job. Even Steven Spielberg was eyeing it at one point, envisioning a computer-animated film, like Toy Story, with Haley Joel Osment supplying Harry’s voice. Rowling, says Warner Bros. Pictures chief Alan Horn, “hoped that whoever brought it to the big screen would not take it in a direction toward sappiness.”

Of all the directors in the running, including City of Angels’ Brad Silberling and Dead Man Walking’s Tim Robbins, Columbus had the sappiest rep after his most recent movies, Bicentennial Man and Stepmom. But he also had two Home Alone movies to his credit, which meant that he knew how to work with child actors. Another plus: earlier in his career, as a screenwriter, Columbus penned the wickedly subversive action comedy Gremlins, which was a hit for Warner Bros. in 1984. Columbus admits that as a director, “I was going down this soft, sentimental road…I’m the guy who wrote Gremlins. I tried to find something after I finished [Bicentennial Man] that would go back to that [Gremlins] area.” Despite his A-list status in Hollywood, Columbus agreed to audition for the job by pitching himself to the studio. Heyman says Columbus was hired ultimately because of his “desire to be faithful to the material.”

Screenwriter Steve Kloves (Wonder Boys) also convinced the producers that he would respect the novels, and Heyman thought he would supply “a touch of melancholy, a little darkness, which I think is really vital to the story.” Some of the movie’s most poetic moments come from Kloves’ head: after his kindly headmaster, Dumbledore, gives Harry a moving lecture about letting go of his troubled past, the boy strolls out to the schoolyard and watches his pet owl, Hedwig, take a slow, symbolic flight. “Those are the moments that move you and elevate the movie beyond being just sort of a highlights reel,” says Kloves. Still, the filmmakers have stayed remarkably close to the novel. “Jo [Rowling] had a tremendous influence,” says Heyman.

While the author didn’t have final say over the movie, her contract gave her a consulting role, and she will receive a share of the profits. “When I optioned the book,” says Heyman, who most recently produced the savagely dark 1999 cannibalism comedy Ravenous, “I made a promise to Jo that I wanted the film to be as faithful to her vision as possible. Her books work. That’s the reason 100 million have been sold.” Although she rarely visited the set, Rowling was involved during preproduction, when crucial design and plot decisions were being made. Columbus wondered early on where to put Harry’s lightning-bolt scar, a souvenir from his infancy, when he had his first run-in with the evil Lord Voldemort, who killed his parents. Editions of the books all over the world showed the scar in various places, so the director went to the source. “I drew a face with a wizard hat, and I had her draw in the scar,” says Columbus. She described it as “razor sharp” and drew it vertically down the right side of Harry’s forehead.

Rowling also had a hand in choosing most of the adult cast members. She specifically requested Coltrane. Others, like Richard Harris as Dumbledore, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall and Alan Rickman as Professor Snape came straight from a wish list of actors that Rowling provided the producers. She gave Rickman and Coltrane precious bits of information about their characters’ futures. “There’s an awful lot revealed about Hagrid in book five,” says Coltrane, “and Jo thought it was important for me to know.” Like what? “I could tell you,” says Coltrane, “but then you’d have to die.”

While writing the screenplay, Kloves kept in touch with the author via e-mail. At one point he sought her advice on truncating the book’s lengthy, entertaining but tangential chapter on Hagrid’s pet dragon, Norbert. “I said, ‘This chapter is killing me,'” recalls Kloves. “She e-mailed back, ‘I’m glad to hear it, because it killed me too.’ It’s the one part of the book that she felt easily could be changed.” Audiences will see Norbert hatch from his bowling ball-size egg and ignite Hagrid’s beard with fire from his nostrils. But the book’s subsequent sequence, in which a grownup Norbert is crated and carted away on broomsticks, alas, was never shot. Similarly, the Dursleys–Harry’s awful Muggle relatives (Muggles are nonmagic folk)–get far less screen time than they did page space.

Kloves also sought advice from Rowling on Quidditch, the broomstick sport at which Harry excels. “She gave me a little bit of a clue in saying that she likes American basketball,” says Kloves, “so I understood some of what she was doing with hoops and things.” But whereas Quidditch is played in a traditional stadium in the books, the movie’s Quidditch games are played on an open field circled by towers, which accommodate the spectators and give the moviegoer a sense of height and speed as the players zip around them on brooms.

Costume designer Judianna Makovsky (The Legend of Bagger Vance) initially based her Quidditch uniforms on the cover illustration for Scholastic Inc.’s American edition of Sorcerer’s Stone: Harry in a modern-day rugby shirt, jeans and red cape. “It looked a mess,” she says. “It wasn’t very elegant.” So she went on to outfit the Quidditch players in preppie sweaters and ties, 19th century fencing breeches and arm guards under their wizard robes. “There’s no real period,” she says of the film’s costumes, which range from Elizabethan ruffs to tartan plaids to Dickensian frocks.

Reasoning that Hogwarts would date back to the medieval era, production designer Stuart Craig (The English Patient) fashioned Hogwarts’ Great Hall after England’s greatest cathedrals. Like all the other sets, it was built at Leavesden Studios, a former airfield outside London. “The architecture is real,” says Craig, “but pushed as much as we can, expanded as illogically huge as we can possibly make it.” To save money, the producers initially asked Craig to find an existing old English street to double for Diagon Alley, where wands, owls, cauldrons, broomsticks and other magical paraphernalia are sold. This was a tall order, since the row of shops would be Harry’s–and the audience’s–first glimpse of the world of wizards. (Upon seeing it, wrote Rowling, “Harry wished he had about eight more eyes.”) Craig ended up building his own awe-inspiring version–a long, highly stylized cobblestone street of Tudor, Georgian and Queen Anne architecture. “The buildings are leaning to the point where they would actually fall over,” says Craig, “and you would never get that many styles jammed together.”

Today at Leavesden Studios, in a vast, drafty airplane hangar converted into makeshift soundstages, Diagon Alley is deserted. Hogwarts’ magnificent staircase (partly constructed, then digitally finished onscreen) stands empty. But the lights will go on soon, as the sets will be recycled for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which is scheduled for release next year, with Columbus back at the helm. The entire Sorcerer’s Stone cast will return for Chamber of Secrets, and just last week it was announced that Kenneth Branagh will join them in the role of the vain new defense against the dark-arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart. Meanwhile, Kloves has begun adapting the third Potter book. The three young leads haven’t yet signed on for any movies past the second, but because the Potter novels chronicle consecutive school terms at Hogwarts, the child actors could conceivably continue through what Rowling says will be seven books, aging right along with the franchise. “That would be cool,” says the red-haired Grint, though he admits, “I don’t know what I’ll look like in a couple of years.”

He’s not the only one worried about how the actors will age. “If they suddenly discover cheeseburgers on movie three,” says Columbus, “I don’t know what I’m gonna do.” Other concerns will arise as the movies progress. The PG-rated Sorcerer’s Stone is designed for kids ages six and older, but Rowling’s books do get scarier. They also get longer. Columbus has already come up with a strategy for the very thick Goblet of Fire, which could hit screens in 2004. “I think it has to be two movies,” he says. “We could shoot a four- or five-hour version, release part one at Thanksgiving and part two at Christmas.” Otherwise, Columbus is keeping mum on his Potter plans, and a veil of secrecy is descending on the second movie. On Columbus’ office wall at Leavesden, he has tacked up renderings and scene sketches from Chamber of Secrets. He kindly asks the visiting journalist to ignore them. Too late. It’s a car–a drawing of the magically souped-up Ford Anglia that carries Harry and Ron to their second year at Hogwarts. It’s turquoise, just as Rowling described it, and already in flight.

Find this article at:,9171,1001148,00.html

Original page date 13 March 2007; last updated 13 March 2007.

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J.K. Rowling elogia empresa de filmes que está lançando sua mágica em Harry Potter

Tradução: patylda
Revisão: Virág
*OK Categorias e Conteúdo

Allison, Rebecca. “JK Rowling praises film company as it works its magic on Harry Potter,” The Guardian, September 5, 2001
The boy wizard who started life as nothing more than the figment of an aspiring author’s imagination yesterday became reality for his fans as the first photographs of his screen character were unveiled.

Harry Potter enthusiasts everywhere will finally be able to see for themselves whether the film version of the unlikely hero and his magical world live up to the images conjured up by JK Rowling’s bestselling book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The pictures from the film, taken by Annie Leibovitz and published in Vanity Fair magazine, were praised by the author who was delighted at the authenticity of the characters.

There are also glimpses of the staff and pupils of Hogwarts school for wizards as well as some of the elaborate sets designed to bring Rowling’s creation to life.

“I’ve been watching it in my head for nine years now – and finally I’ll get to see it along with everybody else,” Rowling told the magazine.

She said that she had turned down offers from a series of studios to make a film but had eventually accepted Warner Brothers’ involvement because they were willing to stay true to the books.

“I’m not against the idea of a film – I love films. The vital thing for me was that it would be true to the book and I have great faith in Warners’ commitment to that.”

David Heyman, the producer, said Rowling was amazed when she first saw Diagon Alley, the gathering place in London for wizards.

“She wanted to spend the rest of the day alone in Diagon Alley. She said the layout was exactly the way she’d been thinking and she and art director Stuart Craig hadn’t even discussed it,” he said.

Director Chris Columbus admitted that he had sought the expertise of his young daughter before making certain decisions: “She would be the first person to say ‘that looks fake’, or ‘that’s the wrong colour’.

Its star, Daniel Radcliffe, will play the 11-year-old wizard as he starts at Hogwarts and makes friends with Hermione Granger, (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint).

Robbie Coltrane takes the part of Hogwarts’ grounds keeper. John Cleese plays ghost Nearly Headless Nick and Richard Griffiths and Fiona Shaw will play the uncle and aunt who adopt Harry.

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Pinturas de Harry Potter em leilão

Tradução: Miss Granger
Revisão: Virág
*OK Categorias e Conteúdo

BBC, 5 July 2001
Harry Potter paintings for auction
The Thomas Taylor watercolour may fetch £25,000
Two original illustrations for the first Harry Potter book are to go on sale at Sotheby’s auction house in London on 10 July.

The watercolour of Potter himself is expected to fetch between £20,000 and £25,000.

The images, by Thomas Taylor, were reproduced on the cover of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone and have set the look of the character ever since.

Book covers set the look of Potter from the outset

In a recent interview author JK Rowling said of Potter: “Most people’s idea of him comes from the different book covers – and they’re not changing.”

The illustration of Harry Potter standing by the Hogwarts Express is a signed watercolour.

The other illustration, also a signed watercolour, is of Potter’s mentor, Professor Albus Dumbledore.

Meanwhile, Harry Potter creator J K Rowling is to take part in an exclusive documentary for BBC One later this year.

In the hour long programme, she will talk in detail for the first time about the inspirations for Potter, and her experience of writing the series.

BBC One’s boss Lorraine Heggessey said: “I’m delighted that this year, BBC viewers can enjoy discovering more about the world of Harry and his friends.”

J K Rowling has never taken part in a major documentary before, though the Harry Potter books have already sold more than one hundred million copies across the world.

A new trailer for the movie generated huge interest when it was release on the internet and in cinemas last week.

The two-and-a-half-minute sneak preview gave fans of the book the first chance to see many of the scenes that will appear in the film version which is set for release in November.

Original page date 31 May 2003; last updated 10 February, 2007.

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Harry Potter: Ela precisa dizer mais?

Tradução: Leli Weasley
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Baker, Jeff. “Harry Potter: Need she say more? J.K. Rowling talks about her wildly popular books,” The Oregonian, October 22, 2000

J.K. Rowling has no need to do interviews. With more than 32 million copies of the Harry Potter series in print in the United States alone, Rowling doesn’t need publicity to sell her books.

Yet there she was in the New York City offices of her publisher, Scholastic, cheerfully answering questions from five newspaper reporters on a telephone conference call. Why?

“I see this as an opportunity to answer kids’ questions,” Rowling said. “My post bag is now getting pretty much overwhelming at the moment. Although we answer every letter, the logistics of the thing are that I can’t go to every school that asks me to visit and I can’t do every reading that people would like me to do. It’s a way of responding to questions about things that are coming and a way of reaching people without going to each of these communities, which would be very difficult now.”

In a 45-minute interview from 3,000 miles away, Rowling came across as bright, energetic and not at all intimidated by her success. She talked animatedly about that success, dropped a few hints about what’s coming next in the series, took a strong stand against censorship and made it clear that writing remains her top priority.

Rowling’s reason for doing an interview makes sense. Her comments have been organized by topic and edited only for continuity. Note that she refers to books in her series by number, not title. Thus, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is Book Four, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is Book One, and the new, untitled book is Book Five.

On the new book: “Book Five is under way, but I haven’t gotten that far through it yet. It’s very unlikely to be out by next July, purely because I just finished this very long, complex book (Book Four), and I want to make it as good as I can make it.

“I don’t want to be writing against an artificial deadline. It’ll be done when it’s done, and I have no intention of taking any kind of a break from the series because I’m still loving the writing.”

On her writing schedule: “On an ideal day, I’ll probably work between six and 10 hours. That would be a really good writing day for me. I’m kind of fighting to get time to write at the moment, which feels bizarrely familiar to me because that’s how I wrote the first two books because then I had a paying job.

“I do still write longhand, and I do write away from the house whenever possible because it’s very easy to get distracted when you’re home. I use cafes as offices, really, with the added bonus that there’s normally good music and someone to bring me coffee all the time, which is great.”

On her characters: “Harry and Ron and Hermione I love, and I think there’s something of me in all three of them.

“Hagrid I absolutely adore, although I wouldn’t say there’s a great deal of my personality in Hagrid. He’s almost created in response to me. I think most kids would love to have a friend like Hagrid. (Actor) Stephen Fry, who reads the books for audiotape in Britain, said to me young boys need someone like Hagrid because they need someone to sit there whittling and saying yes, yes, while they’re pouring out their anguished souls. Someone to sit there and listen and be very stolid and reassuring. I would hope there’s none of me in the Dursleys.”

On the bookstore parties for book four: “It was wonderful. On July the 8th, I was in a hotel in London waiting to start the tour. In the U.K. I did a very short tour, starting in London and going north to my hometown, and we stopped and did some signings and met a lot of readers. But when I was in my hotel I was watching the TV and they flashed up this huge bookstore in central London where all these kids were waiting for books. My daughter was sleeping in the room and I had this mad desire to pull on my jeans and go down there and see them.”

Is the reaction overwhelming? “With the kids, never. And I really mean that. It’s really quite extraordinary because I’m an ex-teacher and I know kids aren’t angels. I’ve met thousands and thousands of kids now, of all different nationalities, at signings and readings, and I’ve never had a kid be obnoxious. Ever.”

On expectations: “It’s really not a burden. It’s a profound treat. There’s a tendency to underestimate children on all sorts of levels. I sincerely believe that children really want to hear the story as I’ve imagined it. They want to hear how it ends. They do not want to change one single paragraph. They want to find out what happens next. They want me to tell the story I want to tell.”

On being dropped from the new york times best-seller list: (The Times created a separate list for children’s books, in direct response to Rowling’s domination of the fiction list.) “Well, I didn’t throw a party (laughs). It’s a difficult one. I know why it was done, I know the reasoning behind it, we’ve all seen the reasoning behind it. I was a bit sad.”

On other writers: “Philip Pullman is a writer I very much admire. I think he can write most adult authors off the page. . . . I think he’s amazing. His book ‘Clockwork’ is a book that I think is an absolutely stunning piece of work. I often get asked at events. ‘What can I read? I’m done with the Harry Potter book.’ That’s the book I recommend. There’s a writer called David Almond, another British writer, he wrote a novel called ‘Skellig’ that I think is funny. . . . At the moment I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s “The Blind Assassin.’ ”

Are her books too scary? “That’s a matter of personal taste. I feel that the ending of Book Four is frightening. But there are reasons for that. It was not done for pure pleasure of thinking I was frightening people. I was dealing with an evil character and there’s a moral obligation, I feel, to show what that means. I don’t see (Books) Five, Six and Seven as, you know, that I have to up the stakes with every book at all. (Book Four) was a pivotal moment at the heart of the series. I wouldn’t necessarily say that Five is darker, but I can’t say that there’s isn’t more dark stuff coming because I know that there is.

“From the very first book, I would meet parents who would say, ‘Well, my 5- or 6-year-old loved it.’ I always felt reservations about saying that was a great thing because I knew what was coming in the series and even though they might be able to cope with the language perhaps some of the scenes are a little dark for a 5- or a 6-year-old. I would think probably 8 or 9 is the youngest I would recommend as a reading age for the books.”

On wrapping up: “The final chapter for Book Seven is written. I wrote that just for my own satisfaction, really as an act of faith. (To say) I will get here in the end. In that chapter you do, I hope, feel a sense of resolution. You do find out what happens to the survivors. I know that sounds very ominous (laughs).”

On merchandising the movie: (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” has been cast. Rowling said she was especially delighted that Maggie Smith is playing Professor McGonagall, Robbie Coltrane is playing Hagrid and Alan Rickman is playing Snape.)

“That’s not my bag. They do ask my opinion, and I give them my opinion. My input is largely creative, it’s really with the screenwriter and the director. I’ve seen sets, and they’re amazing. It’s a very spooky experience to walk into the Great Hall, really very spooky. And Hagrid’s house . . . it’s just . . . I know every writer of the original work when they see it made physical feels the same way.

“The thing I’m excited about is seeing Quidditch, without a doubt. I’ve been seeing that inside my head for 10 years. With that, I’ll really become like a kid. I just want to sit in the back of the movie theater and watch it.”

On censorship: (The Harry Potter books have frequently been challenged in public schools and libraries. Some parents feel the books promote witchcraft and are anti-Christian.) “I really hate censorship. I find it objectionable. I personally think that they’re very mistaken. I think these are very moral books and I think it’s a very short-sighted thing. Short-sighted in the sense that if you try hard to portray goodness without showing that the reverse is evil and without showing how great it is to resist that . . . well, that’s always been my feeling about literature.

“You find magic, witchcraft and wizardry in all sorts of classic children’s books. Where do you start? Are you going to start with ‘The Wizard of Oz?’ These people are trying to protect children from their own imagination.”

Hints about the future: “There’s stuff coming with the Dursleys that people might not expect, but I’m not going to give too much away there if that’s OK. . . . Finally, I gave you something. Ginny (Weasley) does have a bigger role in Book Five.”

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Sobre os livros: Entrevista de JK Rowling para

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“About the Books: transcript of J.K. Rowling’s live interview on,”, 16 October 2000

On October 16, 2000, classrooms across America went online to ask J.K. Rowling their burning questions about Harry Potter. Below is the transcript from that interview.

WARNING: The transcript below reveals plot elements from Harry Potter Books 1 through 4. If you have not read all these books, you may not want to continue.

Question: The wand chooses the wizard, of course, but what magical creature would you select for your own wand?
J.K. Rowling responds: I’d like a phoenix feather, which is why I gave it to Harry!

Question: What shape would a Boggart take if it wanted to scare you? How would you defeat it?
J.K. Rowling responds: I think I’d probably have Aragog, as Ron did. I hate spiders.

Question: I know you have had children throughout the world tell you how Harry has changed their lives, but is there any one story a child has told you that really stands out in your mind?
J.K. Rowling responds: My favourite was the girl who came to the Edinburgh Book Festival to see me. When she reached the signing table she said “I didn’t want so many people to be here — this is MY book.” That really resonated with me, because that’s how I feel about my own favourite books.

Question: Is Voldemort some sort of relative of Harry’s? Possibly his mother’s brother?
J.K. Rowling responds: I’m laughing…that would be a bit Star Wars, wouldn’t it?

Question: In your first book there is a secret message on the Mirror of Erised. Are there any other secret messages throughout the book that we should be watching for?
J.K. Rowling responds: Not secret messages of that type, but if you read carefully, you’ll get hints about what’s coming. And that’s all I’m saying!

Question: My impression is that the Harry books are getting “darker” somehow. Is this because he is growing up, and his readers have to do the same?
J.K. Rowling responds: It’s really because Voldemort is getting more powerful, but yes, also because Harry is fourteen now. At fourteen, you really do start realising that the world is not a safe and protected place — or not always.

Question: Can you give an example of a surprise in your writing process, such as a character you weren’t expecting?
J.K. Rowling responds: Yes, it was a big surprise to me that Mad Eye Moody turned out the way he did. I really like him. I didn’t expect to.

Question: How would you describe the relationship between the wizard world and the Muggle world?
J.K. Rowling responds: Uneasy co-existence! Harry discovers that life in the magical world mirrors, to a great extent, life in the Muggle world. We are all human. There’s still bigotry and small-mindedness (unfortunately).

Question: In the fourth book, when Harry tells Dumbledore about his fight with Voldemort and how Voldemort could touch him after he took Harry’s blood, Harry thinks he sees Dumbledore smile slightly. Why? Is Dumbledore really on Voldemort’s side after all?
J.K. Rowling responds: Hmmmm….like all the best questions I get asked, I can’t answer that one. But you are obviously reading carefully. I promise you’ll find out!

Question: Are there any books you would recommend to your fans to read while they await Book 5?
J.K. Rowling responds: Loads! Read E. Nesbit, Philip Pullman, Henrietta Branford, Paul Gallico. Just read!

Question: Why did you choose to make the sport Quidditch so important to life at Hogwarts?
J.K. Rowling responds: Because sport is such an important part of life at school. I am terrible at all sports, but I gave my hero a talent I’d love to have had. Who wouldn’t want to fly?

Question: With all the book tours in different countries you’ve done, have you met any interesting people or discovered a new place that might affect future writing, or that left a special impression on you?
J.K. Rowling responds: I have always loved traveling, but I can’t say that I have met anyone who has influenced the Harry books. You see, I planned them all so long ago before any of this happened to me.

Question: If you were Animagus, what kind of animal would you be?
J.K. Rowling responds: I’d like to be an otter — that’s my favourite animal. It would be depressing if I turned out to be a slug or something.

Question: Why did Harry have a pet owl instead of something else?
J.K. Rowling responds: Because owls are easily the coolest!

Question: How did you think of all the cool things that happened to Harry?
J.K. Rowling responds: Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed

Question: How would you like teachers to use your books with students (e.g. discussion, worksheets, book reports, etc.)?
J.K. Rowling responds: The teachers I have met who have used the books in the classroom have all done so very imaginatively. It’s been wonderful to see the work students have produced. I particularly enjoyed reading essays on what students think they would see in the Mirror of Erised. Very revealing!

Question: Friends are very important in your books. What do you think is the most important thing in friendship?
J.K. Rowling responds: Acceptance, I think, and loyalty. There are enough people in the world to give you a hard time. A friend is someone who gives unconditional support.

Question: Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when this happens?
J.K. Rowling responds: I’ve only suffered writer’s block badly once, and that was during the writing of Chamber of Secrets. I had my first burst of publicity about the first book and it paralysed me. I was scared the second book wouldn’t measure up, but I got through it!

Question: Do you have a favorite saying or motto?
J.K. Rowling responds: Draco dormiens numquam titallandus, of course.

Question: Do you have a favorite passage from one of your books?
J.K. Rowling responds: Hard to choose. I like chapter twelve of Sorcerer’s Stone (The Mirror of Erised), and I am proud of the ending of Goblet of Fire.

Question: How did you make the spells? Did you make them up, or are they real names of people and places?
J.K. Rowling responds: The spells are made up. I have met people who assure me, very seriously, that they are trying to do them, and I can assure them, just as seriously, that they don’t work.

Question: Are you going to write a book about other characters than Harry Potter?
J.K. Rowling responds: Yes, when I’ve finally finished all seven Harry Potter books, I will write something else.

Question: When you were a little girl, did you dream or ever think of Harry Potter or someone like him?
J.K. Rowling responds: Not really, though some of the fantasies I had as a child (like flying) are in the books.

Question: There are hundreds of rumours and theories going around about your books! Have you seen these, and do you plan to use any of the ideas found in them?
J.K. Rowling responds: No, I’m not using any of the ideas. To be honest, I avoid reading most of that stuff. Some of it is funny, some of it is weird, and some is just downright crazy.

Question: We’re doing a lot of writing at our school. At what age did you start writing, and did you love to write as a child?
J.K. Rowling responds: Yes, I loved writing as a child. I wrote my first “book” when I was six years old about a rabbit, called “Rabbit.

Question: What do you think about the movie? Do you think that it’ll destroy the adventure of the books?
J.K. Rowling responds: If I believed that, I wouldn’t have sold the film rights!

Question: What got you started writing? And how did you get your breakthrough to get the first book published?
J.K. Rowling responds: I’ve been writing since I was six. It is a compulsion, so I can’t really say where the desire came from — I’ve always had it. My breakthrough with the first book came through persistence, because a lot of publishers turned it down!

Question: Did you use the library a lot as a child?
J.K. Rowling responds: Yes, I loved the library, though I was very bad at returning books on time. I once ran up a bill at university of over fifty pounds in overdue fines, which was a lot of money to a struggling student. (It didn’t stop me doing it again though!)

Question: How did you come up with the idea of the underground chamber in Chamber of Secrets?
J.K. Rowling responds: I always knew the chamber was there. I don’t know what first gave me the idea; I just liked the thought that Slytherin had left something of himself behind.

Question: Are you having a lot of input on the new Harry Potter movie?
J.K. Rowling responds: I’ve been allowed a lot of input. They have been very generous in allowing me to make my opinions heard!

Question: What person from history has influenced you the most?
J.K. Rowling responds: Hmmmmm…..Well, my heroine (though she’s not really from “history”) was Jessica Mitford. I named my daughter after her. I found her inspiring because she was a brave and idealistic person — the qualities I most admire, in other words.

Question: Did you write another book before writing the Harry Potter series?
J.K. Rowling responds: Yes, I wrote (and almost finished) two novels for adults and a lot of short stories. I never finished the first two books because I realised in time that they were…very bad.

Question: How hard was it to pick the actors to play the characters in the movie?
J.K. Rowling responds: I didn’t pick them, so easy for me! But I think they are wonderful.

Question: Are the Harry Potter books being translated in other languages, like Portuguese/Brazil?
J.K. Rowling responds: The Harry books are available in Portuguese, both a Portuguese and a Brazilian version.

Question: How did you get the idea to send Harry to a wizard school?
J.K. Rowling responds: The idea as it first came to me was about a boy who didn’t know he was a wizard until he got his invitation to wizard school, so there was never a question that Harry would go anywhere else!

Question: Has the huge popularity of Harry Potter changed the direction of the plot in any way?
J.K. Rowling responds: No, not at all. People have asked me whether Rita Skeeter was invented for that purpose, but in fact she was always planned. I think I enjoyed writing her a bit more than I would have done if I hadn’t met a lot of journalists, though!

Question: Do wizards and witches have to go Muggle school before they go to Hogwarts?
J.K. Rowling responds: No, they don’t have to.

Question: How does the Dark Lord affect American wizards and witches?
J.K. Rowling responds: He affects everyone, but his plan is European domination first.

Question: Which house was Lily Potter in, and what is her maiden name?
J.K. Rowling responds: Her maiden name was Evans, and she was in Gryffindor (naturally).

Question: Did you write Harry Potter because you like fantasy books, or just because the idea came to you?
J.K. Rowling responds: The latter. In fact, I am not a great fan of fantasy books in general, and never read them!

Question: Do you imagine the pictures or images in your head before you write, or do you have to draw them?
J.K. Rowling responds: I imagine them very clearly and then attempt to describe what I can see. Sometimes I draw them for my own amusement!

Question: What grade and subject(s) did you teach?
J.K. Rowling responds: French, but it should have been English. I don’t know why I did French at university, except that my parents wanted me to. So learn from my mistake — do what you want, not what your parents want!

Question: I’m hooked! My son and I read them every night. Thank you so much for giving us this time to share something so wonderful together! He’s to be Harry for Halloween. We’d like to know how soon for the next book (like everyone else), but mostly just wanted to thank you for sharing Harry with us!
J.K. Rowling responds: That’s wonderful to hear, thank you. Well, book five is underway, but I don’t yet know when it will be available. It’ll be ready when it’s ready, is the best I can say!

Question: How do you write the really long books without getting bored?
J.K. Rowling responds: Oh dear…does that mean you get bored reading them?! I never get bored with the writing. I could (and often do) write all day and evening.

Question: Does Harry have a middle name?
J.K. Rowling responds: Yep, James after his dad.

Question: From where did you get the name for Harry Potter?
J.K. Rowling responds: ‘Harry’ has always been my favourite boy’s name, so if my daughter had been a son, he would have been Harry Rowling. Then I would have had to choose a different name for “Harry” in the books, because it would have been too cruel to name him after my own son. “Potter” was the surname of a family who used to live near me when I was seven years old and I always liked the name, so I borrowed it.

Question: Which book was the most fun for you to write?
J.K. Rowling responds: Prisoner of Azkaban, without a doubt. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s my favourite book. I love them all, but bizarrely the two that were most difficult to write, Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire — are my favourites.

Question: Do you like being a writer?
J.K. Rowling responds: I love being a writer. I am very lucky my life’s ambition turned out to be just as much fun as I thought it would be.

Question: As an adult reader, I loved the books and was surprised at how much humour is in them. The Dursleys sound like something out of Monty Python! Do you like British comedy?
J.K. Rowling responds: British comedy is an obsession of mine. I love Monty Python.

Question: There are an extraordinary number of names that start with “H” (Harry, Hermione, Hedwig, Hogwarts, Hagrid, Hufflepuff). Is there any reason for that?
J.K. Rowling responds: Erm…no!

Question: Will you ever write an official autobiography?
J.K. Rowling responds: No, I don’t think so. My life is really very boring. You wouldn’t want to read about me cleaning out the rabbit cage!

Question: What is Bonfire Night?
J.K. Rowling responds: Good question! We celebrate November 5th in Britain every year. There was a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The ringleader of the plot was called Guy Fawkes (spot any Harry Potter connection?!), and we burn him in effigy and set off fireworks to celebrate not losing our government.

Question: What did you want to be when you were a kid?
J.K. Rowling responds: A writer…always.

Question: What books do you read in your free reading time?
J.K. Rowling responds: Loads…usually novels and biographies.

Question: Harry Potter for grownups again! Is Voldemort the last remaining ancestor of Slytherin, or the last remaining descendent of Slytherin?
J.K. Rowling responds: Ah, you spotted the deliberate error. Yes, it should read “descendent.” That’s been changed in subsequent editions. (Keep hold of the “ancestor” one, maybe it’ll be valuable one day!)

Question: Will you ever include more illustrations?
J.K. Rowling responds: I don’t like too many illustrations in novels; I prefer to use my imagination about what people look like. So the answer is, probably not.

Question: What do you think of fan fiction being written about your characters, and have you read any of them on the Internet?
J.K. Rowling responds: I’ve read some of it. I find it very flattering that people love the characters that much.

Question: Is there something more to the cats appearing in the books than first meets the eye? (i.e. Mrs. Figg’s cats, Crookshanks, Prof. McGonagall as a cat, etc.)
J.K. Rowling responds: Ooooo, another good question. Let’s see what I can tell you without giving anything away….erm….no, can’t do it, sorry.

Question: If you could be a wizard, who would you be?
J.K. Rowling responds: If I were a character in the book, I’d probably be Hermione. She’s a lot like me when I was younger. (I wasn’t that clever but I was definitely that annoying at times!)

Question: When will the movie of Harry Potter be out?
J.K. Rowling responds: November 2001 was the last I heard!

Question: Ms. Rowling, in an article I read in Good Housekeeping, you stated that the character Hermione received her personality from her likeness of you at the age. What other things inspired you for other aspects or details in your books?
J.K. Rowling responds: Ron is a lot like my oldest friend, who is called Sean and with whom I went to school. I never intended Ron to be like Sean, but he turned out that way. Gilderoy Lockhart is also a lot like someone I once knew, but I don’t think I’d better elaborate!

Question: What is your favorite wizard candy?
J.K. Rowling responds: Chocolate frogs…I’d like to collect the cards!

Question: How did the Dursleys explain away the tail when Dudley had to have it removed at the hospital?
J.K. Rowling responds: They went to a private hospital where the staff was very discreet, and said that a wart had got out of control.

Question: How much control do you have on all of the products flooding the marketplace with a Harry Potter theme? Do you think they will sell well?
J.K. Rowling responds: Unless it’s a Warner Bros. product, it shouldn’t have Harry’s name on it at all, so I have no control and accept no responsibility! Warner Bros. has allowed me to have a say in merchandise relating to the film.

Question: Is it true that since Voldemort took Harry’s blood by force, that Harry can kill Voldemort, but Voldemort can’t kill Harry?
J.K. Rowling responds: It’s an interesting theory, but I wouldn’t trust it too much!

Question: Do you still have the napkins that you wrote the first book on?
J.K. Rowling responds: I’m giggling…where did you read that? I didn’t write on napkins; I wrote in notepads. We really need to squash this myth before people ask to see the used tea bags on which I drafted the first book!

Question: Is the Mrs. Figg with all the cats in the Dursleys’ neighborhood the same Arabella Figg that Dumbledore mentioned at the end of book 4?
J.K. Rowling responds: Well spotted!

Question: The Harry Potter series has lots of humorous moments. Do you consider yourself to be a really funny person?
J.K. Rowling responds: No, not really. I think I am funnier on paper than I am in person; the exact reverse of my sister who is very funny in person, but writes dull letters!

Question: Can you explain how Lupin turns into a werewolf, since he didn’t turn in the Shrieking Shack in Prisoner of Azkaban, but instead he turned only when the full moonlight hit him outside the tunnel? If he only turned into a wolf in the moonlight, why didn’t he just stay inside? Did it have to do with the potion? Or was the moon not up yet?
J.K. Rowling responds: The moon wasn’t up when he entered the Shrieking Shack.

Question: As the author, when reading your books, can you enjoy them as a reader and sympathize with Harry, or is it too hard to be “objective”?
J.K. Rowling responds: Too hard to be objective. When I re-read the books, I often catch myself re-editing them. It’s an uncomfortable experience. However, the more time elapses, the less I find myself doing that — I can now read Sorcerer’s Stone fairly comfortably.

Question: How many students attend Hogwarts, and how many students per year per house?
J.K. Rowling responds: There are about a thousand students at Hogwarts.

Question: Did you ever make a study of herbs and other Hogwarts subjects, or did you create all those classes from inspiration?
J.K. Rowling responds: Most of the magic is made up. Occasionally I will use something that people used to believe was true — for example, the “Hand of Glory” which Draco gets from Borgin and Burkes in Chamber of Secrets.

Question: You said Ron’s cousin was taken out of Book 4, and you developed Rita Skeeter more after that. Do you still think that it would have been more fun to keep her? Can you tell me anything about what she was going to be like?
J.K. Rowling responds: Well, maybe I will use her in another book, so I don’t want to talk about her too much. I had never “killed” a character before (in either sense) until Goblet of Fire, so that made writing the book a little more stressful!

Question: Why was a different cover illustration chosen for the books sold in the United States? Why do those books have illustrations at the beginning of each chapter but the British books do not?
J.K. Rowling responds: Publishers choose to do things differently, and I’m glad about that. It’s very exciting for authors to see their work in many different versions. I love the look of the American books, especially the chapter illustrations.

Question: In the second book, Harry and Ron went to the girls’ toilet and met McGonagall. They told her that they were going to visit Hermione, and she started crying. Why?
J.K. Rowling responds: She found it very touching that Harry and Ron were missing Hermione so badly (or so she thought). Under that gruff exterior, Professor McGonagall is a bit of an old softy, really.

Question: How old is old in the wizarding world, and how old are Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall?
J.K. Rowling responds: Dumbledore is a hundred and fifty, and Professor McGonagall is a sprightly seventy. Wizards have a much longer life expectancy than Muggles. (Harry hasn’t found out about that yet.)

Question: How does the wizarding world protect Muggle banks and vaults, etc. from wizards apparating into them and stealing the contents?
J.K. Rowling responds: Well, the Ministry of Magic keeps tabs on people apparating. That’s why you have to have a license to do it, and the moment you abuse it you can find yourself in serious trouble (or Azkaban!).

Question: What position did James play on the Gryffindor Quidditch team? Was it seeker like Harry, or something different?
J.K. Rowling responds: James was Chaser.

Question: How painful is the editing process for you? Compared with writing a first draft, how long do you spend editing? Who do you conference with?
J.K. Rowling responds: I work with my editors. I enjoy the editing process, but I edit fairly extensively myself before my editors get to see the book, so it’s never a very long job.

Question: Are you writing all the books at the same time, like in little pieces, while concentrating mostly on the present one, or do you just have a general idea about them?
J.K. Rowling responds: During the first five years that I was writing the series, I made plans and wrote small pieces of all the books. I concentrate on one book at a time, though occasionally I will get an idea for a future book and scribble it down for future reference.

Question: Any plans for a video game soon?
J.K. Rowling responds: I think there probably will be a video game, but when, I have no idea.

Question: Do you think elementary-age children will be able to read the other three books in the series?
J.K. Rowling responds: Yes, I do. I personally feel the books are suitable for people aged 8 years and over. Though my daughter, who is seven, has read them all and not been very frightened — but maybe she’s tough, like her mother!

Question: When you are not writing or reading, what things do you enjoy in your free time?
J.K. Rowling responds: Let’s see…..when I’m not reading, writing or spending time with my daughter, there isn’t much time left over, but I like travelling most.

Question: Some sets on the movies are already being created. Do you think they represent how you envisioned them in the book? Have you had any input on the shooting locations?
J.K. Rowling responds: I know they look as I imagined them (those that have been done so far)!

Question: Hello, I was wondering how much Tolkien inspired and influenced your writing?
J.K. Rowling responds: Hard to say. I didn’t read The Hobbit until after the first Harry book was written, though I read Lord of the Rings when I was nineteen. I think, setting aside the obvious fact that we both use myth and legend, that the similarities are fairly superficial. Tolkien created a whole new mythology, which I would never claim to have done. On the other hand, I think I have better jokes.

Question: Ms. Rowling, for being fictional books, the Harry Potter books have a great grasp of the Latin language. I have noticed that many, if not most, of the names and incantations are of Latin heritage. How much research does it take to give these books their Latin heritage?
J.K. Rowling responds: My Latin, such as it is, is self-taught. I enjoy feeling that wizards would continue to use this dead language in their everyday life.

Question: Will you have a cameo in the Harry Potter movie?
J.K. Rowling responds: No, definitely not. I hate watching myself on-screen!

Question: If there were one thing you could change about the world, what would it be?
J.K. Rowling responds: I would make each and every one of us much more tolerant.

Question: Do any of the things that happen in the Harry Potter books reflect any of your childhood fantasies?
J.K. Rowling responds: Flying, definitely. And who wouldn’t want to be able to use the Jelly-Legs Curse?

Question: Why did you choose the owl as the animal messenger in your books?
J.K. Rowling responds: Owls are traditionally associated with magic, and I like them.

Question: Our thanks to J.K. Rowling for joining us today. Any thoughts you would like to leave us with?
J.K. Rowling responds: Keep reading! (And it doesn’t have to be Harry Potter!)

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Os Favoritos de J.K. Rowling são escolhidos para o filme Harry Potter

Tradução: Bruno Radcliffe
Revisão: Adriana Snape** Adriana Snape

Davies, Hugh. “Author’s favourites are chosen for Potter film,” The Daily Telegraph, 14 August 2000

J K ROWLING confirmed yesterday that Warner Brothers had cast Dame Maggie Smith and Robbie Coltrane of Cracker fame as stars of the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Rowling said: “They were the two I wanted most of all – and I am quite happy about that.” Dame Maggie, who was rumoured to be having second thoughts about the multi-million dollar project after her West End success in The Lady in the Van, is to play Prof McGonagall, second in command of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Coltrane is to play the friendly giant Hagrid, the groundkeeper at Hogwarts.

The world’s best-selling author made the long-awaited announcement when she opened a book festival in Edinburgh, where as a penniless single mother she wrote the first Potter book in a cafe. Rowling side-stepped questions about the identity of the actor to play Harry, who it appears has been chosen after a nationwide hunt, but a contract has still to be finalised.

The director, Christopher Columbus, has been pressing for New Jersey-born Liam Aiken, 10, half-British on his mother’s side, and star of I Dreamed of Africa. Columbus has liked Liam since he filmed him in Stepmom, playing Susan Sarandon’s son. However, Rowling, who has always said she wanted an all-English Harry, warned her audience that it would be unwise to believe that the actor would be American.

The film is to be made in the autumn at Gloucester Cathedral and Leavesden Studios in Hertforshire for release in November next year. It is also expected to feature Richard Harris as Dumbledore, Potter’s headmaster and protector against the hero’s arch nemesis Lord Voldemort, a role not yet cast. Alan Rickman has been approached to play the dark and mysterious Professor Snape.

Rowling hinted that her next book – number five – would be published about the same time as the premiere of the film. There were sighs from the audience at having to wait so long. Despite her multi-millionaire status and world-wide fame, she spoke of still being unsure of her literary ability.

She said that she was “always fiddling with, always re-writing” her old Potter novels, “thinking to myself what did I say a thing like that for?”. She said: “I can’t let well enough alone.” She said that in her latest book, she had so many doubts that she wrote 13 versions of chapter nine.

Rowling said: “I actually thought I’d never get past the chapter at one point. A couple of times I threw down my pen and said, no, it’s too difficult, I can’t do it. I did do it in the end, but it was a real nightmare.” Rowling said it was “very easy” to shrug off her fame while actually writing.

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Escritora dá pistas sobre o destino cruel de Potter no último livro

Tradução: Pê Agá
Revisão: {patylda}
*OK Categorias e Conteúdo

Miller, Phil. “Writer gives hint of grim fate for Potter in last book,” The Scotsman, 21 July 2000

JK ROWLING, creator of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter series, has hinted that the teenage wizard is heading for an untimely death.

The author, whose fourth episode, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was released this month to near hysteria, said the popular character could meet the grim fate in his seventh and final adventure.

In a rare public interview for BBC radio, Rowling also mused on what she would write once the Potter epic was completed and discussed her often fraught experiences with the media.

Harry Potter’s legions of young fans will have been heartbroken to hear the fate that awaits their hero at the end of the seventh book.

Despite making his author one of the richest women in Britain, the young magician will be bumped off to round off the phenomenally successful series.

However fans of Rowling’s imaginative works can be sure the manner in which he meets his death will not be straighforward.

Interviewed on Radio 1’s “God For a Day” slot on Simon Mayo’s show, she spilled the beans about her character’s impending death before trying to cover up the revelation.

She said: “I always planned seven [Potter books], I never said I would do another one, but at the moment there will be just the seven. I’ve got it planned, and Harry dies obviously.”

Perhaps to the relief of Potter followers, she quickly added: “But that’s just a joke – or is it?” Asked what she would do after her final Potter novel was completed, she replied: “It will be a lot quieter, [and that] does appeal. Maybe it will be not that radical a change – I will be writing .”

Rowling also scotched recent rumours that she had lost confidence in the direction in which the Warner Bros. film of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is going. In recent weeks it appeared that a young American actor was in the running for the coveted role of Harry Potter.

Rowling is keen to have a British actor for the key role but the director, Chris Columbus, favours a US actor.

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A mulher que inventou Harry

Tradução: Super_Black
Revisão: {patylda}
*OK Categorias e Conteúdo

Jones, Malcolm. “The Return of Harry Potter,” Newsweek, 10 July, 2000

J.K. Rowling talks about her success, her daughter, her readers, the upcoming film and, of course, Harry Potter, teen wizard.

Months before its official debut on July 8, J. K. Rowling’s fourth Harry Potter novel had become the biggest publishing phenomenon since-ever. There has never been a bigger first printing (3.8 million in this country alone). Nor a book that’s sold faster in preorders (as of midnight, July 1, there had been 282,650 orders at, where it’s been the No. 1 best seller for 16 of the last 21 weeks).

Equally amazing, Rowling’s publishers have so far managed to keep the contents of the year’s most desired book almost completely under wraps. The title, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” slipped out a week ago. One lucky 8-year-old girl managed to acquire a stray copy from her local bookstore. And Rowling, who has staunchly supported the veil of secrecy around the book because she wanted it to come as a surprise to her readers, did let slip to the London Times what a lot of young fans have been whispering about for months: at least one important character will die in the new book. Little else is known about the new novel, which NEWSWEEK plans to excerpt next week. Everything about these well-written, well-plotted books is astonishing, starting with the fact that they’ve sold 30 million copies worldwide without the aid of a single action figure. Because this is life and not a fairy tale, those action figures are coming, just not for a while. The licensing rights-for things like sleeping bags, lunchboxes and candy-belong to Warner Brothers. Filming of the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” starts in late fall.

But perhaps the most amazing aspect of this story is the woman behind it all. Seven years ago Joanne Kathleen Rowling was an unemployed single mother who spent her afternoons staying warm in Edinburgh coffee shops, writing while her baby slept. Today, with three of the world’s all-time best-selling books to her credit, the 34-year-old author is 25th on the Forbes list of the 100 most powerful celebrities. Last month she received the Order of the British Empire during the queen’s birthday celebration. Earlier in June she flew to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to receive her first honorary degree. There NEWSWEEK’S Malcolm Jones caught up with the limelight-shy author for an exclusive interview.

JONES: Has the mania reached a peak?

ROWLING: I don’t know. I thought it had reached a peak with “Prisoner of Azkaban”, and it hadn’t. We can’t carry on like this forever. At some point things have got to calm down. The film isn’t going to help in terms of diminishing it. The movie goes into production this fall, and the script is written? Yep. Almost there. We’re still fiddling with it.

How much control do you have over the film?

Control, I wouldn’t say-I’m really aware that I’m being invited to give my opinion. But I don’t have any right to jackboot in there and say this or that. But I sold it to people I trusted, and so far my trust has not been misplaced. We’re looking at an all-British cast. At first that looked like an impossibility. There was many a director who couldn’t see that working at all. I would say things are going really well at the moment. People have to understand that no one could feel as protective as I do about these characters. If it goes wrong, I’m going to be hurting more than anyone else.

So have they cast it? There are people being made offers now, but is it entirely cast?

No. Harry himself is proving very elusive. It’s like Scarlett O’Hara-this is the child equivalent of looking for Vivien Leigh. I just said, “We’ll know him when we find him.” I am now walking around in London and Edinburgh, and I’m looking at kids as I pass them, just thinking, Could be, you never know. I may just lunge at this kid and say, “Can you act? You’re coming with me. Taxi!”

Parents and even a lot of children are delighted that so far there are no commercial spin-offs-no dolls, no toys, no lunchboxes. But that’s about to change.

I know, I know (wearily). Warner Brothers has really given me-I have been knocked backwards by the amount of input I have been given and the number of meetings I have been invited to. And we know why this is, because there are so many children out there who want to see it my way rather than their way. So I can only say to anyone who’s concerned about the merchandising, “Please trust me, I am fighting in your corner.”

Do you have any sort of target audience when you write these books?

Me. I truly never sat down and thought, What do I think kids will like? I really, really was so inflamed by the idea when it came to me because I thought it would be so much fun to write. In fact, I don’t really like fantasy. It’s not so much that I don’t like it, I really haven’t read a lot of it. I have read “Lord of the Rings,” though. I read that when I was about 14. I didn’t read “The Hobbit” until I was in my 20s-much later. I’d started “Harry Potter” by then, and someone gave it to me, and I thought, Yeah, I really should read this, because people kept saying, “You’ve read ‘The Hobbit,’ obviously?” And I was saying, “Um, no.” So I thought, Well, I will, and I did, and it was wonderful. (Sheepish smile)

It didn’t occur to me for quite a while that I was writing fantasy when I’d started “Harry Potter,” because I’m a bit slow on the uptake about those things. I was so caught up in it. And I was about two thirds of the way through, and I suddenly thought, This has got unicorns in it. I’m writing fantasy!

Why are the English so good at writing fantasy?

(Chuckles) Britain has the most incredible mix of folklore traditions because we were invaded by so many people. A lot of American superstitions were just imported whole from England. Salem gets mentioned in book four.

Have you ever gotten ideas from readers?

No, young readers are so generous, they write and tell me funny words they’ve made up and say, “Can you use it?” and I have to write back and say, “No, I can’t use it because it’s yours, you use it.”

Do you actually answer your fan mail?

(Reluctantly) Yeah. I have help now. But letters get-I don’t know if I should actually say this in NEWSWEEK. I have a set of criteria for letters I want to see personally, so they will get filtered and they will get handwritten replies. I get letters from children addressed to Professor Dumbledore headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the books’ setting, and it’s not a joke, begging to be let into Hogwarts, and some of them are really sad. Because they want it to be true so badly they’ve convinced themselves it’s true. So those are some that get pulled.

Your daughter is now 6. Have you started reading the books to her yet?

I had told her, “Not until you’re 7,” because I think a bright 6-year-old can definitely manage it in terms of language, but in terms of themes, things get increasingly scary and dark, and some 6-year-olds are going to be disturbed by that. So for my own daughter, I said, “We’re going to wait till you’re 7.” But then she went to school, and she got completely mobbed. These older children were just talking to her endlessly about Quidditch and stuff, and she didn’t have a clue, and I thought it was unfair to keep her excluded from that, so we started reading them.

You seem to have kept your life deliberately low-key. You haven’t bought the five cars or the helicopter.

Well, I can’t drive, so the five cars would be a problem. (Chuckles)

Ditto the helicopter. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a puritan. I enjoy spending money. But the main difference between where I was five years ago and now is the absence of worry. I honestly believe that the only people who will really appreciate that are people who have been very, very broke. If you’ve never been there, you’ll assume the great thing about having money is that now I can get the racehorses or worm my way into these nightclubs. But no, what I’m grateful for every day is that I’m not worried about money.

Has your success placed restrictions on your life? Can you walk down the street, go shopping?

Oh, yeah, absolutely. It’s really the exception rather than the norm that anyone would approach me. I don’t think I’m very recognizable, which I am completely happy to say. Further, no one has ever been less than completely charming when they’ve come up to me. And they tend to come up, obviously, if they’ve read the book, or their child has read the book, to tell me something very nice. There was a phase when I had journalists at my front door quite a lot, and that was quite horrible. That was not something I had ever anticipated happening to me, and it’s not pleasant, whoever you are. But I don’t want to whine, because this was my life’s ambition, and I’ve overshot the mark so hugely.

How overtly concerned are you with the idea of Harry’s growing up in the books?

I do want him to grow up. I want them all to grow up, but not in a way that’s unfaithful to the tone of the books, i.e., I feel it would be inappropriate-in these books -were Hermione to have an underage pregnancy or if one of them were to start taking drugs, because it’s unfaithful to the tone of the books. It’s not at all that I don’t think those themes can be explored superbly in children’s literature. It’s just that in the Harry Potter books there isn’t a place for those particular issues. In book four, there is the most evidence so far that they’re getting older, in that they start getting interested in boys and girls. Although there’s been a hint of that in book three, this time it’s out in the open.

Have you felt any pressure, from librarians or critics or parents, to expurgate these books?

No. Not at all. I’ve quite strong views on that sort of stuff. I feel no pressure at all. It’s an interesting field, children’s literature, and only from the inside do you get the full force of it. Children’s books aren’t textbooks. Their primary purpose isn’t supposed to be “Pick up this book and it will teach you this.” It’s not how literature should be. You probably do learn something from every book you pick up, but it might be simply how to laugh. It doesn’t have to be a slap-you-in-the-face moral every time. I do think the Harry Potter books are moral books, but I shudder to think that any child picking one up would get three chapters in and think, Oh, yeah, this is the lesson we’re going to learn this time.

Every time writers get immensely successful, they draw the ire of some reactionary group. In your case it seems to be people accusing you of encouraging Devil worship.

We’ve always watched it happen to every damn thing that got popular. With the people who wanted to accuse me of Satan worship, I was full on for arguing it out with them face to face. But you know you’re not going to change their views. The only thing I have argued forcibly is that the idea of censorship deeply offends me. They have the absolute right, of course, to decide what their children read. I think they’re misguided, but they have that right. But to prevent other people’s children from reading something, at that point, I would be very happy to face them and argue that one out. I think it’s completely unjustifiable.

Has being around your daughter day in and day out altered the way you feel about kids? You were writing about them before she was born, but-?

All the children in the books and all of the feelings in the books are based on my memories. They aren’t based on anything my daughter has given me. It comes from inside me, my memories of being a child. And also, as I’ve said, so much of it was fixed before she was born. I think this is probably a good thing. I mean, we remember Christopher Robin, who was tormented till he died at the age of 75 by people taking the mickey out of him. That wasn’t a smart thing to do, put-ting your child by name into the book, and his toys. I don’t want Jessica to always be Harry Potter’s sister. My worst fear, actually.

This is the keystone book, in terms of the plot?

Yes, it’s totally pivotal in terms of the plot.

Will it be the biggest?

No, I think book seven will be. Seven’s going to be like the Encyclopaedia Britannica, because I’m going to want to say goodbye. I always knew four would be a long one, but I didn’t know it would be this long. But it had to be. I’ve got no regrets. That’s how many words it took to tell the story I needed to tell. I like it. I’m very pleased with it. It’s definitely the book that gave me the most trouble. But then “Chamber of Secrets” gave me a fair amount of trouble. Bizarrely, it seems that the two that were the most hell to write were the two I like the best.

Has writing changed you personally?

Yes, it has made me happier. Finishing them has made me happier. Before I wrote the Potter books, I’d never finished a novel. I came close to finishing two. It also makes me happy that the one thing I thought I could do, I wasn’t deluded. Because I’m not much use at anything else, if the truth be told. I’m a moderate teacher, and I enjoy teaching, but I had some office jobs, and anyone who worked with me will tell you that I was the most disorganized person that ever walked this earth. I wasn’t good. I’m not proud of that. I don’t think it’s charming and eccentric. I really should have been better at it, but I really am just all over the place when it comes to organizing myself.

The two books before “Harry Potter”?

They were both for adults. I’ve written almost everything, except poetry. Well, I’ve written poetry, but I always knew it was rubbish. (Laughs)
I’ve tried drama, a few short stories. I never thought of writing for children, ironically. I always thought I would write for adults.

But then, there you were, in 1990, on that train stuck between Manchester and London, staring at a field of cows, and an image of Harry popped into your mind. That really is a magical story.

It was. It really was. And I had this physical reaction to it, this huge rush of adrenaline, which is always a sign that you’ve had a good idea, when you’ve a physical response, this massive rush, and I’d never felt that before. I’d had ideas I liked, but never quite so powerful. And Harry came first, in this huge rush. Doesn’t know he’s a wizard, how can he not know? And, very bizarrely, he had the mark on his forehead, but I didn’t know why at that point. It was like research. It didn’t feel as if I were entirely inventing it.

One theme that’s so powerful in these books is the idea of the powerlessness of kids-ordinary kids, that is.

Yeah, definitely. And I think it’s probably a chief attraction for young readers? I think that’s why there will always, always, always be books about magic, discovering secret powers, stuff that you’re not allowed to do. It exists in adults, too. There’s a small part of you that wishes you could alter external things to be the way they ought to be. One of the realities of growing up is realizing how limited your power is as an adult, also. As a kid you have the idea that you just have to grow up and-and then you grow up and you realize it’s not that easy to change things from here, either -which doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.

Have you thought about life after Harry Potter?

I definitely have thought about it, but I’ve made no decisions at all. I will definitely be writing. I literally don’t quite feel right if I haven’t written for a while. A week is about as long as I can go without getting extremely edgy. It’s like a fix. It really is a compulsion. Yeah, so I have ideas, but they could be all rubbish.

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Harry Potter e a chave mágica de J.K. Rowling

Tradução: Salas Wulfric
Revisão: Adriana Snape
*OK Categorias e Conteúdo

Woods, Audrey. “Harry Potter and the Magic Key of J.K. Rowling,” Associated Press, 6 July 2000

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) – J.K. Rowling, creator of the boy wizard Harry Potter, is running a few minutes late for an interview – not quite five, in fact.

A slight figure in black trousers and a trim red-suede jacket, she slowly descends the hotel staircase, scanning the lounge for a reporter and photographer.

“Are you looking for me?” she asks, apologetic, a little flustered and far too polite to consider the obvious – that most reporters would happily wait much more than five minutes to talk with a literary phenomenon like Joanne Kathleen Rowling who up to now has revealed so little about herself.

After a quick trip upstairs, she drops her handbag onto the floor outside her suite and crouches to rummage in it for the key.

“I know I have it here!”

And so she does – to the door, and to the hearts and minds of millions of children, their teachers, their parents and a lot of other adults who like her books simply because they’re fun to read.

As the steadily growing band of fans knows, Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and shares desperately dangerous adventures with his friends, Ron and Hermione, and a troupe of the most imaginative characters to find their way onto the printed page in years.

Rowling’s transformation from struggling single mother to best-selling author is well-known, and the 34-year-old’s star is still ascending.

Her fourth Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” to be released at midnight Friday by Scholastic, isn’t just flying off the bookshelves, it’s whizzing directly into millions of hot little hands courtesy of mail order.

Did the creator of this magic world have the slightest inkling that so many people would take Harry to their hearts – and in 40 languages?

“Never in a million years,” she says, still a bit stunned by it all and a little edgy in the days before publication of book four. She is intense and serious about her work, but down-to-earth and quick to laugh.

“Certainly, according to all the publishers that turned Harry Potter down, I was quite right in thinking that if ever it got published it was highly unlikely it would sell very many copies,” she says.

“One of them felt that anything in a boarding school wouldn’t sell these days,” she adds with a smile. “But the one thing all of them said was it was much too long, which is kind of scary when you think that book four is over 600 pages. It even surprised me, how long it was.”

Each book is longer than the previous one. And three volumes of the saga are yet to be written.

The whole series – which has sold 35 million copies worldwide – has been plotted out since 1995, when Rowling finished book one, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” writing in Edinburgh cafes while keeping body and soul just barely together after the failure of her marriage.

“I was incredibly skint (broke),” she says. During a Christmas visit to her sister in Edinburgh in 1993, she figured that the city was small enough so she could walk anywhere with her daughter’s stroller and save the bus fare.

She had been a storyteller as a child in western England and never really stopped, even while studying French at Exeter University and working as a bilingual secretary. She eventually went to Portugal to teach English as a second language and used her free time to work on a story about a boy wizard. Transplanted in Edinburgh, she settled into the cafes and began bringing Harry and his friends to life.

Much of the Potter appeal lies with the cast of characters, from the lovable giant Hagrid and his baby dragon Norbert to the faceless guards of Azkaban Prison, who suck the souls out of their victims with the “Dementors’ Kiss” and chill the very air in which they move.

These magic characters – and the ordinary Muggles who dwell in the parallel universe of life as we know it – were not thought up in any methodical way, Rowling explains.

“They normally come fully formed. Harry came very fully formed. I knew he was a wizard and he didn’t know he was a wizard. And then it was a process of working backwards to find out how that could be, and forwards to find out what happened next.”

The writing is still fun, but the latest adventure was “an absolute killer,” she says, especially toward the end of the year it took to write.

“I had to be sure that that book was right because it’s the central book of the seven and it’s very important in plot terms. … But it was an awful lot of work,” she says. “Now that I’ve finished, it’s my favorite. It won’t be to some.”

Her works are not without controversy. Some parents have objected to frightening passages in previous books and to the subject of witchcraft.

Rowling says she had no wish at all to upset children but she does want to write the story her way. “I have good reason for doing it. There are certain things I want to explore and if it’s the last thing I do, I will not be knocked off course.”

It’s a safe bet most readers like the course she’s on. Initial U.S. and British print runs of the new book total 5.3 million copies.

This level of success has changed her life, but she manages to live normally. “I see my friends, I look after my daughter – we do completely ordinary stuff,” she says.

She plans to stay in Edinburgh, although the millions of dollars her books have brought could take her anywhere. And she considers one of the major pluses of her success the chance to meet young readers.

“Meeting kids who’ve read the books is pure, unadulterated pleasure,” she says.

Rowling’s respect and affection for children is almost tangible, and there is no mystery to her connection with them. But the adult readership might be harder to explain.

“I’ve always felt that a good book is a good book. … I never felt there was a big gulf between children’s and adults’ literature,” she says.

Nor did she write with any plan to teach moral lessons.

“I write for myself. I did not write for imaginary children: ‘What would they need to learn now?”‘

That goes, too, for the humor – one of the joys of the books.

“It is what I find funny,” she says, “not what I think children find funny. I think it also operates on an 8-year-old level. They can read it and not get every joke and still can find most of it funny.”

Humor, of course, does not always travel well between cultures. And as her American readership of the books is huge, that was a worry.

“The first time I did a reading to American children … I was terrified,” Rowling says. “The passage I was reading I had read countless times before and I always knew where the first laugh came.”

She knew she had no guarantee the American kids were going to get that part of the humor. “But the roar of laughter came … and it has been exactly the same every other place,” she says. “It’s universal in children.”

Then what’s this about changing some of the words in the U.S. edition so American children could understand them?

Rowling pretended to bang her head against the sofa in mock frustration. “SO much has been made of that,” she groans, noting that it was only done where words had been used that really meant something very different to Americans.

Her American editor pointed out that the word “jumper” – British for pullover sweater – means a kind of dress in American. She had had no idea.

“He asked, ‘Can we change it to sweater?’ which is just as British.” That was fine with Rowling.

Rowling is less happy with reports that the upcoming movie of the first book was to have been set in the United States with an American cast until Steven Spielberg dropped out of the planning. There’s been criticism, too, of the choice of “Home Alone” director Chris Columbus to make the movie, and much concern that it will be “Hollywoodized.”

“Chris is as keen as I am to keep this thing as British as possible,” she says. “I obviously would like the film true to the book … and the books are extremely British.

“And as American children have proved in their droves, they’re not remotely fazed. They can cope really very well. You see, it’s patronizing to assume that they wouldn’t cope well with being able to understand that things are different in Britain. Of course, they understand.”

The film will be made in Britain, she says.

Rowling also feels strongly about the witchcraft controversy that led to some schools banning her books from class.

“I truly am bemused that anyone who has read the books could think that I am a proponent of the occult in any serious way,” she says. “I don’t believe in witchcraft, in the sense that they’re talking about, at all.

“I’m certainly not a witch myself,” she says with a laugh, “and you would be surprised how many otherwise intelligent people have asked me that question.”

She disagrees that witchcraft is off-limits in children’s books.

“I think it’s a source of great fun, drama. Magic is going to be a theme of children’s literature as long as the human race exists,” she says.

What bothered her most was not that parents disapproved of their own children reading the books, “but that they tried to censor them … and I am vehemently opposed to that.”

Rowling says that if she should ever write an adult novel, it will not be because she thinks she has to do so to be taken seriously. “I’ve never seen writing for children as second-best,” she says.

“I am always going to be the Harry Potter author. I actually have no problem with that. I can’t imagine myself ever being ashamed of these books.”

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