Saturday, January 20, 2007

Argus on Argus

There is an interesting new interview by Bella Todd with David Bradley (who plays Hogwarts' caretaker Argus Filch) on's website (just a happy coincidence!), in which the actor speaks about his Potter personage, working on the Potter film set, and the upcoming Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

In Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Bradley forms a double act with Imelda Staunton, who plays Professor Umbridge, the Thatcherite new head of Hogwarts.

"Filch loves her because she's as strict as he is," says Bradley. "I had a lot of fun up a 35ft ladder, clinging on with one hand and hammering proclamations into the hall wall with the other, while four crew guys shook the bottom. I'm not very good with heights."

Now able to step into the character of Argus Filch in the time it takes to put in the fake teeth and hair extensions, Bradley originally went for the role at the suggestion of his children.

"I said to the kids, What part do you think I should go up for?' and they suggested Filch. I was a bit disappointed. At least Snape is suave.

With four cats of his own, Bradley also enjoys a good off-screen relationship with Mrs Norris, Filch's feline sidekick, played by two Maine Coons named Max and Alanis - "as in Alanis Morrisette", he says of the latter, with a sniff. "Bit of a poncey name for a cat isn't it? I hope she doesn't get abuse for it in the cattery."

The cats are "grunged up" with hair wax and fur-pieces to make them look scraggy, and Bradley uses treats to get them to follow him or jump up on his shoulder. "It often takes a few takes to get the cat to jump up at the right angle," he says, "so that its backside isn't covering my face."

The Harry Potter films have been a chance for Bradley to reunite with many old friends, among them Michael Gambon, Richard Griffith and Alan Rickman, with whom he started at the RSC in 1978 ("he seems to have got better looking, somehow, as he's got older.") "It's nice when you get a tea break, and we sit around among all the dusty cables behind the set for Hogwarts Hall," he
says. "They put a special heater in so we can read our papers and have a gossip."

Tea and gossip with Alan Rickman? Sounds like fun!

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