Mike Newell on Harry Potter

Mike Newell on Harry Potter

British director Mike Newell directs “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” the fourth installment in J.K. Rowling's beloved “Harry Potter” series, a mantle previously worn by American Chris Columbus, on the first and second films, and Mexican Alfonso Cuaron, on the third. Newell is the first British director to take the helm of a “Harry Potter” film.

Approach to the New Story

For me, the essence of this story is a thriller. There are wonderful set pieces, from the excitement of the Triwizard Tournament to the humor and heartbreak of the Yule Ball, but driving the story is this marvelous thriller in which something truly evil is out to get Harry, and only he has the power to do something about it.

The Underwater Scenes

In total, Daniel Radcliffe spent 41 hours and 38 minutes under the water over a three-week-period of filming, with one dive alone lasting 75 minutes. All credit for directing the underwater scenes must go to our second unit director, Peter Macdonald. Without Peter, we couldn't have made this film. His patience and skill in directing this huge sequence, which literally took weeks, is beyond compare.

The Living Labyrinth

Dumbledore cautions the champions not to lose themselves within the living labyrinth, which seems to have a sinister agenda of its own. The maze is really creepy, like being in a cemetery at night. The fact that the contestants are exploring the biggest maze imaginable is scary enough, but it has a malevolent personality, and one of the ways it operates is to make all who enter doubt their sanity. Each time youre badly frightened in the maze, it strips another layer away until youre raw.

Harry's Attraction to Girls

Harry and his fellow students find themselves transfixed when the exquisite Beauxbatons girls and the impossibly masculine young men of Durmstrang sweep into the Hogwarts halls. When the girls arrive, Harry and the boys are in a state of shock. They ooze femininity and render the boys–Ron in particular—speechless.

Ron's Twin Brothers

When Oliver and James Phelps, who play Ron's elder twin brothers, Fred and George Weasley, take ageing position ion an attempt to fool the Goblet into believing theyre old enough to enter the Tournament, their plan backfired, temporarily rendering them wizened old men. The script called for the twins to blame each other and hit the floor fighting. But I wasn't satisfied with the Phelps' intensity in early takes, so I demanded, “Which one of you wants to fight me” Oliver volunteered, and before he knew it, I wrestled him to the floor.

The Director as a Fool

I hadn't planned to demonstrate wrestling, but it just seemed to be a good opportunity to make everyone laugh, even though I pulled a muscle and it hurt like hell for months afterwards! But it's good sometimes to make a complete fool of yourself in front of people who see you as an authority figure. I can't know everything and you don't get the best out of people when they think you do.

Daniel Radcliffe as a Dancer

The dancing scene was absolutely hysterical. I am a terrible dancer myself. Daniel worked hard at absolutely everything, but it seems God did not necessarily mean for him to be a ballroom dancer. Daniel is absolutely his character Harry at that particular moment in the story.

Alastor Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson)

Moody, the Hogwarts' eccentric new Defense Against the Dark Ages teacher, is a legendary Auror, or dark wizard catcher, credited with filling half the cells of Azkaban prison with Vodemort's followers. But years of fighting evil on the front lines have taken their toll. Battle-scarred and verging on paranoid, Moody relies on his magical, all-seeing blue eye to help him thwart the evil he sees lurking in every shadow.

Brandon Gleeson as Actor

You seldom find an actor of Brendan's depth and caliber. I previously worked with Gleeson on the 1992 family adventure, “Into the West.” Perhaps it's true of all Irishmen, but Brendan has an elemental quality to him that is part savage and part wide-eyed innocent, which suited him well in playing his multifaceted character.

Moody's Blue Mechanical Eye

Moody's piercing blue mechanical eye was created by creature effect supervisor Nick Dudman and visual effects supervisor Jimmy Mitchell. The eye became a character in itself, although to reveal exactly how we created it would spoil the illusion for audiences.

The Evil Voldemort

We wanted to explore Voldemort's unexpected mood swings, his explosive rage. There are moments when anger spits out of him at Harry and other moments when he can be almost pleasant. You never quite know what he's going to do. People are incredibly scary when theyre charming but you suspect they might suddenly do something very violent

Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort

Ralph is really frightening as Voldemort. You can see he's mad, gone somewhere else, in his eyes. I was nailed to the floor when Ralph is onscreen in this film. When Ralph joined the cast, producer David Heyman said to me, “Youre gonna mess about with his face, aren't you” I said, “No, no. Ralph can play evil. Hell dredge it up from the inside of his psyche.” Then I went home over the weekend and thought, “I really should mess about with Ralph's face.”

Bulgarian Superstar Viktor Krum

Stanislav Ivaneski who plays Krum doesn't just look the part, broodingly dark and handsome and athletic, but he can really act, which was great because it was his first film.

French Woman Fleur Delacur

Fleur has to be very chic and graceful but also serious, and Clemence Poesy typifies French poise and dignity, but at the same time, she is strong and determined as Fleur needs to be.

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