Having grown before audience’s eyes through the “Harry Potter” film series from Warner Bros., Daniel Radcliffe proves to be a true Warner baby as he stars in two consecutive movies from his mother studio — first in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” to be followed by the coming-of-age tale “December Boys.”
In “Order of the Phoenix,” Harry returns for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts, only to discover that much of the wizarding community has been led to believe that the story of the teenager’s recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort is a lie, putting Harry’s integrity in question.
Radcliffe talks about the darkness that informs this film and in particular how Harry is changing. "He is incredibly angry all the time,” the young actor says. “He confesses to his Uncle Sirius how he feels angry constantly and how he thinks he is possibly turning into a bad person. There's a lot going on inside his head and I think that, for me as an actor, it makes it more interesting to do and I think for an audience it becomes a more charismatic character to watch," Radcliffe adds.
Indeed, Harry needs all the help he can get, especially since in addition to having to deal with assorted attempts on his life, he also has to traverse the very dangerous ground that is his first kiss with fellow pupil Cho Chang, played by Katie Leung. “I was very nervous at first, as was Katie,” recalls Radcliffe of the big day, “but it was great. It was like doing another scene really, because it was so clinical that there’s nothing sexy or romantic or arousing about it, kissing becomes like walking up a flight of stairs — ‘Could you move to the right a bit because you’re in shadow’ or ‘One of you is blocking the other one’ — it’s like doing any other technical shot.”
Not that this was Radcliffe’s first onscreen kiss. “I’ve kissed onscreen before, in the upcoming `December Boys’ which I shot first, but this was a big deal because it’s Harry,” he reflects.
“I think Dan is going to be a major player within our filmmaking community,” says “Order of the Phoenix” director David Yates of his teenage star. “He’s very smart, very strategic and very empathetic. What I noticed working with him over a period of a year is the rapidity of his growth. Not physically, but in terms of his skills as an actor, in terms of his eagerness to learn and to push himself and be pushed. I think his performance is terrific. It’s very different from the other films in the sense that some of it’s quite intense and emotional, but he was really up for being challenged.”
Looking beyond playing the boy wizard, Radcliffe’s next film “December Boys” is based on Michael Noonan's coming-of-age novel of the same name. Set in the 1960s, the story revolves around four orphan teenagers growing up in a Catholic convent in the Australian outback. Losing hope that they will ever be adopted, the orphans compete against one another for the attention of a childless couple during a trip to a remote seashore resort. Radcliffe plays the oldest of the four.
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” opens across the Philippines on July 11 both in conventional cinemas and at the IMAX Theater with the last 20 minutes of the film in 3D format. Meanwhile, “December Boys” opens in October.