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  Chamber of Secrets press conference goss
Updated 25 October 2002, 18.04

By Katie Hamilton
CBBC Newsround Online in central London

Fact File
Cast + crew there
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry)
Emma Watson (Hermione)
Rupert Grint (Ron)
Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid)
Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy)
David Heyman (the producer)
Chris Columbus (the director)
The Guildhall in London was all dressed up to look like the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

Hundreds of reporters from all over the world piled in to hear what the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had to say.

Read on to get all the goss.

How much has life changed for you?

Dan: My life has changed surprisingly little. People come up to me and ask me about the films which is cool, and it's great to hear what they think about it all. But I do plenty of normal kids stuff, like hanging out and having pizza parties.
Emma: I like to keep my life as normal as possible with my family and friends. I guess the main things that have changed is that I get recognised and I've got an action figure of myself!
Rupert: I think it's cool being recognised. Although I have tried setting up disguises but the never work!

How do you feel about the action scenes in the movie?

Dan: Action scenes are so much fun. In one of the car scenes I was actually hanging out of the door for real about 35 feet up in the air which was really cool. I do most of my stunts myself.
Rupert: Stunts are one of my favourite things. Being in the car was like being on a theme park ride.

What was the most challenging scene for you?

Dan: Speaking Parseltongue was really hard to get the hang of.
Emma: Some of Hermione's lines left me wondering what on earth she was going on about!
Rupert: The spider scene. I don't like spiders in real life - even the rubber ones scare me.

What was it like working with Kenneth Brannagh?

Dan: It was an honour to work with him, but intimidating when I first met him. He's this amazing Shakespearian actor, but actually turned out to be one of the nicest guys I've ever met.
Emma: He was really down to earth. He got the character of Lockhart just right - really cheesy and funny.
Rupert: I thought he was really funny and really easy to talk to.

Robbie Coltrane plays Hagrid
Robbie Coltrane plays Hagrid
How was it playing Hagrid again?

Robbie: It was great, coz as the books progress, more about Hagrid is revealed. I mean he's in prison for a lot of this film, but you get to delve into the past and find out about a darker side to Hagrid.

What do you think about Dobby?

Jason Isaacs plays Lucius Malfoy
Jason Isaacs plays Lucius Malfoy
Dan: I think he's great, and if he was mine I'd get him to do my homework for me.
Emma: I think he's really sweet.
Rupert: He doesn't seem useful to me at all!
Jason: I think he'd gone a bit Hollywood by the end of it - he spent most of the time in his trailer!

Out of Harry and Ron, who would Hermione choose in the film, and who would you choose in real life?

Emma: (Embarrassed) Well I can't say who she'd choose in the film. And as for real life, I'm much better at arranging other people's love lives.

And do the boys have girlfriends?

Dan: I'm really flattered by all the fan letters I get, but I don't have a girlfriend.
Rupert: Me neither!

If you were a real wizard what would you do?

Dan: I'd turn invisible to get out of trouble and into rock concerts.
Emma: I'd like an owl coz it's cheaper than texting.
Rupert: I'd have the flying car coz it's really cool.

What's it like going back to school?

Fact File
Potter freebies for reporters
Slytherin scarf
Leather bound Tom Riddle diary
Emma: On set we had a tutor for a minimum of three hours and a maximum of five so we kept up with our work. I enjoyed going back to school and being normal again. I've got big exams this year.
Rupert: It was fine. My friends were all really normal with me, but my teachers suck up to me a bit!
Dan: I've just started a new school and it's really great.

We hear Dan's really into punk music

Dan: I really like the attitude and sound of punk music. Some of the bands I'm listening to at the moment are the Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Stranglers.

We heard Dan had to work out a lot to be able to hold the owl on his arm

Dan: It's true I had to exercise a lot more for the film, but more for the climbing and sword-fighting scenes.

It's been in the news that Richard Harris has been really ill. How is he?

Chris: He's got Hodgkins disease and we've been visiting him in hospital and we all wish him a speedy recovery. All I'll say is he'd kill me if I re-cast his part with someone else!

Were you worried about the film being too scary for kids?

Potter director Chris Columbus
Potter director Chris Columbus
Chris: I was a bit concerned so I tested it out on some kids in Chicago aged seven to 13. When I asked them if they found it scary, none of them put their hands up. They all put their hands in the air when I asked if it was exciting!

My five-year-old daughter didn't find it scary either. In fact my 38-year-old friend was far more frightened! The only thing I'd say is if you're really scared of spiders, you might not like it very much.

Dobby is much uglier than people expected. How did you develop him?

Chris: Dobby's had a really difficult life as a servant so he'd hardly be cute and cuddly. You have to fall in love with his inner character.

I didn't want him to turn out like a certain other CG character who turned out to be really annoying. (Who can you be talking about, Chris?!?)

What was your favourite scene?

Dan: The duelling scene with Lockhart and Snape, and I love the scenes with the big crowds in.
Rupert: I liked the slug scene best. They actually tasted really nice coz they were all different flavours - chocolate, peppermint, orange and lemon!

How do you make sure there's not too much pressure put on the children?

Chris: I told the kids to look at the lives of other child actors. To see what didn't work out for them and to look at the people who were successful like Jodie Foster and Ron Howard.

My main advice is that when it isn't fun any more, when adults are telling you to do stuff you don't wanna do - walk away and quit. The only things that are important are family and friends. And these kids all have great parents and are incredibly grounded.

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