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  Alfonso Cuaron: the man behind the magic
Updated 28 May 2004, 17.19
Alfonso Cuaron, director of Harry Potter III
Wizard directing!

Alfonso Cuaron is the man behind the magic of Azkaban. The third film is the first Potter movie he has directed.

It looks and feels a lot different to the first two. Lizo chats to Alfonso about the responsibility of making the biggest movie of the year.

Lizo: What made you want to take on this movie?

Alfonso: When I was approached I was a little hesitant! I didn't know the books, I hadn't seen the films. I had all my prejudices like - 'I'm ashamed to squeeze the money out of parents and children'.

But then I read the books! And I realised why these books are so well-received worldwide and I fell victim of the charm of this book.

Lizo: What was it like meeting JK, what was her advice like?

Alfonso: She said I should stay faithful to the spirit of the book not literal. That was entrusting me a lot of freedom. But freedom and responsibility is the same thing - I was like 'oh gosh - am I being faithful to the spirit?'

The amazing thing with JK as a collaborator is she doesn't stop you doing anything. The way she approaches it has nothing to do with 'I like' or 'I dislike' it's 'this makes sense' or 'it doesn't make sense in this universe.'

I give you an example: There's a scene where Malfoy wants to see Buckbeak being executed. It's where Hermione punches him. And there's a sundial. We thought we need something there. I said 'Let's put a graveyard there'.

Afonso at the world premiere
Afonso at the world premiere

She says: 'No, you can't have a graveyard there'. And I'm like, 'Why?' She says: 'Oh because the graveyard is near this other wing of the castle and it's going to play an important part in number six because such and such and such.'

So then you say 'What about a sundial?' She says: 'That makes perfect sense because when the castle was built it was on an ancient Celtic site.' Bap bap bap!

You have to be humble and respect it! She has full control of that universe and you don't want to contradict that.

Lizo: So wow, there's a graveyard at Hogwarts that plays a crucial part in book six!

Alfonso: Six or seven. She said 'later on' - I don't have the specifics.

Lizo: So is there any chance of you coming back to direct five, six or seven?

Alfonso: Now I need to de-Potterise myself. Do something completely different. But later on if I am invited and if the same cast is in place I would love to come back and do another. It's been the two sweetest years of my life.

More InfoBORDER=0
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