Listen to Severus Snape: It Gets Better

Spot-on accent, intonation, and pacing. Hilarious Harry Potter commentary (wizard’s cancer!). Attention to detail (“Thursday next”). Cross-over message of hope and tolerance for wizards, witches, and the LGBT population. “The hero that you are.” Gold.

Nice job, Gavin Crawford.

It Ends Today: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

When I first read the Harry Potter books, I was studying abroad in England. I bought the Bloomsbury version of the books with blackandwhite cover photos designed for the adult audience. Classy.

With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it’s the end of an era. I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces from past films (Sybill Trelawney, Cho Chang). And I eagerly anticipate the “Look. . .at. . .me” moment and “19 Years Later.”

Stupefy!

 

Into the Pensieve: Favorite Film Scenes

– Little Hermione’s magical confidence (“It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-oh-SAA!”)

– The opening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Lumos maxima! Sure, underage magic outside of Hogwarts is not allowed. But it’s a thrilling scene and introduces the audience to the mesmerizing vision of director Alfonso Cuaron.

– Harry takes flight on Buckbeak in Hagrid’s verdant classroom setting

– The second Expecto Patronum

– The Yule Ball: the date-arranging, especially Harry nervously asking Cho Chang (she’s Scottish!) in the Owlery; the dance itself with Cho and Cedric Diggory looking fine, Hermione looking beautiful, and Pulp and Radiohead members cameo-ing as the Weird Sisters.

– The first appearance of Voldemort and the Death Eaters: the terrifying reveal of  Voldemort in the graveyard, the crazed laughter of Bellatrix Lestrange as she escapes from Azkaban

– The battle at the Ministry with Dumbledore’s Army, the Order of the Phoenix, and the Death Eaters

– Harry’s first kiss (with Cho), Ron’s first kiss (with Lavender Brown), Hermione’s first kisses: Victor Krum kisses her hand, she kisses Harry in the Horcrux locket hallucination, and she will finally kiss Ron in the last film

– The horrifying sight of Katie Bell suspended in the air after touching the cursed necklace

– With Ron’s blood on her hands, Hermione casts charms to protect their location after escaping from the Ministry

– Harry’s enthusiastic and awkward dancing with Hermione in the tent

– In fact, anything Team Harmony—Hermione hugging Harry, Hermione smacking Harry, “I’m sure that Harry’s kissing was more than satisfactory” 

– The sinuous delivery of Alan Rickman as Snape

– The proud and protective gestures of Hedwig, whose death was the once of the most devastating parts of the series for me (and for many others)

View 23 memorable Harry Potter props on Entertainment Weekly’s website here

Armitage Speculation & Notable Music Video Cameos from WB Actors, Villains, and Hobbits

After a week of driving around in a city that is in full party mode, I came across the (sort of) new Ke$ha song “Blow.” The video features a face-off involving unicorns, rainbow laser beams, and James Van der Beek as “the video guy.”

With this video, Van der Beek follows in the footsteps of his fellow WB stars David Boreanaz—the video guy in Dido’s White Flag”—and Sarah Michelle Gellar—the video girl in Stone Temple Pilot’s “Sour Girl.”

While his Dawson’s Creek co-stars have found steady work and power couple mates, Van der Beek has stayed out of the couple limelight and has had a modest post-DC career. He has gained pop culture notoriety for his viral crying Dawson gif and recently capitalized on the attention with his self-deprecating Funny or Die videos.

After reading about Richard Armitage as an adman on servetus’ blog, I wondered if Armitage would ever cameo as “the video guy.” He does have an extensive dance background. It would be lovely if he followed in the music video footsteps of Alan Rickman and did the tango, which was Armitage’s best dance in school.

Speaking of other actors who gravitate towards “villain” roles, Christopher Walken had one of his most memorable performances in the Fatboy Slim video “Weapon of Choice” where he showed off his Broadway dance moves. Like Armitage, Walken started his training in musical theater before moving into dramatic performance.

Another “villain” actor, Jeremy Irons, didn’t shy away from music videos and appeared as one of several naked men in Elastica’s “Connection” video.

But what artist would appeal to Armitage? A UK group, most definitely. Or perhaps a low-key European singer like Charlotte Gainsbourg (who is also an actress).

Sophie Ellis-Bextor would be a striking video companion, but I do not think her music would entice Armitage. She is also too high-profile.

Ditto for Madonna. I think Armitage would be quite appealing to Madonna: he is ridiculously attractive and talented and has a rising fame curve. Actor Goran Višnjić memorably played chess with Madge in “The Power of Goodbye.”

Two Hobbits have done music videos: Dominic Monaghan starred in Eminem f. Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie” video and a young Elijah Wood made his acting debut as a precocious businessman in Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” video.

An Armitage music video cameo could lead to dancing, possible indie cred, a climactic make-out scene, a continuation of the villain and Hobbit music video traditions, and many new fans with a burning desire to know—who’s that guy?

Oh the possibilities.

In the meantime, there are more than a few Armitage fanvideos, including this one featuring Ke$ha that I first saw on servetus’ blog.

Harry Potter and the Ken-Emma-Helena Triangle

Forget the Harry-Hermione-Ron love triangle.

Throughout its ten years and eight films, many high-caliber British actors joined the Harry Potter franchise, including these three actors:

Kenneth Branagh – Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Emma Thompson – Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Helena Bonham-Carter – Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2

Emma and Helena portrayed sisters in the devastating Howard’s End.

Ken and Emma were married from 1989 to 1995. They appeared in many films together, several of which Ken directed.

Emma is so cutting in Much Ado About Nothing (see clips here) and so adorable as the French princess in Henry V.

Then Ken and Helena starred in Frankenstein (Ken directed) in 1994 and Ken divorced Emma.

Frankenstein - caught in a bad romance

Ken and Helena were in a relationship for several years and starred in The Theory of Flight together. But Ken ended up marrying Lindsay Brunnock, whom he met through Helena.

Emma married her Sense and Sensibility co-star Greg Wise (Mr. Willoughby! well done Emma!). That’s right—this guy:

(there are tons of pictures where Greg is hugging Emma and making sure she is the star of the photo—what a gentleman!)

S&S also featured Alan Rickman, who portrays the fascinating Severus Snape in Harry Potter.

Meanwhile Helena found an excellent match with Planet of the Apes director Tim Burton.

Helena and Tim (photographed by Vivienne Westwood)

She has had the most interesting film career: one of my favorite films ever is the Venice-tastic The Wings of the Dove, for which she deserved the Oscar (Helen Hunt? REALLY?). In that film, Michael Gambon (who portrays Albus Dumbledore post-Richard Harris in Harry Potter) plays her father.

And the closing theme in the trailer? From Henry V.

Maggie Smith, who portrays Minerva McGonagall in Harry Potter, was Helena’s disapproving cousin in the Florence-tastic A Room With A View, a film I consider to be Merchant-Ivory’s best.

So far Emma and Helena have avoided being in the same scenes in Harry Potter. Will Trelawney and Bellatrix show up in the same frame at the climactic battle of Hogwarts? Hm.

Alan Rickman: the Serious Side and an Update on the “Really Sexy” Side

Rickman as Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility

Rickman as Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility

OK – it’s the last day of Alan Rickman Fest. There aren’t too many full-length interviews available online and most of them cover the same information over and over. Which makes Rickman’s interview with Charlie Rose (watch video) a great pleasure to watch – some candid insights about “Die Hard,” “Sense and Sensibility” and theater work.

I was also hunting for some fangirly questions about his “In Demand” video and found some juicy comments from Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri (full interview here):

You get to tango on petrol station forecourts with Alan Rickman in your videos.
He’s such a good dancer.
How did you hook up with him?
I was chatting away to Michael Kamen, the string arranger who did Net Aid with us, and he said: “My friend loves you. And I said, “Ooh, who’s your friend? ” And he replied, “Alan Rickman. ” And I think he’s wicked, fantastic. I love him. Later, when I was talking to (video director) Vaughan about our new single In Demand, we thought, we need to find someone who you’d believe would just throw me into the tango. And I thought: “Alan Rickman. That’s it.”
He was only too happy to comply?
I called him up and left a message and he phoned me back at about nine in the morning, and Ashley (Heath, style guru and Sharleen’s boyfriend) answered. He comes running into the bedroom going, “Shar! Its Alan Rickman on the phone!” So I pick up the phone, and he goes, “Helloooo. ” He talks sooo like that. And I did that thing where you pretend you’ve been up for hours.
Was it a sexy video to make?
Really sexy. He throws you about and you’re like, “Take me.”