Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson On Love and Lust, Harry Potter-Style
I know, I know: There's something inherently gross about showing up to today's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince junket in New York and discussing sexual tension with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. But as the series' sixth film rolls out next week, and the young wizard and his best friends admittedly reel from nearly a decade's worth of hormones right there on screen... I mean, come on. What else were we supposed to talk about?
A strict Warner Bros. embargo prevents me today from telling you exactly how fantastic Half-Blood is (expect more on Movieline next week). But I don't think it's stepping too far out of line to note the romantic tinder box that Hogwarts has become, a home to puppy love, uncontrollable obsession and make-out spots, where teenage masters of potions, spells and other magic can't conjure the elusive cure for raging hormones. It's not necessarily a secret to readers of J.K. Rowling's sixth novel, of course, but to see it brought to life -- with these actors in the context of this PG-rated summer blockbuster -- is more than just observing a faithful adaptation. It's almost shockingly subversive fare for adults.
Movieline asked the principals about that disconnect in their characters' inner lives, where a shy, awkward Harry -- who's done nothing for years but fight evil and telegraph his attraction to Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) -- would sooner square off against a cluster of Death Eaters than engage the cute, flirty Muggle he ditches at the beginning of the movie.
"I think it's kind of a wonderful thing in the film," Radcliffe said. "I find it very endearing with Harry. He's this very acclaimed wizard, and he's crap with women. [...] I think this film demonstrates basically two types of teenage relationships: One, which is mine and Bonnie's [Wright, who plays Ginny Weasley], which is that kind of teenage thing where you're just in love. And it's pure and innocent, and it's all that matters in your life when you're 14 or 15 and you fall in love with somebody. That's all there is. And the other kind, which is much more carnal and energetic. Which is the one Rupert was lucky enough to have. Those are my thoughts on the relationships in this Harry Potter film. But I think it's quite true of most teenagers -- that complete inability to control hormones or desire."
"Particularly with Hermione," Watson added. "She's such a control freak. She wants to be able to control everything about her life: her destiny, her work, everything. And then suddenly she falls apart in this one. She's just a wreck. She can't control the way that she feels. I think in her head, if she could have chosen who to fall in love with, it certainly wouldn't have been Ron." Watson turned to Grint and winced. "In the nicest possible way! She would have chosen someone much more serious and much smarter and better suited to her. But you can't help who you fall in love with. It's out of your hands."
Watson also tipped attendees off to the long-awaited smooch Hermione and Ron share in the upcoming, two-part finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. "Rupert and I felt the pressure of this kiss," she said. "There was so much media interest. This is like 10 years' worth of tension and hormones and chemistry and everything in one moment, and we had to ace it. So we were like, 'Oh, God.' But it looked really good. I'm sure you'll critique it in a couple of years. Please be nice!"
Fair enough. Another odd exchange arose from a question about how fame complicates love -- particularly for Radcliffe, who intimated how he may have inherited Harry Potter's romantic challenges. "I don't really feel like I'm in the world of dating," he said. "I don't feel like a young 20-something in that sort of... I don't have that sort of life. I'm working. I'm happy working. It's not the case where I don't have time to have a girlfriend. I do. I'm like everyone else, I suppose. It's weird, because people always ask, 'You're Harry Potter -- does that help you get girls?' I was 8 when I started this. I don't know what it's like to get girls without having been Harry Potter."
But could he ever date a fan?
"Fortunately I don't think that's the case for any of us," Radcliffe said. "I don't think any of us are--"
"What?" Watson deadpanned. "I'm dating my stalker!"
"Well, that is usually the best way to deal with them," Radcliffe said. "Just be up front with them.
"He's always there when I need him. I can be very demanding. He's so into me! It's the way to go. I recommend it."
Radcliffe's eyes widened. "I'm not."