Throughout her US promotion of The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling has given a lot of interviews. One of the compelling factors in this one is the light she sheds on the film productions of Harry Potter.
Charlie Rose: When you’re writing, do you see it like a movie? I assume, after Harry Potter, you saw the character as exactly the movie character for Harry Potter.
JK Rowling: Interestingly no, I didn’t – with one exception. This is what’s interesting to me. I never saw Dan or Rupert or Emma as … no. Because I’d lived with them so long, I saw my characters in my head. There was one exception. I’ve said this before. Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, I saw her. I’m not saying the others weren’t perfect pieces of casting, because I adore those people, but she got in my head. I even heard her voice when I was writing Luna.
CR: How did Harry differ from the actor? How did the picture you had in your head differ from the picture we see on the screen?
JKR: Dan, Rupert and Emma – and they know, I’ve said this to them – they’re much better looking than the kids I saw in my head
JKR: Yeah, definitely. Emma is beautiful, staggeringly beautiful. In the book, Hermione is a plain Jane, although she sorts herself out a little bit, and she gets a little more styled as she gets older. I am so glad they cast her as Hermione. Emma is a very intelligent girl, who played intelligent beautifully. Even though she’s stunningly beautiful – Emma is not at all about her looks. That’s who Emma is, and that shown through in her portrayal of Hermione. That’s why I was thrilled they cast her because she is such a smart, bright girl. I needed my Hermione to be that kind of person.
CR: Did the movies teach you anything about your characters? Did you see anything about your characters that might have added to their complexity? Because actors can take lines and their job is to to enhance them.
JKR: Yeah definitely, and make them their own. Gary Oldman was fantastic as Sirius. He was amazing. He gave Sirius something that was in my mind for Sirius, but on screen I really saw it – that slight edge of insanity, of being imbalanced, from someone that’d been locked up for a long time. He just played that.
CR: When you’re writing this with the multiple characters you have, is finding somebody that’s a bit crazed thrilling? Because you can do so many things with a bad person.
JKR: You’ve got to reign it in though. You’ve got to just pitch it right because otherwise it becomes like a cardboard and paste caricature. You’ve still got to find the center of the crazy person. Bellatrix, in the books, is probably the most out of control, insane person in the books. She’s vicious. Even more than Voldemort, who has a control about him. But that was how I saw her. There was a lack of boundaries.
The longer video also includes information from the author about The Casual Vacancy.