March 13, 2006

Jason was there to present

Outstanding Contribution
To British Cinema Award




Jason Isaacs: So they asked me to that thing where I've got to be cryptic about who's winning this award and you all try and guess who it is, it's kind of a game of film Su Do Ku, so the recipients of tonight's special contribution, outstanding, special outstanding contribution award, are the creative team behind the most successful British film franchise ever to feature a boy wizard and me in a Paris Hilton wig. Fuck, I think I've just blown in. In just four films, from their monumental good taste and talent they have created an unforgettable cinematic juggernaut that has turned a whole generation onto movies, onto books and in so doing has been a pleasure to literally millions of studio executives and accountants all over the world, who are sad people so that's a good thing.


They've taken Hollywood's money and why not, and the best that Hollywood has to offer in terms of screenwriting and directors. They've used Mexican directors, some directors close to home, and have created a quintessentially, brilliantly British world. It's the cream of British talent behind the camera and in front of the camera, myself obviously excepted - in fact I remember Mike Newell saying to me "Less Kenny Williams darling, if you can manage". If I could fucking manage, I can't believe - talking about money would be crass, but it's the Empire Awards, so globally the four films together have taken a fucking huge amount of money. I don't know how much they won't tell you but the budget and the box office and the effects aside, and the Happy Meals and the video games, they have never forgotten the most important thing, which is to tell a truthful and emotional and classic story.

And at the centre of it are three young people who we've all been watching grow up, you might say they've been growing up for us, and they've done it with a grace and talent and a modesty that absolutely puts to shame their transatlantic cousins, I should know, I've worked with some of them. Trust me, it's a very different experience. So let's watch and marvel at the real magic of Harry Potter.

(Applause, Potter montage of moments from the films)

Jason Isaacs: Phew, I thought I wasn't going to be in the clip, I came all the way here and shaved and everything. So for outstanding contribution to British film and my childrens dental fees, the award goes to David Heyman the producer, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.


David Heyman: Hello there. Hi. This is a real honour. It's amazing standing here with these three and looking up at them at the film clips and seeing how much they've grown. It really hit me today when I read an article in The Sun about how a Harry Potter script had been found by a lay by which was renowned for a certain sexual activity, and I had to rely on Dan to explain to me what dogging was. (laughter)

This is a real honour, when I optioned these books nine years ago I had no idea that they would become what they have become, nor that the films would become what they have become, I thought that at best they'd be a nice medium-sized British film. Well medium-sized they aren't, our credits run at about 30 minutes long so that speaks to that, but British they most certainly are and this award is really an acknowledgement of all the Britishness and all the British cast and crew which really are the best in Britain, but really the best in the world. We have unparalleled actors, unpararelled cameramen, production designers, costume designers, stuntmen, visual effects, creative effects, make-up, plasterers, caterers - well, maybe those are with parallel - but we have the most remarkable people and we're very fortunate to work with the very best of them.

I'd like to thank Jo Rowling, without her there'd be no Harry so we wouldn't be here. I'd obviously like to thank Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and now David Yates, brilliant directors who we've all had the fortune of working with. Warner Bros for their dosh and unwavering support and I'd like to thank these three, who have shown continual dedication, who have been absolutely brilliant, who have held down a full-time day job while going to school and have remained as modest and wonderful s they were on the day that I met them. (Applause). Last but least, I'd like to thank Empire - thank you so much, and all your readers, you've been absolutely brilliant for sticking with us and there's still a few more to come so thank you.

Rupert Grint: I'd just er - this is amazing, yeah (grins, laughter). It seems like a long time ago I was auditioning up against a load of other ginger kids for the part of Ron and I just feel really lucky to be a part of such a cool thing and really lucky to be here tonight - yeah, cheers Empire.

Daniel Radcliffe: I'd just like to thank Empire very very much for this, we've been working for six years now and I'd like to say thank you to the same people David has but basically thank you to all the crews, who have remained vaguely consistent over the five films - not yet six - and who have worked tirelessly every single day so thank you very much to them.

Emma Watson: Thank you so much to all the readers, thank you to everyone who voted that thought that we'd be here receiving this award. I'm so proud to be a part of this and I am so proud to be here on stage receiving this with David, Dan and Rupert, thank you so much.



Gallery ( Thanks to The Leaky Cauldron and Veritaserum)


Miscellaneous mentions of Jason from the Empire Blog

It's Best Horror time and the non-scary clips of the year's best frighteners play out before our eyes (there are children in the audience after all). Rufus Sewell is presenting - this time it's really Rufus Sewell though, not Jason Isaacs pretending as was the case back in 2004...

It was in fact the equally deserving and similarly talented Steve Box and Nick Park for Wallace and Gromit. Two of the most amicable men Empire's ever met (apart from Jason Isaacs, obviously, who's clearly the nicest bloke in any room)Ö

World's Nicest Manô Jason Isaacs takes to the stage next to hand out a special award for Best Contribution. This one's for the Harry Potter films, of which he is also a part. "Globally the films have madeÖ a f***ing huge amount of money," he says. David Heyman, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are all present for their moment of glory. Heyman hogs the mike quite frankly but once they've barged him out the way each get their chance to say a few words of thanks. Talking about how the kids have grown, Heyman said ďIt only hit me today when I read an article in The Sun about how a script was found in a lay-by used for a certain sexual activity and I had to rely on Dan to explain to me what 'dogging' was.Ē For anyone else in the dark it's a British euphemism for engaging in sexual acts in a public place or watching other people do so.




(points to Empire's dictaphone) What's that?

Iím actually also recording for Empire.
I thought it was a phone! That confused me.

Yes, Iím secretly taking pictures of your chest.
Oh do, do.

Do you wax?
I have waxed my chest. Have you?

Absolutely. Thatís why itís so sleek and soft.
Very lovely. Iím sure silk would slide down it beautifully.

So how is it to be back at the Empire awards?
Lovely. It wouldnít be the same if I wasnít here. It looked like I wasnít going to be able to be here; I was meant to be filming and it was cancelled and Iím thrilled to be here. And since Iíve presented every year since, seemingly, the beginning of talkies, and I wasnít going to present they called me up last week and asked me to present. So it all feels right.

So which one are you presenting?
Iím presenting the Outstandingly Specially Fabulous Contribution Undemocratically awarded by the editors of Empire to somebody.

And howís Harry Potter going?
I donít know, they started without me. Like most things in my life. I havenít even read the script yet. To be honest, I donít know what happens in it. I know that Iím meant to end up in prison Ė thatís no great secret.

Will Malfoy be coming back for film 5?
Oh I donít know, youíll have to ask David (Heyman, Potter producer), I hope so, I canít bear the idea that somebody else would get to wear my Paris Hilton wig, but you never know.

You have a strange relationship with your wig then?
I do, well the wig is on time-share with Paris Hilton and she comes round. It takes a lot longer to prise it off me at the end of the day because I fancy myself as the lead singer of Sweet. Nah, itís not very long, theyíre all terribly slick with it. I miss it. I like the wig. Iím not a man who gets to disguise, I look pretty much the same in everything I do except for Harry Potter and I get to wear a fabulous wig.

So is Good finally happening?
Yes, Good is back on. Last year we had the actor, a fantastic actor, but we didnít quite have all the money. We had almost every piece but literally the bit that funded the mobile phones until the giant cheque arrived, but then it all collapsed because Hugh (Jackman) had to go off and do X-Men 3 and I had a shoot as well. This week weíve got all the money. We havenít as yet got the actor but there are a number of people who want to do it.

What is it about the project thatís kept your interest?
Oh itís a phenomenal script. It was an amazing play, itís a great, great script and itís new and different and we now have a new and fabulous director. Ostensibly itís about Germany in the 30s but itís not really, itís about what am I doing when civil rights around me are being suspended? Because they are. What do Americans do when they ignore the patriot act, how much of a fuss am I making about people being locked up in Belmarsh? About people kind of falling under the welfare radar? So itís incredibly contemporary Ė I donít know about you but I spend my life making moral compromises that I blind myself to, that Iíd rather not think about, that Iím terrified my children will ask you about. ďWhy do we have a big car?Ē ďWhy do we have all the lights on?Ē

So itís a chance to focus on all those issues?
Itís very easy to make films about that period that are about victims and they make me feel safe. Itís very easy to make films generally in which you think ďWell Iím not a bad guy, Iíd be the good guyĒ but this is a film about how good people got swept up and ended up being at the heart of that repulsive regime and you look in the mirror and hopefully it will be provocative and end up in you policing yourself. We should all be policing ourselves each day, Iíd hate to see what Iíd find.


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