November 8, 2006
Video Courtesy of Tracy, transcribed by Servalan
Philip Schofield and Fern Brittain interviewed Jason on ITV1’s This Morning on 8 November 2006.
Philip first introduced Jason by saying he had played opposite Mel Gibson in The Patriot, and was the wicked wizard Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter. A clip was shown of Lucius meeting Harry in the bookshop in Chamber of Secrets.
Fern: Well, Jason, you just finished that.
Jason: Yes, finished on Friday. Tragically, I packed the wig away in a box for many a year, very sad. It was obviously very sad saying goodbye to the kids and the director, but mostly saying goodbye to the wig was a heartbreaking moment.
Fern: Well, we’re going to talk about – well you’ve got so much going on, but let’s stick with Harry Potter for a little bit. This is the third movie you’ve done - this one is Order of the Phoenix – and you created his look and everything. [Jason nods and says Yes throughout]
Jason: Well, what happened is, when I first went for number 2,
they had drawings already done…
Fern: You can’t say something like that in front of us…
Jason: Well, I didn’t say for a number 2! That would be different!
Anyway, when I first went for Chamber of Secrets, they had, salt and pepper hair was their idea, and a pinstriped suit. I said Why? They said, Well, ‘cause he’s a businessman, and I said, well two things: one, I’m never going to play a wizard again the rest of my life, so please let me dress up, and two, he hates Muggles, so why would he dress like a Muggle?
They said, Well what do you want to do? I said, I’d like long blond hair.
What? What? But that would make you…
I said, Yeah, that would make me look like Dumbledore or another wizard.
So they got this very cheap nasty wig off the shelf and put it on, and I said instead of a pinstripe suit could I have kind of long, flowing velvet and ermine robes? They went, Er, we don’t have anything like that, and we grabbed, like a velvet curtain, and went down to the set to show the director, and he went, “What’s that?” and I said “It’s my idea for Lucius Malfoy, and I thought maybe I could have a cane?” He said, “Is there something wrong with your leg?” I said, “No, I just thought, maybe, you know, for gesturing and pointing.”
And he was in the middle of a very big scene, and it’s all going on, and he went, “Yes, well, erm, all right, okay.” And God love them, because that now has become what Lucius looks like.
Jason: And they sell those - can I just say, I fly British Airways occasionally, and they have a little magazine in the pocket in front - Sky Mall – it’s what they sell on planes – and they have limited room in cargo, and they can only stock essentials: cigarettes, sunglasses, alcohol, and Lucius Malfoy’s cane. [ Fern looks astonished ] Yes, really, and I’m always reading and going, I can’t bloody believe it, they’re still selling these things. [laughter]
Fern: How fantastic!
Philip and Jason together: How many do they carry?
Jason: I didn’t even get a cane of my own – I tried to nick it on Friday, but no-one was having it.
Philip: But also, the magical stuff as well, Chris Columbus, who’s the director you were talking about on that first movie, and you walked out, and he said, You walk out and close the door.
Jason: That’s right, the very first shot of me was with the late, lovely Richard Harris, and Daniel, and I flounce out the room – once you wear all that hair, it all becomes a little bit drag queen – anyway, I flounced out the room, and he said, “Don’t forget to close the door behind you.” And I said, “Could I just, I mean, is there any way I could just wave my hand, and the door shuts by magic?” He went, “Yeah, sure.” I thought, this is cool!
And then I said, “Now, where’s Dobby going to be? How do I know where? Do we have a little sign or a stick?” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “What height is Dobby?” I looked at the special effects people, they went, “Well, wherever you look, that’s where Dobby’s going to be.” I turned around…
[ Philip says something about Dobby being a house elf ]
Jason (nods): Dobby’s a little house elf. So I turned around in the very same shot, and flicked my leg out, and walked down the stairs and left the room. And Chris goes, “Okay, great. Let’s go again, you okay? Is the floor slippy?” I said, “No, no, no.” “Well, what was…? You did a thing with your leg.” I said, “Yeah, I kicked him down the stairs.” He went, “Really?” He looked at the special effects guy, and said, “Can we do that?” and he went, “Yeah, sure.” It’s got to be great.
Philip: What a great day at work!
Jason: And it just got better. I’ve just been doing a wand battle with Gary Oldman for a month. Gary Oldman’s possibly my favourite actor in the world, and little did I think if I ever got to work with my favourite actor, it would be dressed up as a wizard having a wand battle, but nonetheless… And we were just trying to think of new and clever ways to throw spells and use this wand in unexpected ways. It’s fantastic.
Fern: Do you bounce a spell off things?
Jason: We do all kinds of things, though Gary got slightly carried away, ‘cause we get all kinda, Wow, how about if I do this? and there are certain limitations. Gary at some point went, “How about, I could run around, snap a couple of necks, and stab him right through the chest with it.” There’s strange silence in the studio, and the director went, “Yeaaah… okay…maybe later.” [laughter]
Philip: Why don’t we do it our way?
Jason: We had a fantastic time.
Philip: You put the wig away, and the cane away, and all sorts of stuff – but there are still other movies, there are still other books to come.
Jason: There are. I’m not, tragically in – tragically for me – in number 6 because I’m in prison all the way through, as anyone who’s read the book will know, I’m in Azkaban. I’m hoping for a big bust-out in number 7 – I’d like to Steve McQueen it out of jail, motor-bike it, jump over the fence, but I’ll be happy with a tunnel.
And I did meet JK Rowling, only the once, at an award ceremony, I went over to her, and on the long walk over to her in my tuxedo, I thought, just be cool, don’t beg her, and don’t ask her what’s in the book, she’s not going to tell you, it’s the best kept publishing secret in the world. I went over, and they went “Jo, this is Jason, Jason this is Jo,” and she went “Hello darling, how are you?” And I went, “Get me out of prison, I’m begging you!”
[ all three laugh ]
Jason: And she laughed enigmatically, and I’ve no idea if it had any effect, or if she just thought, Get this man away from me.
Then they talked a little about Brotherhood and The State Within-showing clips from Episode I
Jason: It’s a very intricate puzzle, but it’s worth the effort.
Fern: Very, very good. Thank you Jason, lovely to see you.
Philip: Thanks for coming in. We look forward to the next Harry Potter as well.
Fern: Yeah, when’s it out, do you know?
Jason: It’s out July the fifteenth next year, and sadly I won’t be donning the wig again till about 2030!
Philip: She’ll get you out of prison. I think your begging probably worked.
Jason: I hope she gets me out of prison. If someone sends me her address, I’ll be outside with a [could not hear what! ]
The rest of the transcript was done by Kim, thanks!
Phillip: You did um, you are doing
some, um, you love doing voices we know you've already said that
and The Brotherhood, which is on the FX Channel.Jason: Jeah
Phillip: This is oh, back to, you know, sort of, being the baddy, the guy you're expected to be,Michael Caffee, in Providence Rhode Island. You have to be a
Jason: He's a gangster, jeahPhillip: a gangster, jeah
Jason: He's a very tough guy, although the premise of the show is it's an Irish American Family inProvidence and there are 2 brothers at the heart of it, one of them's a local politician, and the
other ones a local gangster, but really, when you watch it, they occupy this kind of moral grayzone. Michael has a very rigid code for what he believes in, jeah, his tools for enforcing that code
are, slicing people's bodies up, and ah, extreme violence, however, he's a guy you would want onyour side, he cares a lot about his community, and his mum, and his girlfriends, and stuff and so
hopefully, it's one of those things when it finishes you're not quite sure the Politician is sosqueaky clean and you're not quite sure the gangsters so, so bad.
Phillip: What's the gangsters voice?Jason: Oh, it's Providence Rhode Island, when I was, I was, it's a year ago now, since we were there, and I don’t want to do it badly cause I flatter myself I do it well.
Phillip: Very WellJason: You have to watch the show
Phillip: OKFern: The State Within is the thing that is gripping us all at the moment, the first episode was last Thursday 9 o'clock BBC1, and it's very intricate, the opening scene, this enormous plane crash was
fantastic. I sat with my boys who love all that stuff. I said well we're gonna enjoy this, sat down, thatopening 10 minutes or so just…WOW.
Jason: Really up a Roller Coaster, isn't it? AMAZINGFern: Shot so realistically.
Jason: As opposed to Harry Potter, for instance.Fern: Here we go…Here we go….(showing a film clip of the plane disintegrating and Jason's car
being caught in the falling debris).Look at this, the plane's just been blown up with bomb on board, you are driving in because you've just arrived off a flight from London, you're the Ambassador in America, arriving to go back to your work.
Jason: Funny to play…umm…Phillip: Playing a good guy?
Jason: Well, playing good, I'm also playing the kind of guy, you know, I'm playing scaredI'm an Ambassador, man of action, pudgy around the middle, and oh, not really used to those
kind of things.Fern: Although you rush off to try and pull somebody out a car, which doesn’t work
Jason: Which doesn’t work, my 4 year and a half old girl was on the set that day, and I'd asked her, youthink it's OK, I asked the stunt people "Have your children ever seen you in this kind of, you know,
Trauma?" and they went "Oh, jeah, it's fine", so she came, she loved it, she went backto all her friends and went "It was great, I went to see Daddy at work, he tried to rescue a woman from
a burning car, but he couldn’t, it blew up and she was screaming and she died"The other parents are slightly looking askance at me….
All were laughing at this….Jason: But it's a fantastic story, and it's a real nail….sorry to sound so croaky, I'm not very well..
Jason coughs….Fern: Poor thing
Jason: But it's a real, uh roller coaster of a ride and only when it gets to the end of the 6 hours will everybody be going…be going…AHA…It's a real Thriller.Phillip: Well the stakes couldn’t be higher for him, that's for sure and the second episode tomorrow
(he talks about the time and being broadcasted on the BBC 1)'Jason: Jeah, its 9 o'clock on BBC 1, and you have to, what's great about it and what's lovely about the BBC
commissioning it, is its one of those shows that you have to engage your brain, it presumes that youhave some vague knowledge of what goes on in the world and that you've been concentrating on what
went on before, you cant have a cup a tea, do the crossword, look up, look down, it’s a very intricatepuzzle, but its worth, worth the effort…
Fern: It's very, very good.Thanx all around from Fern and Phillip,
I couldn’t make out what Jason's response was, there was overlapping dialogue. The conversation goes back to Harry Potter, which Servalan has already transcribed.