BFI London Film Festival interviews: Armie Hammer, Luca Gaudagnino and Timothee Chalamet

I managed to speak with director Luca Gaudagnino and the two leading stars of his latest movie Call Me By Your Name, Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet, during the 61st London Film Festival.

The film – which is based on a book of the same name – follows 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Chalamet) who is spending the days with his family at their villa in Italy.

Here he meets Oliver (Hammer) – a doctoral student who is working as an intern for his father.

During their summer together, the two discover their desires awaken which will change their lives forever.

Here is what the cast and director had to say about the movie.


Luca Gaudagnino

What was it about Call Me By Your Name which made you want to turn the book into a film?

The movie wanted to be move before I was a director. It’s about the possibility to make this movie. It’s a beautiful story about two people who fall in love with each other.

How was it working with Armie Hammer and the rest of the cast?

It was beautiful. They were soft and caring and loving.

You’re remaking the classic ‘Suspiria’, Tilda Swinton referred to it as not a remake but a cover?

I like what Tilda said referring to Suspiria. It’s not a remake, it’s not a cover, it’s something very personal. It is more like a homage to the kid I was when I was first saw it. It’s a homage to myself.


Armie Hammer

Originally you want to turn down this role, looking back are you glad you didn’t?

Yes my hindsight is really 20/20. It was definitely the right move. This film is just a love story. It’s about two people who just open themselves up to each other.

Your relationship with Tim was amazing on scene, how was it working with him?

Tim, we hated each other. No we got along really well. That was maybe part of the genius but we really got on and made each other feel really comfortable around each other.

You have starred in a number of LGBT movies, would you say you are the leading man to play these roles?

No one has ever said that. I wouldn’t be offended. Someone has got to do them.

Timothee Chalamet

You’ve starred in a number of Hollywood movies, and this is completely different what was that like for you?

It was fantastic. We were shooting for 2.5 months in Italy. Who would say no to that?

And your onscreen relationship with Armie Hammer was brilliant, how was it working with him?

It was great, I grew up with ‘The Social Network’ and was great working with him and having the opportunity to star alongside him. I wanted to star in the movie when I was 17 and it happened when I was 20. I was salivating at the opportunity to work with Luca as well.

This is a love story, is that why you wanted to be part of it?

The book is similar to ‘Perks of Being A Wallflower’ and blends a lot of emotion and themes but it was more sexually graphic. But it is very formulaic and I am just very thankful to be part of the movie.

You’ve starred in some great films alongside some great directors, what draws you to a project?

I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have done and will do. It is the director who draws me to the project. It could be challenging or unlikable but if it’s a certain director, I will do the film.


BFI London Film Festival Opening Gala Night: Interviews with cast of Breathe

As well as speaking to director Andy Serkis and star of the new movie Andrew Garfield, I also spoke with screenwriter Bill Nicholson and producer Jonathan Cavendish – the son of Robin Cavendish whose story is told in the new film Breathe.

Bill Nicholson

How long did it take you to write Breathe?

It’s a very hard question to answer because it’s been 10 years since I first wrote it, that doesn’t mean I’ve been working on it for 10 years but I have done all the drafts and we’ve been through lots of different things so if you added it all up it probably would have been a year’s work but over 10 years

How was it working with Andy Serkis?

It was wonderful. Andy is very very very remarkable. We’ve had a few comments in reviews asking What Andy Serkis is doing this kind of old fashioned, small movie when he does sci-fi and  creature stories and fantasy. But if you think about his talent and Andy has created creatures who are like people and have emotions and that’s because he has that talent and actually gets how emotion works and a lot of actors don’t know how to do that. It’s a very emotional film so he is a wonderful director. When you see how these people act, you think to yourself ‘how can it be that good’ and of course they are very good actors already but they have a very good director. He is amazing.

Gala night opening the London Film Festival, how is that for you?

We never believed it would come to this. We thought it was just a little proud story. It didn’t cost a huge amount to make and it isn’t a blockbuster but people keep saying to me, because I’ve worked on many epic films, why go from an epic to this when my answer is this is an epic but it’s an epic of feeling and emotions that’s what makes films work. I believe it belongs here and belongs on the big stage. It is amazingly shot, with a remarkable cinematograph and it really looks a million dollars.

The story is based around the life of Robin Cavendish, and his son Jonathan produced the movie, did he have any input on your script?

Of course, it’s sort of his story. He was with me every step of the way. I was so proud to be part of delivering for him and his mother something that they like and approve of. I was very nervous about doing it because thought I would screw it up because it’s his life. I don’t want to screw up someone’s life. So I said to him don’t pay me and don’t put a contract on it and we will see how it goes and that’s how we did it.

Jonathan Cavendish

This story is about you and your family, how does it feel seeing it on the big screen now?

Now it’s really emotional. When we were making it, it was sort of a technical exercise and being a special one for me. But now I sort of look at it in a dispassionate way and that it is a good story and it is a good film. I am very detached from it now.

If your father was still around today what would he make of the film?

He would laughing hilariously all this fuss. He would genially love the movie, I hope. Maybe he is watching it somewhere.

BFI London Film Festival Opening Gala Night: Interviews with cast of Breathe

I got the opportunity to attend the opening gala night for the 61st BFI London Film Festival and managed to speak to Andrew Garfield and Andy Serkis about their new film Breathe.

Breathe follows the true story about Robin Cavendish who contracted polio and was given only months to live. But with help from his family and inventor Teddy Hall, Cavendish devotes the rest of his life to help fellow patients and the disabled.

The film marks Serkis’ directorial debut and is a fantastic film. Here’s what the cast and crew had to say about it.

Andy Serkis:

How do you feel about your directorial debut opening the London Film Festival this year?

It’s amazing. It really is quite an honour and I feel beyond belief. It’s my directorial debut but also LFF is something I’ve been coming to for years. It’s a place where these great stories and filmmaker show their work here. I have been coming here as an actor but now I’m here as a director. And also to tell such a great story.

The film is quite different from the normal Andy Serkis big Hollywood blockbusters.

The thing is I already started directing the Jungle Book and then this opportunity opened up to work with Andrew and Claire and were able to shoot this movie very quickly and to concentrate purely on performance rather than the other big movies I have been working on. This is all about what’s going on and told in a very intimate way. It was an extraordinary privilege.

And working with Andrew and Claire Foy how was that?

They are an amazing couple, and amazing people individually. Their chemistry on set was fantastic. It’s very rare to see people come together like that. It was amazing to watch.

Andrew Garfield

How was it playing a character paralysed from the neck down?

It was really interesting. I’ve never done anything like it before. It was quite challenging and interesting. But ultimately it was kind of fun.

What do you hope the general public feel about the film?

I hope it inspires people to fight for their own lives, to have as rich lives as possible. Protesting for a full life, that’s exactly the same thing as what Robin did.

What do you admire most about the character you play?

His sense of humour and wit. Ability to laugh in the face of adversary I love that period of preparation and research where you steep yourself in all the information. It’s like being at school.

And working on Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, how was that?

It was wonderful. It didn’t feel like it was his directorial debut at all. It felt like he had been doing it for a long time. He kept the set moving and created a real community.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer: A bizarre film that will leave you asking more questions

To say you will leave the cinema after watching Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest movie without asking any questions would be an understatement.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Writer: Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Barry Koeghan, Alicia Silverstone, Raffey Cassidy

Running time: 2hrs 1 min

Certificate: R

Release date: November 3, 2017

As soon as the opening credits started, my mind immediately was taken back to the first time watching Anti-Christ or The Omen.

The orchestral, choir-like music immediately provided the film with a psychological thriller-esque genre and without having any prior knowledge of the plot, I could gather themes and motifs it would use.

Nevertheless, I was more confused at the end of the film than I was without reading the plot beforehand.

The story follows Dr Steven Murphy (Farrell), a cardiovascular surgeon who presides over a spotless household with his wife and two children.

However, his life and his family are thrust into turmoil and panic after teenager Martin (Koeghan) comes into their life in many unsettling ways.

Martin’s full intent becomes clearer as he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter his domestic bliss forever.

Although the plot seems simple enough, there were many layers to the film which keeps you asking ‘why’ and ‘what is happening?’

Thinking about the stellar cast of Farrell and Kidman – their second outing together this year after The Beguiled – I assumed the film would be somewhat of a drama with elements of humour, judging from the two actor’s filmography.

However, this film shows the power and diversity these two actors can really do.

Both characters seem somewhat socially awkward – as does the rest of society – and things are said which will leave you cringing and wishing you never heard it – specifically a scene relating to masturbating.

Despite leaving me utterly confused throughout the majority of the film – and wondering whether I missed something obviously clear – it is actually a brilliantly put together movie and does bring into account the ‘eye for an eye’ concept.

Both Farrell and Kidman were obviously fantastic in their roles as unusual husband and wife but the scene stealer was Koeghan as the clearly messed up Martin.

Koeghan’s performance was brilliant to an extent that you would think he was like this character in reality – and I sure hope he isn’t!

Martin is not a person you would want hanging around your life and through the music, cinematography and Koeghan’s acting, his unusual behaviour and motive for tormenting the family is perfectly executed.

He did remind me of the Devil child in The Omen and it is clear Lanthimos was inspired by the classic movie.

The film itself probably isn’t one for everyone and there was a particular scene where I had to divert my eyes away from the screen – it involved guns and I hate guns.

Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed the film, although it did make me question my existence on my commute home.

Whether or not this was Lanthimos’ intention, I do not know but I was stunned by the film and it is one I will find hard to forget – which is probably the filmmaker’s intention.

Interview: Eddie Izzard talks Victoria and Abdul and more marathons

Eddie Izzard spoke to me about starring in the new movie Victoria and Abdul and working alongside Dame Judi Dench, who stars as the Queen in the Stephen Frears film. He also talks about running more marathons after completing 27 in 27 days last year.

What drew you to the film?

Stephen Frears asked me if I would play Bertie, and if he asks you to do something you say yes. Whether it was a blade of grass or a spear carrier yes. I liked that I got to go toe-to-toe with Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and Timothy Smith, all these great actors together. This is high level of craftsmanship and I was a street performer in Covent Garden so to be here, if you talk about working your way up the ladder.

Your character was somewhat the villain of the movie, what made you want to bring that character out considering your comedic background?

The comedy has nothing to do with it. When I was a kid I wanted to be a dramatic actor so playing interesting and diverse characters is what I enjoy. The script is sort of on one line where he is trying to stop his mother. He just wants to be king. There is a moment between them at the end of the movie which is true, so you are looking for different colours and a different reality to lock it down and bring people in on it. He starts off somewhat light in the script, but he gets darker and darker as it goes on and that’s an interesting journey.

Not many people know about this particular story, should it have been told earlier?

It should have been but no one knew it. Bertie supressed it. He burnt a lot of memoirs. He sent people back to India to break into people’s houses to get rid of any links to Victoria and this man.

Shocking that happened.

A lot of bad things have happened in the world and this one is pretty bad but it’s not murder but it’s destroying a linkage. It’s a story of love. It is a positive story about love across the divide.

You filmed in the Osborne House as well.

Yeah, no film has ever been shot in there before. So we were shooting the actual scenes and the actual words, we wrote them but conversations and arguments like that probably happened in that very house on the very stairs in the very corridor.

Was it somewhat eerie?

Yeah it was beautiful, especially this one scene when she is leaving Abdul. Lightning is flashing and Judi is walking down this corridor and I am standing there on my own just looking at her. It added that reality to it. It was good. Osborne House will hopefully benefit from this.

Last year you did 27 marathons in 27 days, will we see anything more like that?

Well I am doing more marathons but cannot say anything as of yet. There will be more marathons there will be more languages, there will be more films I am going to make. It was very tough. The double marathon on the last day, 11hrs and 5 mins running, that was not easy but I got the picture on my watch got about 6500 calories burnt in that one day and ran at 7.6km an hour. It is a long way to run it. But I got it done. It is a salute to Nelson Mandela as well. The generosity of the UK public. In the end we got about £2.6m.

Interview: Simon West talks potential Stratton TV series

Simon West spoke to me about his new movie Stratton starring Dominic Cooper and why he wanted to turn the books into movies and where he hopes the franchise will go.

Why did you want to turn these books into a movie?

Looking to do a new British action hero. I’ve done films about action heroes and done films with people like Jason Statham but they are really American films and I have worked with a lot of American action heroes but I feel there is a gap in the market for another British hero. We’ve got James Bond, we’ve got Harry Potter but I think we need a third one and when I came across the books of Stratton I thought this was a great resource and met the author Duncan Falconer – who used to be an SBS officer – and picked his brains about what necessarily wasn’t in the books . So the first film is based on one of the books and there are stuff that are from anecdotes that Duncan told me and also other serving SBS officers. It’s a very accurate portrayal of how they really do it. We do have MI6 and Special Services but how they interact with each other is very realistic. I had to do something alternate to Bond because I’m a huge Bond fan and didn’t want to make a copy and I wanted to do something alternate and that’s what Stratton is. He is a darker more realistic version.

Would you ever want to do a Bond film?

Who wouldn’t? I grew up on Bond films. They are brilliant. I can’t imagine anyone turning down a Bond film. Just for the soundtrack/music alone it’s brilliant. You’d be crazy to turn down a Bond film.

Was Duncan on hand when the script was being written?

During the script stage yes. We had a long conversation and meetings about the books. I updated some of them because some were obviously written 30/40 years ago when he was in the forces. Although the character’s the same, I’ve updated a lot of the technology because they have moved on a lot. So when I was talking to contemporary SBS officers, they would tell me what equipment they use now. Duncan was on hand a lot of with the character and more of what SBS guys were like. So I could work with Dominic Cooper and make him a realistic character.

So you had to do a lot of research yourself before starting the film?

Yeah, the research is quite hard because the SBS are so secretive, you sort of have to talk to one person at a time. You cannot have a big cramming session with a group of ten of them. They don’t collect like that. They are always off somewhere in the world. They have been working non-stop since the Second World War, so they are very rarely in the UK. There’s only a very few of them and much fewer than Navy Seals and they are always away somewhere. So it’s very hard to get hold of one of them. So when one was in the country, I’d grab them and pick their brains about what they were doing, how they do it and say like look this is our story, if you were coming across this kind of bad guy, how would you solve it? What would you do? And they would tell me realistically how they would do it.

Did some of their answers shock you?

Some of them shocked me because you realise they are all completely different characters. They all have different specialties. They aren’t all getting the same training and they would tell me they weren’t really trained, they were selected. The unit selects people for very different talents rather than getting a group of people and training them the same. So no two are the same really. Very mixed group. That was surprising. They don’t consider themselves trained by the SBS so much as selected.

There are seven books altogether in the franchise, are you hoping to make more films?

Yeah, I would like to do more of them. There are so many stories and so many characters, it’s almost too big for a film series but maybe TV. Thinking which way to go whether to make another sequel or to use the film as an introductory for a TV series. The great thing about TV now is made on the same scale as movies but you can run much longer and get into the characters for longer so I’m a big fan of that now as the standard is so great, why wouldn’t you want to spend two or three years with all those characters rather than a few months.

Interview: Dominic Cooper talks Stratton, Preacher and Mamma Mia 2

I spoke to Dominic Cooper about his new movie Stratton and why he wanted to be part of the film. I also asked him whether Preacher will be getting a season three as well as the upcoming Mamma Mia sequel.

What was it about the script that made you want to be part of the film?

I think it was that I didn’t know a great deal about the SBS. I think it was the nature of the man rather than being an all-out action hero, I felt he was quite an isolated man who had made a decision to do this job which the actual truth is a lonely existence and quite a complex one. One moment you’re at home and next you’re risking your life on a daily basis for the safety of your country. Finding out about the missions and the complexities of what they go through and how they train. I didn’t know about the missions and how a few would be on them and the amount of different techniques they have learnt. It makes you have much more gratitude for the people who do that work to protect us. The first thing I shot, I was underwater in these tubes that you were unable to get out of. So I had to learn how to do that. I have never done proper, deep sea underwater diving before. That was all part of the training. The accuracy is monumental. For scenes with the guns, I didn’t want them to look any way false. I really enjoyed it. All the car chases we did. They are meant to fit in with any surrounding. They aren’t necessarily strong or who would look out of place. These guys can fit in anywhere. Probably one of the reasons why I was asked to do it. I could be from a few different places.

What about the stunts, did you do them yourself?

I loved doing the stunts. If you trust the stunt team and you invest in the stunts and believe they are believable. These were all very specific and well researched. Leaping from driving car into a bus – nearly went wrong – but was good. It gives you the adrenaline to move onto the new scene. I was very privileged to be playing people who are looking out for the country.

Henry Cavill was original attached the film but dropped out just five days before shooting. How was it taking over from someone?

It’s just one of those things that happened. It’s sad because he invested so much time and effort but they disagreed with what he wanted and what the creative team wanted and it was too late for them to change it. I got asked to see whether I would want to do it.

Bond-esque feel, would you ever do a James Bond movie?

You can’t not want to be James Bond! Has anyone ever said no, no, no.

Season 2 of Preacher is available to watch now, will we get season 3?

I think so. I don’t want to say that yet because I’m not sure. But it is looking pretty certain. It’s great fun and again that TV show has so much scope. I hope they do because it has been so daring so far and the wealth of disgust and intrigue that we have left to show on the screen, I think it will be real shame not to let everyone see that.

Mamma Mia 2, are all the original cast returning?

Mamma Mia 2 is in the works we are all dancing. All the original cast are returning. We are all there. All a bit baggy around the gills. We are all a bit more sunburnt.

Interview: Jack Raynor and Hannah Murray talk about their new film Detroit

Hey everyone! Been a while since I last did a blog post but tonight (16.08.17) I got to meet with Jack Raynor and Hannah Murray – two of the cast of the new Kathryn Bigelow movie Detroit (review coming soon) and here is what they had to say about the film.

Jack Raynor:

Detroit is a pretty moving and powerful movie, why did you want to be part of it?

That very fact. I read the script and thought it was going to be something that might hopefully have a profound impact on the audience. It’s a film about a very difficult systemic issue and doesn’t only exist in the US but all around the world and something that should certainly be addressed and Kathryn Bigelow is definitely the filmmaker to begin that conversation.

The interrogation scene in the Algiers Motel was pretty hard to watch, how was it filming for you?

It was quite a harrowing experience, not the kind of character you enjoy inhabiting. It’s something you have to be methodical in your approach with and try to understand your feelings about other people and assume the identity of a person who is least susceptible about feelings of supremacy and inequality. We spent weeks on it. At least six weeks shooting. It was very difficult.

The film, which is based on the Detroit race riots in the 1960s, seems to have come out at the perfect time after everything that happened in Charlottesville over the weekend.

It’s certainly a hard push to find a more topical film right now with what is happening in the states and also in the UK as well. We are seeing a resurgence of very right wing ideological beliefs and it’s not good. It’s condemnable and it has been condemnable since WW2 and it remains that way now. White supremacy is not something we can even consider as being acceptable in society neither is neo Nazism or the KKK. It’s very important that we are absolute in our refusal to allow these things to insidiously creep back into society and take control over our political systems again and I think this film is something that hopefully raises some part of that conversation.

When I was watching the film, I wanted there to be some sort of punishment given to the white police officers who murdered the three men but obviously, based on true facts and court reports, it never happened.

How did you feel about that when reading the script?

If it was already resolved it wouldn’t have happened anyway. This is the US we are talking about police don’t get prosecuted for killing African Americans. Largely they get away with that. It’s something that has been happening since the foundation of the state. It’s a heinous thing, it’s an awful awful issue, and has to be addressed and hopefully this film will once again raise that conversation.

Hannah Murray:

How did you feel when you first read the script?

I felt physically sick reading the script and afterwards as well. It was harrowing that these people went through what they did. It’s really shocking. That’s one of the reasons why Kathryn wanted to do it.

Is that why you wanted to get part in it? Was there a part of you that had to be in this movie?

I wanted to get involved in the film for many reasons, Kathryn being the main one but also the story it tells. It is about real people and real events that happened and it was great being a part of it.

As the film is sort of a social commentary on what happened and what is still happening, do you think it will have the impact on society that it deserves?

I hope the film has the impact that it deserves. It’s a really difficult question on how do you change people’s minds but hopefully this film will have some impact on it.

Detroit also stars John Boyega, Will Poulter and Anthony Mackie and is released on Thursday.


Interview: Actor and producer Nick Moran speaks about Celebrity MasterChef and new Edinburgh Fringe show

Here is my interview with actor and producer Nick Moran. We spoke about his upcoming play Performers at the Edinburgh Fringe, doing Celebrity MasterChef and how he feels about the ongoing BBC gender gap dispute.

So, tell me a bit more about your play Performers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

What happened is I was attached to a film that Irvine Welsh had written about Alan McGee – the founder of Creation Records. It was a really slow project and was just driving us both mad. Irvine and his writing partner decided to turn it into a play instead at the Fringe. Irvine is such a big star in the Edinburgh circuit. So we organised a read-through with a couple of chaps and suddenly we had it up and running. All green lights. It’s a really rewarding project. It’s just great. I think people are going to love it.

So, is the play sort of based behind the scenes of the Mick Jagger gangster/psychedelic movie Performance?

It’s been great fun doing the research. David Lintoff is an incredibly interesting character. He used to find young waste and stray boys for the Kray twins and the slightly darker members of aristocracy. He was big in the underworld of showbiz but committed suicide a few years after Performance by unusual circumstances. Apparently the Kray twins gave him a big scar on his face. He was really fascinating and real. I didn’t know anything about him. As dark and strange as he was. In real life, Lintoff told real criminals to audition for a part in Performance and we have come up with two fictitious characters based around real people. It’s really funny. Two villains come into a casting audition. It’s hilarious. It’s such a simple but perfect premise.

We will all see you next on Celebrity MasterChef, how was that for you?

It’s been done now. I had a film fall through. I tend to get asked every year to do a show like this but I am usually busy but this time, I had come back from a big holiday and had nothing on the cards and I thought I had to keep myself busy. I got a job in HIX in Soho under a pseudonym and I was getting involved. I wasn’t watching another chef cook, some of the dishes going up were ones that I had done. I approached it as I was doing it as a film. It’s very stressful and not as fun as it seems. I wouldn’t do it again. I don’t think my wife would let me. It was a lot of stress. It’s a competition and I don’t think you learn on it. You show what you already know. You never see someone on there who doesn’t know what they are doing.

Obviously, you starred in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, would you be up for a sequel if Guy Ritchie wanted one?

I don’t know if that will happen. It’s down to Guy. It was fun after Trainspotting 2 was a success. A lot of people from the film haven’t seen each other for a long time. If he could afford Jason Statham now. Guy is my next door neighbour. I see him taking his rubbish out or carrying a baby. We moan about the bin men and those things because we are neighbours.

Guy recently put David Beckham in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and now Harry Styles has had a cameo, do you think these celebrities should be in films?

It is down to the director. I put cameos in my films. It would be very hypocritical of me to comment on it. The only problem is that it can jolt you out of movie if the celebrity is really big. But like Arthur, it is a great big, visual popcorn feast so why not have David Beckham? If it was Shakespeare maybe not. People look for faults. I use cameos and films are better for them. Nothing wrong with it.

Recently the BBC were forced to reveal the salaries of their employees, how do you feel about the gender gaps?

I think there is some easily spun facts. I laughed out loud when I read it. They were trying to make it out that there weren’t sexist. Journalists are always spinning information to serve an opinion they already have. I know the workings of TV and it’s paid in the real world. How much budget the broadcaster has etc. The BBC shouldn’t have been forced to reveal it but it was no surprise. Gary Lineker hosts a show at BBC World which is sold to the world. Everything he says or he presents is his image. And he is not on as much as EU or USA. These are people at the top of their game. The top journalists in the country and the frontline for the BBC. There was nothing ridiculous in there. I want to see what the executives get. They get paid enormous amounts for not doing a lot of work. It was reassuring and what I was expecting.

Harry Potter Studios brings the magic out of the films

I was invited to attend the new costumes exhibtion at Harry Potter Studios Leavesden and every time I visit there it just get more magical.

Upon hearing the iconic Harry Potter theme song that many people have grown up listening to and wishing they were a wizard, it sends shivers down your spine.

Watching the well-known actors speak before the tour begins shows just how magical the world of Harry Potter is.

The screen then lifts and you’re there. At the entrance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – then the fun begins.

If people haven’t been there before, there is just so much too see. Whether it’s how the made the costumes, hats, props, set designs, creatures, Quidditch – it’s all right there for everyone to enjoy.

At the exhibition, we met with costume designer, Laurent Guinci, who designed many of the costumes worn by the cast including that of Rita Skeeter.


Also, hair & make-up artists Lisa Tomblin and Amanda Knight demonstrated how Harry’s iconic lightning bolt scar was applied and how the look of Bellatrix LaStrange was created.

Milliner Philip Treacy was also there and allowed guests to try on the Iconic Beauxbatons hat and learn how it was brought from sketch to screen.

One particular new attraction that I found amazingly fun was sitting inside the costume of Professor Slughorn when he turned himself into a chair.

You are able to climb inside and see how actor Jim Broadbent had to do it for the movie.


Follow my Instagram @steveb4567 to see how I got inside the chair

Travelling around the studios, you can see how Quidditch was brought to life and are able to walk through the latest attraction, the Forbidden Forest, where friendly Buckbeak is there greeting you and the giant spider Aragok is hiding as well.

Then you turn a corner and there it is, the Hogwarts Express, the beautiful, red train that transports Harry and his friends from Platform 9 3/4 to Hogwarts.

There is so much to see at the studios, the Dursley’s house, how Dobby came to life, Diagon Alley, it’s overwhelming.


At the end of the tour, you do feel sad that the magic is ending but they leave you with the last bit of magic.

The giant sculpture of Hogwarts which was used in the films. As you walk around the theme song is played again and you begin to feel a sense of excitement and sadness.

This collection of books and films brought so many joy to people of all ages and they continue to still do.


A fantastic tour and definitely worth paying a visit!