Fresh-faced prepubescent youngsters when they signed on for Potter duty in 2001, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have grown up. Now sporting lots of teenage hair and the attitude to go with it, the trio reprise their roles in the fourth instalment, The Goblet Of Fire which has been slapped with a 12A certificate for its darker content. Here they talk about how it may affect their younger fans, hormones and why glasses are cool.
How do you feel about growing up with your character?
DR: In a way growing up with Harry makes it easier to act in each of the films because I've been through all the stuff that he's going through, like the hormones relatively recently. It's quite fresh in my mind and it doesn't stop after you've turned 14. Then I suppose it's been made easier by the fact I've been doing it since I was 11. You get to know the character so well that it makes it easier to act in the long run.
EW: It feels like I don't really have to act any more. There's so much of me in Hermione and her in me that it feels like I'm barely doing anything sometimes.
How much do you think you have matured along with your character and did you make many suggestions to Mike Newell [the director] in terms of your own acting?
DR: I think we've grown up in the normal way. I think there's nothing peculiar in the way we've matured.
In terms of suggestions to Mike, we spoke up. We are older now so it is good for us to feel like we're not just child actors any more. We've grown up and are now able to make our own acting decisions, obviously in collaboration with Mike.
EW: I think one of the great things about Mike was that he really treated us like adults and he gave us the responsibility. I remember sometimes I would say: "Just tell me how to do it! Please just tell me, I can't do it. I can't get this right." And he was like: "I can't tell you and I'm not going to tell you how to do it. It's got to come from you." He guided and directed us. I think I've definitely, definitely learned a lot from Mike.
RG: When I did the first film, I'd never done anything like it before and it was all a bit scary. Now I think we've all probably learned quite a lot since then. It's quite strange having a new director each time, you don't really know what to expect.
This has been given a 12A rating; it's much darker and scarier than the other films. Are you worried that your younger fans won't get to see it?
EW: I think to some extent our audience were first fans of the Harry Potter books and so are growing up with the films. So it should work out OK. To some extent we might have lost some of the much younger audience.
I'm in it and I was scared! But at the same time I think that we will have gained from it. I think this one is much more of a thriller than it ever has been before. You can't avoid the fact that someone dies in it at the end of the day. There are some very serious and deep topics in it. You just can't avoid it. I love the fact that they haven't pulled the punches, I love the fact that they have gone with it and that they've made something which is true to the book.
What was your most embarrassing moment while filming Harry Potter?
DR: My most embarrassing moment would have to have been the dancing. I mean, I really enjoyed it, I had a really good time, because the girl was just incredibly cool. But I'd like to point out that most other people had a lot more rehearsal at the dancing than me, and you'll notice Mike very kindly didn't show anything below my waist. It's dancing from the waist up, so you never see my feet move, which is quite a good thing.
Q. Are you reconciled to the fact that the books are coming to an end? What will you do post Potter?
DR: Well, "reconciled" makes it sound like we're not looking forward to it. I think we're all really excited about it.
We've got a while before the films end and we're not all absolutely confirmed as doing them all. We're all definitely doing the fifth but after that who knows?
I'm also doing a new film that's set in Australia. It's centred around four young Australian boys who have grown up in a Catholic orphanage in the Outback. The orphanage comes into some money via a donor and they send the boys for their birthdays to the sea for a couple of weeks, and it's just about the time they spend there. It's five and a half weeks and no blue screen, and so it's wonderful! And so I think we're all looking forward to going on to other things.
EW: One of the things that got me so into acting and one of the things I loved about acting was being on a stage with a live audience. So I think maybe something in the theatre. But I've had so many scripts for films through, which is fantastic, and I'm reading away and hoping to find something I really fall in love with. I think I'd like to do something quite different from this, maybe something a bit smaller. But we'll see!
After wearing the same glasses for four years, will Harry discover contacts?
DR: I tried contacts in the first film because in the book Harry's eyes are supposed to be a brilliant green and mine are much bluer than they should be. So we put green contact lenses in but they were excruciatingly painful. So I don't think we'll be going back down the contact road if I can avoid it. But one thing that I think Harry Potter has actually done - because I used to wear glasses a lot - is to make them kind of cool. JK Rowling has stuck up for any person who has ever been called four eyes or ever been teased about it.
In an ideal world - and let your fantasies run riot - who would you take to your own Yule Ball?
DR: I watched Garden State quite recently and fell in love with Natalie Portman so it would maybe be her or Scarlett Johansson or someone like that. You said let your fantasies run wild, so that's what I've done!
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire is released in UK cinemas on Friday, 18th November 2005.