Katie Leung

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

Interviewed by Rob Carnevale

“When I actually did the kissing scene, it went very well and Dan was great.... ”

Katie Leung shot to fame after landing the coveted role of Cho Chang in Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire, playing the young wizard's love interest. She attended an open audition, after being encouraged to do so by her father. Since then, she's been the envy of female Potter and Daniel Radcliffe fans the world over - especially since she gets to snog him in The Order of The Phoenix. She tells BBC Movies what it was like to pucker up and how playing Cho has affected her life...

How does it feel second time around being in Harry Potter?

I feel more relaxed in this one and comfortable. It almost feels like a second home where I get to see my friends again. I'm also more confident in front of the camera this time.

There's a lot more for your character to do in this one, including the big kiss with Harry Potter. How was it?

Die Hard 4.0It's kind of strange seeing pictures of yourself in papers kissing Harry Potter. You can't really avoid it, though. My friends are always asking me about it. Before I did the scene everyone kept coming up to me and asking if I was looking forward to it. It got me really, really nervous and I was having sleepless nights over it. But when I actually did the scene it went very well and Dan was great. He said he was nervous as well. But the director [David Yates] was really cool about it too.

How was new director David Yates compared to Mike Newell?

He was great - not that Mike Newell wasn't! But David is just so gentle. His voice is just really soft. Whenever he speaks to me I kind of go weak at the knees. He's really amazing to work with. For example, during some of the emotional scenes he would say: "Cho's really upset and she's on her own." It was just so heartbreaking the way he said it that he really put me into the mood of the character.

Was there any difference in the atmosphere on this one, because there's a very serious death?

Die Hard 4.0

I think it's generally a lot darker. We always say this whenever the next film comes out but it is darker than the rest. We are all growing up now. When I was portraying my character, she was always upset and depressed and that's a big change from when I was filming the fourth one. Then, she was just a normal happy-go-lucky teenager, who had a crush on Harry. So, in this one I tried to prepare for it beforehand.

How difficult was it to prepare for some of the more emotional scenes - and did you have any trouble switching off at the end of the day?

It's much easier to switch off than on. You can be with friends having a laugh on set and then suddenly have to switch on emotionally. I tried to barricade myself in the dressing room for a few hours before we shot scenes and listen to Coldplay, or watch a tear-jerker movie. I watched Crash. It's a really good film but it did make me cry. The only trouble is that when you get back on set and people are trying to do your hair and make-up, you're surrounded by your friends again!

Have you had any feedback from fans or JK Rowling?

Die Hard 4.0

Oh God, I haven't met her yet. I'm hoping to meet her at the premiere. But the fans have been amazing. I get fan mail and they're really supportive. They tell me how great I was and how much they love the movies. It's very encouraging.

How has the Harry Potter experience changed your life? Do you get recognised now?

It hasn't really changed my life in a great way. I'm more confident in general. I used to be really, really shy, which is never a good thing because you never speak up for yourself. Now I don't stop talking! But in terms of being recognised, it doesn't really happen that often. I get the odd person coming up and saying they love the films.

Your first two films have been Harry Potter films. Has that spoiled you? Or are you looking forward to working on something with a lower budget?

I have really started at the top so it's kind of hard to say I'll go on to do bigger and better things! I would love to do a lower budget movie, where there's a lot of drama and intensity and a challenging character. But we'll have to wait and see. I'd love to continue with acting, although I'm not entirely sure what I want to do yet. I think I'll probably end up making my mind up at the last minute, like I always do. But I'd like to go university as well and study graphic design, perhaps. I've just moved to London, so I'm settling in.

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix opens in UK cinemas on Friday 13 July 2007.