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16 December 2002 1351 GMT

"It is odd." - Life as Percy Weasley
Picture: Martin Barber
From a couple of articles in a local paper to being splashed in the nationals and live children's TV - for Dereham actor Chris Rankin, life has changed thanks to a little Hogwarts' magic writes Martin Barber.
Picture: Chris Rankin at Percy Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Owl post: Percy grabs the Burrow's morning mail
The phenomenon of Harry Potter is close to the hearts of children and adults around the world.

Norfolk actor Chris Rankin talks about life at Hogwarts, being in the spotlight and his first snog.


From the moment Chris donned his Hogwarts robes, life took some new and exciting. Here he talks about:

Working with the celebrity cast (55")

Feeling odd about being in the limelight (1'44")

The rewards from pleasing young fans (30")

All audio content is Real 56k. Use the BBC Webwise guide to downloading realplayer

Harry Potter website
Chris Rankin online
CBBC: Harry Potter
BBCi Films: Harry Potter interviews

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HARRY POTTER and all related indicia are trademarks of Warner Bros. © 2002 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.


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Born: 1983

Starsign: Scorpio

Hobbies: Singing, action sports, bad piano playing

1st snog: Tamar Upton, I was 12

Top scoff: Italian

Fave place: New Zealand

TV Show: Graham Norton

Film: Hedwig and The Angry Inch
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Come on, admit it - wouldn't you just love to be a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

For 19-year-old Chris Rankin from Dereham, that's exactly where he spends his time for around seven months of the year.

As most of us just dream of a trip on the Hogwarts Express, morning mail arriving by owl post and the opportunity to eat a handful of Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour beans (not the ones that taste like brussels), for Chris it is a reality.

Life has changed a bit since landing the role of the Hogwarts' prefect Percy Weasley.

"It is odd," he said, "but it’s nice when people come up and say ‘are you Percy Weasley’, especially little kids who just sort of look at me with this woooah look on their face."

In The Philosopher's Stone Percy spends most of his time in the background. Whilst a key character he's not at the core of the action.

The Chamber of Secrets

As Chris explained in an interview with the BBC website for Norfolk, things change a bit in the new movie:

In the first film he’s just there – does his job, shows the new pupils to Hogwarts where they need to be and then disappears really.

In the second one he’s there a lot more ‘cause there's the stuff in his house at the Burrow.

Picture: Chris Rankin and JK Rowling.
Chris and J.K. Rowling

In the book, and it half comes across in the film, there’s a stage when you think it could be Percy opening the Chamber of Secrets. So you’re thinking hmmm.

M: There's a scene where you have a good old ding dong with Malfoy.

C: It’s when they’re doing the Polyjuice potion bit and Harry and Ron have turned into Crabbe and Goyle who are Draco Malfoy’s henchmen types.

They’re walking down the corridor and Percy’s coming from, well if you read the books he’s coming from having a bit of a romantic session in a classroom with his girlfriend Penelope Clearwater, but they’ve missed that bit out somewhere along the line.

He comes along and says ‘what are you doing down here, you shouldn’t be down here’ and then Draco Malfoy comes along and obviously the Malfoy’s and Weasley’s don’t get on so there’s a bit of friction shall we say.

M: So you’re telling me Percy's romance in the book has vanished from the film?

C: Yes, sadly (sighs). Unless you’re a diehard fan where you can see there's a bit where Percy and Penelope are together, but there’s no kissing in darkened dungeons or anything.

M: You sound disappointed

C: Yes (dramatic pause), terribly (laughs).

M: Are you fixed for film three and ongoing?

C: The contract stuff seems to come two at a time. They’ve started sorting out the contract stuff and it certainly looks like three and four now.

M: You must be delighted.

D: Yes, I am. It’s a good firm job to have - it keeps me busy for seven months of the year basically.

I suppose in a while it’s going to get a bit repetitive and probably after four, if there’s going to be five, six and seven, I might have to consider not doing them as I want to have a life really.

Read more from Chris... talking about The Chamber of Secrets and working with Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith.


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