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Last updated: 23 February 2006 1807 GMT
Christian Coulson in the hot seat
Picture: Christian Coulson aka Tom Riddle
Christian Coulson aka Tom Riddle

Christian Coulson is touring the UK until the end of May 2006 in a stage adaptation of the cult film Festen.

As the 27-year-old actor made a visit to the Norwich Theatre Royal, we grabbed the chance to talk to him about playing Tom Riddle in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets.

It's a few years since we first had our big screen introduction to Tom Riddle, but actor Christian Coulson still has fond memories of his time on the set of The Chamber Of Secrets.

videoWatch: Interview with Christian Coulson talking about playing Tom Riddle

As he took a break between shows during his current UK tour of the play Festen, he was happy to talk about his role of Tom Riddle and admitted he was excited that the character had made a return in The Half-Blood Prince.

"I'd love to do it again," said Christian.

"When a friend rang to tell me to read the sixth book because I was in it again it was exciting - but who knows," he added.

The audition process for the role of Tim Riddle took weeks.

"I hadn't read the books until I auditioned," admitted Christian.

"The auditions took six months. There were filming the first one [Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone] so they didn't really have time to sit down and work out what they wanted.

"They saw about a thousands people, but in the end they got down to three and then they camera tested me and that was it. By the time the call came it had been going on for so long it was a relief."

When Christian got that all important phone call to say he'd landed the part, it was all very exciting.

"The first film wasn't out, but obviously it was starting to build as an idea. Of course it was exiting, the part really chimed with me when I read the book and I felt very strongly there were some things I could bring to it," he said.

"When the sixth book came out last year and Tom's back in it and I felt those feelings again. I don't always know why a part jumps out. It's about what fuels the imagination and what chimes in some way with how you tick.

"The experience is very much like reading a novel and when you find characters you identify with very strongly you don't always know why I don't think."

Christian Coulson in the TV studio
Christian sits down for a chat about Harry Potter

Happy days on set

"The people on it [Chamber Of Secrets] were fantastic," said Christian.

"It was the first time I'd had a responsibility of that size. I was not in a place that I could relax as it was all new to me. So I was busy exploring and being excited by it and I remember that time very fondly.

"We spent seven weeks doing a 15 minute scene, something which I will probably never do again. The scene was so long and the effects so heavy in the second half of it - to spend two months doing it was extraordinary.

Filming the scene where Tom Riddle calls the Basilisk to attack Harry was shot on a fully built set.

"We didn't have to imagine the environment. In reacting to the creature [Basilisk] they had a mock-up of it, the head existed as an animatronics model," said Christian.

"In terms of watching things fly around it's a bit like being on stage and imagining where the walls are if they are not there. And you know the special effects people are going to provide the thing that could have created that reaction," he added.

When it comes to meeting the fans at Potter events and conventions, Christian always finds it fun - if a bit weird.

"I know there's a whole group of people who are huge supporters of the books and films - it's a contained world of fandom," he said.

"It's great to meet the fans and hear how they respond to the films as a whole, but it still feels very odd after a day of doing that as it feels they are talking about somebody else - not me," he added.

videoWatch: Interview with Christian Coulson talking about playing Tom Riddle


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See also
  videoWatch: Interview with Christian Coulson talking about playing Tom Riddle

On this site

Harry Potter section

Gallery: Half-Blood Prince book launch
Half-Blood Prince review

Half-Blood Prince webchat

Is Percy to hang up his robes?

Gallery: Prison of Azkaban DVD launch

Read Chris' POA webchat

Gallery: OOTP book launch


Newsround: Harry Potter MEGA section

Newsround: Half Blood Half Hour

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CBBC: Guide to safe surfing

Walking in Harry's footsteps

Unlocking the Chamber Of Secrets at Gloucester Cathedral

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Christian Coulson fan site

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