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07 July 2003 1619 BST
Harry Potter III: Percy is back
Picture: Chris Rankin with twin brothers James and Oliver Phelps
The Weasley brothers: Percy, Fred and George
With The Order Of The Phoenix released in just days and filming well underway on The Prisoner Of Azkaban - it's a mega magical year for muggles everywhere.

Chris Rankin talks about The Prisoner of Azkaban (5'30")

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Graphic: Harry Potter special from CBBC's Newsround: link
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The Leaky Cauldron


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JK Rowling talks about OOTP

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Picture: The first week of filming on HP3

Chris on life as Percy Weasley

Chris talks about COS DVD launch party
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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HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia and WARNER BROS., shield logo and related indicia are trademarks of Warner Bros. TM & © 2003.

Harry Potter has touched the lives of children and adults all over the world, but few have been more involved than Norfolk actor Chris Rankin.

As muggles save their galleons, sickles and knuts to buy the latest Potter instalment The Order Of The Phoenix, Chris is busy learning his lines as filming continues on The Prisoner Of Azkaban.

"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."

With a new director on board, Chris has been telling BBCi's Martin Barber, the third film promises to hold a few surprises for those who've fallen in love with the previous Potter movies:

graphic: open quote marks. We’re taking a new slant with a new director it will be a very visually different film. There's’s new costume designs, all sorts of stuff has changed.graphic: close quote marks.

- Chris Rankin on
The Prisoner of Azkaban

Hear interview now

This film is going to be really different to the others, mostly due to the new director Alfonso Cuarón from Mexico.

His style is completely different to Chris Columbus’, he’s going for a real dramatic, tension building to a climax kind of film which I think is going to be perfect for Potter three.

I think the way Alfonso is doing it, the way he’s shooting it, the style of camera work we’re using – just everything is reflecting a slow and dramatic build up to an amazing end.

I shouldn’t talk about it really, but it’s all going to do with the camera shots and lengths of takes. When we did dialogue with Chris we’d never do more than three or four lines at a time before we changed a camera angle, stopped for a break, change a light over or something like that.

With Alfonso, the scene we did the other day we did as one long take.

It was all done on one camera and that scene was four minutes long without a change in angle or anything like that. I think that’s how it adds to the tension. It might change in editing to how it is now, but it certainly seems the ways he’s doing it is much more ominous.

From what you’re saying, it sounds as if the third film is going to be more grown-up?

Yeah, a lot more. Being 19 I can’t really judge how a 12-year-old may view the film, but it does seem... certainly the first film was a typical children’s film, there wasn’t anything too scary in it.

In the second one it was as if the group of children who’d been to see the first one were now a year older and could take a bit more, but in this film they’ll seem as if they’re four years older.

If kids have read the book they’LL know what’s coming anyway so it won’t be too much of a surprise and they’LL know where the scary bits will be and what’s probably about to happen.

Obviously when working on a film you have to edit bits down to get everything in, but I don’t think it’LL make too much difference. I’ve a feeling it might be a 12A certificate, but that won’t stop kids coming to see it.

Apart from new ways of making the film, are the locations and people involved the same?

Basically, but I don’t think we're doing any of the location stuff as such this year. I’m not entirely sure why as it’s a shame because it was like going on a free holiday [laughs].

Picture: Chris Rankin and Newsround's Lizo at COS party
Chris and Lizo from Newsround at COs party

It must be weird not jumping on the train and going up to Gloucester and Scotland?

Yeah, it’s a shame as I’ve made lots of friends up there having been there for a few weeks for the last couple of years.

I know the people there and I’ve made friends out of it, but it’s easier to get to the studios in Watford where it’s all shot.

It was back in March when you first met up for the first block of filming on Prisoner of Azkaban, how was that?

It was a scene in The Leaky Cauldron so it involved all the Weasley’s, Harry, Ron, Hermione and lots of animals. The main few were there, but obviously none of the teachers.

I’ve noticed a real difference on this film with the new director.

Obviously it’s still the same set of people and everybody is equally as nice, but you feel there’s going to be a very different atmosphere in the film, I think it’s going to be much darker.

Read more: Chris talks about Chamber of Secret DVD launch and Sean Biggerstaff »


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