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They All Love Lupin

Dark roles come naturally to David Thewlis but they’re not usually in the magical realm.

BRITISH actor David Thewlis has heard it himself from ‘Harry Potter’ author J.K. Rowling: Professor R.J. Lupin, teacher of ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts’ at Hogwarts School, is her favourite character.

“I was chuffed,” says the lanky, 41-year-old award-winning actorduring a whirlwind Australian publicity tour to promote the latest Harry Potter adventure, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.

Thewlis – who 10 years ago won ‘Best Actor’ awards at ‘Cannes Festival’ and from London and New York film critics for his mean-guy role in Mike Leigh’s social drama “Naked” – is among new faces in the new Harry Potter blockbuster.

The film, the third of a projected seven, has been acclaimed by many who’ve seen it since it opened in New York and London last week as the best so far.

From his Sydney hotel room, overlooking the Opera House, Thewlis says he had been considered for the role of Professor Quirrell in the first Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, but the role had gone to his friend Ian Hart.

The role of Remus Lupin – described in Rowling’s prose as having a “tired grey face with eyes that look alert and wary” – occupied him over four months last year, filming at a studio not far from his Windsor home.

While Lupin is a kindly teacher, he has a dark secret (something to do with the full moon), and Thewlis says he centred his research on what makes a great teacher.

“When his secret is revealed, that part was done by a stuntman so I didn’t think I really had to go there,” he says, not wanting to give his character’s “dark secret” away.

What he can say is Lupin is one of the last surviving links between Harry and his parents, along with Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) and Professor Snape (Alan Rickman).

“Lupin is a great comfort to Harry, which was part of the appeal of the role,” Thewlis says.

The divorcee, who has been in a relationship with British favourite Anna Friel for the past three years, says, “I was free to come down to do this publicity because a lot of the regular Harry Potter cast are already filming the next movie, ‘Goblet of Fire’ which will be released next year.”

Thewlis, who does not have any children, says his addition to the Harry Potter cast – back in ‘Order of the Phoenix’ but missing from ‘Goblet of Fire’ – has ensured he’s popular with children of his friends and neighbours.

“We have a communal garden at Windsor and the children of my friends there have enjoyed coming with me to the studio to see the sets that are there permanently now for all the Harry Potter films,” he says.

“I’m a real favourite because of this.”

· Published | 10 June 2004
· Journalist | Des Partridge
· Source | © Courier Mail
· Credit | Submitted by Amanda

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