Ring*Con 2008 - Chris Rankin is Percy Weasley
Who would have thought that Chris Rankin is a talented singer?
When he told everyone that he loves singing in one of the panels, one of the fans there promptly asked him to prove that. So Chris made his way to the centre of the stage, mobilised the audience to clap for him and then performed live Queen's "We will rock you" (one of many songs Ring*Con fans and stars alike danced to the night before).
Of course we filmed this fantastic performance for you:
"I'm a Believer"
The audience liked his performance so much that he had to come back to sing another song for the Closing Ceremony. When Chris sang the "The Monkees"' classic "I'm a Believer" hundreds of fantasy fans went wild.
Of course we also had him record a video message for everyone here at Harry Potter Xperts and his German fans:
Whether Chris will be in Harry Potter 7 or not and all about his own abduction by masked death eaters: Find out in our exclusive interview with him:
This year you led two acting workshops in the Dublin Cinemagic International Film and TV Festival. What is it that you taught the aspiring actors there?
I teach acting on a fairly regular basis now and there is a specific method which I was taught myself called simplicity that I teach. It is where you break the acting all the way back down to its simplest form. So I give a pair of actors a script that they've never seen before and just go 'There you go. Act! Read it before me, right now.'. And if you've got a line like 'Hello, how are you?' people go like ‚HELLO! HOW ARE YOU?' (in a louder voice, editor's note). But as actors we're trying to be real people and nobody speaks like that in real life. So it's about getting people to bring it back down because for some reason they think when they're acting it's all loud and over the top. That's what my teachings are all about (laughs).
I just noticed you're wearing a David Hasselhoff T-Shirt. Are you a fan of him?
I am wearing a 'Don't Hassle The Hoff'-T-Shirt, yeah, but am not especially a fan. I just really like the T-Shirt.
There is this prejudice that all Germans love him...
Yeah. In the late 80s everybody probably loved David Hasselhoff when he was actually good. He's a legend, but bless him, can't sing really… or act. I just like the 'Don't Hassle The Hoff', it amuses me. It's one of my favourite T-Shirts (laughs).
How did you get to be an actor?
I started acting at school when I was about 11. I was really quiet, really really shy and had no self-confidence at all. I couldn't speak in class, I'd go and hide behind my mum whenever people were there, I was rubbish (laughs). Then I got to highschool and volunteered to be in the chorus of the musical they were doing that year and loved it, absolutely loved it! This new confidence appeared, I guess from being someone else: it's just not me on the stage, it's whatever part I am playing at the time.
Now you're not in the sixth Potter movie. Did you at least visit the set?
I didn't have the time to visit the set, which is a shame, because I would've loved to. The sixth one is one of my favourite books. I occasionally drive past where the studios are on my way from where I live into central London though. The sets are getting bigger and bigger and bigger to the point where they're just building them in the middle of the green space around the studios. There looks to be some very interesting sets going on in this film, that has to be said.
Will you be in the seventh Harry Potter movie?
I hope so.
Did they approach you yet?
I don't know… (hesitates) That's a very complicated question to answer for a lot of different reasons. If we go by the books then there's no reason why I won't be in them. But until they print the script it could go either way. Fingers crossed!
What scene are you most looking forward to?
One of Percy's finest moments is walking back through that portrait into the Room of Requirement at the end of the seventh one when he finally comes back. I can't remember what he says, something like 'Did I miss anything?' (laughs). I just remember reading that in the book and going 'YES! Good boy!'. That would be fun. And then obviously getting to do a bit of action would be quite nice because Percy doesn't get the hardest job really. He just walks around a lot and shouts at people. They might actually give me a wand if I did the seventh film, that would be nice. I haven't had a wand yet!
Percy, although one of the most intelligent Hogwarts students, doesn't see through Lord Voldemort's propaganda. Can you identify with him at all?
I can't really identify with him apart from the fact that we're ginger and round about the same age. Although I was a prefect at school and actually I was a bit of a goodie-goodie. But I am an only child. I don't come from a long line of red-headed children (laughs). But I can understand how he got caught up in the whole ministry propaganda because he's so desperate to succeed. I suppose that comes from the poverty of the Weasley family. They're not rich, they have seven kids but no money and I guess he kind of wants to get out of that.
Do you believe Joanne K. Rowling wants to teach us some kind of lesson through Percy?
There are a lot of morals in Harry Potter and everyone realises that Percy was an idiot and even Percy knew he was an idiot so whether or not she was trying to teach us that blood is thicker than water and all that, I don't know. I guess so. He's just a good character from the point of view that he is just a prick really. It's nice that he has the chance to come right in the end. I don't think it's wise to try and work out what Joanne K. Rowling is thinking because you could be there a long time.
What do you think of the Harry Potter fans who are really into the whole thing and even dress up as Harry Potter characters?
It fascinates me. The first time I came across it was about four years ago when I was at the Salem Halloween Parade. I didn't realise that the hotel they booked me into happened to coincide with a massive Harry Potter convention. I remember getting out and not quite knowing what was going on because there were 400 people dressed as Harry Potter characters. It threw me a little bit and I wasn't used to it at all. In fact, I got kidnapped by a bunch of angry death eaters there one night. It was very bizarre: all of a sudden I was being dragged of by 30 people dressed in death eater masks with wands. I had no idea what was going on. They take it so very very seriously that their costumes are probably in some ways better than the ones we actually wore in the film which is depressing. I like it, I like it a lot!
© Harry Potter Xperts 2008