Actor Robert Pattinson portrayed Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films. The dark wizard, who is also known as the “devil’s spawn” and the “senior seneschal,” was not only feared by Harry Potter but also by all who crossed his path. Although the series mainly focused on Harry’s adventures, Voldemort was not left unchecked for long. The producers of the film series decided to give the Dark Lord a tragic back story and eventually turned him into a sympathetic character. In this article, we will examine the many intriguing aspects of Pattinson’s time on set and what this might mean for his future career.
Walking the Walk
One of the first things you will notice about Pattinson is how he carries himself. The actor is often referred to as “cool” or “gorgeous,” and it is easy to see why. The former England rugby player and singer has a charisma that is instantly recognizable. He seems to embody both confidence and sensitivity at the same time. This quality is in large part due to Pattinson’s training as a performer. He studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and then at the Rose Bruford College. Both of these places are known for their rigorous training programmes. Perhaps a key lesson Pattinson learned at both of these institutions was how to behave. Although he was never given the opportunity to audition for the films, Pattinson’s acting classes prepared him for his role as Lord Voldermort. In the books, Voldemort is described as having a “stately gait” and an “air of superiority,” which Pattinson embodies so well it is hard to believe he was never given the opportunity to audition for the part.
Early Access to Scripts
After finishing school, Pattinson made his way to the UK premiere of the Harry Potter film series in Leicester Square. The twenty-one-year-old then walked the streets with the author J.K. Rowling. According to the Evening Standard, the encounter was reportedly “stormy.” At the time, Rowling was said to be “highly protective” of her creations and “rattled” by the media intrusion. It was even reported that she “stormed out” of the premiere party in protest. Despite the controversy, the author’s presence at the premiere is seen as a major milestone for the Harry Potter franchise. In the books, Voldemort is depicted as being a recluse, rarely venturing outside of his home. Early reports suggest that Rowling’s approval process for the character Voldermort was extremely stringent and that she had to be convinced that the part was right for her old friend Pattinson. The author reportedly demanded that a former Death Eater be cast in the role of the Dark Lord. According to the New York Post, J.K. Rowling approved of Pattinson’s performance but had “no sense of humor about the subject.” Inevitably, this led to some tension between the creator and her future son-in-law. Nevertheless, the author’s confidence in choosing Pattinson must have been well-founded, as he went on to play a crucial role in the entire series.
The Making of a Masterpiece
With the role of Lord Voldemort nailed down, the next step was to find the perfect wardrobe. The series’ costume designer, Ruth Ewan, had a tough time choosing between the many unique and beautiful outfits that the character wears in the movies. One of the most memorable scenes in the entire series is when Voldemort is seen for the first time in the Half-Blood Prince. The Dark Lord is adorned in a glorious purple suit with an amazing red lining. Pattinson later described the costume as “fantastic,” going on to praise Ewan’s “brilliance.” Perhaps this collaboration was no accident. While Rowling’s works are steeped in magic, the Harry Potter films are often hailed as cinematic masterpieces. Director David Yates has called the series “a perfect combination of writing, acting, and direction,” while the film’s costume designer Ruth Ewan has referred to the project as “a labour of love.” One of the reasons that the Harry Potter films stand out among their category is their flawless casting. With the exception of Michael Caine, who plays Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black, all of the main characters are portrayed by English or British actors. This is in stark contrast with recent films about wizards, which have been riddled with un-English accents. The fact that the main characters are portrayed by English speakers helps contribute to the authenticity of the story. In many ways, the Harry Potter films are a microcosm of the “blessing” of being in England. Whether it is the flawless English accents or the beautiful weather, it’s easy to see why J.K. Rowling’s works have been exported around the world. In 2007, the author gave a rare glimpse into her mind in an interview with Newsweek. When asked about her favorite character, she replied: “I always have a soft spot for the villains… They’re more fun to write.” Although this might seem like an odd comment, it’s easy to see why she would say that. The villains in the Harry Potter books are wonderfully fleshed out and possess a depth that is rarely seen in films about wizards. It’s clear that J.K. Rowling knows exactly what she’s doing, and she is not afraid to get her hands dirty. This is in part due to her training as a writer. Before she became the wizarding world’s pre-eminent author, Rowling spent ten years living in England. This is most likely why she was so confident that Pattinson was the perfect fit for the role of Lord Voldemort.