Bonnie Wright: Harry's Paramour
Ever since she was a ginger-haired tot, pretty 18-year-old actress Bonnie Wright has been playing Ron Weasley's baby sister Ginny in the Harry Potter films. Early on, she was a pert and pretty child in the background emerging later as a victim of dark magic or looking shyly at Harry, beginning to develop a shadow of the attraction that would draw the duo to snogging bliss in their more advanced teen years.
Now, in the sixth Potter film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ginny becomes the true helpmate and champion that Harry deserves all while the duo teases us with a foreshadowing of the love-struck, bonded-for-life couple they'll become in the two "Deathly Hallows" films.
Meeting with Bonnie inside the famous New York landmark hotel the Waldorf-Astoria, TeenHollywood was delighted to learn how happy playing Ginny has made the young actress, engendering in her a desire to one day direct, write and produce films. After wrapping the 6th and 7th movies based on the final "Deathly Hallows" book, Bonnie will be off to study film in London. But, today, looking oh-so-grown-up and red-haired hot, she's sitting down with us to discuss that long-awaited kiss, developing those intimate, romantic scenes with longtime buddy Daniel Radcliffe, her warnings to would-be suitors and the inspiration she got from her own older brother when, having read the first Potter novel, he suggested that she reminded him of Ginny.
TeenHollywood: You have an older brother. Is that relationship anything like Ginny and Ron's in the film?
Bonnie: Yeah, I think it's been definitely great having known that relationship in real life. I've been able to take a few brother relationship things (to the role). I guess, with an older brother as well, there's that sense of protection they do give to you. They're supportive and they do let you do what you want but they have got a hidden protection (motive). Obviously the relationship with Ginny and Ron is quite clearly that. He's quite protective of her and, in this film, you really see that when he sees her with (her boyfriend) Dean Thomas at the beginning of the film.
TeenHollywood: Did your brother think you would be good as Ginny and tell you to try out for the part?
Bonnie: That's true. He'd read the first few books and he'd really loved them and he was like 'Oh, you really remind me of the character of Ginny' and I said 'okay' not knowing who that was, because we'd heard that they were doing the castings. That's basically why I went for the casting really. I probably should say thanks to him.
TeenHollywood: These movies have been such a huge chunk of your life, Do you feel like you've missed anything by doing them year after year?
Bonnie: I think I've missed out on that classroom dynamic when you are all learning together . My education has been quite one-to-one which is great, You do get a lot done in an hour compared to being in school and being interrupted.
TeenHollywood: Were you all schooled on set at the same time?
Bonnie: Yes, when we were younger and everyone did similar subjects, there were more of us in the class. But as we became more specific in what we were doing, it was just one-to-one. But, to be honest, I think looking back at it now, it's definitely enriched my childhood way more than it's taken anything away. I think from working with everyone on set, everyone's just so supportive and really driven in what they do so it's been an inspiration. Their work ethic is something that rubbed off on all of us.
TeenHollywood: How happy were you that Ginny has so much more to do in this film and the upcoming ones?
Bonnie: I definitely was looking forward to it when I read the book. It's difficult because you never know how they're going to adapt it to screenplay so you can't get too excited. But I remember when I read the script I just got really excited. I think when the character appears sort of gradually throughout the movie and not just at the beginning and the end, you can work towards a development of your character and that was something that was definitely the most exciting for me as an actress to really be able to dig my teeth into a part that had more substance and it was great working with [director] David Yates and Dan when we were looking at this relationship and how it was going to be built. Even if you weren't able to explore all these emotions when you were filming, at least you made this foundation and it seemed there was more backstory behind the characters.
TeenHollywood: When did you first find out that Harry and Ginny were going to be a couple?
Bonnie: When I read the book. People kept going 'Oh, have you got to page 400-something?' 'No! Don't tell me!'
TeenHollywood: So tell us more about you and Dan meeting before shooting to talk about your scenes.
Bonnie: A lot of it was both of us chatting with David Yates just on how to make it a subtle relationship that grew. If it just happened all of a sudden, it doesn't give much longevity to the idea that, at the end, they end up being together. I guess Dan and I looked at how they got drawn toward one another and it becomes, not a shock to them, but they realize it with each other.
TeenHollywood: She seemed to always fancy Harry but he didn't seem to return the crush.
Bonnie: Harry's character never had feelings for her and she had already had those feelings but sort of forgot about them and then Harry starts to realize something that he didn't think was in him. So, I think that was what we wanted to look at. How these moments of tension that grow between them are always separated by something that's happening or by Ron interrupting.
TeenHollywood: Or by plopping himself down between you.
Bonnie: (laughs) Yeah.
TeenHollywood: What must a guy never do if he doesn't want to make you angry?
Bonnie: Oooo, I don't like guys when they love themselves too much. That's a real push off. There's got to be an equal feeling. Then I guess with us being sort of recognizable for what we do, I think when people treat you differently in that sense, it's not right. Or they act differently. Be yourself.
TeenHollywood: On to the Ginny/Harry kiss. Was it awkward on set to get close like that with so many people, crewmembers watching?
Bonnie: It was weird. They make it more of a closed set but there are still a lot of people involved and it's weird because, not only knowing Dan for so long but all the same crew too so it's a bit like 'oh, we're doing THAT scene today'. They know it's difficult but I think they were too scared to tease us about it.
TeenHollywood: So what is your secret to not letting all this bother you?
Bonnie: You do forget everyone around you. You have to. Especially in this scene when Ginny and Harry come together. There's just the two of them in this room and it's quite an intimate moment and there's this element of secrecy so you do have to forget everyone's there to make it this magical moment between them. You just make this bubble for just the two of you.
TeenHollywood: How are you personally like Ginny and how are you different?
Bonnie: Ginny comes from this massive, really big family. I've only got one brother and she's got what? Like six. Having a brother is a good connection I can draw from in real life and just being a kid growing up in school and going through the things teenagers do go through, you can draw parallels. I don't think she's necessarily fearless but she's there for Harry and there are moments when the Death Eaters attack the Burrows and she's running through fire, through those reeds in order to save him and that sort of fearlessness and bravery is probably something that I definitely admire in her. I aspire to be like that.
TeenHollywood: There is the fun and comic use of some love potions in the film. If you really liked a guy, would you use a love potion on him if it were available and you knew it would work?
Bonnie: God, yeah! (we laugh). Well, you could....but, would it wear off and then it's short-lived? I could. It's a little bit cheating but I don't see why not. Give it a go.
TeenHollywood: How do you think teen girls should handle first love?
Bonnie: It depends on if the feelings are shared. It's quite difficult, and I think it's shown very well in this film with the Lavender Brown thing with Ron, this idea that one of them can be much more obsessed than the other. It's difficult at that age when you are finding out all different sorts of feelings and why you're interested in boys but they still seem so immature. I think girls mature more quickly. If a guy shows an interest, get close to them and they might understand. And obviously be yourself. So many girls are pressured to physically look different or put on a different persona. Don't be liked for someone else.
TeenHollywood: Excellent advice. What kinds of music are you into now? Kings of Leon or Killers we've heard in the past.
Bonnie: Yeah, That's the kind of music I used to love. I don't think there are too many modern things I love. During childhood I was listening to Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash or Velvet Underground. I really like things that you can really see the musician in; the artist bringing (his or her) sound, a message and it's personal. I don't particularly like a lot of poppy music to be honest. And also, for my exams, when I'm studying, I get all the classical music out in my house and just listen to that to concentrate.
TeenHollywood: What would you like your fans to know that no one ever asks you?
Bonnie: I guess I'd like them to know that I'm not only interested in the acting part of filming, I'm interested in the bigger picture. I've been inspired by everything that I've watched while filming, I'm interested in the cinematography, directing...
TeenHollywood: Would you like to write and direct some day then?
Bonnie: Yeah, definitely. I'm going in September to film school. I really love and want to continue acting but to look at the bigger picture. It has been so inspirational to watch such amazing directors and editors and cinematographers.
TeenHollywood: Where will you go to film school?
Bonnie: University of the Arts London, the main one. So far I've been able to balance an education with a career. I'd love to continue acting while studying film but, if I can't, then just to focus on learning. I'd love to learn for three years then, when I have summer breaks, to do different parts and projects.
Catch Bonnie as her relationship with the Harry character grows in the "Deathly Hallows" films!