Read our Q&A with Gryffindor Cormac McLaggen

Freddie Stroma

, 22, stars as

muscly and arrogant Gryffindor’
Cormac McLaggen
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
alongside Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

There’s a real Internet buzz about you. How does it feel to have thousands of teenage girls chatting about you on the web before the film was even released?
Very strange…It started before I had even done any filming. To have that many people with opinions about you already was quite a shock at first.

Do you find it intimidating or flattering? And how do you stop it from going to your head?
I find it more intimidating really…I’d like to think that at this stage in life you don’t let things like that bother as much as when you’re younger, but it’s still quite scary having that many people expressing their opinion of you, even if it’s only about a picture.

Emma Watson is fast becoming one of the most fancied girls in Britain, what was it like working with her, especially as her possible love interest?
She is an intelligent, talented lady and I enjoyed working with her. She, along with the rest of the cast was really welcoming. I’d like to work with her again at some point.

Before you got involved in the film were you a Harry Potter fan?
I was – I read the first two books at a young age and had seen all the films. I liked all of them but if I had to pick one it would be Order Of The Phoenix. I think there were some great Performances, it was well shot and I like David Yates work, which made me very anxious and excited about working with him.

Cormac is supposed to be pretty big; did you have to do any kind up beefing up for the film?
Not at all. I like to keep in shape but that had nothing to do with the filming. I think David (the director) wanted me to look just the same as I did in the auditions.

So you were always pretty massive then?!
I don’t know about massive…. I think I’m just about right for my height.

He’s also supposed to be a bit of a bad boy, would you say you have a nasty streak in you too that makes you able to relate to him?
Once we started filming the comedy in Cormac became more obvious, so I wouldn’t say that I needed a ‘nasty’ streak to play him. He’s very arrogant and obnoxious but not a particularly evil figure. I’d like to think that there aren’t a lot of similarities between Cormac and I, I base a lot of my acting on behaviour I’ve seen in other people.

What do you think you’d like to do in the future? Do you want to stick with just film roles or like Dan go into theatre and TV?
I would most like to do film or TV. Possibly theatre in the future but I’m in LA a lot of the time at the moment and if I was going to do theatre it would be in London. For the moment though I’m really enjoying doing films and TV.

In his theatre role for Equus Radcliffe got his kit off, would you ever consider going nude for a role?
Hmm… I suppose I would yes, depending on whether it was tastefully done…

Has anyone ever asked you to?
No, not yet…

You decided to go the same route as Emma Watson and go to university while pursuing your acting career; you have a degree in Neuroscience no less! Why was it important for you to carry on with your education?

I really enjoyed my degree, for me it was the best course you can do. To be able to study the brain and nervous system and the mind with a scientific approach is just incredible! Its philosophical, psychological and biological, three very interesting areas to me.

So would you say you are quite a philosophical person then?
I’d like to think I am. I think it’s really important for your mental health to think about the big questions, to discuss them and open your mind, in order to prepare you for both life and death. This film promises to be even more action packed than the ones before it.

Did you have to do any complicated stunts?
I performed most of my stunts on brooms that were on rigs. They were quite complicated, there was a million things going through your head at the time. I particularly enjoyed one rig called ‘matrix rig’, which allowed you to spin every which way like a fair ground ride. One day we were filming and a bunch of bludgers were thrown at me, I had to just hit them away…I ended up hitting a light stand, a camera man, a costume man and managed to send one down a tube that was blasting air at me at the time. The filming was a lot of fun.

If you had Harry’s cloak for one day what would you do?
I would go into the offices of the hard-working men and women of London and throughout the day steal/move stationary from their desks. I would probably grab a free lunch while I was there…

That sound very mischievous, what other cheeky tricks would you get up

Well…. I think I’d have to cover everything except my head and go around town singing Bohemian Rhapsody!

© Ruth Gibbs