Interview with Mark Williams (Bearing Gifts)

The Harry Potter and Doctor Who actor talks about his roles. Plus: autographed photos for readers!

Mark Williams, who played Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter films and Brian Williams in Doctor Who, visited Les 4 Maisons in Belgium for a meet-and-greet this month. Never Was had the opportunity to interview him there, and we are offering you the choice of watching the video below or reading the transcript below the fold.

There is a giveaway attached to this, so make sure you scroll down to the bottom!

After all these years, what do you look back on with the fondest memories from the movies?

My time on set. It was always good to go to work and be on set. I like going to work, you see. Some people don’t, but I do. The breakfasts, they were very good! And my caravan, you know the dressing room, where I used to make my own coffee. That was very good. It was very luxurious. Thank you, Warner Brothers.

So that was a really good coffeemaker then?

I used a mocca. So it was always strong. Which is what coffee should be.

Is there anything from the books concerning Arthur that you wish they had included in the movies also?

Yeah, the first scene he is introduced in the second book. When I was interviewed by [director] Chris Columbus, I said, “I love the first scene. Where we see Arthur as he comes back in the morning from a night at the Ministry [of Magic] and he gets rid of all the gnomes on the lawn.” And Chris Columbus said, “Oh no, we’re not shooting that.” So that’s it. (chuckles)

Your character in Doctor Who, Brian Williams, is very handy. Arthur Weasley loves all sorts of muggle tools. What do you think they’d get up to if they ever met?

Mark Williams
Mark Williams (Bert Van den Wyngaert)

Well, they’d have a lot to talk about. Brian was a gardener, and I don’t know what Arthur thinks about gardening. But I bet he’d like a lawnmower. He’d think that was spectacular. And a hedge trimmer. I think they’d talk about tools a lot. And a rotivator. Oh yeah, there’s loads! (laughs)

You’re imagining them sitting in a pub, having a pint and talking about gardening tools now aren’t you?

Yeah, absolutely, yeah!

Technology has evolved a lot since the 90s. Which muggle device do you think Arthur would be love the most now?

I guess a phone. But then, you know, you could say that you have, in your pocket, a device that lets you access all the knowledge in the world. And what do people do? They look at pictures of cats. And argue with strangers. I don’t think Arthur would like that very much.

But he would just look things up wouldn’t he? He’d be on Wikipedia all day.

Yeah. (chuckles)

There are always rumors, mostly among the fans, that there is going to be a new chapter to Harry Potter, or a prequel about the Marauders. Which is the time when Arthur was at Hogwarts. Would you be interested in taking up the part again?

I’d be too old for a prequel. (smiles) But for a sequel, well, yeah. Grandpa Weasley. Not a problem.

Who would you like to be cast as a younger version of the character?

Oh, I don’t really do that. (chuckles) I don’t know. I’m sure they’ll find someone.

Would you watch a prequel?

Yeah, I guess so. (smiles) With my the little kids, my grandkids.

If you were able to cast just one spell from the Wizarding World, which one would it be?

Tarantallegra. That’s a brilliant spell.

What does that do? I admit I don’t know all of them.

It makes people dance. And as soon as you do know all of them, they’ll make up another one. (smiles)

Mark Williams signed photos

We have not one, not two, but three instax photos of and signed by Mark Wiliams to give away. Meaning there can be three lucky winners! As well as the art card that was available to those attending the meet-and-greet at Les 4 Maisons, featuring art by Valentine Delrée and Hilde Heyvaert.

How to enter: Post a comment here by November 28, telling us what you like best about the Wizarding World, and an innocent hand (read a computer-generated program made for things like this) will draw three lucky winners. Winners will be notified on November 30. The contest is open internationally. Winners will need to provide their address for us to mail them their prize. If you are a minor, ask a parent or guardian for permission to enter.

Prizes will be sent out via snail mail. Never Was cannot be held responsible if they are damaged or lost along the way!

Many thanks to Stan, the proprietor of Les 4 Maisons, for making this interview possible!


Add Yours

I love that the wizarding world allows me to escape reality and imagine that there’s a possibility that all this could be real. And even though I didn’t get my letter there’s that tiny bit of hope that maybe I’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some magic in my lifetime.

Ce que j’aime dans le monde des sorciers c’est les sortilèges les enchantement qui pour moi était merveilleux le premier livre ma tellement bouleversé ça a changer ma vie et ma vision de voir les chose et les personnes. Harry Potter, ce monde des sorciers magique m’a permis de m’évader et ça m’a permis de passer par dessus les moments difficiles. C’est une passion que je vis depuis toute petite et qui continuera à grandir avec moi /*

I love the wizarding world in so many ways. But the best thing for me is probably the way it brings together people from different ages and backgrounds around a common passion.

My favorite think about the Wizarding World is how it’s so immersive — I can watch a film or read the books and get completely swept up in the magic of it all. It is the perfect escape from the muggle world! I also love all the friendships it has brought me.

A great interview by Hilde!! Now that’s get a prequel to the series 👏

I think my favorite part of the Wizarding World is that I feel at home there. I’ve known it all my life and this universe feels like a safe place I can go back when I need it. Actually my therapist told me to imagine a place for when I’m too anxious and I choose the Hogwarts park near the lake.

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