Interview with Stan Yanevski (Bearing Gifts)

The Bulgarian actor talks about his role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Plus: three autographed photos for readers!

One of the best-known characters from not only Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but also among (Muggle) Quidditch fans worldwide, is undoubtedly Viktor Krum. The actor who portrays him, Stan Yanevski, was recently at Les 4 Maisons in Liège for a fan day, and we sat down with him for a short interview.

Afterward he was so kind to sign three instax photos as a giveaway, terms and conditions for that are below!

Stan Yanevski
Stan Yanevski (Hilde Heyvaert)

Over the years, you’ve been to a lot of events in Belgium and you’re quite the regular visitor. Do you have things you simply must do when in the country?

Well, the number-one thing is to enjoy my time here. Belgian people are really nice, the food is really good. One of the things I love about that here is that everything tastes really nice. And I love the historical aspect too, there are so many places to visit. I always like to try and take some in. When I’m in the car, driving to the hotel for example, I noticed the cathedral on my way here.

There’s actually quite a funny story about that cathedral, would you like to hear it?


Lucifer statue
Statue of Lucifer in St Paul’s Cathedral, Liège (Wikimedia Commons)

A long time ago, the church comissioned a statue of Lucifer. Once it was finished, however, the church decided Lucifer was far too attractive to be in the cathedral. So they ended up comissioning the artist’s brother, who ended up making an even more attractive one, which is still in the church now. It’s a pretty famous art history meme doing the rounds globally.

(Readers who want to know more, click here. The original Lucifer is currently on display at the Old Masters Museum in central Brussels).

Well, that’s a new thing I just learned! (chuckles)

Having read the script the first time, was there a scene you were particularly looking forward to film? Was the process any different than your expectations?

Yes, I remember reading the script and Viktor Krum was in it quite a bit. Which I was obviously very enthusiastic about. (grins) But what I was most looking forward to were the Quidditch scenes. Those were really exciting times. I was really wondering how you would film Quidditch, and I wanted to find out. It was very different to what I imagined. A lot of blue screen. A lot of movie magic. It was pretty difficult actually. But then there was also all the Yule Ball stuff, because you know, it was all so buffed up. I really wanted to see the effects and what they were going to do. They built all these studios, and the great hall… amazing.

During the Yule Ball scene, the crowd goes crazy as soon as the Wyrd Sisters take the stage. Were you guys specifically instructed on the filming of it or were you just told to go in and have fun?

If you zoom in on the crowd, you can see Viktor Krum is with the Slytherins, with Goyle and Crabbe and the rest and he’s having a very good time. I remember Mike saying, “Yeah, just go for it, have a good time.”

Party hard?

Yeah! And you know, it was like rock and roll (makes air guitar movements) music, so we just went for it. And you know, you see Flitwick crowdsurfing, it was just amazing. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t in the script, it was very unexpected, he just went for it and the students all followed suit. It was like being at a real rock concert.

Speaking of fun and games, Hogwarts Legacy has just hit stores and is quite the hype. Are you playing?

I have only seen bits of it. But I have friends who literally haven’t slept since it’s come out. (laughs) They’ve been streaming and doing videos explaining the entire game. I did do an interview for TV about the game. So I did get some material to familiarize myself with it. It looks amazing. I will definitely be playing it somewhere along the line when I get some time. But yeah, it looks really good. I love all the details and what people have already shown online really looks good.

Considering your character is a Quidditch star, have you ever played Muggle Quidditch?

Oh, yeah, many times now! I took part in the last world cup. There is a real world cup tournament. And as you know, Krum is the icon of Quidditch, so I get invited to these events. Last year I was in Italy and there were people from all over the place: the UK, Japan, Italy, Spain… and they were playing in this crazy boiling heat. It was during the heatwave. But you know, they have so much passion for that game. So they played in the heat and they loved every bit of it. I’ve played it a few times, I’ve played it in Hungary as well. It’s a very physical game. I find it’s a mixture of rugby and American football. And the snitch, oh God bless the snitch.

Ok, seeing you’ve probably heard all the Harry Potter questions a bazillion times already, let’s try something else: We’ll give you two options, and you’ll pick one and tell us why! The Noble Collection Firebolt broom or the new Cine Replicas one?

I haven’t seen it, but you know, the ones I’ve seen look good. So I’d imagine the new one would look even better.

Healthy food all the time or typical Belgian dishes like steak frites, waffles, chocolate and let’s not forget the beer that goes with it?

(chuckles) I’ve already had a traditional burger meal yesterday, so there is that. I do try to stick to a healthy lifestyle, with dieting and cleansing and all that. I’m actually starting against Monday, right after this weekend. So I’ve really allowed myself to enjoy Belgium. I mean, I have to. So this weekend is for trying different Belgian things and you’ve just reminded me of beer and now my mouth is watering. (laughs) Sometimes you just need to allow yourself things.

Presenting a nature documentary where you really go out in nature or starring in an action movie?

I’ve already starred in an action movie, so I’d like to present a nature documentary next. I do a lot of motorcycle camping, so it wouldn’t necessarily be something new, but it would be nice to do regardless. Especially if it were for a big channel, you know.

So say a show on Netflix where you go camping in major, or even less known areas?

Yeah, you know, Netflix… Just imagine: camping, motorcycling. And of course all the people welcoming me and showing me different places that I can then share with the world. I can see it happening, so, yeah.

Stan Yanevski 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. Who are also both behind this interview.

How to enter: Post a comment here by March 31, 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 in the first week of April. 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

Such a great interview! Stan seems like such a kind individual and it makes me happy to see his love for the Wizarding World shine through! Let’s see…one of the best things about being in the Wizarding World would have to be all the amazing new beasts you’d be able to encounter! I want to snuggle up next to a fluffly Pgymy Puff, gaze into the eyes of a Mooncalf, and soar the skies on the back of a Thestral! Thank you for the chance and that artwork done is AMAZING!!

What I like the most in the Wizarding World is the mix between what’s real and what’s imaginary, often involving legends and myth. I think it is very interesting to look into what inspired this magical world.

I laughed so much that you told him the story of the Lucifer statues!

As for my favorite thing about the WW.. i would say how the fans kept this world alive. Through time the story evolved and is now much bigger than it was twenty year ago. I feel like it’s a bit like we own it, you know? We have the power to make this world more open and friendly so everyone who loves these story can enjoy them freely!

What I like the most about the Wizarding World is: no matter what age, where you come from, your social roots… keep dreaming and let the magic enter your life.

It was a pleasure to read this great interview! Well done Hilde, as usual!
What do I like best about The Wizarding World?
The Magic… the passion, the wonderful stories and places, iconic characters, meeting other Potterheads and cosplayers and have beautiful sharing moments! The Wizarding World is my past, my present and my future…

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