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Robbie Coltrane Gets Itchy for 'Harry'

04/09/2003 11:42AM

The cast and crew of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," now shooting in a North London studio, put down their magic wands for a spell earlier this week for a party to mark Friday's DVD release of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," PEOPLE reports.

"It's like coming back to school," says Scottish comedian Robbie Coltrane, who reprises his role as the eccentric gamekeeper Hagrid. "We're working at a very relaxed pace on the new film, and there's no shouting."

Chris Columbus directed the first two "Harry" episodes; Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron has taken over the third installment, which is due in theaters June 2004.

Brushing his cheeks thoughtfully ("The beard still really itches"), Coltrane, 53, also reflected on the audience for the "Potter" films, saying childhood today is different than when he was a kid.

"Ten-year-olds seem older now than when I was 10," he tells PEOPLE. "Now they're thinking about merchandising deals for their rock bands. When I was that age I wanted to win the Le Mans race for Scotland. No one wants to be an engine driver anymore."

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