The Harry Potter Kids

The Harry Potter Kids
"The stupidest thing I could possibly do is to be angry to be thought of as Harry Potter," Radcliffe (left, with his castmates) says of being pegged with a persona.
Ian West/EPA/Landov

updated 06/01/2004 at 02:00 PM EDT

originally published 06/02/2004 04:00PM

School's out for summer, but the kids of Hogwarts are just getting started. As Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban hits screens, the series' heroes, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron), talked to reporters about their third time out on the big screen, how they're growing into their roles and what it's like to face rabid fans.

Were you more confident this time?
Watson: You get more and more confident every time, really.
Radcliffe: That's because we've had more experience with directors.
Watson: A lot of the crew who were on Harry Potter I are still doing Harry Potter III. So it's great.
Radcliffe: Yeah, and now IV as well. It's like a family.

How is it to see yourself onscreen?
Grint: It's kind of scary.
Radcliffe: I saw the film with some friends and I was sitting in the front row of the cinema. And the last frame of the film is my face and it looked like I was about to eat the front row of the audience. It's kind of scary and surreal.

Emma, you pull some punches this time around. How'd it feel to hit Harry's nemesis, Malfoy?
Watson: I love every single second of it. Girl power. It was great. I would've done it for the whole week, but we got it in a couple of takes. I was like, "No. I want to do it again. I want to do it again."
Radcliffe: It's one of the moments that at the premiere, everyone cheered when she did it.

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So Hermione's one to be reckoned with?
Watson: She's so charismatic. In the first two films, when Malfoy would say nasty things about her, she'd pretend she didn't hear. In this one, she doesn't take it anymore. She punches Malfoy, she storms out on teachers, she's feisty.

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