Interview with Prisoner of Azkaban’s Bill Weasley (Richard Fish)

For a time (before money got tight and I lost the domain) I ran a huge Weasley-centric site called Weasley Network. It caught the attention of Richard Fish, who was hired as an extra in a Weasley Family Photo featured in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Bill was later portrayed by Domhnall Gleeson, son of Brendan Gleeson, both of The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movies. Featured below is the original posting featured on the Weasley Network Website.

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Richard Fish
Fellow webmasters, please do not re-post this interview on your website. Feel free to link to it.

For the purpose of completing the family photo, two extras were hired to fill the roles of Bill and Charlie. The face behind Charlie (Alex Crockford) was lifted from Call sheets early on, but the face and name behind Bill remaind a Mystery…until now.

This site was pleased to put a name to the face. His name is Richad Fish and here’s a little Q&A session with him.

Q & A with Richard Fish (Prisoner of Azkaban‘s Bill Weasley):

Richard, tell us about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you? And are you a natural red-head? Have you been acting a long time? What other (if any) work have you done (on stage or screen)?

Okay, I was born in London and am currently studying English Literature at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield. I’m 24 years old and yes it’s all natural! As for acting, I’m still trying to find some significant roles (of which, to date, Bill is the most) after performing countless plays within the University Drama Society as well as showing a keen interest in a new local Amateur Dramatics company called Act 2 Productions. Most of my on screen work has been as a background extra with The Casting Collective in several TV and film productions, namely Band of Brothers.

How did you get the part of Bill Weasley? Did they search extensively for the oldest Weasleys boys?

As I’ve said I used to work with The Casting Collective and it was through this company that Alfonso spotted my picture and asked me to come in for an audition. I believe there were about 20 other potential ‘Bill’s as well as ‘Charlie’s from which myself and Alex were chosen.

Have you spoken with Alex (Crockford) since shooting the Egypt scenes for ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’?

I haven’t actually. Having only spent a couple of days in total on set there wasn’t much time to get to know him but I did give him a lift to the station when we wrapped!

How much time did you spend with the other Weasley actors and what do you think of them?

Like I said only a couple of days but it was certainly well worth every minute with them. Having Mark Williams and Julie Walters as your Mum and Dad is pretty cool! And Percy isn’t as mean in real life either… ;)

What are your chances of returning for ‘Goblet of Fire’?

GoF is certainly looking good for the Weasley family as after Azkaban I had a talk with a few of the Assistant Directors over a couple of months and after they learned I was keen to return to hopefully make Bill have a larger prescence, they confirmed that they were interested in re hiring me for the job. Hopefully Alex as well. One thing wich they did mention, which I must too so as not to disappoint anyone, is that we’ll be there in a reduced form from the book due to it’s length. Fingers crossed they won’t cut too much of us!

Most of the actors playing the ‘family’ have been together a few years now, do you feel you blend well with the established ‘family’?

It’s obviously daunting and I’m hopeful that Bill will become a larger part as the series continues so that it will become easier for him to be an accepted family member. The cast members certainly made me feel welcome in the short period I was there though.

Had you seen the Harry Potter movies before appearing in them? Have you read the Harry Potter books? If not, do you plan too?

I had seen the two previous movies but, and don’t shout at me here, I hadn’t read the books! Suffice to say I’ve read them all now and am eagerly anticipating the next one if only to find out what Bill’s been up to!

Do you have any family/friends who are Harry Potter fans? How do they feel about your cameo in the current film (Prisoner of Azkaban) and possible return for the fourth film?

I know several people here at the University as well as my family that are frighteningly large Harry Potter fans – A nod has to go to my friends Amy and Carrie who are completely obssesed – and their support for my good fortune on landing this small but intriguing role has been enormous – if only to plague me with requests for tickets to the Premier, which I unfortunately did not get the chance to go to!

In ‘Goblet of Fire’ Bill is described as having a ponytail and a fang earring and wearing dragon hide boots. In the Weasley family photo (from the film) Bill doesn’t appear to fit this description (of course this is a year before his next appearance in the series, so it’s acceptable Bill’s look could change in a year). Will his hair have ‘grown’ to ponytail length by ‘Goblet of Fire’ or will the new film disregard his canon (book) description?

Bill’s appearance in Azkaban showed him and the rest of the family in Egyptian clothes (as the clip is in sepia you also can’t tell that we were all made up to have sunburn too!) but I’m really hoping that his reappearance in GoF will show him in his boots and jacket, etc. The hair is also a mystery, whether or not they plan to attach a ponytail is unknown yet but I’m certainly not growing one!

Bill also appears in ‘Order of the Phoenix’ (fifth book) would you like to return as Bill for the fifth film, should the character’s part survive cuts made for the screenplay format?

I’m all for returning for the fifth film but once again I’m not sure how much Bill will feature compared to the book. Next time I see the producers, I’ll ask em ;)

Bill and Fleur Delecour (the French witch of the tri-wizard tournament) have a ‘behind the scenes’ romance in book 5 that started with some flirty looks in book 4 (which may or may not make it into film 4). Have you seen the actress playing the part of Fleur and do you have any opinion on that romance?

I haven’t heard who is playing Fleur in the next film but if they want to emphasise her attraction to Bill I won’t be disappointed! Ha ha!

Did you really expect people to pay so much attention to your short cameo in ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’?

No way, it seems to have spread exponentially here throughout the uni – not too many days go past where someone (usually a complete stranger) doesn’t mention it. I’ve even signed (rather embarrasingly so) a couple of autographs and at least two books! I’m still waiting to be recognised on the street though…. ha ha!

Congrats on being a part of the Harry Potter Experience.

Thank you very much, watch Goblet of Fire very carefully next year and if you can spot me give a little cheer!

Q&A copyright – 2004.

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