An interview with Harry Potter


[I finished reading “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” this weekend. In honor of that achievement, here’s a column I wrote for the Birmingham Post-Herald, published on Oct. 2, 2000.]

Teen wizard Harry Potter talks sorcery, scandal and stocks

harry potterPost-Herald: Harry, thanks for joining us today during your unbelievably busy schedule.

Harry Potter: Isn’t it batty? It’s nice just to be able to sit for a spell.

P-H: Um, yeah. So what’s a typical day for you like?

Harry: It’s like any other teenager’s. I get up, sign a few merchandising deals, work out with my personal trainer, grab a salad, check my portfolio on CNBC and IM (Instant Message) my pals back at Hogwarts (School for Witchcraft and Wizardry).

P-H: Sounds like there’s little time for practicing sorcery.

Harry: I save it strictly for the talk shows on the “telly.” A puff of smoke, a few card tricks, maybe guessing someone’s weight …

P-H: Has the great Harry Potter soured on magic?

Harry: Not at all, but being a card-carrying conjurer in these parts is asking for it. I heard over in your Pell City that the citizens were in a tizzy over a coven of Wiccans. And you Yanks call yourselves the “Magic City.”

P-H: Don’t call us “Yanks.”

Harry: I mean, this is supposed to be the land of Southern hospitality, and those Wiccans are harmless. And now there are scurrilous attacks against your state’s former First Lady tying her to witchcraft. But I’m sure she’ll have the last laugh.

P-H: What are you saying?

Harry: Put it this way: They used to call me a male “witch.” Now they call me “billionaire.”

P-H: What’s your take on the “Blair Witch” sequel?

Harry: Pure rubbish. My great aunt Hilda was knitting buddies with “Blair,” and Hilda never saw Blair snatch children or possess the innocent. Except for a few ambrosia benders and the occasional citation for poaching, ol’ Blair was a standup gal.

P-H: She’s not the only one with a bad rep. Those witches on the WB network are a handful.

Harry: I’ll say.

P-H: I guess WB stands for “witchy babes.” You have “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” who posed for some naughty pictures in Maxim. You have Willow, the Wiccan from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” who played a randy flutist in “American Pie.” And you have your sisters of sorcery on “Charmed,” who have done their share of semi-naked B-movies.

Harry: That reminds me, we’re still looking to cast Harry’s “older love interest” in my new movie …

P-H: Oh, behave!

Harry: You can’t blame a 14-year-old for trying.

P-H: (The unauthorized biography) “Harry Potter and the Lucrative Gambling Consortium” alleges that you bet on Quidditch matches. Your response?

Harry: As I’ve told you media scoundrels a thousand times before, why would a wizard need to gamble for a few lousy pounds? Get it straight — I have no Quidditch gambling problem. And another thing, I have never even met Monica Lewinsky.

P-H: Thanks for clearing that up. So we hear your mask will be everywhere this Halloween?

Harry: Yeah, it’s a bit unsettling having my face staring at me from thousands of Trick-or-Treaters. Good publicity for the new movie, though.

P-H: Anything you can reveal about that movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” coming out in 2001?

Harry: Nothing much, except that the Happy Meal tie-in is going to make me millions.

P-H: That’ll buy a young bloke a lot of card tricks.

Harry: Don’t call me “bloke.”


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