Eye of rabbit, harp string hum, turn this water into rum.
Devon Murray, better known for his portrayal of half-blood pyromaniac wizard, Seamus Finnegan in the Harry Potter series, is welcomed to Sydney’s Oz Comic-Con. Chris Daniel sits down and talks to Murray about his on set antics, his portrayal of the character and the journey he plans to embark on now that the Potter franchise is complete.
As Devon was ushered to the stage, the feeling was almost too surreal seeing someone we all watched grow on screen, right before your eyes. With mention of awkward fan experiences, I began the interview asking about them. “Some were just nasty, but aside from the crazy ones, fans have generally been laid back and I’m always down for a nice chat”, he said. Avoiding the stories of the bad experiences on stage, he expressed his interest in chatting about them at his autograph table, however when confronted with the question, he laughingly said, “There’s ask later, and then there’s ask on tape, they are two different things”.
After donning the famous Gryffindor robe for several years, sharing his dorm room with the likes of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, there were a few ideas lingering the back of his mind. If there were to be any dramatic change to his character, could he secretly be an undercover spy for the Slytherin house? After approaching J.K Rowling with the idea, she kicked it under the carpet. For Seamus Finnegan in reality, “More sex appeal. That’s all he needed”, Murray hysterically said. Standing in at around five foot tall, Murray also exclaimed, “If there was to be anything I would change about myself, it would be that I could be a little taller, so that applies to Seamus as well”.
In one of the final scenes of the Potter franchise we saw Hogwarts students confronted with the dark Lord Voldemort and his army of Death Eaters, in the battle of Hogwarts. It was a challenging scene for most as we lost favorites in the process of the fight. “I think it was perfect for Neville, I love how he came up to the occasion. I don’t think Seamus would’ve had the balls, perhaps he had some victorious moment like that years later down at the pub or something, but Neville was just fed up, so it suited him much better”.
Like most of us, we would take full advantage of being on the set of a high production film. Aside from things mysteriously going missing from the set and ending up in his house, Devon Murray was gifted items most Potter fans would kill for. “They gave me the feather I blew up in Professor Flitwick’s class and they let me keep some of the rings I wore from the third film. I also got my tie and some of the exams”. With the highest record of breaking wands on set, managing to score that title within a day of filming, he was highly disappointed that the cast members were not able to keep their real wands.
The stories that were revealed after filming left us wanting more, as some antics pushed back film schedules or got cast members into questionable amounts of trouble. Issues aside, it is undeniable chemistry was formed between members of the cast, notably for Murray and fellow Gryffindor dorm member, Rupert Grint, also known as Ron Weasley. “The most fun was when myself and Rupert couldn’t get our lines right, and we just kept messing up all day. The scene was when Seamus has a big argument with Harry, and Rupert and I just kept breaking down laughing so we ended up having to stop filming one day, and return the next” Murray stated, “We came back for a different day expecting everything to be alright, when really it was just back to square one. So it took forever and a day to film without bursting out laughing. Rupert is just so contagious, you look at him and you just start laughing”
Life after Harry Potter for some cast members has been intriguing. Several Potter stars have embarked on broader acting careers, some venturing into politics. “After Harry Potter I just wanted to get back to normality”, Murray expressed. “For me, it was all about being around friends and family, and of course my horses. That’s all I have been doing, all day, every day I show jump”. With the last Potter film released in 2011, a break from acting has given Devon some breathing space, though plans to make a comeback in the future. “For the past six or seven months I have felt the urge to get back out there again”, he said, “I would love if one day a film came along with horses, and I managed to get the lead part, but we will have to see”.
Devon Murray is in the country for Oz Comic-Con, set to hit Brisbane this weekend.