Wizard Debut

Oxford Mail: THE NEW HARRY: "I was so excited!" THE NEW HARRY: "I was so excited!"

Arthur Bowen is the new star of the Harry Potter film The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The Oxfordshire school boy tells Katherine MacAlister what it was like playing Harry Potter’s son and walking the red carpet with the mega stars.

Arthur Bowen did not even bother telling his parents he had auditioned for a part in Harry Potter.

Casting agents were trawling schools trying to find children who looked the part and, as most of his year at The Dragon School in Oxford went for it, he forgot to mention anything about it. “I just wanted to be in a film,” the 13 year-old grins.

It wasn’t until his mother Jane opened a letter several weeks later, requesting them to be in London the following day for the next round of auditions, that she got an inkling of what might follow.

But nothing prepared them for the result – landing the part of Harry Potter’s son, months of filming, the Trafalgar Square premiere and a week in America on a promotional tour at Harry Potter World.

Arthur Bowen, or Albus Severus Potter as he appears in the film, is now the future of the Harry Potter film legacy, but remains remarkably unaffected by the whole experience.

Try to get him to describe the adventure and it’s like pulling teeth. ‘Cool’, ‘exciting’, ‘weird’ and ‘nervous’ are a few of the adjectives he uses, punctuated by huge grins, shrugging, shuffling and fidgeting. A normal 13-year-old then.

Hailing from West Oxfordshire, Arthur had never auditioned for anything before or harboured any thespian ambitions but his ascent through the auditioning ranks was swift. Taken up to London regularly for wardrobe, make-up, casting, acting and camera sessions, Arthur soon found himself face-to-face with Daniel Radcliffe for a photography shoot to see if they made a convincing father-son duo.

Arthur got the final thumbs up for the part while crayfishing with his best friend in Upper Heyford. “I was so excited,” he admits. “And I realised that maybe this was quite a big deal.” So what did all his friends at school think? “They were quite surprised but they all love Harry Potter.”

Scripts followed and filming took place over several months, first at King’s Cross.

“It did make you feel quite small because there were so many people rushing about everywhere,” he remembers, and although he was escorted everywhere by bodyguards, the fans were always waiting on every corner and videos of him began to appear on YouTube.

Arthur was so busy practising his lines that he was oblivious to it all. “To start with I was really scared but everyone there is so nice and really looks after you, and I was fine once I’d started filming.”

Six months later, Arthur had nearly forgotten about all the excitement, but an invite to the premiere brought it all back.

Quite at home sauntering up the red carpet, signing autographs for at least an hour and being interviewed by TV and radio stations from all over the world, Arthur took to it like a duck to water.

So what was he asked? “They all wanted to know what it felt like getting the part and what Daniel Radcliffe was like.”

The after-party was even better. “They had a chocolate fountain and piles of sweets and candy floss and it was all free,” Arthur grinned. A few days ago Arthur and his mum then jetted off to America for a week-long Harry Potter promotional tour in Florida.

So is this the life for him then? ”I loved the filming and you get a good payment from it, so it would be a good job.”

And what about all the female fans. Can he handle them? “Yes, I think so,” he grins, and as he backs off to speak to his friends on Facebook, one gets the feeling that we have not seen the last of Arthur Bowen.

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