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HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX

Pink Is The New Black
Returning to Hogwarts, Harry is met with suspicious glances and the headline in The Daily Prophet twists Harry's surname from Potter to "Plotter,” accusing him outright of lying about Lord Voldemort's return. Feeling alone and ostracized, Harry even resists the overtures of Ron and Hermione to help and support him, believing that no one can understand what he is going through, including his closest friends.

Daniel Radcliffe acknowledges, "He is perhaps being a bit of a martyr, but I think that is part of what's so appealing about Harry—he is not perfect. He's a flawed character; that's what makes him an incredibly human character. He is a really good person, but one who is mired in self-doubt a great deal of the time, and I think most people can relate to that.”

Yates says, "It's an interesting time in Harry's life because he feels vilified by The Daily Prophet, which is the newspaper of the Ministry of Magic, and people are starting to believe what they read. So when he comes back to Hogwarts, it doesn't feel as familiar and safe as it always has in the past. He feels like an outsider, and he has to make a choice whether he is going to be defined by that or if he is going to hold onto the friendships that have gotten him through so much during his school years. There are moments where you see he could go either way, and that is the emotional center of the story, for Harry in particular.

"It was also a really interesting journey for Dan as an actor because it was a complex piece of acting work,” the director offers. "What's great about Dan is he is fearless and so determined. There were times we'd be doing take after take and I could see the determination in his eyes to do it better on every take. I love that about him; he just wants his performance to be the absolute best he can make it.”

The start of the new year at Hogwarts brings with it a new addition to the faculty: Professor Dolores Umbridge, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, played by award-winning actress Imelda Staunton. Dressed in pink from head to toe, Professor Umbridge has a practiced smile and a honeyed singsong voice that belies her true nature.

Yates explains, "Fudge is paranoid about Dumbledore, who he thinks is after his job, so he places one of his most trusted lieutenants, Dolores Umbridge, at Hogwarts to act as his eyes and ears. She decides it's her mission to clear out all the deadwood and conform Hogwarts to a very proper, orthodox way of teaching, staying within the box that the Ministry thinks they should all fit into, which results in a brilliant collision of values.”

"She's definitely a wolf in sheep's clothing,” Barron affirms. "She is nowhere near as ‘pink' as she appears. I don't think Fudge realizes quite what he's doing by sending her there. I'm not sure even he knows what she is truly capable of.”

"She is all about control; order is paramount,” says David Heyman. "Anything that veers from her almost fascistic view of the way things should be has no hope of surviving in her world. She doesn't believe that her students' minds are vessels to be inspired but rather to be filled with the thoughts and ideas of the Ministry.”

The students at Hogwarts are not the only targets in Dolores Umbridge's sights. The professors and staff are not any safer from her withering assaults. The Professor of Divination, Sybill Trelawney, played by Emma Thompson, could not have foreseen that Umbridge would dismiss her without a moment's thought, while Charms Professor Flitwick, played by Warwick Davis, also falls short of Umbridge's standards. Even the most respected professors, like Severus Snape, played by Alan Rickman, and Minerva McGonagall, portrayed by Maggie Smith, hold no sway over the pink-clad High Inquisitor. No one is safe from Umbridge's relentless power grab. Not even Headmaste

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