RB: When people think of you they often think of serious adult films even though you haven't only done serious adult films. What was it like writing and acting for a film that was, at least theoretically, geared toward children? Do you approach the work differently? It seems like it might be more fun.

ET: It's not more fun, really. It's great doing adult, serious work. Some of the most fun I've had was making a movie for HBO with Mike Nichols called Wit, which is about a woman dying of cancer, and I've never had so much fun, so there you go. You're working with great writing and all of that. ... So it's not more fun, exactly, it's just such a conundrum. You're always working out the balance of emotion and each moment in such a movie as to have this very interesting relationship between drama, comedy, emotional—too emotional?—it's a tension, I suppose, that I enjoy very much.

RB: The other children's movie you are famous for is your role as Professor Trelawner in Harry Potter

ET: Yes, a very minor minor role in Harry Potter

RB: But still! What is it like to be a part of such a phenomenon? I know you just wrapped up the last film.

ET: In all, I've only worked on Harry Potter for nine days, and on the Nanny McPhees I've worked for a total of 15 years, so it's a very different thing. I'm not involved in the production and the scripts. I'm hardly there. So it's really good fun, but it's not, as it were, a visceral experience in the same way.


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