Every so often, something happens that catapults me right back into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In February, pre-lockdown, it was finally seeing Cursed Child for the first time. This month, it’s the audiobook version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling, read by a mixture of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts stars. This has isolation content written all over it.
Bonnie Wright, who starred as Ginny Weasley in the original films, is just one of the actors who lent their voice to the audiobook, available now only on Audible. Warwick Davis (Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Jude Law (Professor Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Sally Mortemore (Madame Pince), and Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger in the original West End and Broadway productions of Cursed Child) also star.
Wright said it was really fun returning to the magical world, especially because things were different this time around, she wasn’t playing Ginny.
“And it wasn’t like I was on set. I was in the controlled environment of a sound booth,” she told me over the phone this morning. “They’re very different to films in a sense that you’re just focusing on the one thing, there’s not loads of layers of production going into it.”
But you can still expect a little bit of magic, because this isn’t your average audiobook.
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i’m returning to the magical world!! with an audiobook reading of ‘babbitty rabbitty and her crackling stump’ in j.k. rowling’s ‘tales of beedle the bard’. every witch and wizard grew up reading this series of tales and now you can listen to them come march 31st⚡️by listening you will be supporting @wearelumos and their work making sure every child grows up in a family. available for preorder now on @audible ????????#beedlethebard #listentobeedle #babbittyrabbitty more info in bio
Wright reads the fourth tale in Beedle, the one called Babbity Rabbity and her Cackling Stump. The story gives us one of the earliest mentions of Animagi, as Dumbledore will tell you afterwards in his notes. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, or just haven’t read it in eons, it’s a tale of one witch’s revenge on a foolish Muggle king.
The four other tales are The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock’s Hairy Heart, and The Tale of the Three Brothers. That last one is Wright’s favourite. No explanation needed.
Audiobook aside for the moment, I asked Wright about spending last Christmas with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in the original films), Lynch, and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom).
“It just happened that we were all going to be, at least in London or near London over Christmas time, because often everyone is just everywhere,” she shared. “So it was really nice to take that opportunity – it’s easy not to organise things because it is quite complicated to get everyone in the one place.”
There is a Harry Potter group chat, by the way, filled with the main cast of the franchise.
“I don’t think the group chat really has a name!” Wright said. “It’s just all of us together, but we should name it.” She’s thinking “Hogwarts alumni” or “Potterheads or something.”
It’s been almost ten years since filming wrapped on the series, but Wright says she still misses it. Who wouldn’t? “It was just a huge part of my life, not only the cast but the crew,” she shared. “I spent so much time on those sets with everyone, it was an experience we all shared so I definitely miss it. It’s exciting having new chapters, but it’s kind of wild now that it was so long ago.”
Wright said she misses going to set the most, especially places like the Great Hall and the Gryffindor common room. So speaking of the films, I asked her about Ginny. More specifically, I asked Wright if she agrees the films left out a sizeable chunk of the Ginny in the books. If you ask me, the characters are completely different. Justice for Ginny.
“Sadly, there’s so much that I wish we got to explore in the movies that are in the book,” Wright said, “but obviously, I think that was the same for every character. And people wished for more. And I agree, I think more development was needed.” Wright particularly mentioned Ginny’s relationship with Harry, and how she wished the films had given more reason to it and showed why Harry was drawn to her. Ginny is very cool in the books, she added. “But it is what it is, I feel.”
As for what Wright is up to these days, she recently wrote the script for her first feature film for development. She studied directing and writing at university and having graduated eight years ago, already has a slew of music videos and commercials to her name.
“So hopefully I will direct the film end of this year, or early next year – who knows when we’ll be able to shoot that right now – but it’s basically an adventure / monster movie about pollution that ties into my environmental interests. The current title for that is Unearthed.”
If you follow Wright on Instagram, you’ll know she’s a huge advocate for the environment. She often uses the social media platform to encourage her followers to become more conscious consumers and to lesson our carbon footprint. While Unearth continues, Wright also has two books in the works. “One was a script that I wrote that I’m re-imagining as a book and the other is more non-fiction, but very much about the environment.” Stay tuned.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is free for all Audible members. But if you’re not a member, you can always sign up for a 30-day free Audible trial. Either way, you can find the audiobook right here.
And if you’re looking for some more iso content, members also have access to all of the Audible Original Podcasts.Image: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix