B1 Intermediate UK 2697 Folder Collection
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NARRATOR: It's November, 2006.
J. K. Rowling is working in secret...
...on the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...
...in a hotel room in Edinburgh.
Yeah, I've helpfully made the note for myself:
"This will need very serious planning."
I don't know when I wrote that.
And I was quite right in that.
NARRATOR: The Harry Potter series has taken 17 years to write.
It's an epic saga of childhood confusion, danger and adventure.
But it's more than just a children's story.
Behind the witchcraft and the wizardry lies an intensely moral fable...
...about good and evil, love and hatred, life and death.
My name is James Runcie.
I'm a writer and a filmmaker.
And I want to find out the secret of J. K. Rowling's success.
How has she done it?
And where has it all come from?
WOMAN: You look really nice, Jo. -Oh. Thank you.
This is J. K. Rowling's country house in Perthshire.
Once inside, I decided to start the film by asking a few direct questions.
RUNCIE: What's your favorite virtue? -Courage.
-What vice to do you most despise? -Bigotry.
-What are you most willing to forgive? -Gluttony.
-What's your most marked characteristic? -I'm a trier.
-What are you most afraid of? -Losing someone I love.
What's the quality you most like in a man?
What's the quality you most like in a woman?
What do you most value about your friends?
What's your principal defect?
Short fuse.
What's your favorite occupation?
-Writing. -What's your dream of happiness?
Happy family.
NARRATOR: The desire for a happy family comes, in part, from a difficult childhood.
Like her orphaned hero, Harry Potter...
...Joanne Rowling was brought up on a suburban British street.
First in Уate, just outside Bristol...
...and then a few miles down the road, in Winterbourne.
The house even had a cupboard under the stairs.
But unlike Harry Potter, Jo wasn't made to sleep there.
She shares the same birthday as Harry Potter, the 31st of July.
And together with her sister, Di, endured similar childhood economies.
RUNCIE: What were your haircuts like? ROWLING: Oh.
That's-- That's just not-- That's just wrong.
They were terrible.
-Honestly. This is child abuse. -They were terrible.
-I don't wanna show it, though. -They were terrible. There were--
RUNCIE: I've got it here.
-That's not-- That-- Look at my fringe. -But I was--
I don't think anyone can stomach that for long.
NARRATOR: If you're wondering, Jo is the one on the right.
DI: If you weren't used to cutting hair...
...wouldn't you approach it in a gentle, slow manner?
-Wouldn't you go to a hairdresser? -Well, maybe they couldn't--
Wouldn't you just cut it slowly and not attack it like a hatchet?
I do think you've-- Mine was always crooked, always.
RUNCIE: Did you wear similar clothes? ROWLING: Oh, God, yes.
-Different colors, but.... -Yeah, you always had pink.
And I always had blue.
RUNCIE: Because you were the boy, Jo? -Yeah.
RUNCIE: Because you were the eldest? -Yeah, and I was supposed to be a boy.
-So-- DI: Simon John.
I was supposed to be Simon John. I even know who I was supposed to be.
RUNCIE: Had they told you? -Oh, yeah.
-She was a massive disappointment. -Yeah.
And so then I said quite hopefully:
"And when Di came along, were you disappointed too?"
I said, "Was that because you found out it was quite nice to have a girl?"
So then I just went upstairs and wept.
NARRATOR: When Jo was 9 years old...
...the family moved to a village outside Chepstow...
...on the edge of the Forest of Dean.
Here was a location that offered a whole range of imaginative possibilities...
...magical creatures, mystery and intrigue.
ROWLING: I'm very drawn to forests.
And it's my favorite part of the Hogwarts grounds.
The advantage of a forest is it can be so many things.
It can be a place of enchantment.
You never imagine a crowd in a forest. It's a solitary place.
Is it because it used to be a place of shelter and safety to us, I suppose.
So I think-- I'm very drawn to them. Even though they can be spooky.
Jo wrote stories from an early age.
There was resonant material all around her.
She even lived next door to a graveyard.
The family lived in this house.
Jo and her sister, Di, earned extra pocket money...
...as part-time cleaners of St. Luke's church.
ROWLING: I cannot overstate how cold it got...
...in this church in winter when we were cleaning it. It was freezing.
For a pound each. It's tragic, really.
We must be in here loads.
Because we used to sign this book all the time.
Oh, God, I know-- Oh, look, it's me. There I am.
Me and Di together.
"Joanne Rowling, age 12. Dianne Rowling, age 10."
Ah. There's a name I stole for Harry Potter.
For an unpleasant character as well.
Hide the book. Lock it away.
Heh, hen. Forgotten about that.
NARRATOR: Jo was the only member of the family...
...to attend church services regularly...
...and was baptized here at the age of 11.
RUNCIE: Do you believe in God?
I do-- I do struggle with it.
I couldn't pretend that I'm not doubt-ridden about a lot of things...
...and that would be one of them. But I would say yes.
RUNCIE: Do you think there's a life beyond this of some kind?
ROWLING: Yes, I think I do.
Jo's religious belief...
...and her thoughts about love, death and the afterlife were severely tested...
...when her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980.
ROWLING: I was 15 when she was diagnosed.
But we now know that she was showing signs...
...probably from when I was about 10 or 11.
She would have odd losses of feeling in limbs.
Her balance-- Her balance actually was poor for a long time.
And then it just got worse and worse and she decided it was time to visit the doctor...
...but she wasn't expecting to hear anything.
And then, you know, a year of tests and there we were.
She had a very virulent form of the illness.
And at that time there were no drug treatments at all.
They said, "Well, you've got multiple sclerosis. See you."
The illness was to have a devastating impact on the two girls.
Particularly as they found their father difficult.
One of the reasons Harry Potter is so full of idealized father figures...
...Hagrid, Dumbledore and Sirius Black...
...is that Jo's relationship with her own father was far from ideal.
I was very frightened of my father for a very long time.
And-- But also tried--
Well, it's a common combination, isn't it?
I also tried desperately to get his approval...
...and make him happy, I suppose.
And then there came a point, quite shamingly late in life...
...where I couldn't do that anymore.
And so I haven't had any contact with my father now for a few years.
The absence of any meaningful relationship with her father...
...and the long, slow loss of her mother...
...are two of the most important influences on Jo's writing.
Ann Rowling died in 1990.
She never knew about Harry Potter...
...or the phenomenal success her daughter was about to enjoy.
The death of Joanne Rowling's mother was to have a profound effect on her writing.
In many ways, the whole of Harry Potter is one giant attempt to reclaim a childhood.
MAN: You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us?
You think that we don't recall them more clearly then ever in times of great trouble?
ROWLING: I'd been writing for six months before she died.
The weird thing is the essential plot didn't change after my mother died.
But everything deepened and darkened.
Harry was always going to lose his parents.
And it was always going to be a quest, really...
...to avenge them, but to avenge everyone against this creature...
...this being who believes that he can make himself immortal...
...by killing other people.
So that's something I created before she died...
...but, yes, it seeped into every part of the books.
I think, in retrospect, now I've finished, I see just how much it informed everything.
RUNCIE: Was she the first person you saw dead?
Because I didn't see her dead.
Which was in deference to my father's wishes.
I wanted to see her and he didn't want me to see her...
...and I, mistakenly, as I look back...
...I agreed not too.
And I really, deeply regret that.
I really, really, really wish I'd seen her.
It didn't matter what she looked like. I would have made it easier.
Because I do believe that the truth--
Which is another theme in the books and certainly stems from my own past.
I think that the truth is always easier than a lie or an evasion.
Easier to deal with.
And easier to live with.
After her mother's death...
...Jo moved to Portugal to teach English as a Foreign Language.
She married Jorge Arantes, a television journalist.
Together they had a daughter, Jessica.
But the marriage failed after two years.
Jo succumbed to depression.
ROWLING: I'd had a short and really quite catastrophic marriage...
...and I'm left with this baby and I've got to get this baby back to Britain...
...and I've got to rebuild us a life.
And adrenalin kept me going through that, and it was only when I came to rest...
...that it hit me what a complete mess I had made of my life.
And that hit me quite hard.
We were as skint as you can be without being homeless.
In other words, we were existing entirely on benefits.
And at that point I was definitely clinically depressed.
And that's just characterized for me by a numbness, a coldness...
...and an inability to believe that you will feel happy again...
...or that you could feel lighthearted again.
It was just all the color drained out of life, really.
And I loved Jessica very, very much...
...and was terrified something was going to happen to her.
Because I think I got into that very depressive mindset...
...where everything's gone wrong...
...so this one good thing in my life will now go wrong as well.
So it was almost a surprise to me every morning that she was still alive.
I kept expecting her to die or-- It was a bad, bad time.
Jo's depression inspired her creation of the Dementors in the Harry Potter series.
MAN: Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth.
They infest the darkest, filthiest places.
They glory in decay and despair.
They drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them.
Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory...
...will be sucked out of you.
NARRATOR: The Harry Potter books may be located in an alternative fantasy world...
...but they're filled with the pain and dilemmas of real life.
They address serious moral questions about the nature of trust...
...loyalty, integrity, and the need to make a stand against evil.
Through the series Harry Potter has to learn...
...what it means to be a force for good...
...against the dark arts of Lord Voldemort.
ROWLING: I think we all understand what an act of evil is.
And Voldemort qualifies extravagantly for acts of evil.
He has killed not out of self-defense, not to protect...
...not for any of the reasons that we might all be able to envisage...
...or most of us could envisage ourselves killing...
...in certain extreme situations.
If people we loved were threatened or in war.
He'd killed cold-bloodedly, sometimes for enjoyment...
...and for his own personal gain.
I call that evil.
And, yes, at the end of the book you have a clash of two utterly, utterly different...
...again, for want of a better word, souls.
One that has been maimed and has become less than human...
...because to me "human" includes the capacity to love.
And Voldemort has deliberately dehumanized himself.
And this very-- This flawed, vulnerable, damaged...
...and yet still fighting, still loving...
...still daring to love and daring to hope, soul, which is Harry.
And they meet and they clash.
And it's what happens when they clash that gives us our denouement.
NARRATOR: Jo locks herself in the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh...
...to work on the crucial final chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
It's January the 11th, 2007...
...and the end of 17 years of writing.
Yeah, I think I've finished.
RUNCIE: Hey, Jo, well done. -Thank you.
Well, you don't know, it might be rubbish.
Some people will loathe it.
They'll absolutely loathe it.
But the thing is, that's as it should be.
Because for some people to love it, others must loathe it.
That's just in the nature of the plot.
Some people won't be happy because what they wanted to happen hasn't happened.
And to an extent there's so much expectation from the hardcore fans...
...that I'm not sure I could ever match up to it...
...but I'm-- Well, I'm actually really, really happy with it.
So it's very odd to think that this will be broadcast...
...after loads of people have read it.
And people may right now be throwing things at the screen.
But I am. I'm really happy with it. I like it.
And I don't always feel like that.
Jo puts on the page numbers and saves the document.
It's almost impossible to describe the level of expectation...
...surrounding this one woman...
...as she goes through the final stages towards publication.
The process all seems so normal. Almost boring.
But this is now the most valuable manuscript in publishing history.
She takes it in person to her agent, Christopher Little, in London.
The handover is at Heathrow airport...
...at 10:43 on Friday the 12th of January, 2007.
The manuscript is taken to Jo's editor.
After she's read it, she goes through it page by page...
...checking that every loose end is tied up.
The publishers plan the book launch...
...and discussions concern how many copies J. K. Rowling will be able to sign.
A signing that will happen at midnight on publication day.
But this will be about, somewhere between--
Well, about 2000 children for argument's sake.
-Jo's agreed to sign for eight hours. -Yes, she has.
WOMAN: You can't get that many people in anywhere.
Everyone here is forbidden to reveal anything about the plot to anyone.
BEAL: We want everybody to get the book at the same time.
And then everybody will know what happens at the same time.
Depending on how fast they read, of course.
RUNCIE: So you're not gonna tell me what happens.
I'm not gonna tell you what happens.
Can't tell you what happens. Be shot.
RUNCIE: Would you lose your job if you told me?
I can't tell you that, James.
MAN: "Well, well, Mr. Potter, the whole thing starts...
...with the tale of the three brothers."
NARRATOR: On April the 23rd, Stephen Fry records the audio book.
"The stuff was quite disgusting.
As though someone had liquidized bogie-flavored Every Flavor Beans."
PHOTOGRAPHER: Straight up.
He poses with Jo for photographs.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Big eyes are great, Stephen.
Jo, keep engaged. Yeah.
-Sorry. PHOTOGRAPHER: It's all right.
The Chinese have a saying: Be careful what you wish for.
I wondered how much J. K. Rowling wanted all this fame.
ROWLING: I wished to be published.
And I wished more than anything in the world to be a writer.
Did I wish--?
It never occurred to me in a million years, James...
...that people would search my dustbins...
...pull a long-lens camera on me on the beach, you know.
Never occurred to me a journalist would bang on the door...
...of one of my oldest friends and offer her money to talk about me.
Never occurred to me that my children would be scrutinized...
...to see how spoiled they were because their parent was famous.
Three weeks before the launch of the final book...
...Jo attends the film premier of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix...
...the fifth book in the series.
It's a starry, glamorous occasion.
And Jo is expected to behave like a film star.
But she is a writer.
And when she started, she could hardly have expected all this attention.
RUNCIE: What about the razzmatazz and all that stuff?
ROWLING: Well, some of it's fun.
And some of it's, frankly, horrible.
The fun bits are when you get to talk to people who have read your books.
That's always great.
What I find difficult is the kind of stagy...
...midnight moment business.
I'm not-- Because I'm not very good at it.
I don't think that makes me a better person because I'm not good at it...
...I hasten to add, but I'm not good at it.
I'm not a natural ta-da kind of person.
I get all uptight about having to do that sort of stuff, and I feel like a prat.
MAN 1: J. K., can I get you-- MAN 2: J. K., just to your right, please.
ROWLING: People definitely expect you to be visibly enjoying yourself.
And I think Quentin Crisp said that was the secret to being good on television.
Just look happy to be there.
And I haven't always looked happy to be there.
In fact sometimes I've looked bloody miserable to be there.
And I know that that's not televisually good...
...but I'm, you know.
I've got better. I'm having quite a good time here.
NARRATOR: In a factory in Suffolk, under conditions of extreme secrecy...
...the book is being printed.
So far the Harry Potter series has sold 350 million copies...
...in 65 different languages.
The conclusion to the series is about to become the fastest-selling book in history.
Harry Potter is a global phenomenon.
And J. K. Rowling is now in demand all over the world.
It's clearly a story with a happy ending.
Here she is with her husband, Neil...
...on a private jet her publisher has hired for them.
He's a doctor.
They married in 2001 and have two children, David and Mackenzie.
I wondered what their marriage was like...
...and if there were tensions.
RUNCIE: What is J. K. Rowling like to live with?
-Jo, uh-- ROWLING: Tell the truth.
Yeah. I only tell the truth.
ROWLING: Excellent. -You, um--
Jo detaches-- When she's very stressed...
...she'll detach herself and only trust one person and that's herself.
So everyone else gets blocked out...
...and she becomes more and more stressed...
...and less and less able to accept any help.
RUNCIE: So that's presumably quite stressful for you.
Oh, it is stressful. Um....
Basically the barriers go up. And it's not just me, but it's everyone else around her.
Only one person is trusted, and she's gotta do everything herself...
...despite the fact that...
...you know, it's not possible to do everything herself.
But Jo's single-mindedness has led to the most anticipated book launch in history.
On July the 20th, 2007...
...at the Natural History Museum in London...
...1700 people picked out of a lottery...
...of 90, 000 applicants await J. K. Rowling's arrival.
RUNCIE: You have millions of fans waiting for this book all over the world.
How do you deal with that level of expectation?
It swings between, on this book, thinking:
"It's the best I can do. It's how I always planned it to end.
So that's gonna have to be good enough."
And occasionally you think, "Well, how can I ever live up to this?"
Two hours to go, Jo's in her car on the way to the launch.
ROWLING: I can't believe I'm here.
I'm even more excited than I thought I would be.
Do you know, people queuing in Piccadilly two days ago from Belgium?
I also really, really want a cigarette right now.
And when I said that to Neil, he said, "Have you got one?"
I should've done, but then I'd have been hooked.
Tomorrow, I would've gone out and bought 20. I am a....
I can't smoke.
With me, it's 40 a day or it's nothing.
The book is embargoed until one second past midnight.
At that point, J. K. Rowling will open Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...
...and begin to read.
The countdown takes place worldwide.
CROWD: Nine! Eight!
Seven! Six! Five!
Chapter one: "The Dark Lord Ascending."
"The two men appeared out of nowhere...
...a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.
For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other's chests.
Then, recognising each other...
...they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks...
...and started walking briskly in the same direction."
Yeah, baby.
NARRATOR: As Jo reads, fans all over the world collect their copies at last.
GIRL 1: Incredible. GIRL 2: The best day ever.
GIRL 1: Best day of our lives.
It feels amazing having this in our hands, finally, after waiting for 10 years.
-And 16 hours today. -And 16 hours.
Oh, my God. I can't even believe that I can go back to the hotel room and read this.
Like, I can read this. I can read Harry Potter.
Does it really matter now if I get drunk and disorderly?
I finished the books.
In London, from 20 past midnight until 7 in the morning...
...J. K. Rowling signed 1700 copies of her book.
RUNCIE: Here we are. -We're off.
RUNCIE: The first signing of the book.
ROWLING: Do it right.
Do you know what, Hugo?
You will find someone who is called Hugo in this book.
Thank you very much.
In the first 24 hours, 2. 65 million books are bought in the United Kingdom...
...and 8. 3 million books are sold in the United States.
That's over 7000 copies a minute.
What readers find at the end of the last book...
...is that this has been a story about the redemptive power of love.
But if you don't want to know the ending...
...this is the time to look away for a couple of minutes.
ROWLING: I felt it would be a betrayal of the character...
...if I showed Harry doing anything other...
...than living what all along he has discovered to be true...
...which is that love is the strongest power there is.
And I thought a lot about people who had been through terrible things like wars...
...and having to come home and rebuild...
...and espouse normality after seeing horrors...
...has always seemed to me such a courageous thing to do.
And climbing back to normality after trauma...
...is much, much harder-- It's much harder to rebuild...
...than to destroy.
In some ways, it would've been a neat ending to kill him--
A neater ending to kill him.
--but I thought it would've been a betrayal...
...because I wanted my hero, and he's my hero...
...to do what I think is the most noble thing.
So he came back from war, and he tried to build a better world, I suppose...
...as corny as that sounds.
Both on a small scale, for a family, and a larger scale.
Jo ends the series by giving Harry a family.
She's worked out the future of all the surviving characters...
...and draws out a family tree for the Potters and the Weasleys.
ROWLING: Victoire, who's in the epilogue, she is so named...
...because she was born on the anniversary of the battle that finished it all.
Which is the second of May, if anyone's been paying attention.
And then, Charlie had children or married.
RUNCIE: Is he gay?
Dumbledore's gay.
I told a reader that once, and I thought she was gonna slap me.
But I always saw Dumbledore as gay.
Um, no, I don't think Charlie's gay.
Just more interested in dragons than women.
Percy married Audrey.
Don't you think that's a very Percy-like wife's name?
And they had Molly and Lucy.
And then Fred. Poor Fred died in 1997.
And then George. A lot of readers ask me, "Was George all right?"
Of course he wouldn't be all right, would he?
That's the reality. I can't--
But I think that he married Angelina, who was actually Fred's ex, so you can....
Maybe it's a bit unhealthy, but I think that they would've been happy.
As happy as he could be without Fred. I think he would've felt...
...like part of himself died.
RUNCIE: Then there's Ginny, who marries Harry.
ROWLING: And Ginny marries Harry...
...and they have James Sirius, godparents Ron and Hermione.
They have Albus Severus. He's the one I'm most interested in.
And then, third, Lily Luna, for their dear friend.
RUNCIE: And what happens to Luna?
Oh, Luna marries Rolf Scamander, who is the grandson of a great naturalist...
...so they'd have a very interesting life...
...globetrotting and looking for weird animals.
But I think she'd have twin boys.
But later. That would be much later than this lot...
...who all settled down earlier.
And are they happy?
Um, yes, I think so.
My lot are all happy.
-The twin boys have got names too? -Lorcan and Lysander.
-If that's all right with you. RUNCIE: Very Shakespearian.
ROWLING: I can't help it. You know what it was like?
It was like running a race, and you get to the finishing line...
...and you're running too fast to stop, so I do know what happened afterwards.
I couldn't stop my imagination doing that.
So I know this sounds an awful lot of detail to go into for your own satisfaction...
...and not because you're planning to write more books, but that's just how it was.
I couldn't stop. I had to know. I had to know what happened next.
Well, you always have to know more than you put in.
Yeah. Yeah. And I carry that on into another generation...
...but, yes, I.... 517 00:34:20,517 --> 00:34:23,520 So all of that could be another book.
Don't. Don't. Don't. I know it can't--
It can't be.
No. I think it would-- You've got-- No. I think it's definitely time to stop.
Time to stop now.
It gives me a certain satisfaction to say what I thought happened...
...and to tell other people that because, um....
Because I would like my version to be the official version still...
...even though I've not written it in a book.
Because it's my world.
But, no, I don't want to write any more Hogwarts books.
NARRATOR: It's clear that Jo has come to the end of a massive piece of writing.
She's found a kind of closure, both in her work and in her family life.
ROWLING: I'm making David's birthday cake because he's 4 tomorrow.
But it's just the family tea birthday cake, because the day after that...
...we have the party for all his friends and then he gets a shop-made...
...Lightning McQueen, from the Disney-Pixar film...
...with which he is obsessed.
Baking really reminds me of my mother.
She made fantastic cakes. So that really makes me feel...
...like I'm doing the proper motherly thing when I'm making birthday cakes.
And David really likes my cakes, particularly.
RUNCIE: Did you grow up with the smell of baking?
Yeah. My mom was a good cook...
...but she didn't get to stretch her wings much...
...because my father greatly mistrusted foreign food.
But on cakes and buns and bread, she was fantastic.
And that was permissible...
...so that's where she got to show her paces, as it were.
The memory of childhood is clearly one of Jo's main themes.
But now that she and Harry Potter have families...
...has she lost her principle inspiration?
I'm happier now than I've ever been in my life.
I'm happier now than I was as a child, teenager, young adult.
No, I think middle age is probably gonna be my time.
If her life and her writing have been some kind of struggle for completion...
...and she's now found it, what, if anything, is she going to do next?
Has she written her last book?
The Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh.
MAN 1: Things like.... -The top brass...
...of both Warner Bros, and Universal Studios...
...have flown over for a meeting with J. K. Rowling.
Hollywood comes to her.
She doesn't need to go to Hollywood.
MAN 2: So just.... -They're discussing the building...
...of a massive 20-acre Harry Potter theme park in Florida...
...and are seeking her approval.
You know what? Sitting in a room full of people...
...who are trying to impress you...
...that's when I feel I'm at my most fraudulent.
Because I feel like I'm 13, and they're all grown-ups.
And I cover that up quite well, but I just--
I often think, "Why are you all looking at me for?"
Because for years, I was the least important person in the room...
...and I was doodling when I should've been taking minutes...
...and actually writing Harry Potter stories.
MAN 3: -Howler is floating in space.
And its mouth is moving, but you can't hear what it's saying.
But if you stand in the perfect spot right in front of this window...
...we have what's called HyperSonic Sound...
...and only that one person can hear...
...what the Howler is saying.
NARRATOR: I think it must be quite odd to be J. K. Rowling.
Half of her life seems almost normal...
...while the other half seems completely mad.
A sensor will tell that there's somebody there.
It will open its eyes, growl and lunge at you.
There's also the question of money.
RUNCIE: According to some press reports...
-Yeah. -...you have £570 million.
-Is this true? -Those reports are bollocks.
-How much do you have? -Loads, but I'm not telling you how much.
-But it's definitely not 570 million. -Why won't you tell me?
Because I think it's private.
-But you have lots of millions of pounds? -Yeah, I do.
Money means that J. K. Rowling...
...can afford to do her Christmas shopping in Tiffany.
WOMAN: Here's a new cuff that we have.
-It's wonderful. -Isn't this great?
She also allows herself one particular indulgence:
ROWLING: Why do girls love shoes so much?
-I want all of those. WOMAN: You're really nice.
RUNCIE: Do you worry about people asking you for money all the time?
-No. RUNCIE: Do they?
Honestly. Um....
Well, strangers write to me and ask for money.
A lot. Um....
And sometimes I've given it.
But with people that I know, it does change your relationships.
Anyone who says differently is a fool or a liar.
It does add a dimension to your relationships.
When your status changes initially, I think.
But now, as time's gone on, I think my friends have made an adjustment...
...and I've made an adjustment.
And my experience is that your best friends...
...are happy to take in the spirit that it's given...
...and you know, we can all relate pretty much as we ever did.
RUNCIE: Do you worry that people are gonna--?
That people, at some point, are going to ask you?
Is it like a sort of shadow in a conversation? Do you think:
-"I bet they're gonna ask me for money." -No. No, definitely not.
Definitely not.
I don't walk around at all thinking...
...that everyone wants to get a bit of money from me.
Are you leading up to touching me? For--
Do you want a loan?
NARRATOR: Every week, Jo Rowling receives up to 1500 letters...
...either from fans or from people asking for charitable donations.
That's over 75, 000 letters a year.
ROWLING: Initially, I was very disorganised with my giving.
I didn't have a thought-through system.
And, again, that was becoming a bit overwhelming as well.
So I have a charitable trust now.
And we've refined the objectives of the trust...
...which was a very useful exercise.
So the trust does multiple sclerosis research...
...and that's one side of what it does.
And then it mainly targets projects, large or small-scale...
...that are to do with the alleviation of social deprivation...
...with a particular emphasis on women's and children's charities.
ROWLING: -as we discussed.
Yeah. So I'm saying okay to that point, not the other point.
ROWLING: I become very angry...
...when it comes to issues concerning social deprivation and social exclusion.
And I become most irritated and angry by people who have really no idea...
...how it feels to exist in poverty.
And how disadvantage casts a sometimes irreparable blight...
...over people's lives.
And I'm aggravated to real fury...
...by the fact that there is a section of our society that can't join the dots...
...and doesn't see how issues that affect even them...
...their safe lives...
...such as crime and drugs...
...things that touch the middle classes, have their roots often in terrible injustice.
And it's amazing how people can't and don't care enough...
...to try and redress some of those issues.
Those things make me very angry.
NARRATOR: Jo Rowling has given away millions of pounds.
She's never forgotten what it was like to have very little money.
Amidst among all the fame and the trappings of success...
...it's probably quite easy to lose sight of who she was...
...when she started out.
So I wanted to take her back to her old flat in Leith...
...where she finished the very first Harry Potter book...
...and find out what her life had been like then.
It's only a few miles from her main house in Edinburgh...
...but this is the first time she's been back.
RUNCIE: Did you write in here? ROWLING: Mm-hm.
This is really the room.
Well, I finished Philosopher's Stone in here.
This is really where I turned my life around.
Completely. I mean, my life changed so much in this flat.
I feel I really became myself here, in that everything was stripped away.
I'd made such a mess of things...
...but that was freeing.
So I just thought, "Well, I wanna write."
"Sit down and write the book. And what is the worst that can happen?
It gets down by every publisher in Britain, big deal."
So, you know...
...it was really back-to-the-wall time here.
My bedroom's-- Well, "my bedroom"-- The bedroom is a lot tidier now, God.
God, that's mad.
This was a tip when I lived here.
Oh, look. Harry Potter books.
Now, that is really freaky.
And for years now I felt like if it all disappeared--
And some days I do feel like that. Is it real?
--then this is where I would come back to, you know.
This would be my baseline. I'd be back in Leith.
And obviously if I had known that 10 years--
Well, what was it? Yeah, 10 years on...
...I'd come back here with a film crew...
...and there would be my published books...
...in someone else's bookcase in this room....
I mean, it's really incredible to me.
It really did-- I mean....
Because it's such a well-worn part of my story now...
...it's a big yawn to hear...
...how I wrote it...
...as though it was all some sort of publicity stunt I did for a year.
But it was my life, and it was very hard.
And I didn't know there was gonna be this...
...fairy-tale resolution.
And I-- Coming back here is just full of ghosts.
NARRATOR: For most writers, the act of writing is a form of therapy.
A way of making sense of the world and their place within it.
Now, Jo Rowling is writing again.
RUNCIE: So Jo, what are you writing now?
ROWLING: A story that I describe as a political fairy tale.
And it's for, I think, slightly younger children.
So that will probably be the next thing that I finish.
I'm not in a mad hurry to publish. I would like to take my time.
RUNCIE: Why? -Because I've lived with deadlines...
...for 10 years and I'm currently able to luxuriate...
...in the fact that no one's really expecting it.
No one knows anything about it, so I feel as though...
...I've gone back to the beginning of where I was...
...on Philosopher's Stone when it was my private world.
And I'd really like to enjoy that sole possession for a while.
Political fairy tale. Well, that's all you're prepared to say?
I think that's quite a lot, James.
It's the end of a year of filming.
There are just a few more questions I want to ask.
RUNCIE: When were you happiest?
Hospital for the birth of each of my children...
...and Venice last year with Neil.
What's your biggest regret?
That I didn't keep my mother on the phone longer the last time I spoke to her.
What do you still want to achieve?
I want to get better.
Do you ever feel that you just got lucky?
Having the idea was lucky.
Do you ever a feel a fraud?
Less as I get older, but I have done.
What keeps you going?
I'm a born trier.
Why do you still write?
Because I love it and I need it.
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.
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J.K. Rowling - A Year in the Life (ITV, 2007)

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子勻 許 published on May 18, 2017
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