HOLLYWOOD — Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
is breaking the rules. The first Los Angeles premiere for a Harry Potter
film found its young stars in sweltering heat and feeling defiant at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Sunday.
Emma Watson, who plays Hermione, said the film is about "something every teenager goes through. Whether it's with parents or teachers, they learn to trust themselves and their own instincts rather than always relying on someone else telling them what to do."
This fifth screen installment (in theaters Wednesday) of J.K. Rowling's novels finds Harry clashing with a new teacher, Dolores Umbridge, a cruel agent of the government sent to Hogwarts school.
The role of the pink-clad, kitty-cat-decorative-plate-loving Umbridge is filled by Imelda Staunton, an Oscar nominee for 2004's Vera Drake
, who said she was lucky never to have a teacher like that herself. "She is ridiculous, but nothing can stop her because she thinks she's right," Staunton said, adding that her villain is lonely. "And so she should be. She's her own army."
Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry, said that though he grew up mostly on set since he started filming the series in 2000, he also has butted heads with authority. "Oh, all the time!" Radcliffe said. "One of the things you learn growing up is adults don't always have all the answers. I've certainly had teachers like Professor Umbridge — probably more evil, if anything."
An after-party at the Jim Henson Studios, which was set to look like the provincial European architecture of magical neighborhoods in the Potter
movies, was to feature fortunetellers and bathrooms decorated in the Pepto-Bismol hues of Umbridge's office.
Duff Goldman from Food Network's Ace of Cakes
traveled cross-country from Baltimore with a giant cake in the shape of the Gothic towers of Hogwarts. Asked which part of the cake gave him the most trouble, Goldman said: "I'd really like to take a bite out of Dumbledore's tower."