TIME celebrities

Alan Rickman Played an Epic Prank on Daniel Radcliffe While Filming Harry Potter

Special New York Luncheon in Honor of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman at a luncheon for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," at 21 Club, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, in New York. Dave Allocca—AP

Oh, Snape

Daniel Radcliffe, who’s busy promoting his new film Horns, took to Reddit to answer troves of questions for fans this week.

Unsurprisingly, the fans were itching for answers to Harry Potter queries from the actor who played The Boy Who Lived. When asked about the best prank that was played on the Potter set, Radcliffe replied, “I should probably [tell] about the one that was pulled on ME, rather than any I pulled. Because it came from a very unexpected place.”

The unexpected place? The mind of Alan Rickman, who played Professor Severus Snape, Harry’s bête noire at Hogwarts. Rickman pranked Radcliffe on the set of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with a jape that sounds like something Fred and George Weasley might have pulled off.

“There’s a shot in the great hall of all the kids sleeping in the great hall, and the camera starts very very wide, and comes in so that it’s an inch from my face,” Radcliffe wrote on Reddit. “Alan Rickman decided he would plant one of those fart machines in my, uh, sleeping bag, and they waited until like – the camera had come in for this huge DRAMATIC developing shot, and then unleashed this tremendous noise in the great hall.”

“I immediately thought: ‘This is one of the other kids f–king around, and we were going to get in trouble.'”

But as it turns out, it was one of the members of Britain’s acting royalty. “I think I laughed a lot, was probably a bit embarrassed, but it was really really funny.”

Watch a young Radcliffe and co-stars Rupert Grint and Emma Watson explain the prank on the DVD extras from the film:

Read next: Watch Daniel Radcliffe Rap ‘Alphabet Aerobics’ with Jimmy Fallon

TIME Television

Bryan Cranston Responds to Mom Against Breaking Bad Toys

Tread lightly, action figure haters

Multiple Emmy-winning actor Bryan Cranston became the One Who Tweets Monday afternoon, following an uproar over Toys “R” Us selling action figures of Breaking Bad‘s drug-dealing characters.

The action figures of chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-maker Walter White and his sidekick Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) stirred controversy with a Florida mom.

Susan Schrivjer, based in Fort Myers, Fla., launched a petition to have the store remove the toys from shelves. Schrivjer was a fan of the AMC series, despite her opposing views on the toys’ appropriateness for children.

“I thought it was a great show,” she told a local TV station. “It was riveting!”

The petition calls for Toys “R” Us to stop selling the doll collection, which comes “complete with a detachable sack of cash and a bag of meth.” Cranston, however, got in on the fun:

Aaron Paul has yet to chime in, but seems to have no problem with children being involved in the fun of the characters.

As of Monday evening, the Breaking Bad action figure collection did not turn up in a search of the Toys “R” Us website. The company did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

TIME Books

Everything You Need to Know About J.K. Rowling’s New Project

The Harry Potter spinoff caused a social media scene this week—here’s why

Harry Potter fanatics worked tirelessly this week after J.K. Rowling posted an anagram on her Twitter account that hinted at her latest project. And it took just 24 hours for a Potter super fan to solve it.

Though fans thought (and probably hoped) the author might be hinting at more Harry Potter books, she was referencing a Potter spinoff: The screenplay for the first movie in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy. The screenplay is based on a book that once only existed in the wizarding world and served as a textbook at Hogwarts. But in 2001, Rowling published a copy under the pseudonym Newt Scamander with money from sales going toward Comic Relief, a U.K.-based charity.

The anagram was not an actual part of the script but a synopsis of Newt’s story, which Rowling has said kicks off in New York around the year 1920.

“‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” Rowling said in a statement late last year. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Though Potter fans are familiar with the wizarding world, little is actually known about Scamander. According to the “About the Author” section of the book, he was born in 1897 with his interest in fabulous beasts encouraged by his mother, “who was an enthusiastic breeder of fancy Hippogrifs.” Scamander, who spent his years at Hogwarts as a Hufflepuff, later worked for the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. He also worked in the Office for House-Elf Relocation and in the Beast Division, creating the Werewolf Register in 1947 and the Ban on Experimental Breeding, “which prevented the creation of “new and untamable monsters within Britain.” He also worked for the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau, which led to many research trips abroad.

These trips abroad will most likely set the scene for the film, and with chapters on Thestrals, Hippogrifs, Norwegian Ridgebacks, Merepeople and Werewolves, the movie should prove to be another exciting adventure.

The film is set for release on November 18, 2016 and will be produced by David Heyman, who produced all the Potter films, and directed by David Yates, who directed Harry Potter films Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Warner Bros. has also noted the new trilogy will inspire potential additions to the Harry Potter park at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

While Scamander’s story will not sync up with Harry’s, it’s worth noting that his grandson, Rolf Scamander, married Luna Lovegood, a member of Harry’s crew who made an appearance alongside her husband in Rowling’s surprise story posted to fansite Pottermore in July. Emma Watson’s Potter character Hermione won’t have even been born during the time the film takes place, but the actress has said she’s up for a cameo nonetheless.

If you’d like to brush up before the film is released, Albus Dumbledore, who penned the forward to the book, writes that the edition can be purchased for two galleons at Flourish and Blotts as well as in Muggle Bookshops.

TIME Books

Harry Potter Fans Think This Is The Answer to J.K. Rowling’s Riddle

Getty Images

Harry Potter might be making a comeback

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 7

Harry Potter fanatics are putting their heads together to try and solve a riddle J.K. Rowling posted to Twitter on Monday that seems to be in the form of an anagram. Rowling is certainly no stranger to anagrams, as they come up often in the Potter series: With Lord Voldemort’s name, the triwizard tournament and the Mirror of Erised.

Speculation swirled, of course, that Rowling was hinting at another Potter novel. Considering July’s short story she posted to fansite Pottermore about Harry and crew in their thirties sparked similar rumors, a new wizarding world book didn’t seem too far off.

Rowling joined in on the fanatic fun by providing a slew of hints, which reference fictional character Newton Scamander, the author of the book that’s inspiring the film trilogy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, for which Rowling is penning the screenplay.

But fans seem to think the anagram could actually be about the return of Harry himself. Fans posted on Reddit, Twitter and Facebook a solution that reads:

“Harry returns! Wont say any details now. A week off. No comment.”

While this doesn’t quite add up with Rowling’s hint, it does unscramble the words. If Harry made his return to the page, though, the actor who played him in the film series wouldn’t be slipping back into his robes, as he’s repeatedly said he won’t reprise the role. But Emma Watson, who played Hermione, said she’d be up for a cameo in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy.

See if you can solve the anagram yourself with TIME’s interactive solver.

TIME Books

J.K. Rowling Teases Fans With Cryptic Tweet

Author J.K. Rowling attends a photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sept. 27, 2012 in London. Ben Pruchnie—Getty Images

Can you solve the conundrum in the Harry Potter author's tweet?

Updated 12:40 p.m. ET

J.K. Rowling fans are not strangers to riddles and anagrams. The Harry Potter series’ villain created his name–Lord Voldemort–by making an anagram of the name he was born with. And there were tons of hidden riddles and anagrams throughout the Potter series: The poison potion riddle that could stop Harry and co. from getting to the sorcerer’s stone, the golden egg hint during the Triwizard tournament, and the inscription on the Mirror of Erised.

But now fans have a new one to solve. Rowling, who’s typically active on Twitter, hopped on the social media platform on Sunday after a brief absence to let fans know what she’s been up to.

The screenplay is undoubtedly that of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a Potter spinoff and trilogy. But when a fan expressed excitement over what that mysterious unnamed novel might be, the bestselling author chimed in, writing: “See, now I’m tempted to post a riddle or an anagram. Must resist temptation… must work …”

Clearly, she wasn’t working terribly hard, as early Monday morning she returned to Twitter with a mysterious conundrum:

What could it mean? Speculation is swirling, and Potter fans are jumping at the idea that she could be hinting at another Potter novel. Rowling sparked rumors of more Potter adventures in July with a short story updating fans on what Harry, Ron, Hermione and others were like as thirtysomethings.

Fans haven’t seemed to solved it just yet. And Emma Watson, who played brainiac Hermione in the Potter films, hasn’t joined the conversation either, but Rowling offered hints via Twitter for fans eager to solve it referencing fictional character Newton Scamander, the author of the book that’s inspiring the film trilogy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

If only we could hop in the Prefects Bathroom, the answer might just come to us easily. In the meantime, you can give it your best shot with TIME’s interactive anagram solver. The winner gets 50 points for Gryffindor.

TIME celebrities

John Green and Bill Gates Are Teaming Up to Bring Clean Water to Ethiopia

Gates has said he'll match $100,000 if Green can raise it

Author John Green has gotten a lot of attention for his heart-wrenching novel The Fault in Our Stars, the bestselling young-adult-novel-turned-blockbuster-movie about two young cancer patients who meet in a support group. But most fans who only know of Green for this reason aren’t aware of his philanthropic efforts, in which he leverages his large social media following and YouTube fan base. His charitable fundraisers have been geared at everything from cancer to censorship to malaria, but now he’s tackling clean water with the help of Bill Gates.

Green’s biggest fans call themselves “Nerdfighters,” those whose goal in life is to, in Green’s words, “decrease world suck,” and Gates seems to have joined the bandwagon, pledging to match the $100,000 Green hopes to raise through “nerdfighteria.”

Green traveled to Ethiopia with the Gates Foundation earlier this year and documented the trip in his weekly YouTube video, saying that “with 80% of people living in rural areas,” the need for clean water in health care centers was vital. He also raved about the impression that Gates and his foundation’s CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann left on him.

“To be honest… I kind of assumed that Bill and Sue were visiting Ethiopia for, like, a photo op,” he says in one of his videos. “But they were there to ask questions, and lots of them…and watching Bill and Sue gravitate away from cameras and toward health workers, it became clear to me that the Gates Foundation fundamental principle that all human lives have equal value isn’t just rhetoric.”

Green and Gates seem to be quite the power duo, with Green writing on Gates’ blog: “My visit to Ethiopia wasn’t sad—at least not merely so. It was invigorating and encouraging. And sad. … But we shouldn’t look away or feel discouraged. We should get to work.”

As of Monday afternoon, Green’s donation page was raising more than $1,000 every 30 minutes. Watch one of his videos about his trip below.

 

 

TIME movies

Cara Delevingne Lands Lead in John Green’s Paper Towns

Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne George Pimentel—Getty Images

The model lands her first major film role

There’s no official description of Margo Roth Spiegelman’s eyebrows in John Green’s young adult favorite Paper Towns. But based on the casting announcement that 22-year-old British model Cara Delevingne will play the female lead in the film adaptation of Green’s bestseller, they’re sure to stand out when Margo comes alive onscreen. Delevingne will star alongside Nat Wolff, who also starred in Green’s The Fault In Our Stars.

Set in Orlando, Florida, Paper Towns trails Quentin Jacobsen (Wolff) as he follows clues left by his missing neighbor Margo–with whom he happens to be smitten. Green’s droves of fans are sure to speculate who will play the book’s supporting cast of quirky misfits who help round out the story. Screenwriting team Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter, veterans of Green’s material who also adapted Fault and The Spectacular Now, will be responsible for transferring prose to film.

Delevingne’s addition to the cast was confirmed by 20th Century Fox and Green, who took to Twitter to share the news with his millions of follows.

Jake Schreier, known for Robot and Frank, will direct the film, which is due out in 2015. The casting news comes on the same day the The Fault In Our Stars extended edition is out on DVD and BluRay, complete with a deleted scene starring Green.

TIME Books

Watch the New Trailer for Carl Hiaasen’s First YA Novel

Clinton Tyree, the wild-man Florida governor from almost 30 years of Hiaasen fiction, is back—this time in Skink—No Surrender, a book for younger readers

Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen is joining other adult writers who have recently gone young-adult with Skink—No Surrender, out next week from Knopf. Hiaasen, the author of Florida-based crime thrillers like Strip Tease (which became the movie starring Demi Moore) and Bad Monkey, has also written four novels for children.

Skink—No Surrender, his first for young adults, introduces the teen audience to the eccentric character of Clinton Tyree, a glass-eyed, roadkill-eating Vietnam vet and former Governor of Florida who has gone crazy and lives off the grid (read: on the beach), costumed in a floral shower cap and long beard woven with vulture beaks. He is known as Skink, both to the characters in the book, and to readers who would recognize him from numerous “grownup” novels, as Hiaasen calls his adult books, starting with Skink’s first appearance in Double Whammy 27 years ago.

Richard, Skink—No Surrender‘s teenage protagonist, meets Skink on the beach as he waits for his 14-year-old cousin Malley, whom readers soon learn has run away from home with a boy she met in an Internet chatroom. Richard and Skink form a two-man search party, and the novel is off and running.

Though it’s typically the teen characters in young adult books who have readers itching for a sequel, it’s the adult in this story who leaves a lasting impression. “Kids dig the irreverence of the fact that [Skink] sort of lives on the edge and does exactly what he wants,” Hiaasen says in the book’s official trailer, revealed today on TIME.com.

TIME Music

Troye Sivan: ‘Pop Music Is In Such an Exciting Place Right Now’

Troye Sivan
Actor Troye Sivan attends the 4th Annual Streamy Awards presented by Coca-Cola on Sept. 7, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Kevin Winter—DCP/Getty Images

The 19-year-old YouTube sensation talks about his new EP

Troye Sivan is on the cusp of mainstream superstardom: the 19-year-old South African-Australian pop star is making a name for himself with the release of his latest EP, TRXYE, which quickly topped the iTunes Charts in 58 countries upon its release. Sivan built an ardent fanbase on YouTube, where his channel has more than 3 million followers; he signed with EMI Australia shortly after releasing a song and video inspired by the book The Fault in Our Stars. Not only did he garner the attention of fellow lovers of Fault, but author (and fellow YouTube star) John Green became a fan, too.

“I know it sounds cheesy,” Sivan says. “But the book genuinely changed my life. I didn’t know what to do besides go to my piano and try to write something about it.” All proceeds from the song have been donated to Princess Margaret Hospital for children in Perth, which is still benefiting from its sales.

Sivan’s first major-label EP features dark pop that marries intimate lyrics with electronic sounds. TIME caught up with him to hear more about what’s next for the up-and-comer.

TIME: Has your career felt like a whirlwind recently?

Troye Sivan: I didn’t expect this at all — it’s been crazy!

Your song meant a lot to “The Fault in Our Stars” fans. As a fan yourself, were you pleased with the movie?

I think they nailed it, and I’m super proud of John Green. He’s always been such a big supporter and I know that he even tried to get the song in the movie. He’s such a nice guy and it feels really cool that we both came from YouTube, and his creative work changed my life.

Where else do you find your inspiration?

When I got signed and started to write for the EP, I didn’t know what it was going to be. I feel like part of getting better at writing is knowing where to find that inspiration. Right after something happens to me, the first thing I’ll do is go write when those feelings are really, really fresh. I’ll hum a tune into my phone sometimes.

Speaking of your phone, you’re very active on social media — what does it take to get your attention on Twitter?

The ones that I tend to notice will be people who are funny. I love, love, love how I have a witty and funny audience so when they’re funny, I can’t help but respond and get involved.

Do you like being called the next Justin Bieber?

I don’t mind it — it’s flattering. I get it because we both came from YouTube and I’m super proud of what he’s done professionally. I think that the music is a little different, but I’ll let people be the judge of that.

What is some of your favorite music right now?

I’m listening to a lot of Broods, a band from New Zealand. And Wet is a band from New York that I’m really loving. I think pop music is in such an exciting place right now and I do kind of credit that to Lorde with “Royals.” I think that song changed everything in the pop scene. All of the sudden, alternative pop music became pop music.

TIME movies

Watch the Latest Gone Girl Trailer

The new trailer shows an even creepier look at the film adaptation of the bestseller

During Monday night’s Emmy Awards, a new trailer debuted for the much-anticipated film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel Gone Girl. The David Fincher factor is in full force thanks in part to an impressive score from Trent Reznor, who won an Oscar for Fincher’s The Social Network.

There’s nothing that new in this trailer compared to the others — aside from a quick, although creepy, look at how Nick and Amy meet. The story follows the mysterious disappearance of Amy Dunne (played in the film by Rosamund Pike) and the husband (Ben Affleck) who looks as if he’s responsible for killing her. Gone Girl hits theaters Oct. 3.

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