In this extended interview transcript, correspondent Mark Phillips, who, talked with Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, all three of whom collaborated on the story of the stage production, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” A continuation of the story of Potter, now an adult and parent, the play (presented in two parts) has been the theatrical event of the year in London, where it won a record 9 Olivier Awards (Britain’s version of the Tonys). The show is now headed to Broadway; tickets go on sale next month.
MARK PHILLIPS: It must seem like another life. Or does it?
J.K. ROWLING: It does and it doesn’t. When I remember us on the train, that seems like about six months ago. But then when I pull out a little bit, and think of everything that’s happened since, you know, in my personal life as well, suddenly I realize, no, I’ve grown two more human beings in that time.
MARK PHILLIPS: And what, four more books?
J.K. ROWLING: Yeah. Well, four, five, six, seven, eight books. Collaborated on a play and written two screenplays. Yeah. So when you look at that, you think, yeah, that’s definitely not six months.
MARK PHILLIPS: I’m tempted to start by asking kind of a Mrs. Merton-y question which is, what is it about the prospect of earning millions of pounds from bringing Harry Potter to the stage that most appealed to you?
J.K. ROWLING: Michael Jackson wanted me to go to Neverland and talk about a musical Harry Potter. And I didn’t want to do it. No, I genuinely didn’t want Harry to go onstage. I didn’t want a musical. I felt that I was done.
MARK PHILLIPS: With Harry?
J.K. ROWLING: I think I felt, if ever I feel really inspired, absolutely I will go back into that world. I’d always said never say never, because I knew that Warner Brothers wanted to do something with “Fantastic Beasts,” and I did have kind of a yen to do that.
But you know, I was in no hurry. And the truth is that it wasn’t until [theatrical producer] Sonia Friedman came to see me to talk to me about the possibility of doing something onstage that I started to think, “Okay, what you’re proposing is something that I could be creatively excited about.” Because to answer your question equally directly, we all know I don’t need the money. Life is too…