Saturday, October 2, 2010

JK Rowling and Oprah: The Interview (In Scotland!), Completely Unnecessary Post-Event Analysis

rowling and oprah

Rowling so rarely grants interviews.  But no one says no to The Oprah!  So the two billionairesses sat down, with questions burning in fans' minds.  Why never any romance between Harry and Hermione?  Does Rowling think the books would have been better if she'd killed off Arthur Weasely?  And most importantly, any future Harry Potter books?

First, the recap:

  • Rowling and Oprah are surrounded by posh elegance, from the high tea service and fancy drapery to what appears to be an Aubusson carpet.  Rowling's make-up is expertly done but her shoes are distractingly inappropriate and an ugly color.  Oprah gets points for having classy-yet-professional shoes, but looks hugely uncomfortable on the spindly chair.  Where's an armchair when you need one?
  • Four minutes into interview.  Rowling starts tearing up talking about how she felt when she'd finished the seventh Harry Potter.  Also discusses why she changed her mind on the last word in the series being "scar."
  • Oprah says she thought JK was Rowling's name.  What?  Have you ever met anyone with two capital letters for a first name, Oprah? 
  • Rowling talks about her mother's death.  Tears up again.
  • Moving on to happier subjects:  how has your life changed since you won the literary lottery?  Rowling says she dresses much better.  Then she adds that might not have anything to do with it, since, " meet lots of rich people who dress atrociously."  Oprah laughs uncomfortably and touches her sweater.  Apparently the O wasn't confident with that fashion choice!
  • More blah blah about being rich.  Have you read the books, Oprah??
  • Apparently Rowling gave a commencement speech at Harvard.  This is officially the first and only time I've wanted to attend Harvard, lucky bastards.  She talks about how failure made her a better person and the Dementors represent depression (duh!).
  • Rowling tears up again, I forget why.  Only ten minutes left in the interview, WILL YOU START ASKING ABOUT HARRY POTTER PLEEZ!!!!!
  • Finally, the clincher question!  "Will you be writing more?"  Rowling says, "Definitely."  But is she speaking of Harry Potter books or in general terms?  Oprah doesn't press.  Rowling and Oprah bond over a Michael Jackson interview  they both read.
  • Awkward high-five moment.  The interview is over.

The analysis:

Although it's always good to see an interview with Rowling, this one felt like a wasted opportunity.  Oprah spent most of the hour talking to Rowling about personal things in her life.  While that's all well and good, I really don't care about Rowling's personal life and wish Oprah had asked her more probing questions about the books.

As for the issue of whether or not there will be more Harry Potter books, I know the verdict in newspapers and elsewhere is yes, but to me it didn't sound like it.  Rowling seemed to be speaking in general terms when she said she was going to keep writing, and spoke of a "new phase" and not chasing the phenomenon.  I know none of us want Harry Potter to end, but I would be surprised to see Rowling publish a new Potter book at any point in the near future.

Oh well.

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