In the months leading up to the July 8 opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley, information about what the new area would look and feel like began to circulate. Those attending LeakyCon were already planning on making their way either before or after the convention to the new park and began eagerly searching for any information on what to expect. As a first-time LeakyCon attendee and having never visited Universal Orlando, I also joined the masses in researching the park and the wonders it would behold. In doing so, I came across a single sentence in a small article that caught my attention.
As if the Universal team hadn’t already included everything that
should be in Diagon Alley, they were adding more interactive shows like
those included in Hogsmeade. Rather than the “Triwizard Rally” or the
“Frog Choir” shows currently running, Universal brought us not only
Molly Weasley’s favorite songstress Celestina Warbeck but also a story
from The Tales of Beedle the Bard: “The Tale of the Three
Brothers,” brought to life by award-winning artist and production
designer Michael Curry and his team. The reason this tiny tidbit had
caught my eye in the first place is that Michael’s studio is located
only minutes from my small hometown of St. Helens, Oregon, where he is
well known and a bit of a celebrity.
I was lucky enough to see the show in Diagon Alley before speaking
via telephone with Michael, who then invited me to tour his studio in
Scappoose, Oregon. In this exclusive interview for MuggleNet, I was
given an intimate look at how Michael got started as an artist, how he
became involved with Diagon Alley, what his staff and family thought of
the project, and what he thinks the future of Harry Potter holds for his company.
You can read my full interview and see pictures from Diagon Alley over at my other home, MuggleNet, and don't forget to check out my weekly posts in the Casting News section to find out what all the Harry Potter actors and crew are up to these days!