What are some of your memories of working on these movies?
In terms of a cinematic kind of achievement, I was very reluctant to take ownership, to be honest with you. It took 10 years for me to finally see — I mean, it's almost like being beaten over the head from a visual standpoint, watching these movies every year, realizing I cast all these people, I built all these sets, I created a great playground for a lot of directors to come after me and have fun. But on that first movie, there was so much pressure, so much tension in terms of casting and building the set – what was Quidditch going to look like? – that now there's an enormous sense of satisfaction. They've come this far and they've created a franchise and a series of movies that are unlike anything we've seen.
Also, it all goes back to the books. I think your guy, Peter Travers, said, "Chris Columbus approached it with a hat-in-hand," and I'll never forget that. But actually that's not true; I approached it as a fan. And when you approach something as a fan, you give it a lot of love. I think the last 10 years have set a lot of things straight about those first movies, so I feel great.
Which sets were you most fond of?
The great hall, certainly the chamber of secrets, the Gryffindor common room, Harry's bedroom, Dumbledore's office . . . Dumbledore's office to me, is just amazingly magical, and it's still there.
Do you have any souvenirs from the set?
I have a lot. I had an amazing assistant who produced this movie, but she was very instrumental in getting me one of everything. I've got all of Harry's brooms, I've got the sorting hat, I've got the sword of Godric Gryffindor . . . My office in San Francisco is like the Harry Potter museum.