THIS IS a very big year for Potter fans.

As well as the release of J K Rowling's seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the film adaptation of book five which has hit cinema screens across Hampshire.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix reunites the old cast with a few new faces, the latter most notably Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange and Imelda Staunton as the dreaded Dolores Umbridge, who replaces Dumbledore as headmaster of Hogwarts.

Directed by acclaimed Brit David Yates, the trailer is already thrilling devotees up and down and the country.

In London earlier this year, myself and five other journalists had the privilege of interviewing three of the Hogwarts students who step up to the plate in this new film.

They're able to give a unique insight into just what it's like behind the scenes of what will possibly become the most successful film franchise in film history.

Sixteen-year-old BONNIE WRIGHT plays Ron's younger sister, Ginny Weasley.

As well as all of the Harry Potter films, Bonnie has starred in two television productions; Agatha Christie; a Life in Pictures in which she played the young Agatha Christie and as Sarah Robinson in Stranded.

Bonnie also plays the guitar, saxophone, takes ballet and contemporary dance and sings. She loves art, English, listening to music, watching films, surfing, cycling and playing football, hockey and tennis.

Q: What has it been like to step more into the limelight as Ginny has become more prominent?

In the first few books, she was the little sister of the Weasley family, but in the later books, she comes through more on her own.

It's been more fun doing this film as Ginny's character's developed. The six of us go through to the Ministry of Magic and it was really interesting to be a part of. Ginny's a bit more confident - I have definitely enjoyed that.

I started when I was nine and I'm sixteen now. It's nine months at a time from the beginning of shooting to when it comes out and I think I enjoy it better now because we've grown up together and when we're filming it's a really relaxed atmosphere. We're going to start the sixth film at the beginning of September.

When we all come back into the next film it's like coming back from the summer term, we're all kind of like, oh, you've grown. We all keep in contact when we're not filming. Different people live in different parts of England but we let each other know what we're up to at school and things.

I'm interested in doing more things because I think it'd be interesting to get a new challenge. I've got my exams coming up and it's quite hard to fit everything in.

Q: Do you feel you've missed out on anything, having spent so many years on set?

I haven't missed any of my education and luckily because I live in London, I've not had to move away from my home or my friends and that has really helped. The other people, I definitely admire them for being away from home for so long.

I don't think I have missed anything I'll really regret because I have been able to keep in touch with all my friends. Luckily when I go back to school, everyone's OK with me just doing that.

I think it has been beneficial in some subjects. When you're at school, there are some subjects you need a lot of discussion in, like maybe you're reading a book and you all discuss it. But I think when it's one to one, you can learn so much in an hour. There are no distractions and you have to concentrate.

Obviously when we're not filming, we're whipped straight back into tutoring to get your hours done.

Q: Is it an alternative kind of education to spend most of your formative years on a film set?

A: I think it's such an experience to watch it all happening, because it's such a big film, the top level of intensity and everyone's is the best in their field. It's amazing to learn from them. When you're on set, I find it interesting to talk to different people, the camera department, ask oh what's that?', or what does that do?' and they're all really open about talking to you.

I really enjoy acting but it wasn't something I'd thought, oh I want to be an actress. I always wanted to go to art school and I still do, so maybe I could work in the art department, or production design or costume design. That'd be really interesting.

Each new director gives a new energy to the film too. David Yates had such a clear vision of what he wanted the film to be and to watch that is really interesting. The main thing that we talked about was how Ginny has become more confident and more feisty - she's not just this little girl any more.

Q: What's good about being a Weasley?

A: We have a Christmas scene in Grimauld place and it's quite a dark atmosphere but our family brings a bit of life into it, some colour. I think the humour in the Weasley family brings things more alive.

Julie Walters, who plays Mrs Weasley is really kind of open and friendly towards all of us - she likes to have that family ring around us all. She's bubbly on set.

Q: Did you go to see Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry star in Equus in the West End?

A: I saw it and I enjoyed it. For him it was definitely a good, good thing to do, because you're so easily typecast as a child actor and I think it's a good move. The play was just amazing - I was so wrapped up in it all.

Q: What's it like to watch the other Potter films, given how young you are in them?

A: I haven't actually watched them for so long. It is yourself but it almost isn't because when I look back, I think is that me? I'm so tiny!

SHY and softly spoken 14 year-old EVANNA LYNCH plays Luna Lovegood, the free spirited, but fiercely loyal friend to Harry and determined member of Dumbledore's Army.

Evanna flew from her home near Dublin and travelled to London to come face to face with 15,000 other young hopefuls at an open audition.

But casting director Fiona Weir knew as soon as she saw her that "there was only one Luna". And just a few short weeks later, Evanna joined the production in the role.

When not filming, Evanna enjoys spending time at home, particularly with her family pets, which include a cat called Luna and a kitten named Dumbledore.

Q: What was it like to be a fan and then be on the set?

A: It was this feeling the whole time like I shouldn't be here among all these stars, these professionals. I was trying to keep my distance because I wanted to watch everyone. They want you to be at home and be part of it, and it became normal very quickly. I know I had been prepared, thinking, it's going to be like this, but that was more of a fantasy.

I was a bundle of nerves. I didn't expect that because during the screen test, I was fine, I was ready. I thought I'd be holding everyone up because I didn't know the ropes, but you do a few takes and got used to it.

Q: What was it about Luna that made you think, that's the part for me'.

A: It was just because she was happy, she's got everything sorted out, she's kind of like Dumbledore - she doesn't need anyone. She's happy being free. I wish I was as free as that.

Watching the movies, I always thought it would be so cool to be in Harry Potter and to make that your job, but before Order of the Phoenix, I didn't know who I'd be so I thought I'll just watch.

Then 2003, 21st of June, that was her - I wanted to go for Luna. I'm not one to sit around and wait for fate to do things so I got my friends and made a tape. They played Harry and Ron - they were very good about it, very patient - and I sent that away. That never came of anything because they can't deal with individual applications because they get so many but I did get a letter the same day I went on Mugglenet and there was a post saying open auditions for Luna Lovegood.

Q: J K Rowling knows you from your fan letters and has apparently said that she thinks you'll be great in the part - that must be a thrill?

A: If she's happy with you playing one of her characters, that's an honour. She still hasn't seen it, she'd just going from meeting me so I'm really scared. I'm always picturing the moment after she's seen it and I've had nightmares where she just walks away. I don't want to know what the Potter fans think of me - there's always going to be someone who won't like it - and that'll just upset me. If I'm happy with it, it just matters if I've done my little vision of Luna.

Q: I understand you're a fan of Tim Burton - it must be a dream then that it's also Tim's partner Helena Bonham Carter's first Harry film?

A: I was so shy about that. Sometimes she'd be in make-up chair beside me and I was thinking of what to say to her, and then she'd get up and leave. I didn't want to go, oh, I love your husband!' Or partner or whatever. I told her and then she said, oh, you'll have to come for tea sometime'. I don't know how I'd deal with that. Hopefully, he'll be at the premiere.

There was a girl playing Bellatrix before Helena but she got pregnant and I'd never met her but they all said good things about her. When they said Helena was playing her, I was really excited and I thought she'd be perfect. She's so wonderful and she gets really into the part.

One time on set she had to hold Matthew by the hair and she got so into it that she put a wand into his ear and it was bleeding. And he was deaf for two days! Just in one ear though.

Once it was her son's birthday and she brought in all these cakes she'd made. So she's not Bellatrix!

Imelda as Umbridge is perfect. Ah, she makes you laugh so much. I didn't see a lot of her scenes, but in one, she's making a boring horrible speech and she'd say something awful and make a little squeaky laugh. Like Helena, she's so different in real life. She was the most friendly of the adults, always asking how you are.

Q: Have you any thoughts on what will happen in book seven?

A: Voldemort is going to die and Harry is going to live and he's going to die. He'll go through the department of mysteries on All Hallows Eve.

I hope they'll come back into the living world. He hasn't had a very fun life and he needs a few years free of Voldemort.

I wouldn't want to get book seven in advance. Sometimes talking to Jo, I'd ask her questions and think actually, no I don't want to know!

LEEDS native 16 year-old MATTHEW LEWIS reprises his role as Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Matthew has been acting since he was just five years old after joining a performing arts club. He won the role of Neville after an open casting call was held in his hometown.

Matthew has previously featured in a number of television series' including; Heartbeat, City Central, Where the Heart Is, Sharpe, Emmerdale, Dalziel & Pascoe and Some Kind Of Life...

Q: Having just spoken to Evanna, I have to ask you first about the wand incident with Helena.

A: We were doing a scene in the Ministry of Magic where she's holding the character of Neville hostage and Helena plays the character really well, being sadistic and twisted about it. She was moving the wand about on my head, just teasing me and I'm pulling away in fear. She put it straight into my ear and the doctor had to have a look at it and I was deaf for two days in that ear which was pretty weird. She was very apologetic and I can hear fine now!

It was fun - I have always enjoyed playing Neville because he's been that comic relief in the film, and I love making people laugh. This year I got to do that and also a lot of emotion and drama when he talks to Harry about his parents. To not only be working harder and be in more scenes, but also the diverse nature of the work was a lot of fun. I hope it carries on up to the seventh film.

Q: Given that you're obviously quite a dude (Matthew looks very different from Neville in the flesh, much more trendy) is it fun to play a character who's very different to you in real life?

A: It's kind of strange because I was never really bullied at school. I was pretty confident and I've never shyed away from much but a lot of people have come up to me and said that they were bullied at school and him playing Neville has influenced them a lot in their lives and helped them out. So that's given me great inspiration to carry on doing the job right.

I don't want to just say I'm a natural (he laughs self-deprecatingly), but the books are so well written that you don't have to do much research. You can just read how Rowling wrote it down and perform it that way.

It's surprising how many fans say he's their favourite character. It's really cool to think that you're playing these people's favourite character who they have ingrained in their head from the book. For them to say you're doing it right, is superb.

I'm pretty lucky in that I don't look anything like Neville, at least, I don't think I do. Around Leeds, people recognise me. But I can still go shopping. I kind of get the best of both worlds.

Q: I understand you're a Leeds FC fan - it's been a pretty tough year for supporters, given that the club have now dropped down out of the Premiership into League One football.

A: I don't mind talking about it - they broke my heart twice in one year. But we'll be back, next season.

I love playing football. We're not allowed to do it when we're filming unfortunately, contact sport, they don't want a broken leg or anything, but I love it. Because I've been away, I've missed out on a lot of opportunities to play. I pay a lot of five a side - it's definitely one of my main hobbies.

I'm always asked what do I want to do between the Potter films, and I just want to relax. I also have schoolwork, so I catch up on that. I get so homesick being in London all the time, so I just want to be with my friends. I want to be able to have my own hair for a bit, go out with my mates, be with my friends.

Q: Is a move from the north down to London on the cards?

A: It's probably going to be necessary in the future. I will have to consider it, but not just yet. I love Leeds too much and it would such a trek going to Elland Road every week.

I'm going to have to work on getting an RP accent I think. It's fun being different though, you know.

Q: I notice you're wearing a Stone Roses T-shirt - can I assume you're a fan of retro music?

A: Yeah, Stone Roses, Oasis, The Verve, Blur - I love all that nineties Britpop. Liam Gallagher came to the studio, and brought his kids along. I'd been working Monday to Thursday, believe this, and he came on the Friday. I didn't get to meet him and I was pretty devastated about that.

Both me and Dan Daniel Radcliffe can go back to older stuff, any rock and roll, we just love it. I got VIP to the Kaiser Chiefs which was fantastic and they're Leeds fans as well.

Q: Do you think Neville's going to die?

A: A lot of people have come up to me and said, you're going to die mate'. Cheers! But I like to think he'll be there fighting to the end. If he does die, I'd like it to be really heroic, saving someone else's life.