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Getting Sirius

''Harry Potter'' kids offer glimpse at ''Azkaban.'' They talk about their increasingly hostile and alienated adolescent characters on the eve of the trailer's March 26 release

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | ANGST FOR THE MEMORIES in ''Azkaban,'' the Hogwarts gang (Watson, Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint) have hit their teen years
ANGST FOR THE MEMORIES in ''Azkaban,'' the Hogwarts gang (Watson, Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint) have hit their teen years
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Get ready for teen angst, Hogwarts-style. With the trailer for ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' set to hit theaters on March 26 (where it will precede screenings of ''Scooby Doo 2''), the cast and crew talked to USA Today about the film, which opens on June 4. ''Azkaban'' is darker in tone than the first two movies, now that the actors and their characters have hit their teens. ''The hormones are buzzing, and so is their anger about things,'' says director Alfonso Cuarón, who knows about teen hormones, having directed ''Y Tu Mamá También.'' ''I didn't want those emotions very polished. Sometimes they got carried away. I would let them. I didn't want them to be neat. I wanted it a little raw.''

Harry's alienation is especially acute, Cuarón says. ''Harry's always been a kind of outsider, but now he becomes more aware of that forlornness. It's about accepting who he is.'' Says 14-year-old Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry: ''This is my favorite of the books.It's a weird one because it almost reinvents the character. He's more hostile. He's got a lot of teenage aggression, which all people at 13 do.'' But Harry, more than most teens, is ''a lot more paranoid about how he interacts with people.''

Relieved that she gets to act and dress like a regular teen is Emma Watson, who plays Hermione. ''It took me three films to get Hermione in jeans,'' she says. ''To get out of the robes with the tights and the itchy jumpers. Whoo-hoo!'' She also gets to enjoy some girl-power moments, particularly when she gets to slug the bullying Draco Malfoy. (''That felt good,'' Hermione says after decking Draco.) ''It was great fun,'' Watson says. ''We did a couple of takes, and I was saying 'Come on, come on, let's do it again.'''

Originally posted Mar 19, 2004