Ralph Fiennes Explains Voldemort's Weird Wand-Holding Ways in Harry Potter

Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video / Warner Home Video

Have you ever noticed that in the Harry Potter films, Voldemort holds his wand very loosely, almost to the point that it doesn't look like he’s actually holding it at all? You’re not the only one. It’s one of those elements that has become a sort of inside joke among Potterheads. Now Ralph Fiennes, the Oscar-nominated actor who portrayed Voldemort, has finally revealed the truth about his character's wand and the unique way in which he holds it.

Fiennes talked to GQ about his time playing the famous villain, and admitted that he had never read or watched any of the previous Harry Potter books or movies before taking on the role. But after his sister and her children told him it was a pretty big deal to be cast in Goblet of Fire (2005), he signed on.

After reading up on his snake-like character, Fiennes wanted his portrayal of Voldemort to be just as J.K. Rowling described him: gentle, with slithering movements, and silence concealing all the power that lies beneath. The actor wanted Voldemort’s wand to be an extension of that description.

"With Stuart Craig, who's the production designer, and his team, we discussed what the wand would be," Fiennes explained. "It has a hook on it, so I can hold my hand, and then the end can hook around this finger. Like I almost have the hand open ... you'd think it would fall off the hand. But I just enjoyed that it could be light in the hand."

If you’re rewatching the Harry Potter movies and notice that Voldemort’s wand looks almost out of his grasp, now you know your eyes aren’t deceiving you—it was actually a behind-the-scenes trick.

[h/t: GQ]