THE stars of the Harry Potter movies have reunited – and revealed the secret crushes they had on their fellow actors while making the huge box office hits.
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have spoken about what went on behind the scenes as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the first film in the franchise.
Daniel, who debuted as the boy wizard in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, said: “I feel so lucky to be where I am and have the life that I have.
“But none of that is possible without Harry Potter. It was a very good ten years.”
Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane and Gary Oldman are among the other stars who appear in Sky Max reunion show Harry Potter 20th Anniversary — Return To Hogwarts, which airs on New Year’s Day.
But JK Rowling, who created the Potter world with her best-selling books, features for less than 30 seconds during the 155-minute special.
The author, who has fallen out of favour with some after sharing her views on transgender issues, is mentioned only fleetingly by the films’ directors and cast.
Instead of being interviewed on the show, 56-year-old JK appears in short films made in 2019 for the Warner Bros Studio Tour.
She says in one clip: “I have found it an extraordinary world to be involved with.”
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JK aside, the special looks at every element of the production, from the hunt for actors to play Harry, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and the creation of the film’s sets.
And the cast reveal behind-the-scenes secrets from the movie — shot in Warner Bros’ studio in Leavesden, Herts. Daniel admits he had a crush on Helena Bonham Carter, now 55, who played Bellatrix Lestrange.
Reading out a note he once sent to the actress, he says: “Dear HBC, it was a pleasure being your co-star and coaster in the fact I always ended up holding your coffee. “I do love you and I wish I’d just been born ten years earlier so I might’ve been in with a chance.”
And he wasn’t the only one who liked a fellow cast member. Actor Matthew Lewis, 32, who played Neville Longbottom, says: “There were endless crushes, people were going out with each other, breaking up.”
Daniel added: “We were all hormonal teenagers, so when in (fourth Harry Potter film) The Goblet Of Fire they brought in a whole bunch of new people for the Triwizard Tourn-ament who were purposefully hot, well . . . ”
‘I felt very lonely’
Emma, 31, had a crush on Draco Malfoy actor Tom Felton, 34, while she was playing Hermione — and still holds a candle for him.
Recalling one of their school lessons on set, she explains: “The assignment we were given was to draw what you thought God looked like. Tom had drawn a girl with a backward cap on a skateboard and at that moment I fell in love with him.
“I used to come in every day and look at the call sheet, and if he was on it, it was an extra exciting day.”
And touching on her struggles with fame, she added: “Tom was the one I could be more vulnerable with. Nothing has ever happened romantically with us. We just love each other and that’s all I can say.”
Emma was just 11 when The Philosopher’s Stone was released. Daniel was 12 and Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, was 13.
The global fame almost proved to be too much for Emma — and she came close to quitting in 2006. David Yates, who directed four Potter movies, explains how he had heard she was not sure she wanted to start filming the fifth film, The Order Of The Phoenix.
There were endless crushes, people were going out with each other, breaking up
And Tom said: “Daniel and Rupert had each other and I had my cronies. But Emma was not only younger, she was by herself.”
Emma says: “I did find a diary entry from that time. There were times that I felt very lonely. I think I was scared. I felt like, this is for ever now. The fame thing had finally hit home in a big way.”
Daniel added: “We never talked about it ’cos we were just kids. As a 14-year-old, I was never going to turn round and say to another 14-year-old, ‘Hey — are you OK?’”
And Rupert, 33, said: “I also contemplated what life would be like if I called it a day.” The support of Harry Potter fans helped Emma to stay on board until the final film, The Deathly Hallows Part II, was released in July 2011.
But the struggles went on, with all three of the child stars admitting they found the later movies tough. Rupert said: “I lost track of who I was and who the character was. I didn’t really know where they ended or began.
“Even my name didn’t feel like my name.” Daniel agreed: “Yes, like who I am and what do I like to do and what is important to me.”
But it wasn’t all misery, with the trio recalling some of the hilarious and dramatic moments that never made it to film.
Emma revealed the child cast were all covered in bruises because they were “obsessed” with paying Slaps — where two players try to avoid getting whacked on the back of their hands.
And Daniel recalled a day on set that could have ended in disaster.
He said: “The candles hanging from the roof of the Great Hall, one day they were burning through the ropes that had them hanging there. So much of that would be special effects now.”
On another occasion some damage really was done — Goblet Of Fire director Mike Newell ended up with several cracked ribs after a fight on set went wrong.
The accident happened as twins James and Oliver Phelps, who played Fred and George Weasley, were filming a scuffle.
On the last day of filming I just remember all of us holding each other, all three of us were utterly devastated
James, 35, revealed: “Mike said, ‘No, no, no. This is a fight — really go for it’. So he stepped in and fought me.” Mike said: “I was a tubby 60-year-old gent, so I really shouldn’t have done it — and then I ended up with cracked ribs.”
Lucius Malfoy actor Jason Isaacs remembers how he injured his on-screen son Draco, played by Tom, in a scene that was later deleted.
Jason, 58, said: “I used this cane to whack his hand but I didn’t know how sharp the teeth on it were and they went into his hands.
“He looked up to me with tears in his eyes. Then he said, ‘It’s OK, it’s good for the scene’.”
Tom said: “He’d be this evil father then ‘Cut!’ And he’d give you a cuddle and say, ‘Did it hit you too hard?’ Very Jekyll and Hyde, that one!”
A touching sequence in the TV special honours the acting legends from the Potter films who are no longer with us — Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape, a actor Richard Harris and Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy).
‘All spirals from Harry Potter’
The cast say they are all now family — and the show ends with their love letters to the saga.
Wiping away a tear, Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane, 71, said: “My children have grown up while I did this. My children’s generation will show it to their children’s generation, so you could be watching it in 30 years’ time.”
Emma added: “On the last day of filming I just remember all of us holding each other, all three of us were utterly devastated.”
And Daniel said: “Every part of my life is connected to Potter. My first kiss is connected to someone here, my first girlfriends were here.
“It all spirals out from Harry Potter.”
- Harry Potter 20th Anniversary – Return To Hogwarts is on Sky Max at 8pm on New Year’s Day.
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