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"I just fell in love with him": 15 things we learned from the Harry Potter reunion.

2022 is off to a great start courtesy of the Harry Potter reunion many of us wanted and needed.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is streaming on BINGE, bringing us behind-the-scenes footage from the film set, as well as cast reunions, revelations, hugs, tears, a memoriam and more.

Notable cast members to return included, but were not limited to, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Gary Oldman, and Ralph Fiennes.

Watch: The 20th anniversary of Harry Potter. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Reminiscing over the first film's 20th anniversary, some of the major discussion points included the young actors' struggles with fame, some crushed ribs and declarations of love. 

Here are the 15 biggest revelations from the reunion:

Casting the role of Harry Potter was a struggle.

Image: Getty.

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The director of the first two films, Chris Columbus, described the casting search for Harry Potter as "insane".

But when Columbus saw David Copperfield (1999), which featured a young Daniel Radcliffe, he immediately wanted the actor to audition.

Radcliffe's parents initially refused, concerned about the pressure, fame and huge commitment the role would bring. But fortunately for all, Radcliffe's parents were convinced to bring their son in for an audition, which he excelled in. 

How the twins were able to secure their roles.

Image: Getty.

Oliver and James Phelps, aka Fred and George Weasley, immediately knew they wanted to audition for the roles of the Weasley twins when the auditions were announced, as there were very few twins in literature. 

Along with "hundreds if not thousands of other hopefuls" the duo waited in line for the audition, only to realise all the other sets of twins were wearing matching outfits in a bid to look more identical. 

"We realised that we were the only set of twins who weren't wearing identical clothing," Oliver said. "We ended up going over the road and bought two identical, matching tops just off the rack."

Thank goodness they did!

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Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy, originally auditioned for a different role.

Image: Warner Bros/BINGE.

Jason Isaacs who played Lucius Malfoy originally auditioned for the role of Gilderoy Lockhart.

As Isaacs was already set to play Captain Hook in the 2003 film Peter Pan, he didn't want to typecast himself into playing another children's villain. 

But the director asked him to read for the Malfoy role anyway. 

"I'm convinced I ended up playing Lucius because I didn't want to," Isaacs said in the reunion. "I read through gritted teeth, I was deeply bitter. And of course, that was exactly what was necessary, and they asked me to play Lucius, and thank God they did."

"I found the role ridiculously good fun."

Short attention spans were an issue in the early days.

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During the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the child actors understandably had some pretty short attention spans. 

Archival video played during the reunion showed many of the child actors playing games or laughing immediately after takes. 

As Matthew Lewis, aka Neville Longbottom, pointed out, "It's not easy, cause it takes a tremendous amount of patience with kids: particularly with kids as hyperactive and as excitable as we all were."

Listen to The Spill: In this episode, co-hosts Laura Brodnik and Kee Reece unpack why author J. K. Rowling was left out of the Harry Potter reunion. Post continues after audio.


Robbie Coltrane, who played the one and only Hagrid, said Chris Columbus was great at working with children.

"Columbus had worked with kids a lot, and he was terrific with them. He really was." Coltrane said during the reunion. "He used to go down on his knees to talk to them and huddle around so nobody could hear."

But reflecting on the experience, the stars of the film said they were grateful to Columbus for letting them have fun and "just be kids" on the set.

"They probably made their jobs harder for themselves by letting us have as much fun as we had because it distracted us from the work we were supposed to be doing," Daniel Radcliffe said. But ultimately, it ensured as little burnout as possible for the younger actors. 

One of the Weasley actors accidentally broke the director's ribs.  

Image: BINGE.

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In The Goblet of Fire, the Weasley twins fight each other after a failed attempt at entering the Triwizard Tournament.

So the director of this fourth film, Mike Newell, stepped in to demonstrate what the fight should look like on camera, deciding to grapple on the floor with Oliver Phelps. 

Reflecting on the decision during the reunion, the director said he "really shouldn't have done it" because he ended up cracking a few ribs, leaving him in "absolute agony" for the rest of the filming.

"You know when you shouldn't break a director's rib?" James Phelps laughed at the reunion, pointing at his twin.

The Goblet of Fire was the 'peak hormone' period for the cast, who began exploring crushes, relationships and dating. 

The Goblet of Fire premiere. Image: Getty.

During filming for The Goblet of Fire, Robbie Coltrane noted that a bunch of "beautiful young people" were cast in the film, whether it be the Beauxbatons, the Durmstrang boys or the extras and supporting cast hired for the Yule Ball and classroom scenes. 

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Daniel Radcliffe agreed, saying: "You had a bunch of hormonal teenagers anyway and then bring in two massive groups of new people, all of them purposefully hot for the film. So, yeah... it was all kicking off."

Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, said the fourth movie was "all about teenagers having crushes for the first time," which was relatable for the young cast. "We were literally having the same experiences," she said.

Matthew Lewis also said: "There were crushes, and people went out with each other and broke up, just like you do at school."

Radcliffe and Emma Watson said they even gave each other dating advice on set, and Radcliffe described The Goblet of Fire as "peak hormone" for him.

Emma Watson felt a lot of pressure when it came to Hermione's 'transformation' at the Yule Ball in The Goblet of Fire.

Image: Warner Bros/BINGE

"Looking beautiful and wearing a beautiful dress", as Daniel Radcliffe put it, the scene where Hermione enters the Yule Ball was overwhelming for Emma Watson. 

Whether it was the fact she was supposed to be seen by the viewer as 'a woman' for the first time or the director's incessant knit-picking on how Watson should walk and move her body during the scene: it clearly left a bad mark for Watson. 

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"I knew it was a big deal, and I was miserable," she said. "It was the ugly-duckling-becomes-a-swan moment. There was just like all of this pressure suddenly."

She added, "Of course, I fell down the stairs."

Richard Harris and Fawkes the Phoenix.

Image: Warner Bros.

Columbus cast Richard Harris to play Dumbledore. 

During the reunion, Columbus and Radcliffe recalled a time on set when Harris wasn't aware that one of his 'co-stars' was in fact electronic. 

Columbus said: "You and I had one of our greatest laughs together with Richard Harris. We had an animatronic version of Fawkes the Phoenix... Richard came in and looked at the phoenix and said, 'Wow they train these animals marvelously these days."

Radcliffe explained there was a camera in the fake bird's eyes, so the operator would realistically follow Harris' gaze when he looked at Fawkes. 

"We never told him," Radcliffe said with a giggle. 

Alan Rickman was the only cast member who knew his character's fate ahead of the book releases.

Image: Warner Bros.

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Given the Harry Potter books were still being written when the first movies came out, the cast was unaware of what their character's future looked like. That was except for Alan Rickman, however.

Radcliffe confirmed during the reunion while speaking with Gary Oldman, who played Sirius Black, that Alan Rickman had asked J. K. Rowling what Snape's character arc was, to ensure he could bring the best performance.

Given Snape was such a complex character, it's a good thing that Rickman was aware of what the future held. 

Rickman never shared Rowling's plans for his character with the rest of the cast, or even the directors.

There is "a lot of love" between Tom Felton and Emma Watson.

Image: BINGE.

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Also discussed during the reunion was the connection between Emma Watson and Tom Felton. 

Watson revealed she had a crush on Felton during the first few films, which Felton soon became aware of. 

During an on-set tutoring task, the young actors were asked to draw a picture of what they thought God looked like. 

"Tom drew a girl with a backward hat on a skateboard. I don't know how to say it, I just fell in love with him," Watson said. 

Felton, who is three years older than Watson, saw her as more of a younger sister rather than a romantic connection but said he felt very protective of her. 

"Yeah, I've always had a soft spot for her, and that continues to the day," he added. 

"Nothing has ever, ever, ever, ever happened romantically with us," Watson clarified. "We just love each other."

Daniel Radcliffe wrote a love letter to Helena Bonham Carter during filming for The Order of the Phoenix. 

Image: BINGE.

During the reunion, Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Radcliffe sat down together to chat about the experience of working together.

Bonham Carter joined the franchise in the Order of the Phoenix, playing Bellatrix Lestrange. She raved about the professionalism of the cast, including the child/teen actors. But what struck audiences particularly was a photo of an autograph Radcliffe wrote for Bonham Carter during the filming of that fifth movie. 

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In the autograph, Radcliffe had wrote: "I do love you, and I just wish I'd been born 10 years earlier, I might have been within a chance. Lots of love and thanks for being cool."

15 years on, the pair had a good laugh over that, Bonham Carter saying she will "always treasure that".

Emma Watson felt overwhelmed after the first four films, toying up whether to leave the franchise.

Image: BINGE.

Midway through filming the franchise, Emma Watson was beginning to consider leaving Harry Potter altogether.

"I could see that at the time, I was lonely. I think I was scared. The fame thing had finally hit home in a big way."

As Rupert Grint put it, he had "Daniel as a close male friend", whereas Emma was the only main girl and also younger than her co-stars. 

Daniel Radcliffe said they never talked about grappling with young fame when they were on set.

"As a 14-year-old boy, I was never going to turn around to another 14-year-old and be like, 'Hey, how are you doing? Is everything okay?'"

In the end, Watson said, "No one had to convince me to see it through. The fans genuinely wanted you to succeed and we all genuinely had each other's backs."

So she decided to stay. 

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Losing fellow cast members is "heartbreaking".

Image: Warner Bros.

Sadly, in the 20 years since the first film was released, multiple people involved in the film's success have died.

Notable faces include Alan Rickman, who played Snape, Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two films prior to his death, John Hurt who played Ollivander, Helen McCrory who played Narcissa Malfoy and Richard Griffiths who played Uncle Vernon Dursley.

During the reunion, Emma Watson said it was "obviously amazing to be back, but it's so shocking that so many people that we thought would be around for much longer than they have been..." before trailing off.

Rupert Grint shared a similar sentiment, saying it was like losing "family members".

Radcliffe said losing Richard Griffiths particularly affected him the most because the actor was "generous" in sharing knowledge with him on set.

When it came to Helen McCrory, who died at age 52 in 2021, the actors were teary.

Jason Isaacs called his on-screen wife "the best actress" he'd ever met. Tom Felton also teared up when talking about how much McCrory had taught him.

The first kiss between Ron and Hermione was difficult to shoot for the actors.

Image: Warner Bros.

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Arguably one of the biggest moments of the final film was Ron and Hermione's first kiss: something viewers had been waiting to see for years. 

But filming the big moment was a challenge for all involved: especially Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. 

"We couldn't get through it without laughing," Grint said. 

Daniel Radcliffe apologised during the reunion for having made things worse by being "an absolute dick" about the scene. "I did not make this better ... I was like, 'I'm gonna come on set and watch you guys kiss'."

"I kind of think I blacked out," Grint said to Watson. "I just remember your face getting closer and closer."

"Kissing Rupert is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do," Watson added. "It just felt wrong, so wrong on every level. Like a sibling."

The Harry Potter trio has remained close.

Image: BINGE

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Ending on a beautiful note, the three main actors shared a hug, noting the impact the film franchise has had on their lives. 

"It feels like no time has passed and loads of time has passed, simultaneously," Watson shared.

"It always had to end, we were never going to be doing this forever," actor Rupert Grint said while fighting back tears, holding Emma Watson's hand.

"We're family, we always will be. Even though we don't see each other all the time, it's a strong bond that we will always have. We will always be part of each other's lives."

You can watch the trailer for Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts below. The full reunion is available to watch on BINGE.

Feature Image: Getty/BINGE/Mamamia.

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