HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE
- The producers tried to give Daniel Radcliffe green eyes and Hermione buck teeth like in the books, but failed. Sadly, Daniel had a terrible allergic reaction to his green contact lenses and had to stop wearing them, while Emma Watson couldn’t speak clearly wearing her false buck teeth.
- The Duke Humfrey’s Library made a huge exception for filming The Restricted Section scene. Even though the historic library usually strictly forbids bringing flames into the library for any reason, they made an exception for Harry Potter. It was the first exception in hundreds of years.
- Emma Watson might not have gotten the role of Hermione had it been up to her. The casting team held auditions at elementary schools all across Britain to find their Hermione, but when they got to Emma’s school, she had no desire to audition (even though everyone else at school did). It was Emma’s teacher who convinced her to audition, and she ended up being the last girl that day. To think she got the role after that!
- J.K. Rowling could have played Harry’s mom. She was offered the role of Lily Potter in the Mirror of Erised scene, but she turned it down and the role went to Geraldine Somerville instead. (Come on Jo! You would have been perfect!)
- J.K. Rowling requested that the entire cast be British. The only major exception was the casting of Verne Troyer, a.k.a. Mini-Me from Austin Power, as Griphook. His American accent was later dubbed over in the film.
- All the food you see in the great hall scenes is 100% real. Director Chris Columbus wanted to capture the elaborate feasts from the books perfectly (and he totally did). The only problem is the food spoiled really easily under the hot production lights and created a super unpleasant odor. That’s why for future HP movies, they froze food and created molds to make the fake food look more realistic.
- Was Harry really a great wizard? Despite him being referred to as a great wizard quite a bit throughout, Harry never actually casts a single spell in this movie.
HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
- Many cars were harmed in the making of the Whomping Willow scene. Fourteen Ford Anglias were wrecked in the filming of the scene where Harry and Ron crashed into the Whomping Willow.
- Draco Malfoy’s funniest line was improvised by Tom Felton. Tom made up the line, “I didn’t know you could read,” (which he said to Harry when he looked like Goyle because of the polyjuice potion) on the spot because he’d forgotten his line.
- Hugh Grant was originally cast as Gilderoy Lockhart. He had to pull out because of scheduling conflicts. Jude Law was also considered, but he was deemed too young.
- Rupert Grint has an actual severe case of arachnophobia. So he didn’t have to do much acting in the scene where he and Harry meet Aragog.
- Hermione was meant to hug Harry AND Ron at the end of the movie when she runs into the Great Hall. Since Emma Watson was too embarrassed to hug the boys in the scene, Christopher Columbus changed it so that she would hug Harry and then begin to hug Ron but get too embarrassed and shake his hand. The change actually worked well to build up their love/hate relationship that continued throughout the books. We all know how that ended!
HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
- The characters ditched their school robes in this movie for the first time, at least in some scenes. Director Alfonso Cuarón thought that the characters wearing everyday clothes would show their personalities, so he told the rest of the Hogwarts students to wear their uniforms any way they wanted so the wizards’ school would look more realistic. You’ll notice some students wearing their uniforms neatly while others look disheveled with crooked ties and untucked shirts.
- The case of the three Dumbledores. The role of Dumbledore was recast after Richard Harris (the original Dumbledore) sadly passed away shortly after Chamber of Secrets was released. Many people mistakenly believe Ian McKellen took over the role of Dumbledore, but it was actually Michael Gambon who took on the role. The confusion probably stems from Ian’s role as the legendary Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, who looks very similar to Dumbledore.
- Harry Melling almost lost his role of Dudley Dursley. Melling lost so much weight between the filming of Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban that he no longer fit the heavy-set character’s description. Instead of recasting him, though, producers decided to put him in a fat suit for the movie.
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
- Alan Rickman wore black contacts for his role of Snape. New director Mike Newell didn’t know this fact when he commented on Alan’s amazing eye color, and Alan surprised him by popping out his contact right in front of him!
- Why Harry was only shown dancing from the waist up in the Yule Ball scene might surprise you. While the rest of the cast got three weeks of dancing practice, Daniel was only able to get in four days because he had a much heavier filming schedule. For this reason, they mainly used shots of Harry dancing from the waist up to avoid showing his stumbling feet.
- The character Nigel Wolpert, who first appears in Goblet of Fire and then in Order of the Phoenix, does not appear in the books at all. It is believed that he was introduced to act as a substitute for Colin Creevey and his brother Dennis because of his short stature, and his idolizing of Harry.
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
- The Black family tree portrait was super authentic. J.K. Rowling actually provided over 70 names for the Black family tree tapestry, along with details of relations between every member.
- Tonks’ hair deviated from the books. While it was described as bubble gum pink in the books, it was made purple in the movie because the filmmakers felt pink should only be associated with Umbridge.
- Daniel’s eyes had to be digitally altered in his possession scene. Obviously, he couldn’t wear contacts (see fact #1).
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
- The actor who played Young Tom Riddle is related to the actor who played Voldemort. Hero Fiennes-Tiffin is actually Ralph Fiennes’ nephew.
- The script prompted J.K. Rowling to first reveal that Dumbledore is gay. The original script included a line where Dumbledore talks about a crush he once had on a girl, which led Rowling to clarify that Dumbledore was gay and only ever had a crush on the great wizard Grindelwald. She later made this public information while promoting the final book in the series.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (PART 1 & 2)
- Filming the “Seven Harrys” scene was insanely complex. Daniel Radcliffe counted over 90 takes just for that single shot.
- Bill Weasley and Mad Eye Moody have a familiar connection. Domhnall Gleeson portrays Bill Weasley and is the son of Brendan Gleeson, who plays Mad Eye Moody. Can you spot the resemblance?
- Voldemort awkwardly hugging Draco was not scripted, but improvised by Ralph Fiennes. Tom Felton’s shocked response of stopping in his tracks was totally authentic.
- Daniel Radcliffe went through 160 pairs of prop glasses by the end of filming the series. Which is oddly fitting since he probably would have gone through that many in the books too had it not been for the Reparo charm.