Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion: The Cast's Most Magical Quotes About the Films

The Harry Potter cast got together for an HBO Max reunion special to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the first film. Here's what they said about their time filming the series.

By Corinne Heller Dec 27, 2021 2:00 PMTags
Watch: "Harry Potter" Turns 20: Live From E! Rewind

Accio, tears!

In one week, on New Year's Day, HBO Max will begin streaming Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. The special celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of the first film in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and features interviews from cast members such as Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), who returned to "Hogwarts" to reminisce about their time filming the beloved movie series.

The special also included Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black) and twins James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley).

While this does not mark the first get-together for the Harry Potter stars, it is the biggest cast reunion since the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, was released in 2011.

For the HBO Max special, the actors recalled some of their favorite memories filming not only the first installment but also the sequels. They remember growing up on set, making the most out of classroom scenes and making each other laugh.

See the Kid Stars of Harry Potter Then and Now

Check out 11 of the most magical quotes from the cast members about their time making the movies, ahead of the premiere of the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts reunion:

Love on Set

"Every part of my life is connected to Potter and to Leavesden," Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) said, referring to Leavesden Studios in England. "My first kiss is connected to someone here, my first girlfriends were here."

The actor dated Harry Potter production assistant Rosie Coker from 2011 to 2012.

All Aboard

When asked about his most challenging Harry Potter scene, Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) said, "There's quite a few. A lot of them involve keeping a straight face [which] has always been challenging for me. And it's usually the most serious scenes. They're the ones that get you. I remember the train carriage scene does stand out because that just took days and days and days. Me and Dan really couldn't look at each other."

A Hairy Situation

In the 2005 movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth film in the series, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley sport longer, shaggy haircuts.

"My one bone to pick with [director] Mike Newell is that every year when we finished a film they said, 'Don't cut your hair over the summer; we'll cut it when you get back and we'll decide what they want to do,'" Daniel Radcliffe said. "And me and Rupert [Grint] both dutifully grew our hair for months and then came in, and he's like, 'Oh, yeah, great!' And we're like, 'No, no, no, no, no. You're not leaving us like this? We're supposed to be becoming teenagers and dating girls in this film! That's not what it's going to be, is it?' So, I think we were pretty devastated as we realized that it was. But I still love the man."

Iconic Scene

"It's hard to pick one [favorite Harry Potter] memory, really," said Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy. "I suppose the Great Hall, I'll always remember that. The first time I walked through the Great Hall, and it still gives me the same sort of tingles as it did then."

James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley, shared similar sentiments, saying, "My overall memory of the first movie would be when we first walked into the Great Hall for the first time because it was exactly like the scene when Harry and Ron are walking in and everyone's looking around with their mouths open—it was exactly like that."

Ginny's Pep Talk

Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, recalled her fondest memory from the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

"I was only in the one scene in Platform 9 ¾ and I didn't have a line in the script to the point, and then [director] Chris Columbus gave me a line on the first day so I was very excited to suddenly be saying, 'Good luck,' as Harry goes through into the Platform," she said. "And it felt like just such a lovely kind of addition on that day. I felt like I didn't get too nervous because it was just happening in that moment."

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, recalled being a part of a Harry Potter world that is "so rich, so textured, and so beautifully drawn by J.K. Rowling."

"And yet, the main characters are all very relatable people," she said. "They have these special powers but they're normal teenagers who are struggling with the same sense of inadequacy, insecurity and questioning what their purpose is in the world, and just figuring all that out."

How to Be Hermione

"One of the highlights of my part was when I had to pretend to be Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix," Helena Bonham Carter said, referring to a scene in the 2011 movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the eighth and final film. "So that meant I got to not only act with Dan [Radcliffe] and Rupert [Grint] looking at me as if I was their age, which was really fun, but also, I really got to know Emma [Watson] because she gave me tips on how to be Hermione and her."

Very Poor Choice of Words

Lucius Malfoy's death spell towards the hero in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was unscripted.

"When Dobby was presented with a sock, it said in the script that I lift my wand and I get knocked off my feet," said Jason Isaacs. "I remember turning to someone in grip, going, 'Do you know a spell?' And he went, 'No, mate.' I said, 'Nothing? I'm meant to do a spell…' and he said, 'Avada Kedavra, or something?' So I started to say, 'Avada Kedavra,' and I got knocked off my feet. I got a mail back from thousands and thousands of people. People are still annoyed about it. 'How dare you, you were going to kill Harry Potter!' I didn't know. I'm sorry. I didn't know. Just let it be."

Toughest Scene

"The Quidditch in the third movie [Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban], I remember being one of the hardest days ever filming because it was in the rain," said Oliver Phelps, who played George Weasley. "So not only are you wet, but they also spray you with more water when you get up on the broomstick. And there's a giant fan making it look like you're flying, so it's giving like a wind effect and it being absolutely freezing. That would be my one memory of anything being tricky. That would be it."

Do We Like This, Circle 'Yes' or 'No'

"Emma [Watson] reminded me the other day of the amount of passing of notes in classrooms — in sets that were classrooms," Daniel Radcliffe said. "It was very sweet. We did a lot of the stuff that you do in actual school, but just in a facsimile of school. We had a lot of those experiences still, but in this slightly bizarre way of through a set."

Neville's Legacy

Matthew Lewis said his character, Neville Longbottom, meant a lot to him growing up.

"Not least because I played him, obviously, but just what he stood for, really…the goodness in him," he said. "The fact that through all of life's challenges, whether he was bullied at school or the things that happened in his childhood to his parents, he never veered from the path. He always stayed true to his ideals, to what he believed in, and what was the right thing to do."

He continued, "That's kind of hard, I think. People do get rocked by a lot and Neville got rocked by a lot and he never let it shift his morals, his ethics. I think that's important. He could've been forgiven for holding some bitterness and resentment at life…for everything that happened to him. And he never did. And he worked tirelessly to fight the good fight. And that's the incredible strength of character. He's a beacon of light in the story, I think, and an inspiration for us all."

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