12 facts about the Harry Potter franchise you didn’t know
We’ve all watched the Harry Potter movies countless times, but do you really know what happened behind the scenes? Here are 12 behind the scenes facts about the films and the actors.
Harry Potter is one of the highest-grossing global franchises, and everyone has heard of the Boy Who Lived. But not everybody knows what really went down behind the scenes and between takes with the actors on the incredibly famous set.
1. Tom Felton forgot his lines
Tom Felton forgot his lines in Chamber of Secrets and improvised, coming up with this later iconic line to spit back at Harry who’d used Polyjuice Potion to turn into Goyle. Tom also admitted that during filming for Chamber of Secrets (again), he couldn’t pronounce one of his lines properly, and he cried on set. The line was eventually cut.
2. Jamie Waylett forgot to stay sitting
Jamie Waylett forgot that Slytherins were meant to stay seated in the final scene of Chamber of Secrets, while all of the other houses clapped for Hagrid’s return. As you can see above, Tom Felton pulled him back down to his seat.
3. Evanna Lynch helped to design the Lion hat
Evanna Lynch helped to draw up a concept of the famous Gryffindor lion hat in Order of the Phoenix, and she later said that it was her favourite prop. She told designers that she “wanted the hat to look as if it was eating her head”. Evanna also made Luna’s dirigible plum earrings; she wore them to her audition since Luna wore them in the book, and they even ended up in the film.
4. Ralph Fiennes improvised
Ralph Fiennes wasn’t supposed to hug Tom Felton at the end of the battle scene the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. He improvised it, hence why Tom stops in his tracks.
5. Daniel Radcliffe was allergic to contacts
Before filming started for Philosopher’s Stone, director Chris Columbus tried Daniel Radcliffe with green contact lenses (which are the same colour eyes Harry has in the book). Daniel had an allergic reaction to the contacts and ended up not wearing them, he also had an allergic reaction to the nickel in the first set of glasses, so they had to be changed too.
6. Emma Watson helped set designers
When decorating Hermione’s bedroom in Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Emma Watson told set designers that the room needed more books and so more books were put into the room to make it more realistic for the character.
7. Tom Felton’s pockets were sewn
Tom Felton was the cause of the cast having to have the pockets on their robes sewn up. He was caught smuggling food onto the set in the pockets of his robes, which wasn’t allowed, and as a result, everybody had to have their robe pockets sewn up.
8. The Golden Trio were given homework
The director of Prisoner of Azkaban, Alfonso Cuarón, asked Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint to write an essay on each of their characters. Emma wrote a whopping 16 pages on her character, Dan wrote only one page on Harry, and Rupert didn’t even do the task. Talk about staying true to their characters.
9. Rupert Grint drew a photo for Alan Rickman
Rupert Grint drew a slightly unflattering photo of Alan Rickman when the cast were filming a scene in the Potions classroom, not realising that Alan was standing right behind him and saw. Alan later admitted that “he was very fond” of the drawing and even said he made Rupert sign it to keep.
10. All the actors had crushes on each other
During the first few films, Emma Watson revealed that she “had a terrible crush” on Tom Felton since “he was a few years older and had a skateboard”. Tom seemed to be the only boy on set that didn’t have mutual feelings for her as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Matthew Lewis all admitted to fancying her in the early years, whereas Tom admitted to fancying Helena Bonham-Carter, who played his Aunt in the films.
11. Every Hogwarts letter addressed to Harry was handwritten
In one of the most famous scenes of the franchise where Harry’s letters shower Privet Drive in the Philosopher’s Stone, every letter was handwritten. That must’ve been a lot of work for whoever wrote them since there were literally thousands of letters and all of them contained fancy calligraphy.
12. Daniel Radcliffe broke multiple wands
During filming Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it was revealed that Daniel Radcliffe went through 80 wands. He later admitted that he liked to “drum” with them and that was probably why he went through so many. Daniel also went through 160 pairs of glasses during his time on set.
It just shows that a lot more goes on with the actors (and the crew, of course) behind the scenes than we all think!