19 Things Even The Biggest Harry Potter Fans Don't Know About The Movies
The wonderful world of Harry Potter has been in our lives for nearly 20 years, becoming so deeply ingrained in the psyches of many a millennial that they could tell you instantly what Hogwarts house they would be sorted into or what their Patronus is. But, believe it or not, there are probably some Harry Potter movie facts you didn't know, even if you are the most diehard of diehard fans.
There have been eight films made from the seven books written about Harry Potter's time at Hogwarts. Spanning more than a decade, these films comprised a majority of some people's childhoods; lots of us literally grew up with Harry. As such, it's understandable some of us have become so enamored with this world that we'd want to know everything about it, from the hidden histories of the characters, to the reason certain things happened in the books, and — for fans of the films especially — previously unknown or little-known facts about the production of the movies.
For that latter section of the fandom, the ones who want to know anything and everything about the films themselves, this list is for you. Here are some facts about the Harry Potter films that will delight you as much as the will surprise you, even if you're a longtime fan.
1. The Restricted Section Is Kinda Restricted IRL, Too
In Sorcerer's Stone, the lantern Harry uses in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts library was made to look alight by CGI, as there's a hundreds-of-years-old rule about bringing flames into the Duke Humfrey's building in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
2. J.K. Rowling Could Have Played Lily Potter
As it happens, Rowling was actually in consideration for the role and why not? She could have nailed it. But the casting might have been a bit too on-the-nose for the casting team, who chose actor Geraldine Somerville instead, as IMDB reports.
3. The Food In The Great Hall Scenes Was Real
Of course the specific food that the actors ate during the Great Hall scenes is expected to be real, but the team on Harry Potter made sure that not just the actor's food, but every plate of food seen and unseen in the film, was edible, according to Seventeen.
4. Lots Of Cars Were Wrecked For The Whomping Willow Scene
14 Ford Anglias were absolutely wrecked while trying to film the Whomping Willow scene, reports IMDB. Yikes.
5. Emma Watson Not Hugging Rupert Grint Was A Genius Accident
At the end of Chamber of Secrets, Hermione was supposed to hug both Harry and Ron. However, in real life, Emma Watson was actually too nervous about hugging the boys, IMDB reports, and her hesitation to go in and hug Rupert Grint was caught on film. Director Chris Columbus kept it and the move added a new layer of subtext to Ron and Hermione's relationship.
6. Alan Rickman Wore Contacts While Filming Goblet Of Fire
Rickman's black contacts looked so real that when director Mike Newell asked about them, he popped one out to show him, MoviePilot says. Yeah, that's not eerie at all.
7. Tom Felton's Then-Girlfriend Was In Deathly Hallows: Part 2
In the epilogue sequence of Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Felton's then-girlfriend Jade Gordan played Draco's wife, Astoria Greengrass, according to MoviePilot.
8. It Was A Lot Of Work To Make Multiple Harrys Appear
According to Daniel Radcliffe (via MoviePilot), over 90 takes were done to make multiple Harrys appear in one memorable scene from Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
9. Daniel Radcliffe Didn't Prepare Properly For The Yule Ball Scene
While the rest of the cast had a few weeks to prepare for the intricate Yule Ball dance, Radcliffe had a few days. As a result, he was filmed from the waist up so audiences wouldn't see him tripping over his feet, reports IMDB.
10. Tonks' Hair Was Changed From The Books
Seventeen reports that even though Tonks has bright pink hair in the books, it was changed to purple to avoid any association with Dolores Umbridge, who was a menace in pink in the films.
11. Voldemort's Awkward Hug With Draco Was Improvised
Watson is the only person whose awkward hug skills were kept in the film. In Deathly Hallows: Part 2, actor Ralph Fiennes improvised a very odd hug with Felton, whose very real reaction (stopping dead in his track) was kept in the film, according to IMDB.
12. Rupert Grint Thought Daniel Radcliffe & Emma Watson Kissing Was Hilarious
Apparently, Grint was laughing so hard while Radcliffe and Watson had to film their kissing scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 that he had to be taken off set, according to The Independent.
13. Tom Felton Was Prevented From Stealing Food On Set
While Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was being filmed, Felton's costume pockets reportedly had to be sewn shut so he wouldn't take food for everyone off the set, reports Buzzfeed.
14. Half-Blood Prince Is An Oscar-Nominated Film
Nominated for Best Cinematography, Half-Blood Prince is the only Harry Potter film to have been nominated for the prestigious award, as MoviePilot recounts.
15. There Was A Hamster Funeral On The Set Of Chamber Of Secrets
When Watson's pet hamster Millie died on the set of Chamber of Secrets, the crew built a small coffin for her and held a hamster funeral, as Vanity Fair reports.
16. Sirius Black's Family Tapestry Has A Deeper Backstory
The Black family tapestry that hangs in 12 Grimmauld Place was actually going to have more information placed on it and spoken about in the film. IMDb details how Rowling wrote up deep histories about the Black family including personal histories and why some were scorched out of the tapestry, but it never made it to Order of the Phoenix.
17. Daniel Radcliffe Went Through A LOT Of Prop Glasses
When all was said and done, Radcliffe has reportedly gone through approximately 160 pairs of glasses from The Sorcerer's Stone to Deathly Hallows: Part 2, according to THR; that's a lotta glasses.
18. Some Hogwarts Portraits Were Based On Real Harry Potter Crew Members
The HP crew actually got some facetime in the films thanks to their faces being used in creating the various oil painted portraits at Hogwarts, reports Buzzfeed.
19. Something's Off About The Books In Dumbledore's Office
Buzzfeed reports that all those fancy leather-bound books in Dumbledore's office are actually phone books that were covered and remade to look like ancient tomes.
Somehow, knowing these facts makes Harry Potter even more magical.
Editor's Note: The original version of this piece incorrectly stated that the Bodleian Library rule had been broken, when this is not the case.