Hogwarts and Beyond: 18 More Fascinating Facts About the Harry Potter Saga – Part 3

1Lily Potter's Role

Lily Potter's Role

Author J.K. Rowling revealed on her website that for the first Harry Potter movie, she was offered by Director Chris Columbus the role of Lily Potter during the Mirror of Erised scene, but she turned down the role, which instead went to Geraldine Somerville.


2Floating Candles

Floating Candles

The floating candles in the Great Hall for the first movie were created using candle-shaped holders containing oil and burning wicks and suspended from wires that moved up and down on a special effects rig to create the impression that they were floating. Eventually one of the wires snapped due to the heat of the flame causing the candle to fall to the floor. Fortunately no one was injured, but the decision was made to re-create the candles using CGI for the following films as using real candles was determined to be a safety hazard.


3Hermione's Role

Hermione's Role

When holding auditions for the role of Hermione, the casting team traveled around to local British elementary schools to hold auditions in hope to find their actress. When they arrived at Emma Watson's school, she had no desire to audition despite nearly every single girl in her school wanting to. It was encouragement from her teacher to at least attempt the audition that made her be the last girl to audition of her whole school.


4York Stone Floor

York Stone Floor

The floor in the great hall is made of actual York stone. Production designer Stuart Craig had the foresight to invest a significant amount of his design budget on the stone. While this decision was questioned at the time, it proved to be a wise one, as the stone was durable enough to withstand the footsteps of hundreds of actors and several camera crews over the near decade it took to film the entire series.


5Hagrid's Height

Hagrid's Height

Hagrid is 8 feet 6 inches tall.


6Potter's Glasses

Potter's Glasses

Throughout the whole of the Harry Potter series, Daniel Radcliffe went through 160 pairs of glasses.


7Peeves

Peeves

The trouble-making poltergeist Peeves (played by Rik Mayall) does not, in the end, appear in the first movie nor in deleted scenes on any home editions of the film. Mayall claimed he didn't find out that he was cut from the final cut until he saw the movie himself. Ultimately Peeves was never used in any of the Harry Potter films.


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8Remembrall

Remembrall

In the first movie, Neville receives a remembrall from his grandmother but he doesn't remember what he has forgotten. In that scene, Neville Longbottom is the only student without his robe on. He must have not remembered to put his robe on.


9Emma's Slap

Emma's Slap

Originally the script called for Hermione to slap Malfoy as opposed to punching him in 'Prisoner of Azkaban'. During rehearsal for the scene Tom Felton told Emma Watson to slap him, however he had intended for her to not actually hit him, and thus was taken by surprise when Emma smacked him across the face as hard as she could. Emma said she felt terrible about it afterwards and didn't know what she was thinking.


10Richard Harris

Richard Harris

Despite his initial reluctance to accept the role of Albus Dumbledore, Richard Harris, who portrayed Dumbledore in the first two films, was determined to portray the character through the entire series. However, following the filming of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) Harris was diagnosed with Hodgekin’s lymphoma. During post-production on that film, producer David Heyman went to visit Richard Harris in the hospital. Though he was very weak from his illness, Harris insisted that the role of Dumbledore not be recast. Sadly, Harris passed away shortly before production was to begin on Prisoner of Azkaban, necessitating a recast.

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