Calling all Potterheads, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is available to stream now on BINGE, and since we just couldn’t wait to talk about it, we’ve broken down a few of the highlights from the special.
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, alongside a number of other major cast members, the reunion dropped some major truth bombs and even had a revelation of someone nearly quitting the franchise.
It’s clear everyone took a shot of Veritaserum before filming because there were plenty of candid moments, so let’s discuss.
Daniel Radcliffe Had a Crush on a Co-Star
In what could be the most awww-inducing moment during the entire special, Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, admitted to having a crush on co-star Helena Bonham Carter.
Bonham Carter is 32 years older than Radcliffe and the age gap had him wishing he was 10 years older so he could have “had a chance” with her.
At the time, the actor wrote a letter to her, admitting his feelings.
“Dear HBC,” he said. “It was a pleasure being your costar and coaster in the sense that I always ended up holding your coffee.
“I do love you, and I just wish I had been born 10 years earlier [so that] I might [have had] a chance.
“Lots of love and thanks for being cool.”
Emma Watson Nearly Quit
In what is possibly the saddest admission, Emma Watson said she was close to quitting the franchise about halfway.
Talking about the way fame had impacted her during the reunion, Watson said she nearly called it a day before filming the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
“You were considering pulling out, I’ve never really spoken to you about that,” Grint said to Watson. The actress responded saying fame hit home “in a big way” which felt overwhelming when she was a teenager.
“Yeah. I think I was scared,” she said. “I don’t know if you ever felt like it got to a tipping point where you were like, this is kind of forever now.”
JK Rowling Makes an Appearance
Kind of anyway. The brains and author behind the Harry Potter series appeared through archival footage throughout the special, with the cast members talking about what a great impact she has had on literature.
“So many people were falling in love with JK Rowling’s writing,” said Bonnie Wright, with Daniel Radcliffe adding: ”I think it’s very easy to forget that at the time, people were talking about the death of reading”.
While it would make sense for her to be a part of the reunion, she is, after all, the entire reason the story exists, Rowling has been embroiled in controversy ever since she outed herself as transphobic.
To recap, the British author criticised an opinion piece in June 2020 that used the term “people who menstruate” instead of women. Rowling has a history of making anti-trans comments, previously supporting trans-exclusionary radical feminists, otherwise known as TERFs, and also defended a woman who lost her job due to anti-trans rhetoric.
Rowling is also seen in archival footage discussing the difficulties she faced finding the perfect person to play the role of Harry Potter.
She said: “We couldn’t find Harry! We just couldn’t find Harry, and it was getting kind of weird, and panicky”.
Jason Isaac Wanted to Play Gilderoy Lockhart
Lucius Malfoy is so evil and wicked that not even the man who played him wanted to take on the job. During the special, Jason Isaac revealed that he was against playing the role at first, and that he originally auditioned for Gilderoy Lockhart, the vain Hogwarts professor.
“I’m convinced I ended up playing Lucius because I didn’t want to,” he said. Another reason behind Isaac’s hesitancy was because he played Captain Hook in 2003’s Peter Pan. “I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to play two children’s villains,” he said.
But it was his disdain for the audition that really won him the part.
“I read through gritted teeth, deeply bitter, and of course, that’s exactly what was necessary and they asked me to play Lucius, and thank God they did,” he recalled.