Happy Birthday Harry & Co. – Hogwarts Turns 20


Left to right, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint as Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley, respectively. (Photos courtesy Warner Bros.)

We’re getting the band back together!

As many fans know, November of 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter movie. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened in movie theaters on November 16, 2001. Since 11 year-old Potter’s debut to the world, millions have fallen in love with his story.
The world of Harry Potter is one that has made quite a legacy for itself. With over 400 million copies sold worldwide, author JK Rowling’s Potter has definitely left his mark on this planet. The books have been published in 200 countries and translated into over 60 different languages. In 2010, Universal Orlando opened a Hogwarts theme park known as the Wizardly World of Harry Potter. It included a recreation of Hogsmeade, and in 2014, Diagon Alley was added, as well. Fans can experience the magic of Hogwarts for themselves through rides, shows, dining, shopping, and even tickets to board the Hogwarts Express. Interactive wands are even available for purchase in both lands.
On New Year’s Day of this year, fans were indulged with the reunion they’ve all been waiting for. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, along with various other cast members and producers, reunited to reflect on their time together. The feature also included the four directors: Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates. Chris Columbus, director of the first two movies, shared that finding the perfect Harry was no easy task. It took months to find Radcliffe. While watching BBC’s “David Copperfield” in his hotel in London, he immediately knew he’d found his perfect Harry. “I said, ‘This is Harry Potter. This is the kid we’ve been looking for, for months.’” Radcliffe admitted it was difficult to get his parents on board. They were worried that it would be a “huge disruption in his life.” As we know, however, Radcliffe auditioned and was cast, and the rest was history!
Watson and Grint both admitted that there were times when they both wanted to drop out. Watson recalled a diary entry admitting that sometimes she was lonely. She told Grint, “I think I was scared. I don’t know if you ever felt like it got to a tipping point when you were like, ‘This is kind of forever now.’” Grint agreed that there were times when he felt the same, however as we know, both actors stayed and fans are forever grateful for that choice.
The reunion also dives into another topic fans love hearing about: friendships! Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint share sibling-style love, however at certain points in time, they’d had their fill of one another in their years of filming together. Grint’s and Watson’s on-stage kiss resurfaces towards the end of the special, and although their love for each other has always run deep, it is strictly platonic. As these three truly did grow up together, it is a pleasure to be able to see them reunite.
I won’t spoil the rest…you can experience all of the nostalgia and magic for yourself on HBO Max. The one-hour and forty-five minute long special is one you definitely won’t want to miss!

Watson, Radcliffe, and Grint circa 2001.