For my last blog post in this subject I would like to dedicate myself to a topic that interests me especially.
I’m often on the go on YouTube or in forums and read and look at a lot of things about fan fiction, characters or background stories. In this blog entry I’d like to list some facts some of my classmates certainly didn’t know and hope you enjoy reading this blog entry. I did a lot of research and put together 10 exciting facts for you. Enjoy!
1st Steven Spielberg almost was the director
Steven Spielberg was asked to do the direction for the films. He refused, but not without first going through some ideas, in which direction the films should go. Are you wondering what the films under Spielberg’s direction would have looked like? Not everything has to be left to the imagination, since he has publicly discussed his ideas about the films. Spielberg wanted to make the series animated, and wanted to summarize some books. Maybe there are some people who would love to see the books brought to life this way, but I’m sure many Harry Potter fans are relieved that the movies have turned out the way they are.
2nd Ian McKellen almost was Dumbledore
Sir Ian McKellen )(known e.g. for his role in ‘Lord of the Rings) was offered the role of Dumbledore, but he refused. Dumbledore was then played by Richard Harris in the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets. After Harris had died, Dumbledore was compete by Michael Gambon.
3rd J.K. Rowling told Snape secrets about the books
J.K. Rowling told Alan Rickman (who played Severus Snape) some things about the books before they were published so that he could better represent his character. One of these pieces of information was that Snape always loved Lily Potter, which Rickman knew long before the last book was published.
4th There were two sets made for Hagrid’s house
One was all disproportionate, so the actors seemed tiny, the other was made with normal sized objects so that Hagrid looked big enough for a half giant.
5th The main actors had something in common with their characters
When director Alfonso Cuaron began working on the prisoner of Azkaban, he asked the three main characters to write an essay about their own character. The actors responded in a way that fits pretty well with the characters they were playing. Emma Watson (who played Hermione) delivered a 16-page essay, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) wrote one page, and Rupert Grint (Ron) delivered nothing at all.
6th In some scenes real owls were used
It took many months to teach the owls how to carry letters. Thousands of letters were handwritten for the owls until they realized that the letters were too heavy for the owls to carry, so they had to be rewritten.
7th Professor McGonagall was almost reassigned for the last two films
It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Professor McGonagall, but Lady Maggie Smith almost left the Harry Potter movies after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy for the last two movies. Smith did the shooting even though she was incredibly sick and weak, showing that she was just as tough (or tougher) than the character she was playing. Fortunately, Smith fully recovered after the films were finished.
8th The Harry Potter franchise caused a big problem for owls
After watching the Harry Potter movies, many children wanted their own owl as a pet. This led to a sharp increase in owl owners. Unfortunately, owls are not very good pets as it is difficult and expensive to care for them. They also need a lot of space and can be dangerous. This has resulted in a huge increase in owls that have been given to animal shelters or completely abandoned. J.K. Rowling had to publicly ask fans to stop buying owls.
9th A model of Hogwarts was used for the outdoor shots of the school
Do you remember all the enchanting, rousing shots of Hogwarts that we have seen in all the films? It may have looked like it was completely computer animated, but it was actually a model of the school. The model was built for the Philosopher’s Stone, and was used for every film afterwards. It was worked on and partially rebuilt over the life of the films. It took seven months and dozens of people to build it. It is a 1:24 scale construction and has a diameter of more than 15 meters. The model was built to look incredibly realistic, with more than 2,500 light guides, hinged doors, real plants and miniature birds in the owl’s nest, and the mini farm. It is now on display at Warner Brothers Studio in London, England.
10th A Hogwarts student was played by an actor in the 30s.
Although most actors were very young when they started making the movies, not every Hogwarts student was of the same age as the character he played. The Moaning Myrtle (played by Shirley Henderson) was 37 when she first appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It helped that she played a ghost, of course, but that’s still a pretty amazing age difference between actor and character.