I was one of the bazillion parents who bought the Harry Potter movies, and then—every year or two, during the premieres—took my children to the movies based on the best-selling record-breaking book series by J.K. Rowling.
Now that both my children and the actors who so marvelously made up the cast are all grown up, Martin and I were open to revisiting the films, which are produced by Warner Bros. which is now streaming on HBO Max.
I’m so glad we did! Many years had passed and forgot how visually stunning they were, not to mention how well cast. I could not imagine a better Harry than Daniel Radcliff, who cut his acting teeth playing a young David Copperfield in a British television series sporting that eponymous Charles Dickens title. On the other hand, this was the first film for Rupert Grint, who plays Harry’s best buddy; and also for Emma Watson, who plays their brainy, beautiful gal pal sidekick. Besides epitomizing how the author and the movies’ producers envisioned their characters, Master Grint and Miss Watson brought personality plus as well.
We binged on all eight of the movies. But because they are all so long, we broke our watching time of each film into two parts. And since Book 7 – Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows —is really a book and a half, it was already split up into two novels, giving us sixteen evenings of the world-renowned directors’ (Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates) intricate plotting of a hero’s journey, fabulous special effects by Tim Burke (in the eleven years took to make the films, the tech tricks keep getting better), and the perfect opportunity to see some stellar British actors strut their stuff, including Alan Rickman, Dame Judy Dench, Kenneth Branagh (a personal favorite of mind, since I had the opportunity to interview him.
Or, as Martin put it: “Every adult character cut their teeth at United Kingdom’s National Theatre.”
Afterward, be sure to watch the 10th Anniversary Reunion show. Not only will you love seeing the younger cast members as adults, revel in their childhood experiences, and appreciate their insights on how being part of this epic book-to-film undertaking bolded them as individuals, you’ll hear lots of insider on-set trivia—a true joy for Potterheads.