I still remember that fateful day back in 2001 when I was first introduced to the wonderful world of Harry Potter.
A friend of mine had gotten free tickets to the Ottawa premiere of the movie "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", and she had an extra one to spare and wanted to know if I'd like to tag along with them.
Of course, I never turn down free anything, so I jumped at the chance to see it.
There was just one thing. I had never read any of the Harry Potter books prior to 2001. I knew that they had existed, but I didn't have any time to get to read them. So, I suppose you could say that I was going into the film as a real "muggle" of sorts.
And yet after watching that first film, I immediately wanted to read the book version, just so I could see how the film differed from the book and what have you. And, I suppose you could say that was the catalyst towards my being a Harry Potter fan.
I read all seven books, and I watched all eight movies, being completely amazed at how such a wonderful story could be crafted as well as seeing how the three main young actors - Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson - matured from little children to young adults.
Of course, all good things must come to an end...and in July 2011, the final part of the movie based on the seventh book - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was released.
I know. It seems hard to believe that it has been five whole years since the Harry Potter film series concluded, and all of the actors went their separate ways (yet are all still quite active in the film industry). But whether you've seen all the films or only watched one, I can guarantee that this collection will be entertaining generations for years to come. And that is to the credit of J.K. Rowling who not only wrote all the books in the series, but also watched over every detail of the films to make sure that they stayed true to the book.
So, as a celebration of the Harry Potter film franchise that ended in 2011, I thought that I would post some behind the scenes trivia and facts that you might not have known - just as a little token of appreciation towards the films and books. And since all month long, we'll be looking at topics from 2011, I thought that there was no time like the present!
1. According to Daniel Radcliffe, he destroyed approximately eighty magic wands during the production of all the films because he kept using them as drumsticks. That averages out to ten wands a film! Hope they didn't cost too much money!
2. On the subject of magic wands, each one created was between 13 to 15 inches long - and no two wands were ever alike! That is amazing attention to detail!
3. Obviously the scar that Harry Potter boasts upon his forehead isn't real. It was applied to Daniel Radcliffe and his stunt doubles by talented make-up artists. But I bet you don't know how many times that scar was applied. Would you believe it was almost 6,000? At least 2,800 of those times alone was on Daniel Radcliffe!
4. Giving a new meaning to the term "Netflix and Chill", you would have to do a lot of chilling to binge watch the whole Harry Potter series...like oh...18 hours and 20 minutes worth of it!
5. Seems as though magic wands weren't the only thing that Daniel Radcliffe went through a lot of. Apparently Radcliffe used 160 different pairs of prop glasses for the whole series! Though, to be fair, some of the scenes required Harry's glasses to break...
6. While thousands of actors appeared in at least one of the eight film adaptations, only fourteen can boast that they have been in every single one; Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, Josh Herdman, Matthew Lewis, Devon Murray, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Daniel Radcliffe, Geraldine Somerville, Alan Rickman, Emma Watson and Bonnie Wright.
7. The final part of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is the shortest running film at just two hours and ten minutes. The longest film is "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", at two hours and forty-one minutes.
8. It is estimated that over 25,000 pieces of clothing was used for the entire film series.
9. Although the film series was nominated for several Academy Awards over its ten year history, nobody ever won one.
10. The second part of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is currently ranked as #8 of the world's highest grossing movies of all time.
11. The same song that concludes the first film of the series is also used to conclude the eighth film.
12. Although J.K. Rowling was unsure as to which characters would still be alive at the end of the seventh book and eighth movie, she did know one thing - Hagrid would definitely be a survivor.
13. Emma Watson once revealed in an interview during the filming of the first film that she would NEVER kiss her co-stars in the movie. And, by the end of the series, she kissed both Rupert and Daniel!
14. It took several takes for the main actors to nail their kissing scenes. While some only took a few takes (Ron and Hermione's only needed six), some took a lot more. The kiss between Harry and Cho Chang? THIRTY takes to get it right!
15. J.K. Rowling had always intended to kill off a Weasley (in the case of both the book and film, it was Fred Weasley that was dispatched). But would you believe that the Weasley patriarch and Ron himself were nearly killed off? Luckily, Rowling opted not to, but imagine how that ending would have been if Ron weren't around to see it!