Skip Nav

Harry Potter Movie Trivia

10 Fascinating Facts About the Harry Potter Movies

The eight Harry Potter films were released over a period of a decade, beginning with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 2001 and concluding with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011. Five years later, in 2016, we're set to return to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Now that we know the new franchise will span five films (rather than three, as originally planned), we're revisiting the original series — and everything that went down behind the scenes. Out of the hundreds of Harry Potter facts, here are the ones we find the most interesting. Enjoy!

  1. We nearly had a completely different cast. While we adore the actors who were selected for the roles, several people were almost cast instead. Ian McKellen's name was brought up for Dumbledore, Liam Aiken (Stepmom) lost out on playing Harry Potter because he isn't British, and Hugh Grant was up for the role of Gilderoy Lockhart.
  2. Rowling came up with the house names on an airplane. "I invented the names of the houses on the back of an airplane sick bag," she told Scholastic, of the first time she thought of the titles. "This is true. I love inventing names, but I also collect unusual names, so that I can look through my notebook and choose one that suits a new character."
  3. Two celebrities requested roles. Both Robin Williams and Rosie O'Donnell reached out and said they would work for free if they got to play Hagrid and Molly Weasley, respectively. Like Liam Aiken, they were turned down because they weren't British.
  4. Moaning Myrtle isn't exactly a student's age. Shirley Henderson, who plays Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was 37 when the film came out. Also, Rowling has confirmed that Myrtle, whose full name is Myrtle Elizabeth Warren, is a Ravenclaw!
  5. There's a Star Wars connection. Composer John Williams, noted for his infamous Star Wars theme songs, worked in some part on all the films. If you listen closely, you'll notice some of the music from Harry and Draco's competitive Quidditch match in Chamber of Secrets is also used in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.

  1. Daniel Radcliffe went through a lot of props. Over the course of the films, Radcliffe went through over 160 pairs of glasses and 60-70 wands, the latter of which he kept using as drumsticks.
  2. The leads are even more like their characters than you think. Alfonso Cuarón, director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, asked Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson to write essays introducing him to their characters. Upon their due date, Radcliffe wrote one straightforward page, Watson's was 16 pages long, and Grint didn't even turn his in. Classic Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Also, Watson braided Cuarón's hair between takes.
  3. Cedric Diggory appears before you know it. Though fans probably remember Robert Pattinson's debut as Cedric in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the character is actually the one racing against Harry in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is mentioned in the books but isn't explicitly brought up in the films. By the next film, Cedric had been recast.
  4. There's a lot to the underwater scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. First of all, the tank itself held "about half a million gallons of water." Radcliffe trained for six months before he shot the scene, and a bunch of divers were underwater with him at any given time.
  5. Harry's first kiss took a few takes to get just right. Harry's kiss with Cho is one of the franchise's most memorable moments, and it didn't come completely naturally. "We did it a number of times, and Katie [Leung, who plays Cho] and I were very nervous at first," Radcliffe told MTV News. "But we quickly got over that and started to enjoy it by the fifth take."
Image Source: Everett Collection
Latest Entertainment