Calling all Potterheads! Emma Watson has revealed her “emotional” experience amidst her return to Hogwarts during the filming of the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts HBO Max special.
Twenty years after the release of the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Harry Potter reunion covered each of the Harry Potter movies, including behind-the-scenes footage from each film and interviews with the major actors, including Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch and more. Throughout the 105-minute film, our beloved Hermoine confessed much of her experience, including the not-so-fun parts.
While she remembers her childhood crush on Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), with whom she still frequently speaks today, she also recalled almost leaving the franchise because “the fame thing had finally hit home.” She also discussed how difficult it is to have a family in Radcliffe and Grint, but how they barely get to see each other anymore. Let’s just say that there wasn’t a dry eye in the viewing room.
The anniversary special was filmed at Leavesden Studios in London, where the set remains open as a tourist site, according to Buzzfeed. In a recent interview with British Vogue, she revealed that being back on-set with the cast felt “like heaven, honestly. I am just so happy they still exist! Most film sets are torn down the minute a scene is finished. I am so happy they are still there for people to enjoy.”
Hermoine is and will always be a Gryffindor, and one of her favorite parts of filming the special was sitting down with Radcliffe and Grint and reminiscing on their distinct experiences in how they grew up through the films. “That was the most emotional moment for me,” she said of her conversations. “It was emotional and also intense to have such an intimate moment so closely watched,” she added. “Mostly I was just so happy to have a mediator who could ask us these questions and get to be part of seeing how differently – and similarly – we had processed things. I love that we remembered different things.”
Although they end up as romantic partners at the end of the series, Rupert and Watson couldn’t have a more platonic relationship IRL. Still, she’s closer with her Ron than she feels with most other castmates, which is definitely evident through the special. “When Rupert says things, he really means them. I was taken aback by how vulnerable and kind he was deciding to be so publicly. Similarly for Dan, it really touched me how reflective he had been over the years about how different it had been for me as a girl.”
Today, the O.G. Harry Potter trio remains as close as possible. Although Radcliffe and Rupert “hate” WhatsApp and being on their phones, they still speak individually, sans electronics (most of the time). “Rupert sends me pictures of [his daughter] Wednesday and I die,” she said. “Dan and I generally try and calm each other’s nerves. We both mainly try and stay out of the limelight so it’s been nice to have each other’s support, knowing there was going to be another wave of attention coming.”
While Watson didn’t have the smoothest ride the entire time she was filming the eight-movie series, she couldn’t be more grateful for the experience today. “I don’t think there was anything I didn’t learn,” she said. “That was the beauty of it. It was my kindergarten, school and university. Animals, special effects, media training, stunts… it was endless. I feel so thankful.”
We’re just as thankful, Emma.
Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts is available to stream on HBO Max. Here’s how to watch it for free.
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