#FantasticBeasts will be out in a couple of days, the first of the five new films about the Wizarding World J. K. Rowling has bestowed upon us all. However, let's take a moment to remember the first film which started the worldwide phenomenon of Hogwarts Headache (read: excessive reading!), and introduced us to the adorable Golden Trio we basically grew up with.
Fifteen years ago today, the highest-grossing film of 2001 was released, and 15 years on, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is still one of my favorite Harry Potter movies, and a holiday staple. I thought I knew a lot about this film already, but there's still some little-known facts waiting to be uncovered.
Below are 12 interesting bits of trivia that make the first film even more magical!
1. You Have Your Mother's Eyes
The filmmakers wanted to match the children's appearance to the books, but setbacks happened. The reason why Daniel Radcliffe didn't have green eyes in the film was because his eyes strongly reacted to the green contacts. In some ways, though, Harry still has the same as his 'mother', as J.K. Rowling also has baby blues. Wouldn't it have been great if Rowling had made a cameo as Lily Potter?!
2. Buck Teeth Problems
Hermione's hair was a perfect absolute mess in the movie — an accurate depiction of her bushy hair in the books. However, the buck teeth never made it into the movie, because Emma couldn't speak properly while wearing them.
3. Protected Potter
Casting 'The Chosen One' himself was one of the film's biggest challenges. Out of the 5,000 kids who auditioned, none of them felt right for the role. Director Chris Columbus wanted Daniel Radcliffe because he was impressed by Radcliffe's performance in David Copperfield (1999). However, DanRad's parents wanted him to focus on his studies, and not acting. Luckily, (perhaps through sheer dumb luck) the producer and screenwriter was able to slowly persuade the young actor's father after sitting with them in a theater.
4. You Don't Stink, Won-Won!
Rupert Grint rapped his audition tape for Harry Potter! Sadly, we don't have a footage for the actual video, but he gracefully rapped it in several talk show interviews — check it out above!
5. Typical Malfoy
Tom Felton auditioned for the roles of Harry and Ron before auditioning for Malfoy, and said that he was the only one who auditioned who didn't know Harry Potter. When he auditioned, and was asked about his favorite part in the books, he repeated what the previous contender had said, which was at Gringotts. The director saw through this and found it funny. This was maybe what got him the part — very Malfoy-like, Tom!
6. Dumbledore's Weakness
Sir Richard Harris didn't want to be the wise headmaster Albus Dumbledore, but a threat from his 11 year-old granddaughter made him change his mind. His granddaughter told him she wouldn't speak to him ever again if he didn't take the role. Thankfully, this little threat made him take it. His portrayal of the headmaster was truly a fan-favorite!
The late Alan Rickman was handpicked by J.K. Rowling, and was given instructions about his character. He knew what lay behind 'Always' way before everyone else.
8. Harry Potter Was Almost Animated!
Steven Spielberg was once offered to be the director! He envisioned the movie as being a combination of the first couple of books, and being animated. If that happened, Haley Joel Osment would have been approached to be the voice behind it. Admittedly, the special effects would have been more convenient if HP was animated... but thank Merlin it didn't happen!
9. Phonebooks In Dumbledore's Office
Most of the books we see in Dumbledore's office were just yellow pages rebound to fit the theme! How else could they send those letters in muggle the world? More importantly, it's likely that they have our very own names and address there too! I'm still waiting for a Hogwarts letter!
10. Anne Boleyn Was A Witch?
This is a blink and you'll miss it cameo. There was a portrait of King Henry VIII's second wife near the grand staircase of Hogwarts. In real life, Anne Boleyn was falsely executed for incest, conspiracy against the king, and you guessed it... witchcraft.
11. Truly A Great Hall
The Great Hall was one of the first sets created for the Harry Potter series, and the vast space could fit 22 London double-deck buses! Even the flooring of The Great Hall was pricey; it was made of York stone. Production designer Stuart Craig's decision was questioned at the time, but it proved to be a wise investment. The stone withstood the footsteps of the cast and crew for nearly a decade of filming the entire series!
12. Rule-Breaker Harry
Being surrounded by tons of old books, it would be dangerous to bring even small candle in the library. However, during the filming of the restricted section scene in the Duke Humfrey's building at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the makers of Harry Potter were allowed to break the hundred-year rule of bringing flames into the library.
The #HarryPotter series brought magic into our lives, and will continue for generations. And with the introduction of a new character way before the great Harry Potter's time in #FantasticBeasts, the Wizarding World and the magic that comes with it is something that surpasses even our expectations and imaginations.
What's your favorite Harry Potter fact? Let us know in the comments!
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them hits theaters on November 18, 2016!