This past weekend, Universal Orlando opened its gates to witches, wizards, and muggles for the third annual Celebration of Harry Potter. Among all the Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, and Slytherins who attended the expo, were four of the stars from the films. Ruper Grint (Ron Weasly), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasly), and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) joined fans for a weekend filled with magic.
However, a recent tragedy put a damper on the otherwise highly anticipated celebration. Alan Rickman, who made the Hogwart's Potions professor, Serverus Snape, an iconic character, passed away just weeks earlier at the age of 69, due to cancer.
During a Q&A segment at the Celebration, the film's stars were asked if they could share memories of working with Rickman. It was a tender subject, but each had a lot to say about the fallen hero.
"Well, yeah, that really was quite a side-swiper. I really didn't see it coming,really. It was devastating, actually. He was an amazing man. I have so many memories with him on set. I remember once, in one of the early films, I [laughs] I, drew a picture of him in a potions class. It wasn't the most flattering portrait. And I could remember feeling him breathing down my neck as he was watching. me do it. I was absolutely terrified. But he was really cool about it, in the end. He kept it. And he was just the sweetest guy, very special. Very sad to see him go." -Rupert Grint.
"Yeah, I mean, Rupert nailed it, really. It was a hell of a surprise for me, I think, for everyone, and it was shocking. And I just remember, really without wanting to go into any, like, details, just the warmth that he had on set and the fun and the -- that he carried with him everywhere. Or when he went into a room, everyone noticed and, yeah. I just--uh--it's been-- what can you say?" -Matthew Lewis
"Yeah, I think he very much knew it. Obviously as children growing up and being impressionable, and young actors who it was really, like, our first experience with acting and being on a professional film set; he always had this incredible quality of keeping within Snape. Like, he was Snape the minute he, like, got out of the car in the morning (which is obviously incredibly chilling to experience as a child). I think as a child, you have this real high sense of energy; you lose concentration really quickly. So having someone like that who was almost was really professional and really a trained actor, it was a very interesting thing to experience as a child, that I'm really thankful for, I think. And I think all of us, of course, not only Alan, but so many other actors within that set inspired us to have that professionalism." -Bonnie Wright
"I think that's true, like professionalism, and also, like, a child-like quality in totally believing the story. Cause, like, some adult actors you meet, they won't-- when they say it's a children's book, they won't take it as seriously, they won't think it's a serious, dramatic role. And it was such, like, I think it was such a privilege that he did that for Snape. Like, he totally gave everything to it and never underestimated Snape. And that's why it's such a kind of, hear-breaking performance. Yeah, just like, so generous and all-around as a person and in his art. That's amazing, kind of; got to see that in action." -Evanna Lynch
The stars weren't the only ones paying tribute to this outstanding actor. Fans all over Universal and Islands of Adventure held up their wants in rememberance of the Half-Blood Prince.
While displaying the Universal tribute to Alan Rickman, fans across the park rose their wands in memoriam:
See the full interview below.
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