10 Quick Harry Potter Facts

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Bonus Fact From the Archives:

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Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double through the first six Harry Potter films, David Holmes, was paralyzed from the waist down during the sixth film while practicing a flying scene that included an explosion.

The actress who played Moaning Myrtle, Shirley Henderson, was 37 years old at the time Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was filmed, the oldest actress to ever portray a Hogwarts student. She was previously best known for her role as Gail in Trainspotting, and Jude in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

The actor who played Professor Flitwick, Warwick Davis, also played Griphook. Outside of Harry Potter, he’s perhaps best known for starring in the phenomenal movie Willow, as well as playing Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi. In The Phantom Menace, in scenes where Yoda was walking around, Warwick Davis also played Yoda.

So many people were mispronouncing Hermione’s name that J.K. Rowling had the character sound it out for Viktor Krum in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

M.O. McGonagall is listed on one of the Quidditch trophies in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, on the same team as James Potter.

The late Michael Jackson once approached J.K. Rowling about the possibility of doing a musical version of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling said no to the idea. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she said that she felt that it wouldn’t be successful. She told Oprah, “Michael Jackson wanted to do a musical. I said no to a lot of things. For me, I love the films; I love the books; and there’s elements that I love around it, like the theme park. But I only wanted to do it because I knew it would be incredible.”

J.K. Rowling slightly based 11-year-old Hermione on herself at the same age. She even made Hermione’s patronus her favorite animal, an otter. The otter wasn’t just a good choice because of Rowling’s preference, but also because the otter is a member of the weasel family. Further, Ron’s patronus is a Jack Russel Terrier, which were bred to help in hunting fox’s, groundhogs, badgers, and other animals that live in underground dens, including river otters.

J.K. Rowling’s publisher suggested she use initials rather than her real name, “Joanne Rowling” (rhymes with “bowling”), in order to appeal to male readers. She chose J.K., borrowing the “K” from her grandmother’s name, Kathleen. Neither “Kathleen” nor “K” are part of J.K. Rowling’s legal name.

Rupert Grint dressed up like his female drama teacher and rapped about Ron Weasley for his audition tape for Harry Potter. His rap began, “Hello, my name is Rupert Grint, I hope you don’t think I stink.” Catchy…

In order to become acquainted with the films’ three main stars, director Alfonso Cuaron had each of them write an essay about their characters. True to their roles, Emma Watson wrote a 16-page essay; Daniel Radcliffe wrote a simple, one-page paper; and Rupert Grint never turned his in.

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