Tom Felton Hosts “19 Years Later” Harry Potter Cast Reunion For Charity

Nov 15, 2020

Posted by: Emma Pocock

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Towards the end of a historic year of turmoil and uncertainty, Tom Felton swooped in with a welcome respite: a Harry Potter cast reunion celebrating the power of fandom and togetherness. The best part? It was all for charity!

Hosted via Veeps and benefiting The Liv Project, Tom Felton’s Home Party livestream took place just last night, and in addition to musical performances from Tom, a live rewatch of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and guest appearances from his dog best friend / co-host, Willow, we also got to see various Potter cast members speak about what 19 years means to them – even Daniel Radcliffe joined the fun.

The stream started with a musical performance from Tom as a warm welcome to the stream, before going onto the importance business of revealing some of TikTok’s best #DracoTok contributions to the #POTTAHChallenge. #1, from @GondreTheWordsmith, was just as good as the real Draco!

Tom also answered “Potterific” questions from Harry Potter fans around the globe throughout the stream. The first, fittingly, asked what his first memory on set was. Tom said his main memory was simply a “bunch of kids excited to be there, running around”, and shared that Chris Columbus didn’t let the kids see the Great Hall until it was time to film in there. Tom said this was smart move, as rather than relying on acting abilities of kids, he decided to show their genuine reactions to seeing the incredible set for the first time!  

As for his favorite scene, Tom said, “I always go back to *sings* HP six, now that was fun“, saying that the sixth film was time for Draco to step out of “being a “slimy git” and start being a major character”. 

According to Tom, a lot of the spells were not done on set but added by the special effects department. However, in the Half Blood Prince bathroom scene where Harry and Draco have a “wand fight” (as Tom put it), the pair had the most fun – as the two went through their routine, real explosions would occur every time they cast a spell! In addition, Tom said one of his favorite parts of being on set was “Getting the chance to work with Alan Rickman, who is one of my heroes”. 

As for the funniest thing to ever happen on set, Tom remembered a recent conversation with David Holmes (Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double), about filming scenes for Transfiguration classes:

“We were all given small animals on our desks. I had a huge millipede that I prodded with my wand to keep it on the desk – Josh Herdman had a gecko. We couldn’t stop laughing because there were cages of animals around us, and next to us was a baboon who was a character, a very vocal baboon – I would even go so far as to say he was doing some very inappropriate things during the scene. It took us twice as long to film as it should’ve done.” 

As one would expect from a nostalgic throwback party, Tom’s own pondering of what 19 years later meant to him was clear throughout the livestream: “Who could have ever predicted that we’d be here now doing this?” He said and one point, and said that it was the memories and the fans he was most grateful for: “Every year I’ve embraced the Potter fandom more, the more I’ve come to realise how important it is.”

After a nostalgic reel of scenes from the Harry Potter films, Tom shared the story of his audition:

“They finally dyed my hair blonde, and I was put into a line of blonde-haired young actors. One by one we were all asked “What are you most excited about from the book to be transferred to the film? It only dawned on me when the kid next to me was saying about Gringotts that I didn’t have an answer, so when Chris Columbus got to me I was just like “Yeah same as this kid, Gringotts, flying around, I love Gringotts”. I believe that’s what got me the part!”

On what it was like seeing all the fans at the first premiere, Tom said:

“I was too young to know what I was doing really, I was so naive that it just comes across as normal. When we made the first film we were all in it together, and all on the same page – we were all in our own little bubble and then all of a sudden we were in Trafalgar Square. […] In New York we went and handed out pizza because people had slept out for 3 days!” 

Responding to one question about the chemistry between Rupert and Emma, Tom said:

“In a word: No. They were like brothers and sisters […] If you’re talking bout chemistry, the chemistry was between Rupert and I – there was a fire between us as bright as his hair”

For a twelve year old on set, working with some of the best British actors must’ve been a blast, but what was it like in Tom’s memory?

“I didn’t know who the hell anyone was. I thought Gary Oldman was a cleaner at first, he was all very casual. I was twelve! How was I supposed to know what Richard Harris had done? Now I look back I’m like “Oh my god, you were with Helena Bonham Carter!”. The only one I sort of knew and equally feared and respected was Alan Rickman [..] because of Robin Hood!” 

When speaking about filming the final scene of Deathly Hallows Part 2, Tom got emotional speaking about 19 years later in reality:

“I’m heavily overaged, they made me look like I was a 65 year old! […] The reality is that everything has changed. Everyone I was with – my brother, my nieces and nephews, my mum – it’s hard to imagine what I’d be doing if I hadn’t gone to that audition. […] What [19 years later] really means to me is that I’m one of the luckiest sods, or slimy gits, out there.”

And then it was time for a good old fashioned family reunion! What does 19 years later mean to the cast?

Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) kicked off the celebrations, saying it’s incredible to think they got into the films 19 years ago. He remembered that the cast were sheltered from the ‘noise’ of the fans when filming (and it was a long time before social media (aside from blogs / fan sites). One memory from set stuck out to him in particular:

“I still get the smell of sprouts and veg when I think of the Great Hall!”

Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) called Harry Potter the ‘framework’ of her life, and said it was hard to think it was so long ago, but that the stories are being kept alive by fans. She took comfort in the fact that Hogwarts is always there for everyone to feel safe and loved in, and said that that’s the message she hears when people tell her how much they love the wizarding world: “It’s very much alive in us”.

James Phelps (Fred Weasley) shared his favorite memories from over the years, and reminders of how much time has passed:

“I get flashback to memories of promotional tours, reactions of fans, and new generation of fans […] a couple of months ago we met couple that went on their first date to the first film, and they’re now married and have two kids”

He said the cast are still in contact, and that getting back in touch feels like speaking with people from high school or college – you may not see each other all the time, but it feels like they’ve never been apart when they speak again!

Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) said on 19 years later that (aside from the current global situation) “All is well”, and that Harry Potter has a special place in peoples hearts. Being a huge fan of the stories before he was a part of the films, Chris said that the love, comfort and acceptance found in the Harry Potter stories are important points that still stand, and are perhaps MORE important than ever before:

Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) revealed her inner Potterhead once again by remembering her experience as a fan of the series before joining the films in Order of the Phoenix. She distinctly remembers buying a ticket to movie because she remembers you had to be early (it was a “point of pride for a fan”, she said), and so would always try to be first in line for all the movies, each time becoming more of a crazy fan. She’d even have a shirt with Dan’s face on it!

For her, 19 years later, “represents how life can change, that miracles can happen, and how important it is to invest in your dreams”:

Josh Herdman (Gregory Goyle) said that it was surreal – given that the actors were ‘conditioned’ to the Potterhead madness after 10 years – now 19 years later, we’re still speaking about the series:

“It was my childhood – it was on and off filming, but still such a huge part of my life – I really have fond memories, only fond memories of it, over these 19 years. Harry Potter has a special place in my heart”

Louis Cordice (Blaise Zabini) is grateful that Harry Potter is still as big as ever, and that future generations are being passed down the stories, making it even more special to him:

“When I’m gone, I’ll remain because of the wonderful world of Harry Potter” 

Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) spent his clip professing his love for his ‘son’, Tom Felton, as one would have expected from this unique duo (we love that they still call each other father and son after all these years!):

Watching you turn into a teenager and still be delightful and then a young man, a free-spirited vagabond finding his place in the world, and a man has been a pleasure […] I love you, son” 

Rupert Grint also joined the stream (after recently joining Instagram), saying that it was hard to conceptualise 19 years:

“It’s not twenty years, that’s the big one, but still, that’s a long time!”

It became exceedingly clear that Rupert’s basically no different to Ron Weasley, cracking jokes about being in a town filled with goats to film the Hogsmede platform scene in the first movie, and later sharing how he got the nickname “Go Again Grint” on set:

“Even making this video I’m on like, take 20.” 

Alfie Enoch distinctly remembered a clear image of Great Hall in the early days of filming, saying that as a massive fan of the books, it would’ve made sense to feel nervous, but his memory of that day is simply meeting everyone and “p***ing around”, and pretty much just being kids!

“The amazing thing was that it was fun, that we got to enjoy ourselves, that everyone was lovely.”

Dan Radcliffe even joined the fun, saying that this 19 years later party is “but a mere preview of the nostalgia we will all be immersed in for the 20th anniversary next year”, so be sure to look out for their plans to reminisce all over again next year!

Chris Columbus spoke about his nerves in working on such an important adaptation for his career, and how Daniel Radcliffe made him and David Heyman cry:

“We get through the first night, we come back the following day […] right at the very end the camera pushes in on Dan […] Hermione asks something like if he’s sad to be leaving, and Harry says “I’m not going home, not really””

Chris said he and David Heyman and both had tears in their eyes, and it was then that they knew they were onto something. He also shared that though he wishes they would’ve shot the ENTIRE book, he was sad to have had to choose what to leave in and take out. The first cut was 2 hours 48 minutes, shown to kids in Chicago, who said “This movie is too short”!

And with that was the end of what Tom called a “digital high school reunion of some of the Potter lot”. To finish up, he shared the meaning behind the party, and introduced Paula Dupre (who produced on the films with Chris Columbus), who started the charity There With Care:

“Her and I are part of a very big project that’s close to our hearts called the Liv Project, and it’s the reason we’re all here”

The Liv Project aims to help people “talk fearlessly about mental health”, by collaborating with creators to communicate about mental health. Please head to their official website to find out more, and donate.

Thanks to Tom (and co), the cast, and Veeps for such a brilliant event – here’s to more reminiscing next year for the 20th anniversary of the films!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.