Surprising Behind-The-Scenes Facts About ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’

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Vote up the 'Azkaban' film facts that whip your brain around like the Knight Bus.

You most likely know everything that happens in the Harry Potter books, the movies, and on Pottermore. You're probably the type of person that could crush at canonical HP trivia - but how much do you know about what was happening behind the scenes while filming Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Two significant changes rocked the Harry Potter series at the start of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Behind the camera, Alfonso Cuarón replaced Chris Columbus as the director, and on screen, Michael Gambon took over as Dumbledore for Richard Harris. Cuarón's directing changed the tone of the films in a big way, helping the series grow up with both the maturing cast members and fans in the audience.  

Read on and discover the moments that created your favorite on-camera quotes and scenes.

  • 1
    1,348 VOTES

    In The Scene Where Hermione Punches Malfoy, The Script Called For Her To Only Slap Him

    According to actor Tom Felton, the script initially called for a slap - but if you had the chance to punch Draco Malfoy, wouldn't you take it? 

    "The fact that she hits him, with a fist, and it's not like a spell or something, it's actually like a physical hit, there's something very satisfying about that," Emma Watson said. 

    Not only did Hermione upgrade her slap to a punch onscreen, but Watson also punched Felton while they were filming. Felton asked Watson if she wanted to practice her slap, and Watson seemed to want to do a little more than just practice. Watson has since said she felt terrible about actually hitting Felton, and wasn't sure what she was thinking. 

    1,348 votes
  • 2
    1,165 VOTES

    When Alfonso Cuarón Asked The Young Actors To Write Essays About Their Characters, Rupert Grint Blew It Off Because He Was Studying For Exams

    Maybe Rupert Grint blew off writing his essay, or maybe not writing the essay on his character was the essay on his character. What could say more about slacker Ron Weasley than to say nothing at all? 

    Grint has said that he shirked his responsibility not as an abstract take on his character, but so he could study for a standardized test. He also stated that he felt his director appreciated the humor in Ron being the only one not to turn in the assignment. Also true to character, Daniel Radcliffe turned in an acceptable one-page report on time, and Emma Watson turned in a whopping 16 full pages

    1,165 votes
  • 3
    1,088 VOTES

    Alan Rickman Played A Prank On Daniel Radcliffe That Involved A Fart Machine

    When a prank is pulled, especially one low-brow enough to involve a fart machine, Alan Rickman isn't exactly who you would imagine as the mastermind. With that said, living in an alternate universe where Alan Rickman replaced Ashton Kutcher as the host of Punk'd would be a treat. 

    In a Reddit AMA, Daniel Radcliffe recalled a prank pulled on him while filming a scene for Prisoner of Azkaban. While the children were lying down in sleeping bags in the middle of the great hall, Rickman activated a fart machine he had planted inside of Radcliffe's bag. Alfonso Cuarón added another embarrassing detail to the prank, explaining that Radcliffe had his sleeping bag next to a girl he fancied at the time of the prank. 

    1,088 votes
  • 4
    1,147 VOTES

    David Thewlis Thought Remus Lupin Was Gay And Played The Character That Way

    J.K. Rowling has become famous for adding extra tidbits of backstory to her characters that aren't in the books, and it seems that Alfonso Cuarón dabbled in that, as well. 

    While filming Prisoner Of Azkaban, without Rowling's knowledge, Cuarón told Thewlis that his character Remus Lupin was gay. David Thewlis said this affected his take on the role, at least up until his character got married to Tonks. 

    1,147 votes
  • 5
    859 VOTES

    Gary Oldman Felt The Need To Live Up To Daniel Radcliffe's Expectations Of Him

    In a world with the saying, "Don't meet your heroes," actually being someone's hero must be a lot of pressure. 

    While filming Prisoner of Azkaban, Gary Oldman knew the child actors looked up to him, and it was important to him to live up to that. With that said, it seems to have gone the other way, as well, and Daniel Radcliffe really impressed Oldman. Oldman describes him as "very dedicated, serious... and focused."

    859 votes
  • 6
    600 VOTES

    The Accessories Required For Animal Transformations Were Uncomfortable

    While it certainly looks unpleasant to turn into a werewolf, apparently, it doesn't feel much better to pretend to turn into one.

    According to Gary Oldman and David Thewlis, the transformations into their animal alter egos were "really uncomfortable to do." Oldman described the lenses they had to wear as being terrible, as they would make the slightest light appear incredibly blinding. With that said, Thewlis still feels that you should be able to say at least once in your career that you've "done the whole werewolf transformation thing." 

    600 votes