What 'Harry Potter' Cast Members Disliked About Filming The Series
Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

What 'Harry Potter' Cast Members Disliked About Filming The Series

Just try to find actors who hated their time on the Harry Potter films. You can't. Overwhelmingly, the Harry Potter cast members, from the main actors to the extras, felt extremely positive about their experiences on set - which for some, spanned over 10 years. But every once in a while, in an interview sharing their memories and opinions of the film series, the actors will admit something that wasn't the most positive experience or that they disliked. No movie experience is perfect. After all, especially when the Hogwarts students became teenagers, Harry Potter could be a bit like high school behind the scenes.  

But when you hear about things they didn't like, remember that even though sitting on a broomstick was uncomfortable and walking a red carpet was intimidating, they mostly think being Harry, Ron, Hermione, Snape, and all the rest was a pretty great thing.

  • Daniel Radcliffe: Quidditch Scenes
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Daniel Radcliffe has said many times over the years that filming Quidditch scenes was his least favorite part of the Harry Potter experience, and he was relieved when Quidditch wasn't part of the last two films. "It’s not a pleasant experience, it does hurt quite a lot, and it's not something I would rush back to," Radcliffe said in an interview.

    But he doesn't have anything else to complain about. "So, Quidditch was the low point, and you can take everything else as being the high point," he said.

  • Emma Watson: Growing Up Under The Control Of Filmmakers And Not Always Being Able To Do What She Wanted
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    At the world premiere in London of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Emma Watson told the Daily Mirror that she learned a great deal about being an actress on the set during her time with the film franchise but admitted that sometimes the experience stifled her freedom:

    Not a single second of the day was in my power. I was told what time I'd get picked up, what time I could eat, and when I could go to the bathroom. I have spent more of my life being someone else than I have being myself.

    I've always had a strong sense of who I am and what I want, but I do need to spend more time figuring that out.

  • Rupert Grint: The Red Carpet
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Rupert Grint told The Guardian that he "felt a bit lost" after finishing all the Harry Potter films, but there was one aspect of the experience that he certainly did not miss:

    The whole press and red carpet thing was an attack on the senses. I don't excel in that kind of environment.

  • Maggie Smith: She Didn’t Feel Challenged As An Actor
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros. Pictures

    In 2019, Maggie Smith said she enjoyed that her grandchildren were so thrilled she starred in the Harry Potter films, but she didn't feel personally challenged by her role as Professor Minerva McGonagall (or as Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey, for that matter):

    I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton, but it wasn't what you'd call satisfying. I didn't really feel I was acting in those things.

  • Alan Rickman: He Didn’t Think Snape Got Enough Character Development
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / Warner Bros. Pictures

    After actor Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) passed from pancreatic cancer in 2016, a collection of his personal papers was sold at an auction. The collection included a letter from Harry Potter producer David Heyman that suggested Rickman was not happy about Snape's development early on in the series:

    Thank you for making HP2 a success. I know, at times, you are frustrated, but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant. 

    And in a note Rickman himself wrote during the filming of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, titled "Inside Snape's Head," he expressed a similar concern:

    It's as if [director] David Yates has decided that this is not important in the scheme of things; i.e., teen audience appeal.

  • Michael Gambon: ‘The Wig And The Makeup’
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Michael Gambon told Scotland's The Herald that although he tends to forget a lot about the films he's done, he does remember the costumes. That includes his Albus Dumbledore attire and look for the Harry Potter films:

    I remember [Harry Potter] because of the costume. Richard [Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two films] wore great big heavy robes, really heavy, but I wore just silk, just two layers of silk and carpet slippers, so it was the most comfortable job. The only problem is the wig and the makeup, which is quite time-consuming.