Prop Secrets From 'Harry Potter' That Are Simply Magical
The world of Harry Potter is already filled with magical secrets, but some of the true secrets of the franchise lie behind the scenes of the famous Wizarding World. To make the films feel real (and before everything was shot on a blue screen), a lot of the authenticity came from the props of Harry Potter, and the secrets that went into creating the magical world that we know and love. Now that the series has ended, we can finally learn some of the tricks that the filmmakers used to make Harry Potter come to life.
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Hagrid's Body Double Wore An Animatronic Head Modeled After Robbie ColtranePhoto: Warner Bros. Pictures
Robbie Coltrane, the actor who portrays the beloved giant Hagrid, is only 6 foot 1 inches tall, which does not quite match the height of the half-human, half-giant, who stands at about 11 feet tall in the films. To compensate for the wide shots where you see his full body, Hagrid is played by a body double much taller than Coltrane wearing a fat suit and animatronic head that is precisely modeled after Coltrane.
The eerily lifelike head is now on display at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London.
The Hogwarts castle in the final version of the film is indeed real, but might not be as big as you think. A heavily detailed miniature set was constructed for the exterior shots of the castle while the interiors were shot inside old buildings around the UK.
The miniature set of Hogwarts is now on display as a main feature of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, which is home to many props used in the series.
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Scarily Real Models Of The Actors Were Made For The Scenes Involving Petrification
Many students were left petrified (in a frozen state of terror) in The Chamber of Secrets after the basilisk attacks, including Hermione Granger.
For the scenes where Hermoine and the other actors were bedridden, lifelike wax models were made of the actors, which ended up looking scarily realistic.
The famous radish earrings worn by Luna Lovegood in Order of the Phoenix were actually handcrafted by Evanna Lynch, the actress who portrays Lovegood.
The earrings have since become a staple of the character and Harry Potter-themed jewelry.
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According to a 2003 article from the Hartford Courant, the prop slugs that were used in Ron Weasley's infamous slug puking scene from Chamber of Secrets looked so realistic that they induced sickness in some of the children watching the film in theaters, which led to nausea and vomiting.
In reality, the slimy props were not only edible but also came in such tasty flavors as lemon, orange, peppermint, and even chocolate.
The food you see during the welcome feast in the Great Hall was all real. Director Chris Colombus opted to use real food (including roast beef, ham, and turkey) to make the scene look more authentic and match the description from the novel.
The hot stage lights mixed with the long filming hours, however, made the food unappetizing and develop a wicked odor. The producers opted to not use real food for the subsequent films.