Harry’s birthday is July 31, 1980. Rowling’s birthday is also July 31 – but in 1966.
Oldie But Goodie
The actress who played Moaning Myrtle was 37 years old at the time “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” was filmed. She is the oldest actress to ever portray a Hogwarts student.
Ron Weasley’s character originally swore a lot, but Rowling’s publisher wouldn’t let her use that sort of language because it would’ve been inappropriate for young readers.
J.K. – Just Kidding!
Rowling’s publisher suggested she use initials rather than her real name, “Joanne Rowling,” in order to appeal to male readers. She chose J.K., borrowing the “K” from her grandmother’s name, Kathleen. However, neither “Kathleen” nor “K” is part of her legal name.
Only Alan Rickman, the actor who played Professor Snape, knew his character’s fate before the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” because Rowling told him.
Rowling said the inspiration for the name of Harry’s school in the books, “Hogwarts,” may have unconsciously come from the name of a plant she saw in the Kew Gardens in New York City.
An Interesting Audition
Rupert Grint dressed up like his female drama teacher and rapped about Ron Weasley for his audition tape. His rap began, “Hello, my name is Rupert Grint, I hope you don’t think I stink.”
Contrary to popular belief, the ‘t’ at the end of Voldemort is silent. The name comes from the French words meaning “flight of death.”
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.
Second Year Itch
An outbreak of lice occurred among the children cast members during the filming of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
Tom Felton auditioned for the roles of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, but was chosen to play Draco Malfoy instead.
The idea for Sirius Black’s tattoos came from those used in Russian prison gangs. The markings identify the person as someone to be feared and respected.
A Hairy Situation
Robbie Coltrane, the actor who played Hagrid in the films, has gotten a mini-fan and a fruit bat stuck in his famous, shaggy beard.
Kiss Of Death
Dementors, the deadly phantoms that guard Azkaban Prison, represent depression and were based on Rowling’s struggle with the disease.
Over 400 million Harry Potter books in 67 languages have been sold worldwide as of 2008.
J.K. Rowling is the first person to become a billionaire (U.S. dollars) by writing books.
Harry And Hermione Sittin’ In A Tree…
During the filming of the kissing scene between the horcrux versions of Harry and Hermione in the final film, Rupert Grint was removed from the set for laughing too much.
While filming “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Tom Felton’s Hogwarts robes had their pockets sewn shut because he kept trying to sneak food onto the set.
One of the flying cars used in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” was stolen off the set. It was discovered seven months later when an anonymous caller informed police of its whereabouts.
M.O. McGonagall is listed on one of the Quidditch trophies in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Could Professor McGonagall have been a renowned Quidditch player back in the day? It would certainly explain her enthusiasm for the sport.
People had trouble pronouncing Hermione’s name, so Rowling had her sound it out for Viktor Krum in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
Forty versions of Salazar Slytherin’s infamous locket had to be created to accommodate Harry and Ron’s failed attempts to destroy it during filming.
When “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” was released in Great Britain, the publisher asked stores not to sell the book until schools were closed for the day to prevent truancy.
Staying In Character
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 characters, Emma Watson wrote a 16-page essay, Daniel Radcliffe wrote a simple, one-page paper, and Rupert Grint never even turned his in.
Take That, Edward Cullen
The least successful Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” made $90 million more than the most successful Twilight movie.