The Final Hours Of 'Harry Potter'
by Althea Wilson-Berkowitz • Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis tweeted on June 9 that filming for the final installment of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been completed." He also posted a photo of the ice cream truck Rupert Grint brought to set, serving the cast soft ice cream in a chocolate shell to celebrate the last day of filming. "I drove it down on the last day and served ice cream to everyone," he said. "I haven’t quite perfected the technique. It kind of came out in a jet."
Grint wasn’t the only one to commemorate the end of filming – Emma Watson hosted a dinner at her house in England for the entire Potter cast and crew. “We spoke about the best moments of filming, our secret crushes on set – all kinds of random questions," Potter actor James Phelps told People. "But all the answers to these questions will stay in that room!"
Phelps and his twin brother Oliver, who together played notorious twins Fred and George Weasley, along with costars Daniel Radcliffe, Grint, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, and of course author J.K. Rowling, attended the grand opening of the new theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. The park recreates the most important Potter landmarks, including The Three Broomsticks, and of course Hogwarts.
This may be the perfect time to open a theme park. The pain of no more Harry Potter books will soon no longer be numbed by the excitement of an upcoming film release in November, and this fast approaching post- Potter withdrawal may just create a market of loyal fans desperately seeking their Butterbeer fix.
It doesn’t look like Harry Potter will be going anywhere anytime soon, with all kinds of HP-related services and products all over the market. British Tours currently offers a "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” tour, which takes tourists to film landmarks such as Oxford University, a setting which proved essential in creating scenes true to the books’ depiction of Hogwarts. Several classrooms, the Great Hall, the library, and also the infirmary were filmed at Oxford.
Although the second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows isn’t set to be released until July 2011, pictures have been leaked of the cast made up as adults for the final scene. As fans remember from the book, the sequence ends with Hermione, Ron, Harry and Ginny pairing up and living happily ever after into their adulthood. This scene was not only an emotional one in the book, but also for Grint, who stated of the last day of filming, "It was quite a sad day. I didn’t know quite how it would affect me," he said. "I just kind of realized how [much time I’ve] spent with these people. It was quite emotional."
After all, what will the Harry Potter stars do after this? Emma Watson has claimed to have no upcoming film projects, and in fact plans to take a break, or even a permanent leave from acting while attending Brown University. Famously down-to-earth despite being one of the highest paid young actresses, (her salary is estimated at 4 million,) Watson has been busy recently with college, acting in Brown theater productions (which are free to the public), and launching ethical fashion label People Tree.
"At the moment I feel like I need to go away and figure out what I want to do and be myself for a bit," Watson told the UK’s Daily Mail. "Does that sound strange? I just want to take a step back from it and not rush into stuff. I need university to give me that break. People think because I’m going to university I’m never going to act again, but it’s actually me. I want to figure out how I feel about everything first. Maybe I’ll keep acting, maybe I won’t.”
Radcliffe, who has starred on Broadway in Equus, is also unsure about what to do after Harry Potter. "It will be very, very odd to suddenly not be coming back to Harry Potter. It does act as a safety net, in a way, when you’re going off to make something else,” he says. Some of Radcliffe’s costars have other ideas – Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy, told the Daily Telegraph that he can see Radcliffe doing something besides acting. "Daniel will potentially be a great director or producer," Isaacs said. "He’s very interested in behind-the-camera work. Remember, they have spent more hours in front of the camera in the last decade than most people have in their entire career."
It seems impossible that the end of filming can possibly signify the end of the Harry Potter Era, or that Potter-mania could ever reach the heights it did at the release of the final Harry Potter book. In the 24 hours after its release, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold 8.3 million copies, bringing the total number of Potter book sales over 10 years to 325 million, which took out The Bible, at only 250 million copies. The Potter-era, like the Jurassic, Triassic, and Cretaceous, must end eventually, but Muggle, Quidditch, and Slytherin won’t disappear from our vocabularies anytime soon.
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Radcliffe, Watson and Grint are all great actors, I hope they will be able to continue on with their careers without a Harry Potter name attached to them (though it isn't necessary an awful thing, just hope they grow out of that).
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