Harry Potter fans take over Trafalgar Square for 'Deathly Hallows -- Part 2' premiere [Pictures]
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson traipsed the red carpet Thursday in London as the world premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" apparated in Trafalgar Square. Surrounded by droves of fans crowding into the British landmark, they headed for a screening of the eighth and final film in the franchise.
"It's a moment that you have to let yourself sit back and say 'this is really cool,' " said Radcliffe, who went through 160 pairs of glasses and wore out 60 to 70 wands playing the boy wizard. "The atmosphere is unrepeatable, so this is fitting."
Radcliffe, who took a break from his Broadway show to make the premiere, said he kept two pairs of glasses, one from the first film and one from the final film, that he would pull out if he ever felt "nostalgic."
"It's my whole childhood," said one fan, who was among an estimated 18,000 expected at the event.
Warner Bros. set up the massive premiere in front of the National Gallery and crews created a makeshift Diagon Alley to neighboring Leicester Square, where the cast would be viewing the film.
The day got off to a wet start as rain poured down on fans in a very British fashion, but the weather dried as the stars came out and fans waited eagerly to catch a glimpse of Radcliffe, Grint, Watson and the woman who imagined it all: J.K. Rowling, whose books have sold more than 450 million copies.
"I knew I would one day I'd be standing in Trafalgar Square with people chanting my name, and I wasn’t even called J.K. then!" Rowling joked about the ultimate premiere.
"They're such British books. We just needed to stay true to the essence of the books and the Britishness because Hogwarts is in Scotland," added the author, who also served as a producer on the David Yates-directed film.
"Thank you for making glasses, spectacles and red hair very cool," producer David Heyman said to Rowling. "Thank you for encouraging a generation of young people to read. Thank you for allowing us to make films of your books."
"You just have to let yourself kind of revel in it because it won't happen again," Radcliffe said. "It's a day to be elated."
Over 10 years, Radcliffe's boy wizard faced dementors, Death Eaters, boggarts, backfiring spells, love and He Who Must Not Be Named, played by a serpentine and noseless Ralph Fiennes, with whom he'll have a final showdown in "Deathly Hallows -- Part 2."
"I got used to [not having a nose] now," Fiennes said. "Now it's strange to see myself with a nose!"
"I just want to thank everyone over the years. These people are what it's all about really and why we love making these films. It's going to be hard to not be making these films anymore," he added.
"I am completely overwhelmed, it's absolutely incredible," said Watson, who plays Hermione Granger, Harry's know-it-all other best friend.
Watson arrived in a gown of fairy-pleasing confections and said that it was "the least I could do."
"People have been camped out here for three days. It's incredible. I thought I should make a bit of an effort," she added.
As for the kiss between Hermione and best friend Ron Weasley that fans have been waiting for: "We knew that we'd been building the anticipation of this moment for 10 years," she said. "Rupert and I really wanted to make sure that it lived up to the all the hype. We were nervous. It was awkward but we thought we did the moment justice."
Though she has previously said that she's happy that she'll be moving on from the film, she added that she would "really miss those boys."
"I will really miss Rupert and Dan. I'll really miss being Hermione and living in her world. How can you top this? ... I have just been so privileged to play this role and been a part of these films. Thank you so much for your love and support and embracing all the work that we did. I had an amazing 10 years of my life."
"This has been such an emotional week," Grint said. "A year ago when we finished, I thought I was coming to terms with it and thought I'd move on. This really has just become a very important part of my life. I'm just so please I've shared it with you two because I love you. I'm never going to have this again, we're just going to have to make the most of this and just enjoy it. [Jo,] what you've done for ginger people I cannot put that into words, so thank you Jo!"
Said Radcliffe: "When you spend 10 years working with two very special people, it's going to be a very strange thing [to see it end]. But I think we're going to know that the tie that bonds us is this series ... that's what connects us."
"Every single friend that I have now I met through Harry Potter," another fan said.
Also spotted were a slew of Hogwarts professors and staff including Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall), Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn), Robby Coltrane (Hagrid), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), David Bradley (Argus Filch), Warwick Davis (Filius Flitwick/Griphook) and Miriam Margolyes (Pomona Sprout).
Other witches, wizards and magical people included Harry's love interest Ginny Weasley, played by Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Matt Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Julie Walters (Molly Weasley), Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks), Clemence Poesy (Fleur Delacour) and Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy), with husband Damian Lewis.
Alan Rickman, who plays enigmatic Professor Severus Snape and takes on a heroic role as Death Eater and headmaster in the last film, walked onto the red platform to fans chanting "Snape, Snape, Severus Snape" from the Harry Potter Puppet Pals videos.
"The buttons [on the robes] got tighter and tighter as the years went on," Rickman said. "There was an agenda. He wasn't entirely free in the role, he had stuff to do, which he achieved."
As for his favorite memories: "They're usually off-camera and off-set and they usually involve Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon," he cryptically said.
"This is amazing, this is historic," said Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange and takes a turn playing Hermione as Bellatrix in the final film. "I'll never be able to have a wand fight again, I'll never get another wand blister!"
"I've always wanted to play Hermione; who doesn't want to be Hermione?" she said. "I was living my dream. Dream come true. Emma was a really big help and she gave me a guide book. It was playing Hermione's version of Bellatrix and I was acting with Daniel and Rupert and they were looking at me like I was 17 years old."
As for Bellatrix, Carter said, "She's completely stark raving bonkers, she's so insane and so evil ... she's pretty bad and there's nothing like being paid tons of money to dress up as a witch and behave very badly."
Though the fans and stars were sad to see the series come to an end, Rowling gave them a little something to look forward to when it came to writing another tome.
"I've always said never say never," she said. "I have no plans at the moment. But you know what? It's my baby and if I want to take it out and play with it again, I would!"
— Nardine Saad
Top photo: Rupert Grint, left, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe look on as J.K. Rowling speaks at the final world premiere in the "Harry Potter" movie franchise. Credit: Dylan Martinez / Reuters
Left photo: Watson gets emotional with producer David Heyman. Credit: Dylan Martinez / Reuters
Middle photos: Ralph Fiennes, left, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs. Credits: Joel Ryan / Associated Press, left; Ian Gavan / Getty Images, center and right.
Photos, second from the bottom: Tom Felton, left, Bonnie Wright, Matt Lewis. Credits: Ian Gavan / Getty Images, left and center; Toby Melville / Reuters, right.
Bottom photos: Alan Rickman, left, Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon. Credit: Joel Ryan / Associated Press, left; Ian Gavan / Getty Images, center and right.