The Harry Potter 20 Year Reunion Special On HBO Max Is The Only Positive Thing About 2022 So Far

Happy New Year, everyone! So far, two/three days in, it's been basically horrible! Actually, I don't know if that's true. I suppose with such a massively devastating end to 2021 (RIP Betty White I'm still not convinced this isn't a big prank somehow) we've got nowhere to go but up, and not a lot has happened yet. Thank fucking Christ on the Cross that the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion premiered on Jan 1. 

I think I said in my last blog, I didn't mean to become the Harry Potter Freak at Barstool but I'm so happy to be exactly that. I can't say enough about this franchise - the books, the movies, and now this reunion special. My only complaint - it was nowhere NEAR long enough. We needed HOURS. We needed more footage of them all chopping it up together. However, what we did get was surprising to me; we got incredible honesty from everyone who had ever worked on the film. They way they all speak about the movies, everyone who worked on them, and their experiences throughout, is so incredibly genuine that I was obviously crying within the first 35 seconds. 

They start off the reunion with a pre-recorded intro with Emma Watson (Hermione), Matthew Lewis (Neville) and Robert Coltrane (Hagrid) doing normal things around London and receiving letters to return to Hogwarts. Then we see more of the cast congregating on the Hogwarts Express (here we start to see The Weasleys and Luna Lovegood) and at this point I'm in tears. Emma Watson hugging and reuniting with Luna and Ginny is already too much for my soul to bare. They arrive at Hogwarts, there are tons of enthusiastic hugs and greetings, we're all sobbing again.

The rest of the special is broken down by director/movie, starting with Chris Columbus himself (and a lot of the cast saying "We had no idea you'd be here!" Weird, why?) Something I've always wondered about these movies was how they would end up switching directors - bad blood? Bad responses at the box office? What exactly was the problem? After hearing Columbus telling us how much the movie meant to him, and how he had to oversee 600 consistent days of filming for the first two movies and was simply too burnt out to put his all into the next few movies, it clicks that this has always been one giant collaborative effort. Columbus was always flitting in and out as a Producer, David Heyman has his hands in it throughout the entire franchise, and it generally seems like there was minimal drama when it came to the "changing of the guard." When they interview the kids, we here an absolutely GUSH fest about all of the directors - how each one treated them differently (Columbus knew them as kids, Mike Newell/Alfonso Curan treated them like adults during the teenage transition time) and how each one was essential to the films at the time (David Yates coming in at the end for the really dark, intense stuff.) Emma Watson at one point is almost in tears talking about how all of these people are genuinely good people. Sobs again. 

We then have a handful of interviews; Harry/Ron/Hermione, Ron/Hermione, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy (I always forget how low key hot Jason Isaacs is) Bellatrix, Sirius, Hagrid - really Grade A shit. 


Emma Watson and Tom Felton are in love

ADORABLE! This relationship makes me tear up. It seems so genuinely full of love and sweetness, and it confirms that Tom Felton is an angel from heaven. People always talk about what a personable guy he is, and I like to think that as he's gotten older and shows more of his real personality through social media, it makes people appreciate his character a LOT more. It has to be hard to be so evil when deep down you're the exact opposite. Something cool I heard from one of the interviews about the scene where Draco is supposed to kill Dumbledore, is that the intention behind that scene was to finally make you feel sympathy for Draco. Tom obvs nailed it. <3 < p>

Daniel Radcliffe wished he was 10 years older so he could have a chance with Helena Bonham Carter

What an unexpectedly fun relationship??? I would've never have guessed these two would be such cutie jokesters with each other. HBC is so fucking cool, too. Later on she's doing an interview with Gary Oldman (Bellatrix kills Sirius Black, if you forgot) - Gary goes "You killed me!" and Helena shrugs her shoulders and goes "Ah, it had to be done." Huge LOL. Ugh. I'm jealous that I wasn't a part of this cast?? Even though i'm not an actor?? 

Dan Radcliffe REALLY wanted everyone to "Be cool" when Gary Oldman joined the series

Another constant throughout the reunion were all of the younger actors joking around about how they had no idea the caliber of people they were spending their time with as kids. Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman - British acting royalty, through and through. By the time they started getting a little older, the appreciation was setting in, and Daniel specifically had a huge amount of respect for Gary Oldman. So much so, that he gave a big speech to Emma and Rupert about "being cool" when Gary was around. 

A few other things that struck chords:

- Emma said at first she thought the slow dancing scene with Dan in DH1 was going to be weird, but it's now one of her favorite scenes of all time, and she owes that to her comfortability with Dan as a person. (sobs)

- Rupert Grint explained that towards the end of the franchise, he had a hard time separating himself from Ron, because he was already so much like Ron. "Even my name didn't sound like my name sometimes," he explains, while also worrying that "all he knows how to do is play Ron." This made me incredibly sad, because I can't imagine these kids living even one second of a normal life. I get the vibe throughout the reunion that Dan and Emma hadn't seen Rupert in a long while - I wonder if he keeps his distance so he can keep his sanity. I probably would have to. 

- Matthew Lewis said that they all "dated each other and broke up with each other during their teen years, just like any other school. It just happened in Defense Against the Dark Arts class." BINGO! JACKPOT! HERE ARE THE STORIES WE WANT!! God I want to know who had the little kid romances as kids on this set. They say it a million times throughout the reunion, but this film series seems to be the only one where we watch all of these kids grow up. They are all the same actors, we're incredible attached to them already because of the books - naturally we're curious about their "real" lives and feel personally connected to the way they've grown up, because we grew up alongside them, too. 

- Any time Rupert and Emma were talking together by themselves. They have such a funny vibe about them - they make a ton of jokes about how they HATED their big kissing scene because they all felt like siblings, and aren't romantically interested in each other at all…but their chemistry? I guess it really shows you how much time these people spent together. Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have more natural, comfortable chemistry than maybe any relationship I've seen in my life. The way that they look at each other ALONE makes me want to cry! Of course, Rupert telling Emma he loves her with the most genuine feeling of all time threw the last shovel of dirt on top of my grave. Officially dead and buried.

- Emma Watson was by far the strongest, most admirable person to be involved with the franchise. 1. She was smart as fuck in real life. 2. She took everything VERY seriously. 3. She respected the shit out of her job and even in a time of weakness where she worried she wouldn't be able to handle being Hermione anymore, she kept going. 4. She did this ALONE. She was the only girl who was on her level of fame - her entire adolescence on display as one of the most beloved female role models we've ever had in literature. I can't imagine the pressure, and I continue to worship the ground she walks on.

- All the Weasleys at the Burrow, and the talk about having a “family inside of a family.” It’s hard to believe sometimes that they aren’t related in real life - especially because Fred and George are actual twins and Rupert came from his own family of 7, with ginger siblings. 

- There was a little bit of old footage (2019) of JK Rowling included. I'm glad this was in here. I know she's a lightning rod for controversy right now and I always have to make that disclaimer with these blogs, but as of this day, I'm incredibly thankful for what JK Rowling has created for so many people. She deserves to have a few snippets in her own fucking reunion documentary. 

- Alan Rickman had a direct line to JK Rowling and knew all about the ending of the books, even when they weren't out yet. This is INSANE!!!!! Gary Oldman asked Daniel who had a "line to her," and he said Alan, because Alan had a feeling he would need to know who is character ~~really~~ was in order to act correctly. Was he a genius? Or did he just really want to know what was going on? Either way, he was really really missed in this special, as were all of the people who have passed away after being a part of this franchise. I don't want to spoil, but the timing of the closing scene on this reunion? Get the tissues. 

Honestly, I could go on for hours but I want you to watch the special. Even if you aren't a huge fan, even if you've barely seen the movies/read the books - it's truly heartwarming to see something so pure in spirit. They talk a lot about the general theme of love, but also of loneliness, and how these stories are to show you that no matter how much of an outsider you feel you are, you aren't alone. Who wouldn't want to be a part of something like that?