It’s officially been over 20 years since fans first met the Harry Potter cast, and after all this time, Potterheads may be curious to see what every member of the Harry Potter cast looks like now compared to when the very first film premiered.
The Harry Potter film franchise which is based on a series of books written by J.K. Rowling—began with 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The first film in the series starred a young Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as the story’s main protagonists: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, respectively. Over the course of the film series, fans witnessed the trio grow up at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and work together to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort. Meanwhile, the actors appeared in each of the franchise’s eight Harry Potter movies before completing their run in the last film of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, in 2011. But this wouldn’t be the final time that fans saw Radcliffe, Watson and Grint together.
In November 2021, HBO Max announced a Harry Poter reunion special titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. The reunion sees the return of Radcliffe, Watson and Grint, along with other original cast members, directors and producers who worked on the eight Harry Potter films. Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, said in a statement that the reunion “is a tribute to everyone whose lives were touched by this cultural phenomenon—from the talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into this extraordinary film franchise to the passionate fans who continue to keep the Wizarding World spirit alive 20 years later.”
According to HBO Max, the reunion special will tell “an enchanting making-of story through all-new, in-depth interviews and cast conversations,” so fans can expect to see Radcliffe, Watson, Grint and more revisiting the magical world they helped bring to life all those years ago. And like the reunion, we’re taking a look back on where it all began for the Harry Potter cast. Read ahead to see what the Harry Potter cast looked like then and now.
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)
Daniel Radcliffe was only 12 years old when the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, premiered in 2001 and introduced the Wizarding World to the big screen. The young actor quickly rose to fame when he was cast in the series’ titular part of Harry Potter and went on to reprise the role in all eight Harry Potter movies. Over the course of the franchise, viewers witnessed Radcliffe grow up before their very eyes: By the time the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, premiered in 2011, Radcliffe was already 22 years old.
Two decades after the first film premiered, Radcliffe joined his castmates for HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts reunion special at the age of 32. In an interview during the special, Radcliffe revealed that many of his seminal moments in life took place on the set of Harry Potter. “Every part of my life is connected to ‘[Harry] Potter,’” he shared. “My first kiss is connected to someone here. My first girlfriends were here. It all spirals out from the part of set somewhere.”
Prior to the reunion’s premiere in January 2022, Radcliffe also told Entertainment Tonight about one of his best memories from his time as Harry Potter. “I have really, really fond memories of all my scenes with Gary Oldman [who played Sirius Black] and David Thewlis [who played Remus Lupin,]” he told the site in December 2021. “They were some of the first scenes on the third and the fifth film where I started to feel like I was a young man who was just starting to figure out what acting was, and they were pretty cool people to be around.”
Hermione Granger (Emma Watson)
At the age of 11, Emma Watson made her professional screen debut in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as the brainy and witty Hermione Granger. In 2002, she reprised her role in the Harry Potter sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and continued to star in the franchise up until its final installments, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, hit theaters in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Watson was 21 years old when she hung up her cape as Hermione.
In 2021, Watson opened up about how “proud” she was to be a part of the Harry Potter franchise on Instagram, where she shared a sweet throwback photo of herself and her fellow castmates. “I am proud not just of what we as a group contributed as actors to the franchise but also as the children that became young adults that walked that path,” she captioned her post. Note: Netflix This Week
She added, “I look at my fellow cast members now and I am just so proud of who everyone has become as people. I am proud we were kind to each other that we supported one another and that we held up something meaningful. Happy 20th Anniversary Potterheads! We hope you enjoy the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts which will stream New Year’s day, Jan. 1 on HBO Max. ⚡️ Lots to look forward to. 😊” At the time of the reunion’s premiere, Watson was 31 years old. Note: Lilyhammer