The Harry Potter movies were some of the most magical, immersing films of all time. When the films first came out, they used state-of-the-art technology to wow audiences, and Hogwarts was unlike anything people had ever seen. It had moving staircases, talking paintings, underground labyrinths, transforming wizards, and much more.
But when you see some behind-the-scenes footage or photos from the films these days, you might frown when you realize that pretty much every magical thing was created with a green screen, props, or special effects.
These pictures ruin the movies for diehard Potterheads, showing us that the films were much more mechanical and less magical than people gave them credit for.
Here are 18 rare pictures of the Harry Potter cast that ruins the movies.
Throughout the movie series, Draco Malfoy was the antithesis to Harry Potter. He was the wizard that everyone loved to hate—especially Harry’s friends—even though it turned out he had just been raised wrong.
So when you see Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) sporting an “I <3 Tom Felton” (the actor who played Draco) shirt, your suspension of disbelief might be shattered, to know that Ron and Draco are actually friends in real life.
Dumbledore was clearly not without his mistakes—he had some very big flaws, and was not a perfect wizard (or person). But he was the guiding hand for Harry and his friends. He was there since the beginning.
When you see him behind the scenes of this Goblet of Fire bit, looking a bit clueless while he receives direction, it’s definitely not the Dumbledore we all expect to see.
You can always count on the behind the scenes shots of a movie to take the magic away from the film. And that’s especially troubling when the film in question is literally based on magic, like the Harry Potter series.
This is another scene from Goblet of Fire, where Harry should be fending for his life, but he seems pretty relaxed at this moment, with the director showing him how to posture.
Green screens are the best way to take the magic out of a movie and ruin the film for all time. When you finally see that the actors weren’t actually diving into the Great Lake to rescue something that had been taken from them, it tugs the heartstrings a little bit.
But then again, at least no one actually died during this tense scene, so that’s good.
Makeup is important in any movie, to set the scene and immerse the viewer in the world they’re watching. There are few film sagas that have a more immersing experience than the Harry Potter series.
Here we see a tired-looking Daniel Radcliffe getting a makeup touchup, which shows that he isn’t actually a boy wizard, or if he is, he clearly needs some coffee to get going.
We all remember Hermione as the educated, sassy, too-smart bookworm from the Harry Potter series who always put the guys in their places and was the best at magic.
But when you see Emma Watson now, hanging out of a door with a sly look on her face, and a crop top that presses her cleavage together, you might realize that the girl you remember from the movies is gone, and has been replaced by this gorgeous person.
Was there ever a more stern, serious character than Professor Severus Snape? No, there probably wasn’t. Alan Rickman made the character into one of the most lovably hated “villains” in movie history.
He definitely didn’t smile during the whole series. You aren’t alone if you feel cheated when you see Snape smiling down at Harry during an outtake, although it does lighten up the enigmatic character of the professor.
Here’s another character who was a bit too serious during the films—maybe even more so than Snape: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Lord Voldemort. The nose-less master wizard, played by Ralph Fiennes, was pure evil personified.
He was the least gray character in the entire series, and one you wouldn’t ever expect to crack a disarming smile, as we see in this photo.
Thanks to some excellent videography and editing, the man who played Rubeus Hagrid, Robbie Coltrane, was made to look about 8 feet tall. Hagrid is a half-giant, half-human, so it makes sense that the gamekeeper would be so tall (and Coltrane is no slouch, at 6’1”).
Even so, it’s clear from this picture that Hagrid isn’t as tall as the movies would like him to seem—the director is even taller than him.
Thanks to some amazing visual effects and CGI, the Hippogriff from the Prisoner of Azkaban film was pretty amazing looking. Unfortunately, this behind the scenes shot shows us that the beast was really just a head cast from plastic, with a little yellow tentpole to denote his body.
Editing and after-effects must truly be one of the hardest jobs in show business.
We’d all like to believe that Daniel Radcliffe was able to do all of the amazing stunts that Harry Potter is forced to go through. But he was the lead actor in the films, and could not afford to get injured during a stunt.
His stunt double for every Harry Potter film was David Holmes, an amazing stuntman who was tragically paralyzed during an aerial explosion stunt during the filming of Deathy Hallows. Talk about ruining the movies.
In the Goblet of Fire, there’s an amazingly tense scene where Harry scoops up Draco on his broom and they whisk away from a room filled with fire.
In actuality, the green screen takes away all of the magic and lends itself to a more awkward experience: Tom and Daniel trying to sell the scene while they’re sandwiched on top of each other.
Here’s another scene that was completely done through post-production. Pretty much all of the things that made Hogwarts magical—the twisting stairs, the moving paintings, the flying books—were all done with after effects.
Here we see Hermione floating some books into place, even though there are actually some green screen hands grabbing them from her.
Ah, who would’ve ever thought these mortal enemies would be cordial with one another? In this behind the scenes shot, we see a sitting Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) and Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort) sharing a quaint chat.
They seem like they could be best buds here, which ruins the magic of their hatred for one another on camera.
Here’s another surprising shot of Voldemort, showing a side that we never actually get to see in the movies.
This smiling Voldemort is really quite charming, if not a bit creepy, and even though he has a little hammer so close to his head, he still looks pretty rock ‘n’ roll in this behind the scenes shot next to gaffer Chuck Finch from the Marble Staircase in Death Hallows – Part 2.
One of the evilest characters in the films was Bellatrix Lestrange, played by Helena Bonham Carter. She was responsible for the deaths of Sirius Black, Nymphadora Tonks, and Dobby, before being struck down by Molly Weasley.
But here we see that she’s really not so bad, as she gives Harry a peck on the cheek during this scene from Death Hallows – Part 2.
Just like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson was given stunt doubles who were responsible for doing the more outrageous physical things during her time on the films.
For some reason, though, she was given a whole posse, it looks like, and they all could easily pass off as the genius witch, thanks to their identical hair and getup.
Here we return back to the Great Lake, during the Triwizard Tournament which ended in the accidental and tragic death of Cedric Diggory.
Harry has to fight off a swarm of Grindylow in the murky depths, but luckily he has some help from these scuba divers, and he wasn’t actually as isolated as viewers might have believed.
References: scoopwhoop.com, ew.com, izismile.com