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The first Harry Potter book was written in 1998 and the first movie came out in 2001. The casting team held auditions at elementary schools all across Britain to find their Hermione, but when they got to Emma's school, she had no desire to audition (even though everyone else at school did). It was Emma's teacher who convinced her to audition, and she ended up being the last girl that day. To think she got the role after that! The producers tried to give Daniel Radcliffe green eyes and Hermione buck teeth like in the books, but failed. Sadly, Daniel had a terrible allergic reaction to his green contact lenses and had to stop wearing them, while Emma Watson couldn't speak clearly wearing her false buck teeth.
J.K. Rowlings requested that the entire cast be British. The only major exception was the casting of Verne Troyer His American accent was later dubbed over in the film. All the food you see in the great hall scenes is 100% real. Director Chris Columbus wanted to capture the elaborate feasts from the books perfectly. The only problem is the food spoiled really easily under the hot production lights and created a super unpleasant odor. That's why for future HP movies, they froze food and created molds to make the fake food look more realistic.
Many cars were harmed in the making of the Whomping Willow scene. Fourteen Ford Anglias were wrecked in the filming of the scene where Harry and Ron crashed into the Whomping Willow.
J.K. Rowling could have played Harry's mom. She was offered the role of Lily Potter in the Mirror of Erised scene, but she turned it down and the role went to Geraldine Somerville instead.
Rupert Grint has an actual severe case of arachnophobia. So he didn't have to do much acting in the scene where he and Harry meet Aragog.
The Duke Humfrey's Library made a huge exception for filming The Restricted Section scene. Even though the historic library usually strictly forbids bringing flames into the library for any reason, they made an exception for Harry Potter. It was the first exception in hundreds of years.
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