The young stars of the Harry Potter franchise mostly talk about their time on set with glowing enthusiasm. They had the unique chance to grow up surrounded by magic after all. However, there was one particular day for Emma Watson that really tested her commitment – and it just so happened to be her birthday.
During the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the three main Harry Potter cast members had to emerge from an ice-cold lake in the wake of their dramatic escape from Gringotts. Director David Yates had devised an elaborate camera setup to convey the urgency of the scene, in which Harry had a vision about Voldemort and his Horcruxes.
Unfortunately for the actors, the filming required them to spend a huge amount of time covered in freezing water on a studio backlot. On the DVD commentary track, Yates said: “We brought Dan, Rupert, and Emma down to the set and we soaked them. That was the day they almost got hypothermia, and fortunately survived. It was also Emma’s birthday, of course.”
Watson didn’t have much time to celebrate her special day on the set and described it as “one of the most horrible days of my life ever”. Not the best way to spend a birthday, at all. We’d certainly count nearly freezing to death as a pretty miserable party. But she did get a cake, so it’s not all bad.
She added: “It was just so cold. I’ve never been that cold in my entire life. I think it was around freezing temperature and they had us getting in and out of this lake, so we spent the whole day soaking wet.”
Yates was especially impressed with Watson on the day, given how much she helped Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint to get through it all. “It was tough for them. Poor old Rupert was freezing,” said Yates. “What I love about Emma is I said: ‘Are you guys alright? Emma, are you OK?’ And she looked at me, and said: ‘Don’t worry about me, look at these guys. They’re dying out here’. She insisted they get warm first. She was being very maternal.”
As hard as it was for the actors, it definitely gives the scene an added flavor. These Harry Potter characters sound like they’re absolutely freezing cold, because that’s exactly how the actors felt. Everyone went for broke while making the final Deathly Hallows installment and they were rewarded for sure, as it’s one of the best movies in the entire franchise.
So we’d like to salute Emma Watson for sacrificing her birthday in order to shiver at the side of an artificial lake. We hope her birthdays since then have been a lot more comfortable.
To further explore the Wizarding World, check out our guide to the Harry Potter movies in order and find out about new movies, including the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date and the Cursed Child release date.
You can also delve into the world of the worst Harry Potter villains as we explain why the most violent Harry Potter scene almost went too far. And Potter is coming to the small screen, so here’s what we know about the Harry Potter TV series release date.
The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US and Mermaids in the UK.