Harry Potter reunion: When director Alfonso Cuaron assigned the cast homework and Emma Watson outshone Daniel Radcliffe

Published on Jan 01, 2022 09:45 AM IST

During the filming of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, director Alfonso Cuaron assigned the three leads some homework, and each cast member reacted exactly how their character would.

Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint.
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint.

When the Harry Potter films began filming, the three main cast members - Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint - were pre-teens. So, it’s no wonder that some of the early directors in the franchise treated them like kids. In the 20th anniversary special Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts, the cast member revealed what happened when director Alfonso Cuaron actually assigned them homework on the sets of the third film.

The first two films in the franchise were directed by Chirstopher Columbus and Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron came on board to direct the third film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2003. The cast revealed that in a bid to get to know the cast members and their understanding of the characters, he actually assigned them homework. Daniel Radcliffe recounted, “He wanted to get to know us so he set up this exercise where he asked us to write an essay in character.” His co-star Rupert Grint added, “He was like, you know these characters at this point better than I’ll ever be able to understand who they are, so you tell me.”

However, the three leads - Daniel, Rupert, and Emma - went very differently about their assignments. Daniel recalled, “After about half a side of A4 (size paper), I was like, ‘right, I have pretty much covered everything. I mean Joan (JK Rowling) has written 500 pages about this, but I feel like this one pretty much sums this up. Great!’ I was proud of that and brought it in.” However, to his surprise, Emma - true to her character as the studious Hermione - had outdone him. “Of course, Emma writes 12 pages that are beautifully written,” said Rupert.

Director Alfonso Cuaron said that each of the three cast members did that essay exactly how their characters would have, to the extent that Rupert Grint didn’t even submit his. “Rupert didn’t deliver anything. I said, ‘Rupert where is your assignment?’ and he says, ‘I thought Ron wouldn’t do it’,” he said with a laugh.

Also read: Harry Potter reunion: Emma Watson says it was ‘horrifying’ to kiss Rupert Grint, he reveals he ‘kind of blacked out’

Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary special Return to Hogwarts begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video in India from January 1 afternoon. It marks two decades of the release of the first film in the franchise.


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