Daniel Radcliffe Explains What Surprised Him About Reuniting With The Harry Potter Cast For The 20th Anniversary

Daniel Radcliffe on the Harry Potter 20th anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.
(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Harry Potter franchise has been entertaining the public for decades. This all started with J.K. Rowling’s novels, which was made into a beloved eight-film movie franchise starring Daniel Radcliffe as the Boy Who Lived. And the 33 year-old actor recently explained what surprised him about reuniting with the Harry Potter cast for the 20th Anniversary.

Potterheads out there started the New Year off right this year, as HBO Max premiered Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts on January 1st. The special was heartwarming and quite emotional, for the audience and the cast themselves. Daniel Radcliffe recently spoke to GQ about the experience filming, saying:

I didn’t fully realize how emotional it might be until we got there, and realized we’re doing the most visible high school reunion in the world. There was something odd about it, but it was also genuinely much more sweet than I thought it was going to be.

Points were made. While Daniel Radcliffe didn’t think he’d be emotional returning to Hogwarts with the cast of the Harry Potter movies, that’s exactly what happened. But considering just how many years that the ensemble spent together bringing the Wizarding World to life, it makes a ton of sense. How can you not get emotional with the group of people that you literally grew up with? Especially when you consider how hard they also worked on the franchise.

Daniel Radcliffe’s comment about Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts comes from a larger conversation with GQ about his thriving career. He’s kept super busy in the years since Harry’s story came to an end, on the stage, TV, and (of course) movie projects. Fans are especially eager to see him as the (shirtless) title character of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which will debut next month on the Roku Channel.

Return to Hogwarts featured plenty of heartwarming moments that have stuck with the generations of fans in the months since its release. Most recently the fandom has been mourning the loss of Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane, and with a quote he gave about his legacy being used in the countless tributes that have poured in. Although there were also plenty of lighthearted moments throughout its 102-minute runtime.

Obviously Daniel Radcliffe had plenty of screen time in the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary special, including reunions with the students and adult cast from the franchise. Fans especially responded to her segments with Gary Oldman (with whom he has a great relationship), and Helena Bonham Carter. In the latter, the two actors reminisced about the crush he had on the Bellatrix Lestrange actress.

Daniel Radcliffe’s new movie Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will arrive on the Roku channel on November 4th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release list to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.