'Fantastic Beasts' Cast on the 15th Anniversary of the First 'Harry Potter' Film

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We’ve reached a significant anniversary in the magical world of Harry Potter. Fifteen years ago on Nov. 16, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in theaters. Directed by Chris Columbus, it was the first of the eight-movie franchise. It was an exciting time, in the three years that had passed since the novel it was adapted from had debuted in American stores, anticipation had reached a fever pitch.

Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint at the New York premiere of <em>Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone</em>. (Photo: Richard Corkery/N.Y. Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint at the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (Photo: Richard Corkery/N.Y. Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

We’re about to embark on a new era of movies from that universe. When Yahoo Movies sat down with the cast members of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we asked them to look back 15 years and share their thoughts on that movie. Eddie Redmayne, who auditioned to be Tom Riddle in the second movie and was 19 at the time, said, “There was so much buzz before the film came out and we had sort of almost been through like sort of an American Idol-style casting of [Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson].”

Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne recalled the press coverage of the casting process, comparing it to American Idol. (Photo: Warner Bros./Courtesy of Everett Collection)

“There was such a drumroll,” the Oscar winner said. “I’ll never forget that first scene where Dumbledore arrives at the house and then Maggie Smith arrives, turning into a cat, I was gone. Totally hypnotized.”

“I remember just being caught up and transported and remember having an experience with the first one that was akin to the subsequent ones,” Colin Farrell said. “I mean every single one of them has taken me on a great journey. That’s what the power of JK Rowling’s imagination is capable of doing.”

Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell gave homage to JK Rowling, complimenting her ability to transport her audience. (Photo: Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

Alison Sudol, 16 years old at the time of the film’s release, reminisced about young Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. “They were so cute,” she said, “and actually really looked like how you expected them to look. Although, I have to say, I completely mispronounced Hermione wrong, reading through all the books. I was like, Her-my-oh-knee, that’s how you say it???”

As for Ezra Miller, who was 9 at the time, said the stories and films helped shape him into the adult he is today. “[As children] we are all full of wonder, imaginative, we have an innate sense of morality, we want what is fair,” he said. “We understand that we’re vulnerable. All of these things, Harry Potter gave me a way to carry these things into my adult life.”

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