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Can you believe The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Diagon Alley will be open to the public today? When Harry Potter's stars (with a few notable exceptions, ahem, Dan, Rupert and Emma) made an appearance at the Diagon Alley Preview a few weeks ago, it felt like it would be forever — but now the day is nigh!
As you can see, we're having a bit of trouble containing our excitement... and here are a few reasons why:
10. Remember that awesome scene from the seventh book/eighth movie when Harry, Ron and Hermione (and Griphook) break into the infamously impregnable Gringotts? Well, now it's a ride!
9. Also, according to Evanna Lynch, the dragon at Gringotts "is even more true to life than the movie sets!"
8. There's a real-life Florean Fortescue's, and they serve butterbeer soft serve!
7. You can cast spells.
6. You can grab English-style pub grub at The Leaky Cauldron!
5. You can also visit Borgin and Burke's in Knockturn Alley, if you're so inclined.
4. Three words: Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
3. Yeah, it exists, and apparently you can buy Pygmy Puffs there.
2. You can finally go to Ollivanders... and wait for the wand to choose you.
1. Also, Eyelop's Owl Emporium — you know you always wanted a Hedwig of your own.
Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling was reunited with the female star of her magical movies, Emma Watson, at a huge fundraiser for her children's charity over the weekend (09-10Nov13). The British author has founded Lumos, an organisation which aims to help kids living in institutions across the world.
After donating almost $37.5 million (£25 million) of her personal fortune to the cause, Rowling threw a huge gala event at the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Tour attraction in Hertfordshire, England on Saturday (09Nov13).
Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the films, joined Rowling at the bash, alongside fellow castmember Evanna Lynch and fashion designer Stella McCartney.
After the event, the author took to Twitter.com to thank her generous guests for helping to raise $1.5 million (£1 million) for the charity, writing, "Fantastic that we raised over £1M at (the) Lumos fundraiser - going directly towards ending the institutionalisation of children."
All proceeds from her recent Harry Potter spin-off book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, will also go to Lumos.
Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch is to play illusionist Harry Houdini's wife in a new Dublin, Ireland play. The actress, who played Luna Lovegood in the Potter movie franchise, will team up with British actors Jamie Nichols and Stuart Brennan onstage at the Gaiety Theatre next month (Oct13).
The 22 year old tells the Irish Independent that it will be a "strange" making her stage debut at a theatre she has always loved.
She says, "Theatre was always something that's been in the back of my mind and my parents were really keen for me to do it; so the little girl in me just wants to make them happy. I've been to the Gaiety plenty of times, since I was five years of age, so it will be a bit strange to be up there, on the other side of things, actually on stage. But I'm looking forward to it and it's definitely something I'd like to do more of."
Harry Potter stars Gary Oldman and Evanna Lynch are teaming up on the big screen again for gritty crime thriller Monster Butler.
Irish actress Lynch, who played dreamy Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films, also joins British stars Malcolm McDowell, Joanne Whalley and Dominic Monaghan in the indie film, which chronicles the life of real-life jewel thief-turned-serial killer Roy Fontaine, aka Archibald Hall.
McDowell will portray the villain.
Filming begins later this week (ends10Jun12) in Scotland, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"People laugh when I say this but I would love to play Britney Spears in a movie. She's complicated and I just relate to her... Britney is rich and cool and beautiful, but has also shown her vulnerable side and had a breakdown in front of the whole world. That takes strength and bravery to do that. I just think she's more complicated than people think." Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch on her dream role.
The actor visited Leavesden Studios with former Potter co-stars Rupert Grint, Warwick Davis and Evanna Lynch to check out the Making of Harry Potter exhibit before its official opening on Saturday (31Mar12).
The attraction features a creature workshop, a triple-decker bus and sets used in the eight-film series, including the Great Hall and Professor Dumbledore's lavish office.
And Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the films, admits his trip down memory lane made him rather teary.
He tells U.K. talk show Daybreak, "I won't lie, it got pretty emotional yesterday. I walked through the Great Hall for the first time in three or four years. It hit me like a ton of bricks, to be honest with you. It's a house of many treasured memories. It all came back to me rather quickly...
"We were asking for years for wands, for broomsticks and they denied us - but with good reason. This is the reason they said no because everything is here. Everyone's wand, everyone's broomstick. It's quite a marvel how much stuff they managed to keep."
Grint, who played Harry Potter's pal Ron Weasley for 10 years, adds, "Leavesden Studios is such a special place, I grew up here, I went to school here. It's so great to see people going around the attraction and getting so excited."
While nearly every actor in England turned out for a role in the Harry Potter series, the majority of the film focused on a group of young, unknown actors. With a decade's worth of fantasy blockbusters under their belts and the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 exploding into theaters this Friday, here's a look at what’s in store for the soon-to-be Hogwarts graduates:
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
The star of the Harry Potter series, Radcliffe is the actor most assured of future success. The twenty-two year old broke the typecasting boundary with his surprising turn in the play Eqqus in 2008, and is proving his Broadway chops again with his leading role in the Tony-winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Radcliffe is already set to appear in some post-Potter films, including the upcoming supernatural thriller The Woman In Black, and indie comedy The Amateur Photographer. We’re not worried about Radcliffe succumbing to the Mark Hamill Curse, an actor who never quite took off post-Star Wars (although, he's certainly getting plenty of work as one of my favorite voice actors).
Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
The leading lady of the Potter films, Emma Watson has been keeping busy. The only member of the main trio to continue school, Watson has been attending Brown University in the US and acting part-time. The young actor is set to start filming The Perks of Being a Wallflower this summer, and will appear in My Week With Marilyn, due out this November. Watson has also parleyed her acting success into the world of fashion, partnering with Burbury in 2009 to model for their Autumn/Winter catalogue. She also worked as a creative advisor for a line of clothing with People Tree. It’s probable that Watson is on her way to becoming a fashion icon.
Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley)
Something of the dark horse of the trio, Rupert Grint hasn’t had as much success outside the world of Harry Potter as his co-stars. Still, the actor has had a number of roles in small independent films, including Cherrybomb, Wild Target and Driving Lessons. Grint is set to make his post-Potter premiere as the lead in Norwegian independent film Comrade, due out in 2012. We hope that the actor’s red-headed charisma will pull him through.
Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)
Tom Felton may have made it big playing smug, jerk-face Draco Malfoy, but the actor actually came into the series with more experience than any of the other child actors. From the looks of it, he’s planning on maintaining that workload post-Potter -- he’s currently cast in five films in different stages of production. His next is this summer's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in which he plays another Draco-like villain. We’re not sure yet if Felton has the charm to pull off a heroic lead on his own, but at the very least, there’s plenty of demand for sneering villains. At least, until that guy who plays Joffrey on Games of Thrones grows up and starts providing competition.
Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)
Wright is one of the youngest of the Potter bunch, but she’s keeping up with the best of them. Currently a film student at the University of London, the former Weasley plans to continue acting. At the moment, Wright is filming the mind-bending thriller The Philosophers in Jakarta, and will appear in a short film in the upcoming Geography of the Hapless Heart. She has also followed in Emma Watson’s footsteps, gaining a reputation as a fashionista and taking part in Katie Eary’s show during London Fashion Week. Wright has one heck of a souveneer to take away from the Potter set- she’s currently engaged to co-star Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the younger version of Grindelwald in the seventh and eighth films.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom)
Like Daniel Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis made a transition to stage after finishing the last film. Lewis recently finished his role in a touring production of Agatha Cristie’s Verdict, and also wrapped up filming on upcoming independent film The Sweet Shop, described as a “romantic comedy with a twist.” Along with his acting career, Lewis is a member of small indie rock band The Transmission, in which he plays guitar. Where ever the rest of his career takes him, I hope he won’t have to wear fake teeth and ear extenders anymore.
Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)
Evanna Lynch was a relatively recent addition to the Potter cast, but she’s made a big impression. A huge Harry Potter fan herself, Lynch has remained active with the fan community, working with the Harry Potter alliance on behalf of gay rights. While the actress has no current projects in the works, she plans to return to acting after she finishes college, and perhaps explore the stage.
The Irish actress struggled with the eating disorder for two years from the age of 11 and and wrote to Rowling to thank her for the wizard books, which gave her "hope".
The writer sent letters of advice back - and she even encouraged Lynch to overcome her eating issues to land the role of Luna Lovegood in the movie franchise.
Lynch tells Britain's The Sun, "I told her the books gave me hope, particularly Luna Lovegood. I told how I looked up to her. She wrote back and was like a counsellor.
"She told me anorexia is destructive, not creative, and the brave thing was not to succumb to it. I told her I'd love to be in the films and she encouraged that but said I'd need to be well to do so. In the end I think that's why I recovered."
HARRY POTTER star EVANNA LYNCH won the 2009 Mary Barrett Portfolio Award for painting in her native Ireland. The crafty 19 year old also designed the jewellery and hat her character Luna Lovegood wears in the final Potter films.