When I was in London in 2001, I roomed with this awesome girl named Kacy. She suggested Harry Potter to me any time I needed a new book, but English majors can be dickishly superior about popular books, so I would always turn her down. That is, until I flew to Rome for Fall Break. I read the first one on the flight over and was so hooked that by the time we landed, I shelled out about 50,000 lire for an English version of book 2. After we got back, I locked myself in our room for about a week and finished books 3 and 4.
So when Kacy asked me if I wanted to go to the World Premiere a few days later, I said sure. For some reason, I thought we were going to watch the movie. Little did I know that we were heading down to Piccadilly Circus at 10 in the morning to watch them set up and hopefully grab seats in the grandstands.
We ended up hanging out with this kid named Simon who was dressed like Harry. All the reporters wanted to interview him, so that day you could see Kacy and I grinning in the background like fools on channels all over the world, including Telemundo. We were there so long that we ended up flirting with the bobbies and got wristbands to the grandstands–second row, right in front of the door!
I actually took home one of the posters below and kept it in my room til the end of the semester. If I had known what I know now, I would have paid to ship it home. Ugh.
We had primo seats to watch all the celebrities pose for the paparazzi. We only knew half of them, though. The little girl in front of us thought she was the shit as she haughtily explained who the people were. “She’s on Footballer’s Wives. He plays for Arsenal. Do you even know what Arsenal is?”
I had my boyfriend Tim’s camera, which took pictures on “film” that you had to “develop”. Also, you had to look though this little hole to see, and it did not zoom. So below are pictures of celebrities, some amazing and some awful. Some celebrities that were there that I didn’t get pictures of included Helen Hunt, Jessica Simpson and Ben Stiller.
I could show you which face is Daniel Radcliffe if I had MS Paint on this thing.
Hagrid! Robbie Coltrane was so awesome, the crowd ended up chanting, “Robbie! Robbie!” over and over, and the paparazzi took tons of pictures of us.
Fuzzy J.K. Rowling!
Fuzzy Warwick Davis!
The highlight of the night was when Daniel Radcliffe started walking toward the front door. “Harry! Harry!” we all yelled, as his publicist shielded him from us. But just when he seemed like he was heading our way, we noticed something out of the corner of our eye. “Harry! Harry! Ha-CHER! OH MY GOD IT’S CHER!”
Cher looked as excited to see us as we were to see her. She looked amazing up close. She high-fived tons of people, INCLUDING ME, and then I got the most awesome picture of the day … so awesome that when William (the receptionist at Regents) saw it, he said, “You bitch.”
So that’s my story of the first Harry Potter. And last night I saw the last one with Jen, Ron and Justin. It was amazing, and not just because Neville Longbottom kicked ass.
I showed Justin all the previous films over the past month or two, and it was great reliving the whole thing and getting to experience the last one with him sitting next to me. (Good thing; I needed a shoulder to cry on and Jen was too busy crying on Ron’s.) This has been a huge part of my life for the last ten years, and even though I knew how it ended, it was touching to see it brought to life by these actors we’ve watched for the last 10 years, too. The fact that the entire cast was on board for eight films is pretty remarkable.
Oh, and SPOILER ALERT: Continue reading