10 Harry Potter Moments You Never Knew Were Improvised

Hugs, rubber ducks, dancing in the moonlight, and punting Dobby like a beach ball.

Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

It goes without saying that magical moments were abound in the Harry Potter series, which spent eight long films and an entire decade building a world that we could believe in, with a host of quirky characters and quotable moments that entered the popular vernacular and remain there to this day.

There is much that didn't make it across from J K Rowling's critically acclaimed, best-selling book series, but the films more than make up for this with their keen attention to the smallest of details, the multitude of unique stylistic flavours, to-die-for casting, and an array of additional scenes, beats and moments thrown in for good measure.

Some of these moments are the product of those screenplay wizards brought in by the studio to work their magic (and turn a profit) on a book-based script, but many were added in by the actors themselves, when a flight of fancy seized them by the robes, or, worse, they forgot their lines.

We are so familiar with these scenes and yet might not realise they were never meant to be in the films to begin with. And, as these are the moments that were made by improvisation, we won't be counting the little ticks, habits and eccentricities that some of the UK's finest acting talent used to bring their characters to life (looking at you, David Tennant's flicking tongue).

10. Harry Cricket!

Christopher Columbus delivered two saccharine-sweet helpings of the Potter franchise, helping the series find its feet with the Christmassy Philosopher's Stone, and giving it a head-start down its darker path with Chamber Of Secrets.

It was Columbus' direction that really gave the young actors the ground they needed to stand on, and helped them put in the best performances they possibly could. And, in that vein, it was his direction of the scene where Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) meet that helped provide a natural, honest and heart-warming introduction for two would-be lifelong friends.

Before Watson went into the scene in Harry and Ron Weasley's (Rupert Grint) carriage on the Hogwarts Express, Columbus told her to eschew any other lines and direction and just go with what she felt was Hermione's natural reaction to meeting the legendary boy wizard.

As such, she expressed her surprise and amazement with childlike wonder and coined a phrase that sadly didn't make any reappearances throughout the series - 'Holy cricket!' - all followed up with a stone-cold slice of sarcasm for Ron.

Oh, how the tables would turn...

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Contributor

Writer, editor and lifelong critic of test screenings, money men and films-by-committee. Let the work speak for itself, even if it has the voice of Moaning Myrtle.