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The Weird Requirement For Child Actors In Harry Potter

The "Harry Potter" series of books and movies proved one of pop culture's largest phenomena ever in the late 1990s and early 2000s as fans eagerly awaited each of J.K. Rowling's seven novels and the accompanying eight film adaptations produced by Warner Bros. "Harry Potter" was a unique film series in its long-term casting as the producers managed to retain almost its entire original cast, including series stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, across eight films and over a decade of production. While the series did not quite function as a shared universe like today's MCU, "Harry Potter" demonstrated that a popular and well-acclaimed blockbuster movie series could be made even while relying on child actors to carry films while growing up alongside them.

The three actors who play Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger weren't the only child actors Warner Bros. relied on, either: Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), and James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) all practically grew up on-screen, too. With such a large child cast, it seems the "Harry Potter" filmmakers had to make some odd-sounding preparations for working with child actors that most people would realize were necessary.

Harry Potter's child actors had casts made of their teeth for the first few movies

In a 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter while promoting Season 1 of TBS' "Miracle Workers," Daniel Radcliffe and co-star Karan Soni mentioned an interesting anecdote concerning child actors' teeth on the set of the early "Harry Potter" movies. Soni explained in the interview that through working with Radcliffe on the TBS series, he was fascinated to learn that all the child actors in "Harry Potter" had casts made of their teeth while filming the series' early entries.

"When they were doing the earlier movies, because their teeth were falling out, they would have a cast made of all their teeth so that if one fell out so they could have a prop tooth put in so they could keep filming," Soni said.

Radcliffe confirmed this story was accurate, noting that having a set full of children made it important for the "Harry Potter" filmmakers to keep track of everyone's baby teeth. The "Harry Potter" movies famously needed a significant number of child actors to portray life at Hogwarts; Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were 11 years old when Warner Bros. cast them, while Emma Watson was just 10 years old when filming started. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" seemed to grow into a unique filming experience given that the principal story was mostly led by children; Radcliffe, Grint, Watson, and director Chris Columbus all reminisced how hard of a time the actors had getting through their lines during production on the first movie during HBO Max's "Harry Potter" 20th-anniversary special (via YouTube).