It’s a well known fact that some of the most brilliant scenes in Harry Potter happened because the cast and crew formed a close and unique bond with each other. Whether it’s Hagrid’s reunion with the students at the end of the second film, emotional segments between Harry, Hermione, and Ron, or even spontaneous exchanges that weren’t in the script, WB’s successful movie franchise is full of these intimate moments thanks to this very element.
Going all the way back to the first pic, though, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, producer David Heyman has revealed that one of these seemingly melodramatic sequences wasn’t even due to the cast’s natural chemistry. As you’ll remember, after confronting Professor Quirrell and ousting Lord Voldemort’s latest attempt to gain back his physical form, the titular protagonist had to say goodbye to his friends and go back to the not-so-welcoming environment of the Dursley household.
It’s a sombre scene all in all, and perhaps the one thing that makes it seem less upsetting is the affectionate moment that Harry and Hagrid share. Though according to what Heyman, who’s produced all eight films, recently told Empire, something quite unexpected made it stand out in terms of emotional value.
“Dan [Radcliffe] was wearing these contact lenses to make his eyes green, and he had an allergic reaction to them,” he explained. “His eyes were red and swollen and we had to take them out – we thought we may add that green digitally, though ultimately we decided not to because it felt artificial. But Dan’s eyes were puffy and red, and oddly it was quite appropriate for the scene where he was saying goodbye to Hagrid.”
Before finding close friends in Hermione, Ron and the rest, Hagrid was arguably the first figure whom the main character took a liking to after bearing his abusive adopted family for 11 years. It’s only fitting, then, for the half-giant to be the one to give him a heartwarming farewell, though Radcliffe’s allergic reaction also apparently had a hand in making the scene become such a memorable moment in the Harry Potter story.