'Harry Potter' reunion: cast recalls first kisses and horrible haircuts in special

The anticipated television special will be shown on OSN Streaming in the UAE on January 1

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Daniel Radcliffe remembers the embarrassing haircuts, Emma Watson found meeting up with her Harry Potter castmates "an unexpected joy" and director Christopher Columbus recalls the sets for the movies as "the greatest playground in the world".

Many of the cast of the Harry Potter film franchise reunited for a 20th anniversary TV special, called Return to Hogwarts, to be broadcast on Saturday on HBO Max in the US and OSN Streaming in the UAE.

Scroll through our gallery above to see now-and-then photos of some of the actors from the series.

Radcliffe, 32, was only 11 when he was cast as the orphaned boy with magical powers. He said in the reunion on the set in Leavesden, outside London, that he would always be happy to talk about the film.

"Every part of my life is connected to Potter and to Leavesden. My first kiss is connected to someone here, my first girlfriends were here ... It all spirals out from the Potter set somewhere," he said, according to advance excerpts released on Monday.

Radcliffe recalls how he and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) hated being told to grow their hair out for a shaggier look in later films in the series.

"We're like, 'No, no, no, no, no. You're not leaving us like this? We're supposed to be becoming teenagers and dating girls in this film! That's not what it's going to be, is it?' So, I think we were pretty devastated as we realised that it was," he said.

Radcliffe, Grint, Watson (Hermione) and Columbus are joined by actors Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) and other cast members for the reunion.

Watson said she was overwhelmed with emotion at the reunion after so many years.

"Some of us haven't seen each other for years. So it's just been a joy. An unexpected joy," she said.

Oldman said getting back together was a "weird experience because you met them as kids, and now some of them are married and they've got kids of their own".

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Philosopher's Stone in the UK) was released in November 2001. The eight-film franchise based on JK Rowling's stories took in about $7.8 billion at the global box office.

Rowling does not make a personal appearance on the reunion special, but will be a part of the archive footage. The author's opinions on transgender issues in the past year have been a cause of controversy.

Updated: December 28, 2021, 9:21 AM