Last night the great Behemoth that is the Harry Potter franchise machine rolled into town for the world premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2″: the eighth and final film installment from JK Rowling’s phenomenally successful book series about the adventures of a boy wizard.
A swathe of central London seemed to be shut down for the launch. Thousands of young fans had camped out for up to five days in Trafalgar Square waiting to glimpse their screen idols, and a red carpet measuring some 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) – reputedly the longest in the world – underlining the scale of this publicity spectacular. Despite having shot more film premieres than eaten bags of popcorn at the cinema, I still have to admit to being wowed by the scale and choreography of this event.
The three leading cast members have become instantly recognizable faces and multi-millionaires but remain, they say, “like siblings” since being selected as unknown child actors for the first film “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” some ten years ago.
But undoubtedly, after photographing the comings and goings of the premieres and junkets from “The Goblet of Fire” to the “Deathly Hallows – Part 2,” it’s Emma Watson who plays Hermione, (rather than Rupert Grint or even Daniel Radcliffe) who in front of crowds, interviewers, television cameras and us photographers has consistently carried a presence, and a certain “star quality” that has pervaded ever since the first Potter all that time ago…