This week, we’re dissecting a favorite comfort watch movie for decor and home inspiration. This is an ongoing series for us, and this week’s selection is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, although we’re really talking about all eight movies and the books.
You can find the podcast posts archive here.
And if you’re looking for a specific code you heard on the podcast, you can see a full list on this page!
Diagon Alley: Ollivander’s – vibey and dusty, Honeydukes Sweet Shop – very cute, bank – very spooky experience
Hogwarts Express – very magical
Hagrid’s House – cozy and oversized
Weasley House – coziest house in the movie
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes – very beautiful building with statue of the twins
Hogwarts – great hall is amazing
Gryffindor Lounge – Elsie would take this exact room
Anything you would use in your own home?
Elsie – Pretty much everything. The main things are a dining hall, paintings that move, and family photo albums that move.
Emma – Did a Harry Potter Airbnb
Anything you hated
Elsie – The pink office
Emma – Nothing
Other cozy inspiration (fashion, food, drink or anything?)
Castle aesthetic, Quidditch, every single dinner scene, Yule ball, floating pumpkins, candy cart on train, and moving paintings
Which house are you???
Elsie – House Slytherin
Emma – Ravenclaw
What aged well vs. what did not in this movie
Other than JK Rowling’s Twitter comments, the movie has aged WELL 10/10.
Please leave Elsie a 5 star review on her Butterbeer recipe: https://abeautifulmess.com/butterbeer-recipe/
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Episode 218 Transcript:
Elsie: You’re listening to the Beautiful Mess Podcast, your cozy comfort listen. This week, we’re dissecting a favorite comfort watch movie for decor and home inspiration. This is an ongoing series for us. This week’s selection is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Although we will really be talking about all eight of the movies and the books. So how much time do we have?
Emma: I know, Elsie was like, let’s do one of the Harry Potters, and then it kind of turned into let’s do the first one, but also low-key all of them at the same time.
Elsie: I didn’t feel like we should do eight of these episodes. I don’t know.
Emma: That kind of becomes a Harry Potter podcast at that point. Which I’m not against, but I don’t feel like that’s what we’ve promised the people. So, yeah, I was like, okay, yeah, let’s just do Sorcerer’s Stone, but slash, we’ll talk about anything we feel like from any of the movies, because why not? We’re not going to do all of them, because that is, that’s too much Harry Potter. For our podcast, it’s not too much Harry Potter, generally, in my opinion, as it was my childhood staple. So. Anyway.
Nova: Hello, this is Nova again. I just wanted to remind you that I’m still selling Girl Scout Cookies, so if you want some Girl Scout Cookies, you better pop on there and get them because I’m not selling them forever. Again, I hope you enjoy them. Thank you.
Elsie: Alright, describe the movie, Emma, for those who haven’t watched it.
Emma: Well, it’s based on the first book in the series, so Harry Potter finds out that he’s a wizard and goes to Hogwarts for the first time, he’s an orphan, so he didn’t know his parents. He didn’t even know that he was a wizard and low and behold, he’s also famous. He’s like the most famous wizard at Hogwarts because of the way that his parents died defending him from Lord Voldemort. He must not be named the main bad guy in the series. And yeah, he goes through school. We get to see Halloween and Christmas in each of the books and each of the movies because it’s a school year. So that’s kind of how that works. We get to learn about Hogwarts in the first movies and just generally about the wizarding world. I feel like there’s a lot of like, world-building and groundwork setting, but it also has a really good story too, where there’s this kind of mystery of like, it seems like somebody is trying to break into Hogwarts to steal something, but we don’t know what it is. And they figure out what it is over time. And anyway, so, and then brand new little children, wizards foil the bad guys and save the world, which is what happens in every movie. And it’s awesome.
Elsie: Good job. That was impressive. Yeah, I bow down. Okay, so memories from when you first watched this movie. I actually watched it not that long ago for the first time, when I was doing my biking thing a couple of years ago. And I watched the whole thing, and then recently For my birthday in November, I told Jeremy that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was to watch all the Harry Potter movies, and basically, I trapped him because he couldn’t say no. What a wonderful trap though. What a wonderful trip it was. So we spent about a month on that, and we usually watch like half a movie a night, and it was wonderful. It was, it was amazing. So I watched them all very recently and then I re-watched this one last week, we had a snow day and our daughters were reading the book for the first time together. So they are very into it right now, Nova the most. So yeah, the movie was very fun. Kind of like comparing them. It’s like really fast and short compared to the book, you know what I mean? Right, yep. It’s like every single scene is so quick, which I wouldn’t have known. But Yeah, anyway, tell me your first, because you started as a child, right?
Emma: Yeah, I bought the first Harry Potter Sorcerer’s Stone at a, I believe, Scholastic. I think it was a Scholastic book fair. It was a book fair at school, and I think they were all Scholastic back then in Slash and still are. I don’t really know. But anyway, it was a book fair very end of sixth grade. So I was picking up some reading material for the summer. And I just hadn’t heard of it. It wasn’t popular in the US quite yet. And the cover looked interesting to me. Oh my God. So I bought it. Yeah. And then I read it and I was like, this book’s awesome. I honestly probably did buy it because it was longer. It’s kind of longer for a middle grade, and I was finishing sixth grade going into seventh grade and I liked reading, you know, I’m at the book fair buying stuff for summer. So I was obviously a cool kid, getting her reading material. So I probably was attracted to the length and yeah I read it and loved it. And so then I shared it with my friend at summer camp and she loved it. We stayed up every night reading chapters to each other and then we were both Harry Potter heads for the rest of our lives still to this day as far as I know, I am. So yeah, I’m positive I watched this movie when it came out, but I don’t totally remember because I do remember seeing the second movie, Chamber of Secrets, on a date, I’m pretty sure I was 15 or 16. And my date was a new driver, and, cause I don’t think our parents went with us. Yeah, and we loved it, you know, Harry Potter, it’s wonderful, but I think that was the second movie. So, I think this one came out before that, and I don’t remember. But I feel positive that I saw it probably in theaters if anyone took me, probably my parents did. I don’t know. But yeah, I’ve always loved Harry Potter. So it goes back far enough that I’m like, it’s a little hazy on the memories because I was that young, and I don’t remember.
Elsie: Okay. So let’s get into the decor inspiration. We will really break it down. There’s a lot. I feel like there’s more than any movie we’ve ever talked about because of just everything. I mean, it’s a fantasy movie. I don’t know if we’ve ever done a fantasy movie before, but like every single thing is beautiful and perfect. There’s nothing normal. You know what I mean? Even like the quote unquote normal Dursley house is so special in such a good set.
Emma: It is. It’s very campy, they really go out of their way to be like these are suburban and it’s just a fun house that feels dorky and campy and fun.
Elsie: Yeah, I love it. Okay, let’s start with Diagon Alley Okay. So, Ollivanders, I’m gonna start there. The wand shop. Yes. I love, I love how it looks. I love how dusty you can tell that it is. It’s just like so vibey.
Emma: Yeah, I feel like an inspiration for it was like, they were like, let’s make it like a cool ancient library, like, that’s what it’s gonna feel like, but there are not books, there’s just a bunch of wands on the shelves, you know, and it feels like it’s neglect, but then you can tell, you know, from his interactions with Harry, like, no, no, no, he knows exactly, like, he’s like, you know, reading the wizards as they come in and figuring out the wand for them and all that, and it’s really cool. And I love that he is low-key, like, tears up the shop as they’re trying to find the right wand for him. That’s so fun.
Elsie: Yeah. I love the rolling ladders, the whole vibe of it, the, like, peeling gold paint on the sign. It’s perfect. Gorgeous. So Honeyduke’s Sweet Shoppe, that’s another one. It’s so cute. Emma and I got to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but not recently. I think we’re going to go again this summer with the kids, but we went like five years ago, 10 years ago, a long time ago.
Emma: Yeah, probably more than somewhere between five and 10, because I’m trying to think how old Penny was, she was little. But we did go to both.
Elsie: And that was definitely my favorite part, I think. The sweet shop was so cute. I can’t wait to go with my kids. I love the sweets cart part is one of my favorite parts in the first movie. Just like, I feel like she put so much charm and character into, like, all the different types of candies and what they can do, and, like, why they’re different from, like, regular human candies. I just, like, love it.
Emma: It’s such, like, a kid detail to be having these snacks on the train and, like, be so into them. And like how the frog one has collector cards with it and just, you know, all these little details are so fun. Also, I don’t think we have this on the list at Diagon Alley, but also at the bank. Gringotts. That’s a whole vibe too, because you have to take like the little cart down to your vault and there’s a dragon.
Elsie: The cart looks legitimately terrifying.
Emma: Yeah. It’s a very spooky experience.
Elsie: Yeah, it looks scary. Like you could fall down into nothingness. I don’t like it.
Emma: Well, and also, it’s funny because, you know, I think she’s world-building for lots of different reasons, but I do feel like as a kid, money and finances and that whole world does feel like scary and otherworldly and like very adult. And so the idea that the bank is truly this kind of like scary place where it’s like very quiet and there’s like a dragon carding things and like, you know, it’s very secretive and like I think kind of like makes sense. I feel like as a kid you would have felt that way in a bank in some ways. Like if you ever went to like a, if your grandparents had like one of those like lock boxes or something like that, you know, it’s like this whole little world that you’re like, oh, there’s a vault. And if I got locked in there, I would die. It’s just this kind of terrifying thing.
Elsie: I never went to a fancy bank when I was a child. I went to like the burnt popcorn type of banks.
Emma: Yeah. They give you a lollipop in the bank bag. That’s not terrifying. That’s nice.
Elsie: Yes. Okay. So another favorite location is the Hogwarts Express. I also love the King’s Cross. I want to go to the King’s Cross. Is that what it’s called? The King’s Cross train station?
Emma: Yeah. Where they have the cart half in the wall.
Elsie: Yeah. It’s a real train station, right? I want to go there, so bad. But anyway, the Hogwarts Express is, I mean, it’s so beautiful. Like, I love trains, and then I’ve been planning a luxury train vacation. So if you just like, if you don’t even know what I’m talking about, just like Google luxury trains in Europe and you’ll see, you’ll be like, Oh my God, this is like, this is magical.
Emma: And if you don’t think they’re cool. You’re probably not close enough to your forties yet. So just come back to it later.
Elsie: True. You’re going to love it. But yeah, the Hogwarts Express, it’s very magical. And I just like, I love like how the movie begins and ends with the train, it’s very special. There are not enough trains in the United States. I was so excited to move to New York for those six months we thought we were gonna move to New York because I wanted to live in a train world where there were trains you could take. Like, you know, in this part of the country, it’s very rare.
Emma: I feel like Oscar’s obsessed with trains. And I feel like we’ve only gotten, like, stuck by one, like, where your car stopped and you’re waiting on it, like, once or twice. Because he loves it. So I remember, because he’s just like, that’s a train. He’s like, so stoked.
Elsie: But like, passenger trains are even rare here.
Emma: Yeah. No, I don’t even know if we have any around here. Other than we did the Polar Express.
Elsie: The Polar Express. Yeah. I think there’s one in Branson that drives to Arkansas, so we could go to the suite, but. Okay, another favorite I am obsessed with is Hagrid’s house. I love how his chair is all giant when they’re sitting in it, and it just always feels cozy and like the ultimate fireplace type of vibe.
Emma: It’s like so cozy and so oversized since he’s like a half-giant or whatever and yeah, he also it really gives you the vibe that he’s like a little bit of one of those like off-the-grid types who loves the outdoors like, you know, it almost feels like a little bit of camping his cottage It’s very cute.
Elsie: Yeah. I love Hagrid. I love dragons. I love everything. Okay. Another great house in the movies is the Weasley house. I would say it’s probably the coziest house throughout the movies. It’s just like so cute. I like how vertical it is and I love their kitchen.
Emma: Yeah. We see it more in later movies. It’s just very interesting. You very much get the vibe that it’s been cobbled together with both magic and human stuff, which is kind of like Mr. Weasley’s job. He’s like obsessed with humans and likes to learn about muggles and their technology, you know, which is why he has the car in the second movie, you know, different things. And I kind of feel like their house has that vibe where you’re like, Oh, there’s like human stuff, quote unquote muggle stuff in here, but it’s also very wizardry.
Elsie: Okay, one of my favorite parts of all the movies Is when Fred and George make their own magic shop.
Emma: Entrepreneurs, you knew it was coming, those two.
Elsie: It’s ultimate. It’s called Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. It’s such a short scene. When we rewatched it, I was like, Oh my God, it’s so short. I thought it would be longer in my memory, but it’s magical. They were selling like love potions.
Emma: It’s kind of like pranks and like mischievous things, you know, which is their brand, their whole brand.
Elsie: Yeah. It’s incredible. And like, the outside of it has like a big sort of like statue of the twins. And it’s just like a very beautiful building as well.
Emma: You know, I would read a parenting book written by the Weasleys because I feel like all their kids turn out so great. They’re all just like dancing to the beat of their own drum and they’re all good people who love, you know. I’m like, I don’t really feel like they did something right at that family. They really had it, you know, a very loving environment. That must be it. Very accepting.
Elsie: Yes. Agree. Okay, so in Hogsmeade is where there’s like a little, is there a, what’s it called, a Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley and one in Hogsmeade, I think.
Emma: Is there one in Hogsmeade? That sounds right.
Elsie: There definitely is, because that’s where I know they had the Butterbeer. And they were at the school.
Emma: Yeah it has the pub where the students can go, which growing up reading the books always, they’re always so like little British things where you’re like, huh, well that’s different because like, we don’t have like bars in the U S where like high school students can go. Like that’s just not really, you know, I’m not saying no on underage drinks or whatever. Butterbeer is not supposed to be an alcoholic, but you know. It’s just like, I don’t know, it’s just funny, like culturally, you’re like, what is going on here, you know?
Elsie: Well, I think of it kind of like, you know how in high school, their bars would have like all-ages concerts though? Where you’re allowed to go you have to have like a special bracelet and a big X on your hand. Maybe it’s like that. Maybe they have their own distinctions.
Emma: Well, they have a younger drinking age too, I guess that was where I was going with that.
Elsie: Yes. And then yeah, other than that, I mainly just wanted to talk about Hogwarts itself because it has so much good decor, and inspiration.
Emma: Every time they’re in the Great Hall, having any kind of meal or talk, love it. But especially in the first movie, the opening scene’s great when they have the first big meal after the sorting hat, but I also love Halloween when they have all the floating jack-o-lanterns. And I feel like the CGI gets better and better throughout the movies because they take place over like 10 years, so of course, technology moved forward. But I actually feel like the first movie has, like, it’s still really good. It’s still, like, really fun.
Elsie: I remember on our trivia from, like, another time we talked about Harry Potter on the podcast that it said that the candles were actually real candles. That really was dripping and stuff, that’s so interesting. Maybe they weren’t always but that’s crazy.
Emma: Well, the floating jack-o-lanterns are definitely some kind of CGI thing. I think. They look cool and I really feel like they went for it. There’s a good mix as you look at the snacks on the table there’s like a big bowl of apples with like a big fake spider on top. I feel like there’s also some level of Pinterest moms doing the set design where I was like, I love this. It feels cozy. It feels like something I would do at my house, but obviously, I wouldn’t do it on this scale because this is a really cool movie that I love, but you know, and yeah, it’s just really cozy and fun.
Elsie: Yeah. On a smaller scale, I really want a room like that. I really want a dining room like that in my house. Like, it’s so incredible, like, magical, and like, the food all the way down the table, it’s just like, it’s a feast. It’s always a feast. I love it. Okay, so anything from the movie that you would use for your own home, for real?
Emma: I mean, I did decorate an entire Airbnb like Harry Potter one time on a tight budget, but nevertheless.
Elsie: I thought it was really cute, at the time, it was before I went into my Harry Potter era, and now I wish I could have been more involved.
Emma: So you’re like, what’s this dork even doing? And now you’re like, oh, that was good, but it could have been better if I was involved. I see how it is.
Emma: I see how it is. Yeah, I mean. I love the coziness. I don’t feel like we do quite as much moody stuff. We’re a lot more minimal.
Elsie: Emma’s house is pretty bright and airy and white.
Emma: And pretty minimal, really. And Hogwarts is very maximal. Spooky maximal.
Elsie: It’s okay if you say no because I’m going to say yes.
Oh yeah, your house feels like Hogwarts to me in some ways.
So pretty much everything from the movie I would take into my own home, it’s a pillar of my aesthetic, very literally, I reference it, Jeremy like asked me to stop, but I do sometimes say that I want to have a Harry Potter style room, and like, I don’t know, it sounds it’s like, maybe you would interpret that as, like, a kid’s style, but what I mean by it is, like, a rich, English, rich looking, castle y, like, you know, vintage rugs, vintage paintings, yeah, dark academia, just to not call his music studio Harry Potter themed anymore.
Okay. Well, all right. Just because we don’t say it out loud doesn’t mean it’s not true, but very well.
Yeah. But the main things I would take for my own home are, I would definitely take the dining hall. I have like a slight dream in my mind about building a longer dining room. So if I do that, I will use that as an inspiration on the mood board. And we’ll do the candles and the pumpkins a hundred percent for sure. Like, ’cause that’s essential, and then the other thing that I became really obsessed with in my last rewatch a couple of months ago, was the paintings that move, and at the time we had just finished our living room and I had just hung some art and I was kind of trying to mix vintage art with contemporary art, and I had it all up there, and it was like, okay, but it just felt off to me, and after I watched the movie, I moved all the contemporary art upstairs, and I started doing the living room in only antique paintings, and now it feels like amazing, so I do have to credit the movie for that, like, it put me in the right headspace.
Yeah, and I heard you telling Jeremy how you want to rig it where your staircase moves, and he was like, no. No, I’m just kidding.
I mean, what I wouldn’t pay for just one moving painting, though. I know. Oh, you know what I mean?
Yeah. I mean, you could get that kind of hologram-looking, you know, kind, but it’s not the same.
Nope, nope, no, no, no, no, no. That’s dumb.
I mean, it’s, fun for a season, like a seasonal decor thing. I don’t know.
Yeah. Maybe so for Halloween. Yeah, and also the thing I’m fixated on more than anything is like the family photos, the family albums that move. Yeah. It’s so sweet, and I wish they were really so bad.
It makes me think a lot about like live photos. And how, like, you can, like, you know, press it in your phone and, like, the person moves.
That’s true. That’s true. I guess we have it in a way.
I don’t know how you would display that in a home where it would move, but, you know, it is kind of cool as far as, like, technology goes. I love Live Photos. I leave mine on all the time because I just feel like they capture your kid in a way. Infants and toddlers especially.
Okay, anything from the movies you hated?
Oh, man. I don’t really think so, to be honest.
For me, it was the pink office. The pink office did it so perfectly because the whole movie is so rich and dark and moody and like cool and British and then that room was so It felt like cool light bulbs or something. It just gives you this visceral feeling of nausea. I hated it more than any other part of all the movies for sure. And that character for sure. It’s like the worst character. Yeah. That’s the only thing I got an ick from the entire time though.
Yeah. No, I think I love everything. Cause you know, as you said, I feel like that is how you’re supposed to feel about that character and about the room and you know, so yeah, I also like pink. There’s not a lot of pink. It’s the only pink time. It’s the only pink moment.
Yeah. So any other inspiration, fashion, food, drink, anything I put down, I love a castle aesthetic. Obviously, it’s so warm. Oh, we should mention it also. The Gryffindor, like, lounge area, you know, like, their, like, living room, it’s their own, it’s like fireplace, vintage rugs, it’s very cool in there. It’s, like, very vibey. I would take that exact living room.
Oh, yeah. I also, honestly, I have an appreciation now, more than when I was reading the books as a kid and growing up, for Quidditch. Like the sport. I feel like, you know, they show it in the movies a lot and it’s featured in the books quite a bit and they even have later, later movies there’s one where they’re having like the World Cup basically of Quidditch and We didn’t really grow up watching sports. Neither of our parents are super sports people. We would watch the Olympics. Like I feel like Elsie’s the enthusiasm of her family. So if she was into something like figure skating, then we knew all about Christy Yamaguchi that year, you know what I mean?
Life long love of either figure skating or gymnastics, whichever, you know, summer or winter it is.
And the Olympics are so cool. I feel like it’s a cultural thing in addition to sports. It’s like, you know, so anyway, so there’s a little bit of that. But we just weren’t really a sports family. And my husband and his family watch a lot of college football. So I feel like I now I’m like in the football world. And I even watched a Chiefs game the other day with friends. And I really enjoyed it because I actually finally kind of know about football. I wouldn’t say I know all the rules, but I would say like, I know what’s going on, you know? Someone who didn’t grow up knowing anything about any sport really, but especially football. And anyway, Quidditch kind of has this whole culture. I have a more appreciation for it as like sports and everyone’s into it and everyone has their team and everyone gathers and it’s this kind of cultural thing. And I like that she’s put it into the wizarding world that there’s this sport that they’re all into that’s essentially their football, their soccer, but you know. The wizards played, and it was fun. It’s very cute. It’s really cute, and it’s kind of a wacky game. Like, the rules don’t totally add up to me, as far as, like, how much the snitch is worth versus other points. But nevertheless, it’s very cool, and I like how, like, into it people get in the movies and the books. It’s fun.
It’s very fun. Okay, yeah, every single dinner scene is my favorite scene of all the movies. They always just have like the most food you’ve ever seen in your life and like it’s funny and like it’s always different. And, yeah, it’s magical. I love it when they have the Yule Ball and Jeremy noticed that Johnny Greenwood was performing when he was like a part of the band, which was really cool. It was very cute. I love school dances. There’s like nothing more nostalgic than a school dance and like a wizard school dance. It was very magical.
I love it when they include it in any series that’s like high school and they have a school dance. I’m like a sucker for it. I love it.
Yes. Oh, yeah. I mean, maybe we should have done an episode for every single movie, but I do think that people would have gotten tired of those who aren’t interested in Harry Potter.
I think the school dances in Goblet of Fire, the Triwizard Tournament one, which is probably my favorite of the movies. If I had to pick a favorite.
That’s my favorite, and also the Prisoner of Azkaban is my other favorite. And the first one.
Emma: It’s hard to pick a favorite. So, if I had to, I guess I’d go with the Triwizard Tournament, the Goblet of Fire one. But I think that’s the one that has a school dance in it and it has dragons and that’s cool. And you get to see other schools, which is kind of fun and like a whole different vibe.
Elsie: Yeah. Okay, which Harry Potter house are you, Emma?
Emma: When I took the test, and I’ve identified this way, I’m a Raven Claw. I’m in the sorority. It seems like kind of a sorority house, doesn’t it? I don’t know. It’s not actually.
Elsie: What do you mean? It’s more girls?
Emma: It seems like all girls in a lot of the scenes.
Elsie: It’s all the book people. Okay, I picked House Slytherin because actually Keeley picked it for me, but ever since then I kind of do identify with it. I’m wearing my sweater. Because I like how it says you’ll do anything to achieve your end or whatever. Which I do identify with that. Not in like a malicious way, but in like a, yeah, I’ll do anything to achieve my goals. Like, you know, in life, so, and our littlest daughter identifies as Slytherin and she is like, it’s so cute. She has a Slytherin dance and it is like a snake type of thing. And she also likes to wear green and that’s pretty much everything she cares about Harry Potter because it’s not a princess thing, but it makes me so happy. It’s kind of like our thing together. Okay, so what aged well versus what did not age well in this movie, so I guess this is the part where we could acknowledge JK Rowling making lots of Twitter comments that didn’t age well and were offensive.
Emma: I think it’s pretty obvious.
Elsie: Yeah, it’s pretty obvious, and I think if you want to see something that makes your heart warm again, then look up Daniel Radcliffe’s statement in response. It was the warmest my heart ever felt in my life. It was very sweet, and pretty much all the actors had, you know, like very, very good responses that are like very inclusive and loving and caring and you know, trying their best. So I think it’s like unfortunate that that became a big part of like what people want to talk about with Harry Potter. Like, it’s really sad.
Emma: Yeah. To me, it’s just a separate conversation from Harry Potter, in my opinion. There are just so many, especially the movies, but so many other people involved.
Elsie: Yeah, there’s so many other people involved. I think that’s a good thing. Hearing all the actors give their perspectives, I think, was really Encouraging. So I think that other than that, I honestly think everything about the movies has aged so well and it’s like gorgeous, like even though slightly bad CGI is like bad in a good way, like in a Jurassic Park way, and I like it. I really enjoy watching all of the movies and I’m really looking forward to reading all the books with our kids. And I think we will probably go to Harry Potter world this summer. It feels like the phase is coming on really strong, she already asked for a birthday party. So I think we’re going to go right after that. How perfect is that?
Emma: It is perfect. Oh, that’s so cute. Which ones have they read so far?
Elsie: We’re still in the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Emma: Yeah. It’s pretty long for a middle-grade book, it’s shockingly long.
Elsie: We just started right after Christmas, so it’ll be like months and months. But we do a chapter a night, so that’s pretty, it’ll go by pretty fast. Okay, let’s do trivia!
Emma: Okay, trivia. Only actors from the UK were allowed to be cast, so every actor was either English, Scottish, or Irish.
Elsie: I love that about Harry Potter. So they did like a little reunion TV special a couple of years ago that, I think was like 20 years since the first movie. And almost all the actors were in it, and a lot of the directors and stuff, and that was like one of the things that they said was like really special and meaningful. It was like really strict. Most shows like Game of Thrones or whatever, it’s mostly British actors, but then there’s like a couple of American actors that get in there. But there are no American actors in Harry Potter, which I think is so cool.
Emma: Yeah, it’s pretty interesting. And then it’s also like, there’s a few, like, very famous UK actors who aren’t in Harry Potter, which almost makes me feel like, how did that even happen? Because there are so many movies and so many characters, like Kate Winslet, for example. But yeah, it’s really fun. I feel like in some ways it, I guess, because they’re kids’ movies, so I was being introduced to a lot of these actors because I hadn’t seen some of their other work because I was a kid. But it introduced me to some actors that I didn’t see until then, and so I kind of think of them, you know, like Alan Rickman, I kind of think of him as Snape, like, yeah, and he’s been in so many other things, and he is an amazing actor, and he really is the perfect Snape, so, love him in this role, love him in other things too, but, yeah, I feel like it introduced me to a lot of different actors too, which was fun. But I was also a kid, so that might be part of it, too.
Elsie: Agree, agree. The late actor Alan Rickman, who portrays the potions teacher Severus Snape, was told some special secrets ahead of time so that he could portray his character in a more nuanced and informed way. In particular, he was told about his character’s connection to Harry’s mother, Lily Potter. So that was like my favorite twist, and it’s probably everyone’s favorite twist, is like the greatest, the greatest part. And yeah, I heard that he like, argued with directors and stuff because he knew information about the endings of the books, you know, cause they were already making the movies before the books were done. So that’s like so interesting and cool.
Emma: Yeah. I’ll also say. So I like Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, especially the first one. I like just all the creatures, but that’s what movie I would really want to see if they were going to do more Harry Potter is a young Snape when he, you know, tries with his relationship with Lily, obviously, it doesn’t work out cause she gets with Harry Potter’s dad and then he joins the Death Eaters, but then he’s recruited by Dumbledore, like, I would just like to see that whole thing. Plus, I think he’s such an interesting character who does have so much depth when you see his entire arc. And he has all these different sides to him. So I think that would be fun, I like characters who are very complicated. Love a hero. Harry Potter is awesome. But I think the complicated ones are more relatable, frankly. And I think they’re interesting. And I like to see great actors portray them. Obviously, Alice, Alan Rickman wouldn’t portray him because he’s passed on, but they could maybe use clips or different things. And then obviously it was, this would be a younger Snape. So I don’t know who would play him actually, I haven’t really thought about it. Who should be a young Snape? Maybe Adam Driver? I don’t know.
Elsie: Adam Driver.
Emma: Depends how young, I guess, you want it to be.
Elsie: Yeah, I mean he’s not, like, young, but he’d be pretty Maybe like too hot.
Emma: Too hot?
Elsie: No, I don’t know. But I can see how he’d be serious and edgy enough. We’ll have to put more thought into that and maybe the British rule is off now.
Emma: Oh no, you’re right. He’s not British. That’s not gonna work.
Elsie: No. Yeah. But I don’t know if they’re still, I know that they’re making TV series now and I don’t think they’re doing the British rule anymore or maybe they are. I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything about that.
Emma: I haven’t really heard about that. I’m pretty behind on stuff now.
Elsie: Yeah. We’ll see. We’ll find out.
Emma: The neighborhood of Privet Drive was shot in a real-life English neighborhood named Pickett Post Close as the set. This means that people in England can pay a visit to the muggle side of Harry Potter in a sense. Ooh, that’s fun.
Elsie: It’s cute. Yeah. I saw pictures of it. It does sound annoying. I feel so sorry for anyone who lives in a home like that. It’s like a photo op. But at the same time, they probably also knew when they moved in. So maybe they embrace it. It depends on your personality. JK Rowling and Harry Potter have the same birthday, which is July 31st. I never knew that.
Emma: She chose her birthday. Okay. The names of some of the main characters were changed from Rowling’s original names. Before she changed them, they were Hermione Puckle, Draco Spinks, Neville Puff, and Lily Moon, who ended up being Luna Lovegood. I still like Lily Moon though.
Elsie: I like Lily Moon too. I’m glad that Neville Longbottom is one of my favorite names. I know. And so I’m so glad that she didn’t do Puff. That’s not good.
Emma: Well, I feel like there’s lots of times they say his last name and they’re like, Longbottom! And it’s just like, I don’t know, very funny.
Elsie: Oh my gosh. Yeah, he’s amazing. If you look closely, you’ll notice the scar on Harry’s head on the book cover is different than the film on the books, the scar is in the middle of his forehead, and in the films it is off-center.
Emma: I’d say it’s only a slight change. All right. The Dementors are based on Rowling’s experience with depression. She once described it as that cold absence of feeling, that really hollowed-out feeling. That’s what Dementors are. I feel like in the books, when you read about the Dementors, I don’t know. Even as a younger kid, by the time all these books were out, I was like in college. So it wasn’t really like a kid anymore. But I remember thinking it was depression because it just felt like this oppressive thing that you couldn’t get away from. I also sort of wondered if it was a little bit framed around periods because part of the getting better is eating chocolate afterward.
Elsie: Oh, I haven’t heard that yet. That’s interesting.
Emma: It’s not, it’s not a real thing. It’s just something I remember thinking as I was reading the books. So I was like, oh, it’s just this thing you can’t get away from. It’s like this weird punishment, you know.
Elsie: That’s for sure. Yeah. The worst part about prisons, is the dementors, remember that Michael Scott, the dementors. Okay. I love that part of the office. The names of the plants in the wizarding world are based on real names. Rolling said that they’re from a book called Culpepper’s Complete Herbal. Which was written in the 17th century by English botanist and herbalist Nicholas Culpepper. That’s cool. That’s cool. Yeah. Actually, I just wrote a blog post for childhood magic about celestial baby names and there was a whole bunch of Harry Potter characters in there. So I think that’s cool to find out where authors got their origins from.
Emma: Yeah. It also makes me think about like, maybe she purchased that book just to write her book, but if you ever, like, just, like, wanted to buy something like that, like a random book you saw, or, you know what I mean? You’re like, why am I even doing this?
Elsie: That’s my whole life.
Emma: Yeah, that’s true. You’re, you have no qualms about it, but I’m kind of like, why am I collecting all this? And then sometimes you read things like this and you’re like, oh, things can feed into other things. And it’s just cool to be interested in the world. I don’t know.
Elsie: Anyway. The magic is everywhere, Emma. Okay, Rowling spent the first five years of writing Harry Potter just setting up the rules of what characters could and couldn’t do. Okay, that is like, so long. I think I like, tried to Google how long it actually took to write the books after this and I don’t think I got like, an answer. I’m curious like, how long it took, I guess, to finish Manuscript 1 because that sounds like a really long time.
Yeah, it does. I think she’s done interviews about it and different things. I actually listened to this podcast series. I think it was called The Witch Trials of JK Rowling. And it talked a lot about her Twitter stuff, but also kind of her history. It was really interesting. She was in this, like, abusive relationship, I believe, with her first husband. I think they might have been married, but I’m not sure. It’s who she has her first child with. And one of the things he would do was hide her manuscript. And it was the first Harry Potter that she was writing. And it was a way that he would troll her and, you know. Obviously, there were other things, that’s not the only way he would abuse her, but I thought that was very, knowing what came after in her life and what her life has been about, about writing and about the world of Harry Potter, it’s very interesting to think about someone doing that to her.
That’s very interesting.
Could have lost it. Could’ve not had Harry Potter because of one person.
Yeah. The Feasts of Food in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone were all real food. That’s so funny. But it wasn’t enjoyed since it spoiled quickly because of the hot lights on the set. Okay. For every blog commenter who was ever like, did you eat that whole pizza on our blog post? Look at this! There are bigger problems of food waste in the world.
Well, I’m also like, oh, it’d be so hard to be a, a little kid actor on a set and be like, I’m around all this like smelly food, but we have to do one more take, you know?
Yeah, after I wrote this and we rewatched it, I did notice there were tons and tons of hams, you know, with the little cherries and that would be gross. It would be smelly after a while under hot lights.
These kids must have had some good attitudes. Okay. Harry’s eyes are described as green in the books, but Radcliffe’s eyes are not green. They tried green contacts, but Radcliffe had a bad reaction, so they couldn’t use them. I’m kind of glad because he’s such a little kid.
That’s so lucky because he would have had to wear those contacts for eight movies. Okay. So, I’m obsessed with watching Robert Pattinson’s videos where he’s trolling Twilight. Sometimes I just like get obsessed with them on TikTok or whatever. And he is always complaining about the contacts. And so I feel like it’s so lucky that he had like the bad reaction that he never had to wear them. That’s dodging such a bullet because to have to wear contacts that are hard to see and itchy and bad for you, like for whole movies, I think would be very frustrating and challenging, it sounds like.
Also, just, I’m a fan of the book, but I think it’s totally fine that a child actor did not have to wear contacts on set. Maybe let’s just, we don’t need to do that to kids, because I’m also a huge Star Trek fan, as I’ve mentioned before. And I think about it a lot with the character Data because his skin is painted and he has these weird contacts and he’s an adult. He’s not a child actor in the show, but I can’t imagine that was good for him. And I feel for the actor because I’m like, I love Sean. I love this character, but there’s a way we could have made this a little bit healthier.
Had a long time in the makeup chair. Okay, Shirley Henderson who played 14-year-old Moaning Myrtle was 36 years old when they began filming. That’s great trivia! That’s like so cool. I would have never known either. Actually, what’s funny is Jeremy was convinced that Moaning Myrtle was really Daniel Radcliffe because she looked so much like him! And it’s like, she does though, she does look like him but she’s not, and you can tell, like, you can tell they’re two different people.
He would have to have the best impression ever, like, her voice. That’s hilarious. That’s so funny.
It’s very funny. And she even has like the little glasses, you know?
I mean, I see what you’re saying. I never thought that, but I see what you’re saying, but yeah, they could be brother and sister, I suppose. I don’t know. Okay. Makeup artist applied Harry’s scar over 2,000 times, and Radcliffe went through 160 pairs of glasses.
That’s perfect. I love it. Yeah, it makes sense. Rowling said that she regrets pairing Ron and Hermione together, saying that she did it because of wish fulfillment and not because of the plot. I don’t know. I kind of get it. I kind of, like, don’t like the music as an arc. I don’t know.
I feel like, it always felt inevitable. So I liked that sometimes it feels nice to have things paid off. But if it wasn’t her wish, then she should have done something else.
Yeah, that’s true. If you are an author and you write the book not how you wanted, keep that to yourself. After the fact.
Emma: Well. Because it’s Or just write it how you want. Go ahead and disappoint fans a little bit.
Elsie: Yeah, now everyone just wants to know what you would have done, right?
Emma: Yeah, I guess so.
Elsie: That’s what I want to know. Okay. Oh, I guess that’s all of the trivia. Okay, so here’s my beginning. I am begging you, and I mean begging.
Emma: She’s really begging. She means this. It’s sincere.
Elsie: I need this so bad. Would you please leave a 5-star review on my butterbeer recipe? I’ll put it in the show notes. You can also just search A Beautiful Mess butterbeer or just go on A Beautiful Mess and search butterbeer in the tab. I have been trying to get the top Google spot, it is my dream in this lifetime to have the top Google spot for Butterbeer, and maybe it could happen. You never know, it’s spot three right now.
Emma: It could happen, it could happen.
Elsie: I would be very grateful for your Butterbeer reviews. And if you have children, make them the butterbeer. I do not recommend it as this whole beverage, personally, but if you love cream soda with whipped cream in it, then maybe, you know what I mean.
Emma: We had this dinner that was like different courses paired with different beers and I was of course pregnant, so I had butterbeer and I thought it was delicious.
Elsie: Nice. It was so fun to make. It was so much fun. So. Okay, now we’ll pass it on to Nova for her segment. Hey, Nova, what do you have this week?
Nova: A meditation. So, close your eyes, and find a comfy place wherever. Cuddle with your stuffies or even your kid. And then go to your happy place and think you’re at the beach. All warm and cozy with the sand and the waves rolling up on and feel the warm breeze going by while the seagulls are fluttering up in the air, and then go out and swim in the ocean. Pretend you have a floaty on, and you’re swimming all over. Then, you eat on the shore, and you then put on your shoes. Go back home, and take out the picture you secretly took, and keep it. And when you go on the train back to real life, think about your trip in the meditation room. And I hope someday you will come back. Thank you!
Elsie: Thanks, Nova! Thank you so much for listening. We love how our podcast has evolved over the past five years and we’re able to do such special niche episodes. It means a lot to us that you support us even loving the movie rewatches and all of that. We feel like we found our people. So thank you for being here and we hope you have a great week.