Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone Director Has One Half-Giant-Size Regret
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone turns 15 in November, and director Chris Columbus is feeling nostalgic. (To be fair, I always feel nostalgic for Harry Potter, and I didn’t even make the film.)
Looking back on the film with Entertainment Weekly, Columbus shared some insight into the making of the groundbreaking film. (Philosopher’s Stone set the bar for all YA film adaptations to come, don’t @ me!) While he divulged some incredible revelations—did you catch Emma Watson’s fake Hermione teeth on the Hogwarts Express in the final scene of the film?— perhaps his most surprising disclosure is his one Harry Potter regret.
“I always thought Hagrid should be a little bigger,” Columbus told EW of the beloved half-giant. “Believe it or not, we didn’t have the resources or the money to actually create a CGI version of Hagrid for the first couple of films, so we had a rugby player in a gigantic Hagrid suit who worked in the wide shots for us.”
“He was actually walking there with the kids, and then we did forced perspective sets for Robbie [Coltrane] and created an image of Robbie being much bigger than he was,” he added, “but I always thought Hagrid should be about two feet taller and about 100 pounds heavier.”
So there were two Hagrids on set—one Hagrid was big, one small. Of course, that meant that Coltrane, at six-foot-one-inch, was the small Hagrid. The other Hagrid was six-foot-ten-inch English rugby star Martin Bayfield, who donned Hagrid’s oversize moleskin coat in scenes where the half-giant needed to be bigger than the setting around him.