Harry Potter stars pay tribute to Alan Rickman, Helen McCrory and more

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  • Alan Rickman
    Alan Rickman
    English film, television and stage actor, graphic designer (1946-2016)
  • Emma Watson
    Emma Watson
    English actress and activist
  • Daniel Radcliffe
    Daniel Radcliffe
    English actor
  • Helen McCrory
    Helen McCrory
    English actress
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Harry Potter's Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and more will soon be seen on Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts to celebrate the hugely popular movie franchise and look back on its 20-year history on screen.

The pre-recorded special, which is set to air at 8pm on New Year's Day (January 1) on Sky Max, will be a star-studded affair with tons of cast members and directors Mike Newell, Alfonso Cuarón, David Yates and Chris Columbus all lined up to feature.

Sadly, though, there will, of course, be some noticeable absences – and the gang made sure not to let late actors Alan Rickman, John Hurt, Helen McCrory and more who have passed away since the film franchise began go unmentioned.

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

"It's obviously amazing to be back, but I guess it's so shocking that so many people we both thought would be around for much longer than they have been, like Helen and Alan and Richard," Watson, who famously played Hermione Granger, said in the documentary.

"They're like family, we grieve in the same way," Ron Weasley actor Grint added. "Just too soon."

"Richard Harris was such a special, warm person. He was so twinkly. Alan Rickman never talked to me like I was a child. He always took my thoughts and opinions very seriously, which I was always very touched by," Watson added of the Albus Dumbledore actor, who died in 2002, and the Severus Snape actor, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2016.

Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort, continued: "Alan was a very dear friend. When we had that final scene, his final scene, I was a little intimidated by him, his precision, his expert delivery of lines.

"We sort of went toe-to-toe in a funny way, Snape and Voldemort, two actors who relish metaphorically fencing with each other. Alan was a magician in that way as an actor."

Touching on McCrory, Jason Isaacs, who played her character Narcissa Malfoy's onscreen husband Lucius, shared: "I said, 'I think I've just met the best actress I've ever seen in my life'. I feel lucky to have worked with her and shared so much frankly adolescent laughter when we were on set."

Photo credit: Jeff Spicer - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Spicer - Getty Images

"She taught me a lot," Draco Malfoy actor Tom Felton said of the Peaky Blinders star, who died of breast cancer earlier this year. "She had this ability to show such empathy in her eyes which was a real treat to work with her."

"I feel really lucky to have some little bit of touch with the amount of amazing people that have passed. I'll be very old one day saying, 'I knew that absolute legend'," Radcliffe says of John Hurt, who appeared as wandmaker Garrick Ollivander in three of the eight films (or four if you include deleted scenes).

Photo credit: Jemal Countess - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jemal Countess - Getty Images

The Harry Potter actor went on to share that the death that affected him the most personally was that of Richard Griffiths, who played the titular wizard's muggle uncle Vernon Dursley, in March 2013.

"He was generous with knowledge, wanted to share everything with you," he said.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts airs at 8pm on New Year's Day on Sky Max and on HBO Max in the US.

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