For the first decade of the 2000s, moviegoers grew up alongside Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and all the other magical children in the Harry Potter movies. The actors had the very unique experience of growing up with their characters, and by the time the final movie hit screens in 2011, they had gone from child actors to young adults, with their whole adolescence captured in some of the biggest movies ever made. There was one memorable scene when the stars weren’t playing their age, though, and Daniel Radcliffe’s joke about the Harry Potter flash-forward epilogue scene during the cast’s 20th anniversary reunion revealed how he really felt about that aged-up transformation.
If there’s any proof that the magic taught at Hogwarts is real, it’s how amazing the entire Harry Potter cast looked during HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special. I mean, this is the cast that first made glow-ups famous, after all. But fans who remember the final moments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 might not have expected them to have gotten more good looking with age. The final movie ended with a time jump nearly two decades ahead, in which future versions of the main characters (aged up to look like they’re in their mid-30s) see their children off on the Hogwarts Express.
During his reunion with Watson and Grint, Radcliffe couldn’t help but joke about how much better they all look now compared to the aged-up versions of themselves in that final scene. “We all still look better than we do in the epilogue, which is great. Like, we’ve made it in before that,” Radcliffe remarked, as Watson and Grint laughed along.
At the time of the reunion, all three actors are just a few years younger than their characters were meant to be in that flash-forward. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are meant to be around 36 in that scene; Radcliffe is currently 32, Watson is 31, and Grint is 33. Thankfully, it sounds like they’re happy with how they look IRL, even without the help of magic.