With "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" opening around the world simultaneously over the weekend, the series' youthful stars fanned out on publicity tours around the globe. Star Daniel Radcliffe stayed in the UK, Emma Watson was in the U.S., Tom Felton went to Mexico, while Japan played host to Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood).
It has been six years since Grint, 22, was in Japan, while for Wright and Lynch, both 19, this was their first visit. Yet, such is the popularity of the series that even the minor stars are well known among fans in Japan. The trio made stage appearances and greeted fans in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya during their visit.
"Japanese fans are great. They go crazy," said Grint. "I couldn't believe they came to give us gifts when we arrived at the airport."
The stars, of course, are no longer children, and the subject mater of the final film, divided into two parts, reflects that, as Harry and his friends prepare for the final battle against Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) who has taken control of the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts.
"This film definitely has an adult feel since we are not at school anymore," said Grint. "My character experiences jealousy and paranoia. It's fun to play a more complicated role."
Lynch said the decision to make the final book into two films was a brave but correct decision because "it gives us room to explore all the relationships between the characters. Even though it is a fantasy movie, the characters have the same real feelings as we all do."
The stars said they all felt sad at the end of their journey that began nearly 10 years ago. "That's been my life," said Grint. "In fact, it is hard to remember life before Harry Potter. I still have an empty feeling. I think next July, when Part Two comes out, is when it will really hit us that it is all over."
But he added that he is looking forward to moving on and trying new things. "I have done other things but no one remembers them. These films tend to take over your life," he said.
Wright said that she had learned so much about acting, having started out at the age of 9. "The Harry Potter experience has inspired me for the next phase of my life," she said.© Japan Today