Harry Potter still casts spell for fans
20 years on
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[June 26, 2017]
By Emily G Roe and Neil Hall
LONDON (Reuters) - Dressed in a long black
gown and holding a wand, George Massingham is keen for everyone to know
he is a Harry Potter super fan.
If he isn't doing Professor Severus Snape, the mysterious potions master
at Hogwarts School, the 27-year-old likes to dress in some other costume
relating to J.K. Rowling’s fantastical world of witches and wizards.
Massingham said of his colleagues: "They don't react as much now as they
used to. They just sort of go 'oh, you're wearing that again'."
Monday marks 20 years since the release of "Harry Potter and the
Philosopher's Stone," the first of seven Potter books in a series that
sold 450 million copies in 79 languages and sparked a $7 billion movie
Massingham is not the only super fan. Tracey Nicol-Lewis, 43, and her
15-year-old son Brenden like to dress up in Hogwarts uniform for trips
to the supermarket in Cardiff, Wales.
Nicol-Lewis' obsession with Rowling's world of wizards started when her
husband gave her one of the books, "Goblet of Fire," shortly before he
"We kind of clung to that," she said.
She has since spent around 40,000 pounds ($50,600) on all things Harry
Potter, putting together a collection of 2,506 pieces of memorabilia.
South Wales prop-maker Victoria Maclean, 37, has a similarly large
collection of Potter memorabilia decorating her home in Cardiff.
She has a wizard-themed toilet, and her mother's ashes sit in a glass
jar replica of Wolfsbane Potion – a magical substance from the Potter
series that stops werewolves being dangerous.
[to top of second column]
Cosplay fans (L-R) George Massingham, Abbey Forbes and Karolina
Goralik travel by tube dressed in Harry Potter themed costumes,
after a visit to one the literary franchise's movie filming
locations at Leadenhall Market in London, Britain, March 10, 2017.
"People are going to look at it and think I'm a complete freak,"
said Maclean, who named her children Harry and Daniel after British
actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the wizard in the movie franchise.
For 29-year-old Luke Williams, the link to Radcliffe is even
stronger. His dark hair, thin nose, brown eyes and even his voice
bear a striking resemblance to Radcliffe, who first starred as Harry
in the 2001 film version of "The Philosopher’s Stone."
Plans to do a graphic design course were scrapped as Williams
embarked on a 15-year career as a Potter impersonator. It has taken
him around the world to parties, book launches and shows. But he
longs for a different kind of attention.
"The girls still squeal when Harry Potter walks down the road ...
but I'd rather be a Brad Pitt lookalike," Williams said.
(Editing by Patrick Johnston and Larry King)
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