What the Degrassi kids think about Harry Potter and more from last night’s Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere in Toronto

Photography by George Pimentel/Getty Images
Photography by George Pimentel/Getty Images

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For the initiated, Harry Potter is a big deal, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the film franchise’s finale, is the denouement of many years of adoration. At the post-screening party for the Toronto premiere, Matthew Lewis, who plays Harry’s classmate Neville Longbottom, drew the crowds. Fans were screaming, “We want Matthew!” en masse from behind Casa Loma’s stone walls. (It was like seeing peasants with blowouts dressed in Urban Outfitters chanting the king’s name; such was the effect of the scene outside the Toronto castle.) Lewis happily indulged, breaking away from the black carpet (no red carpet will do for something as darkly magical as Harry Potter) to walk across the castle’s manicured lawn—being chased by scrambling photogs and cameramen—to sign autographs.

The adoration is understandable. Lewis has much of the British charisma and crooked smile of a Clive Owen, and for the occasion he wore a custom-tailored black suit and an Armani shirt and pocket square purchased that day from Harry Rosen. We asked, did he manage to take a keepsake from the set, fully expecting a Hogwarts school tie or that cute blue sweater vest he wore in Order of the Phoenix. “It’s rubbish,” he replied shaking his head. “I took my false teeth.” Okay, do tell? “I didn’t want them, Tom [Felton] got a ring with a snake on it—Slytherin, and they said, ‘Hey, do you want your false teeth?’ and I said ‘No,’ and my mother stepped in said, ‘Yes, we do, we definitely want them.’ So my mom has them at home in this sort of shrine. It’s a bit weird.”

Also attending the festivities: Kate Beckinsale, her ex Michael Sheen, and their daughter, Lily, who Sheen, while walking the black carpet in a light summer suit, told reporters is a big fan of the books and the films, having grown up with them. Also geeking out were some of the stars of Degrassi: The Next Generation, including Aislinn Paul and Charlotte Arnold, who joked around about having Draco Malfoy for a classmate at Degrassi. “Degrassi loves a good villain. He could spice things up—maybe a little love triangle,” joked Arnold, who wore a black H&M dress for the occasion that she nabbed from her character’s closet. Indeed, attendees took the black carpet seriously, and we spotted Kimberley Newport-Mimran and 10-year-old daughter Jacqui also in head-to-toe black. The two were in high spirits despite pushing back a few tears while watching the final film, saying it was their favourite of the series. Inside Casa Loma, party-goers toasted to the end of Harry Potter over butter beer and fish and chips, and like one of Potter’s magic spells, we’re sure they felt transformed by following the beloved series to its end.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is in theatres July 15.

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