Warwick Davis has told of a “cherished” memory involving Alan Rickman and his daughter years ago while filming one of the final Harry Potter films.
Davis starred in all eight of JK Rowling’s wizarding movies as both Professor Filius Flitwick and the goblin Griphook alongside Rickman as Professor Snape.
The actor said that his children, daughter Annabelle and son Harrison, would often visit him on set during the making of the films and that one of those visits happened on his daughter’s birthday, causing an impromptu celebration from the entire cast of the film, including Rickman, who died in 2016.
Davis told the Press Association: “Annabelle’s birthday fell on a Sunday and it was the only day we ever filmed on a Sunday over the course of 10 years.
“Unfortunately, it was a very big scene in the Great Hall, but all the cast sang to her.
“I’ll never forget the sight of Alan Rickman in his full Snape outfit and wig singing Happy Birthday To You – it didn’t fit with him at all.
“But it’s quite a cherished memory for Annabelle on her 13th birthday.”
Speaking ahead of the launch of the original Gringotts Wizarding Bank set at Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, Davis said that revisiting the set brought back many memories.
He spent a lot of time in the Gringotts Wizarding Bank while playing Griphook, one of the bank’s employees, in the two final films of the franchise – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2.
Davis, 49, said: “When I walked into the set for the first time since I was last there 10 years ago, I was blown away.
“Firstly by the beauty of the set, because when I last saw it, it was full of 60 goblins and crew and camera equipment, so I never saw it in this wonderful, pristine state that it’s been restored to.
“It evoked a lot of memories of my time filming on that set and it was lovely to see it has been restored to its glory once again.
“It’s a tribute to the set designer who worked on it originally, Stuart Craig, and also the wonderful artistry that’s there, because none of it is made of marble – the pillars are just painted to look that way, it’s fantastic.”
Visitors will be able to walk through the banking hall of Gringotts, enter the Lestrange Vault filled with props from the films, including the Sword of Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup, and pass through a gallery of goblins.
They will also get a look at the costumes and prosthetics belonging to the goblin bankers in the hit franchise.
Lined by towering marble pillars, the grand banking hall will be decorated with three crystal chandeliers and finished with brass leaf, while the goblin tellers’ desks will be completed with inkwells, quills, ledgers and piles of Galleons, Sickles and Knuts.
The prop-making department, led by Pierre Bohanna, created more than 210,000 coins for the final two films alone.
The addition of the bank marks the biggest expansion to the Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
It opened on March 31 2012 and already gives devotees of the series a chance to walk through the Great Hall, visit Dumbledore’s office, stroll down Diagon Alley, venture into the Forbidden Forest and board the original Hogwarts Express train at Platform 9 3/4.
The expansion will open on April 6 and tickets are on sale now.