Daniel Radcliffe Reminisces Gambon's 'Harry Potter' Pranks

Behind-the-scenes magic takes a humorous turn at Hogwarts

by Zain ul Abedin
Daniel Radcliffe Reminisces Gambon's 'Harry Potter' Pranks
© Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Entertainment

The magical world of ‘Harry Potter’ was not just full of spells, wands, and adventures. Behind the scenes, there was plenty of laughter and fun too, and a significant contributor to that was the late Sir Michael Gambon, who masterfully played the character of Albus Dumbledore.

On Thursday, September 28, the world bid adieu to this great actor, who succumbed to pneumonia at the age of 82. The heartfelt news was confirmed by his widow, Lady Gambon, and his son, Fergus.

While fans across the globe mourn this incredible loss, Daniel Radcliffe, the iconic Harry Potter himself, shared a light-hearted anecdote from his time on set with Sir Michael. In a prior interview with GQ, the 34-year-old actor unveiled the mischievous side of Gambon. Radcliffe reminisced, "Michael Gambon had this uncanny ability to make me laugh. As a teenager, it was so easy for him to crack me up just moments before a scene."

Gambon's Mischief on Potter Set

Radcliffe further elaborated, "It was always a challenge to keep a straight face because Gambon, with all his gravitas, could immediately transition into his role, while I'd be left trying to stifle my laughter."

One of the most memorable pranks that Radcliffe highlighted was during the filming of 'Prisoner of Azkaban'. In a scene where all the young wizards were sleeping in the Great Hall, Gambon, in cahoots with the late Alan Rickman (Professor Severus Snape), planted a fart machine inside Radcliffe’s sleeping bag. As the camera zoomed in dramatically on Radcliffe's face, the machine let out a roaring noise, much to the amusement of everyone on set.

Radcliffe chuckled, "Initially, I was sure one of the younger actors was playing a joke, fearing we’d get in trouble. But, to my surprise, it was the work of two of Britain's finest actors. The moment was embarrassing yet utterly hilarious."

This heartwarming tale from the ‘Harry Potter’ sets reminds us of the camaraderie and bonds formed during those magical years and adds another layer to the legacy of Sir Michael Gambon.

Daniel Radcliffe