Harry & Hermione "Nude" Scene Was Controversial Before Deathly Hallows Even Premiered
It's hard to forget the controversy surrounding the 'nude' scene featuring Harry and Hermione in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1.
While the kiss itself only took place in Ron's vision, it was an unexpected twist that some felt was too much for the beloved franchise. Whatsmore, the visual description of the scene sparked immense concerns among parents and fans alike before the film even hit theatres.
It remains one of the most controversial moments from all the Potter movies.
Why the scene was so controversial
The scene's inclusion was not entirely surprising to those who had read the books, as it stayed true to what was already described in the source material. However, many parents were taken aback by the prospect of a Harry Potter film featuring a nude scene, showing content that would likely be less than appropriate for their children who wanted to watch the movie.
In reality, the scene was actually very brief and heavily veiled in special effects. In addition, dark mist obscured the lower halves of the false Harry and Hermione, and neither Daniel Radcliffe nor Emma Watson were actually naked during filming. Nonetheless, the uproar began before the film's release, with some parents even threatening to boycott the movie based solely on the director's comments.
The story behind the scene
Of course, another reason for the scenes' contention was its more mature representation compared to previous, more PG-rated kissing scenes in the series. Director David Yates specifically wanted to depict the moment more intensely to accurately convey Ron's fear from the Horcrux, which he stated publicly before the film's release.
Ironically, behind the scenes, the filming was said to be amusingly eventful. Emma Watson's and Daniel Radcliffe's apparent awkwardness didn't help matters, which led to Watson passionately surprising her co-star when she decided to go 'all out'.
'I always thought it was going to be this soft sensual sort of moment, and suddenly there was this vigorous kissing happening to me,' Radcliffe joked on the ITV's Daybreak morning show (according to People). He then added, '[Emma] is a bit of an animal But then, I'm not complaining. There are tens of thousands of men that would cut off limbs to be in that position.'
Watson also shared her side of the story to JoBlo:
'I guess I was just so worried about it coming across as awkward as I felt it was inside that I just wanted to make it as real as I could? So I guess I just went for it?'
She added that the filming process was 'bizarre'.
'It was the weirdest thing ever, and they only told us about the silver body paint the day before. They were like, "Oh, and P.S., we hope you don't mind but we'd like you both to be topless and covered in silver paint." I was like, "Ookay," if it wasn't weird enough before,' Watson laughed. 'Luckily, Dan (Radcliffe) is very funny and talkative and we could just have a laugh about it.'
Although the moment was clumsy and awkward for the actors, the passion they eventually caught on camera was precisely why parents felt the originally family-friendly franchise had gone too far.
How the controversy affected the movie's release
Ironically, the Harry Potter film series had already ventured into darker territory with intense scenes of death, torture, and violence. By comparison, Ron's hallucination seemed relatively tame, and it's a little surprising that the controversy and boycott existed at all.
Eventually, the premature judgement by fans and parents dissipated upon the movie's release in theatres. Deathly Hallows - Part 1 went on to become the third-highest-grossing movie in the series, as well as the eighth-highest-grossing movie of all time. Clearly, the nude scene didn't impact the film's success too negatively, and now the controversy of the scene remains just a distant memory.