How Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire Captured The Real-Life Awkwardness Of The Cast

It turns out that the absolute awkwardness of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" wasn't just in our heads. The cast of the wizarding franchise is well-aware of how gloriously hormonal the fourth movie feels because they were living through it themselves. Or as Daniel Radcliffe says in the 20th anniversary special, "Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts," the movie is "peak hormones."

By far, one of the most magical aspects of the Harry Potter saga is the fact that the main cast begins as children, and throughout the years, they grow alongside their characters. Just as Harry, Ron, and Hermione enter the world of Hogwarts and adjust to their new magical lives, so too did Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson. But this reality also comes with an interesting bunch of drawbacks — like living out their awkward teenage years in front of the entire world. On the bright side, the horrors of that experience were easily channeled back into their characters. Radcliffe said so himself:

"[Harry] is just a slightly awkward teenage boy, in a very unremarkable way which I suppose feels pretty remarkable for a hero character... It did not take a huge acting stretch for me to tap into my awkward, nerdy teenage side."

Saving the world from a villain so chilling that people are afraid to speak his name is one thing, but have you tried asking a girl to the Yule Ball? How about actually dancing in front of all your classmates at said event? Such are the unspeakable horrors of adolescence. I for one would be happy to face down Voldemort any day, but reliving the embarrassment of being 14 is way too much to bear. Aside from the unbearable awkwardness of being their teenage selves, filming the fourth movie was quite a time for the young cast for reasons that Rupert Grint cheekily alluded to:

"It was a very interesting film in terms of a lot of hormones flying around."

Harry's Goblet Runneth Over (With Hormones)

"Goblet of Fire" goes by many names — my personal favorites include Harry Potter and the Raging Hormones and The One With The Bad Hair — because fans can't help but affectionately reflect on this pivotal moment in the franchise. For the entirety of this film, the teen awkwardness is out in full force as Harry enters the TriWizard Tournament, an insanely violent and dangerous event that probably shouldn't involve children. But when the magical goblet speaks, who can argue?

Thus, Harry is thrust into yet another perilous adventure, facing off against dragons, killer mermaids, and scariest of all, teenage girls. Our little wizards and witches are growing up at this point, dealing with crushes, asking people on dates, and embarrassing themselves in oh-so-many ways. Bonnie Wright, who you'll recognize as Ginny Weasley, recalled the experience fondly in the reunion special, saying:

"In 'The Goblet of Fire,' that film is just all about teenagers having crushes for the first time, asking someone on a date to the Yule Ball... They just mirrored all those awkward phases you go through as a teenager and they really felt like that too, because we were literally having the same experiences."

This is the very same movie that introduces eventual teen heartthrob Robert Pattinson! And he's just one new face among the many more joining the cast as Hogwarts temporarily merges with two other wizarding schools, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Even more teens joining the cast didn't help with the whole "hormones flying" situation according to Radcliffe, who added:

"That film was probably peak hormones, at least for me. It was exactly what you expect and especially because the fourth film was the one with like the Beauxbatons and the Durmstrangs so you had a bunch of hormonal teenagers anyway and then like bring in two massive groups of new people, all of them are like purposely hot for the film."

Personally, I've always considered "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" to be with one overridden with hormones, since so much of the runtime is spent on relationship drama. That movie grapples with two separate love triangles, as Harry pines for Ginny, Ron and Hermione pine for each other and the entire viewing audience pines from Draco. But in retrospect, "Goblet of Fire" is where the hormones really run wild. By the time the sixth movie is in full swing, the dating distraction is overshadowed by the whole dark wizard army forming in the shadows, but the fourth movie is a time of transition. It's no coincidence that the film ends with Hermione's ominous line: "Everything's going to change now, isn't it?" The darkness hasn't quite peaked, and there's still time for the lovestruck teens to worry about school dances and getting dates — until Hermione's words come true and everything changes for good.

"Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts" is now streaming on HBO Max.