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‘Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets’ — An Oral History (EXCLUSIVE)

For Harry Potter on film, things kicked off with Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001 and continued a year later with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Encompassing young Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, that film kicks off with an elf named Dobby attempting to convince Harry not to return to school. With the help of friend Ron Weasley and the Weasley family’s flying car, he does so anyway, discovering that certain students are being turned to stone. Reuniting with Hermione Granger, the trio learn that the forbidden Chamber of Secrets has been opened, unleashing a creature that is attacking those students with Muggle (human) blood. 

Eventually Harry meets the spirit of Tom Riddle, who seems friendly at first but is ultimately revealed to be the man who eventually became the dark lord Voldemort. At the same time, Harry tries to cope with being a “celebrity” of sorts at Hogwarts due to the events of Sorcerer’s Stone, and must cope with grandstanding professor Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh), who seeks the attention that Harry shuns.

The first two Harry Potter films were short virtually back to back, with cast and crew returning to continue the magic that they’d begun. What’s interesting in watching the two films is to see the sheer amount of growth on the part of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione), and Rupert Grint (Ron) in terms of their acting abilities. Obviously the experience of film one had a genuine impact on them.

One sad bit of news during production was the announcement that this would be director Chris Columbus’ last directorial effort for the series; that he would be stepping back into the role of producer for the next film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Nonetheless, Chamber of Secrets proved to be not only a worthwhile successor to Sorcerer’s Stone, but in many ways superior as well.

Scroll down to travel back to Hogwarts with the making of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.