From Rupert Grint to Imelda Staunton, stars who took the story to the big screen write for TIME
July 31 is the most famous fictional birthday in contemporary literature: Harry Potter’s birthday. Strange, magical, sometimes wonderful things tend to happen on that day. It’s also his creator, J.K. Rowling’s birthday. And since we couldn’t reach Harry, Ron and Hermione to wish her many happy returns (they must be hiding under their invisibility cloak), we did the next best thing: we invited the stars of the HP movie franchise to send her birthday greetings. As far as we know, none of these messages were delivered by owl.
The Happiest of Birthdays, Jo.
A breeze for the supreme Time-traveller.
Love from Alan Rickman.
Alan Rickman played Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Series. His latest film, A Little Chaos, with Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts and Stanley Tucci, is in cinemas now.
Dear Miss Rowling,
On the occasion of your birthday I trust you will be clothed in delicious pink garments surrounded by plates of purring kittens.
These wishes come By order of Dolores Umbridge
Imelda Staunton played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter series.
Happy Birthday! Jo. You don’t look a day over 40; everyone knows what a wonderful writer you are, and how much you did to get children to read books, and your charity work, but they perhaps don’t know that in private you are very very funny. Perhaps you could celebrate your half century by writing a hilarious film. Perhaps, starring, I don’t know, a large Scottish man. Have a great day, you so deserve it, all my love, Robbie C. XX
Robbie Coltrane played Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter series.
So where the hell do I start? 50 years ago, a someone was born that has done what most of us dream of. She has made this little planet of ours a better, happier place and will leave a legacy that means that, that joy will continue to exponentially grow, generation by generation. I’m saying something everyone has said and will continue to write and say. Still it needs to be said and written.Let’s face it, we all want to live in her world, identify individually with the characters and the magic wielded there which seems to be like a fantastic extension of our tangible world.
She has made children turn back to the loving medium of books, feel the power of a page and fly behind the eyes of witches and wizards.
She has made me remember feeling young.
She deals with the ultimate anchor of our lives: death, and introduces it to children in a healthy, aware way that can propel them to find a concrete way of dealing with it.
She makes me laugh.
Thank you and I’ll be having pint of butter beer (JK, please tell us the recipe!) here’s to another 50 years (can’t believe you’re 50 by the way, you look HOT!)
Felicem diem natalem, Jo and welcome to the happiest decade. Now isn’t it about time you did something with your life? xxx
David Thewlis played Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter series.
I could talk about the millions of lives Jo has enriched whether through the stories and characters she’s created or through the millions of pounds she’s given to charity. She’s a remarkable woman. However, I would like to thank Jo for changing MY life. Without her imagination and her talent I would never have become the man I am today. That’s not even to mention her generosity and loyalty when it has come to supporting everything that I have done in the years since Harry Potter. She’s just a wonderful human being and I consider myself so privileged and honoured to call her a friend. Happy birthday, Jo.
Matthew Lewis played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films. He will next be seen alongside Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in the movie adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You.
To the woman whose imagination has made half the world feel less alone, afraid and in the dark; may the light you continue to shine always bounce back with interest. And at a flattering angle, naturally.
Jason Isaacs played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series.
Bel anniversaire! Bel Anniversaire! Or “appyeuh bizdayeuh” as Fleur would say – and thank you for the wonders you’ve created …. Clemence
Clemence Poesy played Fleur de la Coeur in the Harry Potter series.
You gave me the greatest gift of all, your trust and support, when it came time to bring your world to life on the big screen.
The three films we worked on together were the most creatively fulfilling years of my cinematic life. I will always cherish the countless hours you, David Heyman, Steve Kloves and myself spent huddled in a room, working so intensely on each film.
Thank you for everything. May you have the most wonderful and perfect birthday celebration.
See you along the way,
Chris Columbus directed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and produced Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Happy Birthday Jo!!! Thanks to your brilliantly creative mind and humour, my life has been far beyond anything I’d ever thought possible. Have an amazing day & watch out for any “Puking Pastilles.” Much love.
Happy Birthday Jo, I hope you have a great day.
Oliver Phelps played George Weasley in the Harry Potter series. His next project is Lenny Henry’s new film for BBC, Danny & the Human Zoo, which airs next month. James Phelps played Fred Weasley in the Harry Potter series.
Happy 50th Birthday Jo! You have brought so much love, inspiration, and happiness into this world and I hope it will do the same for you today and always as you bloody well deserve it you legend. Have a good ‘un!
All my love,
Katie Leung played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter Series. She was announced as a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit at the end of last year, and she plays the leading role in the forthcoming drama One Child, which will broadcast on BBC2 in the Autumn.
Happy Birthday Jo,
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday on your special day!
Lots of Love
Rupert Grint played Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series.
When we first met in person it took me a few frozen moments to recognise you. My reaction should have been instant given the level of mega-fan obsessiveness I’d proudly cultivated for years or by the impressive entourage of smiling faces that trailed in after you, or by the heavily expectant silence that was quickly becoming awkward. But it took me several seconds longer than was normal to have the appropriate jumping /squealing /hyperventilating fangirl fit because it seemed impossible to fathom that everything I loved – a vast universe, the very buildings and sets we were standing on, the hundreds of people milling about with one creative vision in mind – all of it, had come from the lovely, glowing, blonde woman before me who was on the small side of human and the miniature side of SuperWoman.
You squatted down by the make up chair to chat and it was very hard to piece words together into sentences because I wasn’t sure whether I was talking to a person or a spiritual portal connected to hundreds of different voices, souls and energies, all of whom I wanted to speak to and ask the geekiest of questions. But we continued to talk and it was both marvelous and incredible to realise you were human, to see your warmth, curiosity, the generous gaze and genuine interest you afforded each person you encountered. By the time we parted (rather, when I was dragged sullenly back into tutoring…) you left me with the distinct impression that small, sensitive ladies can change the world.
It’s been ten years and you are still reminding me of this. I’ve come to realise that it was that precise humanity and warmth I experienced when I met you, that curse of caring too much and of feeling too many feelings and that uncontainable imagination that can see far beyond what is real, that make you such a force of change and – and I don’t care what disclaimers you make about being Hufflepuff deep down – such a fierce, bold Gryffindor! You inspire me endlessly in your art, your activism and your sassy Twitter comebacks so please keep loving and caring and imagining as hard as you do.
Love you. Happy 50th!! Have the most Magical Happy Birthday ever!!
Evanna Lynch played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series.
It’s hard to overstate what you’ve given to a whole generation of people. To this day I still feel absurdly privileged to have been along for part of the ride.
Happy 50th. You don’t look it.
Sean Biggerstaff played Oliver Wood in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I wish we had met!
Though of course I feel I know you.
Thank you for Madame Maxime, I so loved playing her!
Congratulations on all the books and your wonderful success.
Many happy returns and have a wonderful birthday!
With my very best wishes
Frances de la Tour
Frances de la tour played Madame Olympe Maxime in the Harry Potter series.
Ms. Rowling has one of the best laughs I have ever heard.
Happy birthday, from your secret admirer x (Mark Williams)
Mark Williams played Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter series.
Happy Birthday Jo, here’s to many more magical years! Love, Bonnie
Bonnie Wright played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter series.