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The crowds gathered around Lincoln Center were a block in all directions, full of tweens in full Potter regalia from glasses to Hogwarts cloaks yelling there faces off as a loud speaker quizzed them on Potter trivia. "What movie did Moaning Myrtle first appear in?" Screams in unison! A girl holds up her sign claiming she's been there six days. A older man in a World's Best Dad tee snaps a pic. "Hermoine calls Ron..." More screams!
And the noise only grew louder and more enthusiastic as the cars pulled up and the stars themselves greeted the throng over microphone. The likely said something poignant, if rehearsed, a public goodbye for the masses that was drowned out by more screams. They then moved on to have their picture snapped and be asked by press for the millionth time how they feel about the ten year franchise coming to an end with the last film, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2.
And while there have been and are sure to continue to be big bold headlines, the tone of each article and quotes from each star, from Daniel Radcliffe to Emma Watson to Rupert Grint seems to be one of both sadness at the close of something they have grown up within, and excitement for something new.
"I feel like It's been a huge learning curve and I've been fortunate enough to work with some of the best actors in the world," Radcliffe told E Online. "I feel like to a certain extent that I've been in the best film/drama school that anyone could wish for because there's no better way to learn something than by doing it."
"I feel like I'm graduating from school and now I'm ready to go take everything I learned and go and hopefully do more good work," Watson told Hollywood Reporter.
“It’s been a decade of playing the same person and a character I already felt quite close to anyway because of the books. We really have become the same person. I think it’s going to be hard to shake him out of me” Grint told Parade.
It will be interesting to see who goes on to super stardom, who fades away or who flames out in the sad and spectacular fashion we have come to expect from child stars. What is unquestionable is that no matter how successful they become in their own right, they are unlikely to ever experience what they have with Potter. It is the only franchise to be going strong at 8 movies, continuing to rack in money and fan appreciation.
Famous fans who came out to watch included Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and their son James Wilke, Whoopi Goldberg, Seth Green, America Ferrera, Sarah Hyland, and Mark Sanchez.
After the film, guests head to the American Museum of Natural History to celebrate. Ace of Cakes chef Duff Gooldman created this for the occasion: