Chris Columbus Was Absolutely Terrified When Working on Harry Potter, and Here’s Why
Chris Columbus was absolutely terrified of making Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was “fraught with anxiety” throughout the filming of the movie, but why?
Today, the Harry Potter movies are largely adored all over the world, with millions upon millions of people religiously rewatching them every other month. Despite them being theoretically secondary to the book series, there are as many Potterheads who only watched movies as those who read the books — and they all love Harry Potter.
The Harry Potter movies are a cult classic now, and even though most fans tend to agree that the adaptation could’ve been done better, the first two films are largely praised for being perfect in this regard. While the following installments deviated quite significantly from the source material at times, those two movies didn’t.
This is largely because The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets were both directed by Chris Columbus, the very first director of the Harry Potter franchise. He did a phenomenal job of adapting the first two books, but as much as we praise him today, director Columbus was absolutely terrified when he was getting started.
“The reality is the pressure of the world was upon us, and on me particularly because I knew if I screwed this one up it’s all over. You can’t screw up this book. So I had to go to the set every day with sort of tunnel vision in terms of not thinking about the outside world,” Columbus shared with Collider.
The director was feeling the immense burden of responsibility on his shoulders when working on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but he had to remain professional. For months, Chris Columbus was hiding his true feelings — terror and anxiety.
“The first film was fraught with anxiety for me. The first two weeks I thought I was gonna get fired every day. Everything looked good, I just thought if I do one thing wrong, if I f**k up, I’m fired. And that was intense. I didn’t let any of that show on the set, <...> I just had to hide that side of my emotions,” the director explained.
Admittedly, Columbus was a great actor himself since, despite being constantly scared for his and his franchise’s future, he managed to appear calm and professional on the outside and organize the work flawlessly. After all, there’s only one reason why the first two movies are considered the best, and he is that reason.