By Kara Warner and Saryn Chorney
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" mania descended upon New York City when the cast — including (young) man of the hour Daniel Radcliffe — arrived to walk the red carpet at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Thursday, July 9. Fans began camping out the night before, decked out in "Potter"-themed gear, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite Hogwarts stars and Hollywood hotshots in arrivals mode.
We heard a rumor that Radcliffe portrays a different, "under the influence" side of Harry Potter in this film. True?
"He's more happy-go-lucky than normal Harry is," Radcliffe explained. "But [similarly] I can get a bit manic sometimes and I am very hyper. But I have to say that I'm keeping quite calm tonight, very level-headed. I'm quite pleased with myself for that."
OK, enough patting yourself on the back, Radcliffe. We know you guys weren't drinking tea in the back of the limo on the way over to the premiere.
Va-va-vroom. Emma Watson motored up to the "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" premiere wearing this sexy leather (or is it pleather?) biker chic dress. To our amazement, the ingenue pulls the subdued S&M look off with aplomb.
So, we already know Hermione has the power to make Ron Weasley's heart go pitter-patter, but does the actress believe in real magical powers?
"I believe in some kind of magic," Watson said. "Not everything can always be explained."
Sure, we can respect that answer. Don't forget, these young Brit actors didn't grow up so far away from Stonehenge.
Rupert Grint looked every bit the cool British rock star while walking the red carpet.
In fact, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" director David Yates called the film, "Sex, potions and rock and roll." We asked Grint if he cared to comment.
"There's a lot of romance in this one," he confided. "A lot of complicated relationship things. Intoxication is a big thing with this one. I drink a love potion and get poisoned."
Wow, this movie is starting to sound Shakespearean. Is "Harry Potter Goes to Central Park" next on the horizon?
Bonnie Wright (aka Ginny Weasley, Harry's love interest in the movie) claims to be a big fan of wizards on-screen — and in real life. Well, of course she's going to defend her main man.
"They've got a pretty long history over the course of these movies," said Wright. "[I have faith] in the strength of the wizarding community. Wizards can always be learning new things."
Hmm, like new kissing techniques, maybe?
"Harry Potter" bad boy Tom Felton received the most enthusiastic welcome from the immense crowd that had gathered around the red carpet. Was he surprised to find that the audience always loves the villain?
"It's madness. At last, cheers for Draco, no more booing!" he laughed.
But, could Draco and Harry ever put their differences aside and become real friends?
"It's funny you say that, because I think there's a glimmer of that. There's a bit of a clue there … I don't know what Jo Rowling was thinking when she was writing it, but I think in the years to come at Hogwarts, there could be a bit of an element of friendship."
Ryan Phillippe's younger, more clean-cut look-alike Freddie Stroma plays Cormac McLaggen in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." In the movie, the scene-stealing future heartthrob's character has a major thing for Hermione. In real life, Stroma just received a degree in neuroscience. Cute and smart? Hubba-hubba.
"I'm nothing like Cormac," said Stroma. "[At least] I'd like to think so. I'm not very forward. I'm more the guy who never does anything. Cormac … is very crass and very forward. Lots of winking and weird gestures … you'll see in the movie."
Looking forward to it. (*Wink, wink*)
Actor Michael Gambon, better known to legions of "Harry Potter" fans as Professor Albus Dumbledore, just doesn't seem that happy on the red carpet. Perhaps he's still too worried about preparing Harry for the final battle …
Professor Filius Flitwick, played by Warwick Davis, brought his wife and whole family to the latest "Harry Potter" premiere. We wonder if his kids like the "Harry Potter" movies or their dad's star turn in the 1988 flick "Willow" better?
We posed a very important question to the fantasy movie alumnus: In a fight between wizards and vampires, who wins?
"I think it's a wizard's fight, really. They've got a bit more style to them, the old wand action is the way to go," he said. "And judging by the reaction you hear behind me, the girls are out in force for the wizards."
Alan Rickman managed a curt, polite smile on the red carpet at his movie premiere. We can respect that considering Professor Severus Snape probably would not have smiled at all.
"Harry Potter" fan and "Mercy" star Michelle Trachtenberg attended the premiere wearing what looked to be an old Hogwarts blazer. She must've shelled out the big bucks for that on eBay.
Singer Ashanti brought her two godchildren to the latest "Harry Potter" premiere. Why does the hip-hop princess think the books and movies resonate with so many people?
"It's like a magical escape," she explained. "The kids are big fans, so we're going to go in and have a good time. Tonight's going to be my first time seeing a 'Harry Potter' movie, but I'm so excited!"
What about her boyfriend Nelly? Is he a "Harry Potter" fan? We feel like we haven't heard a peep from those two since, like, 2003.
When we asked Chevy Chase why he loved "Harry Potter," the funny guy replied, "Potter? Never heard of her." Wocka, wocka, wocka.
Actress Gina Gershon graced the red carpet, but she made a major faux pas. When we asked which she preferred between vampires and wizards, Gershon replied, "Ooh, I'm kind of a vampire junkie, so I have to go with them."
Oh no she didn't! At the "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" premiere? Does she know what kind of magical forces she's up against?
Marcia Gay Harden brought her daughters to see the latest "Harry Potter" film. Awww, she's an Academy Award Winner and an awesome mom.
Kelsey Grammer, wife Camille and their daughter also walked the red carpet at the latest "Harry Potter" premiere. Even when they're in New York, Hollywood kids have it pretty darned good.
Even though the "Harry Potter" cast sort of snubbed Diane Sawyer by going on the "Today" show instead of "Good Morning America," the news anchor is still a loyal fan. No hard feelings at Hogwarts!
"Rescue Me" star Denis Leary wouldn't dare miss the latest "Harry Potter" premiere. We presume "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" was his favorite film in the series thus far, but the jury's still out on this one.
The cast of "Ugly Betty" was really representing at the "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" premiere. Vanessa Williams even tried to match her outfit to the movie poster's color scheme, it seems. Sign of a true fan.
"Ugly Betty" actor Mark Indelicato also attended the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." So, why is he such a huge fan?
"It's so much fun," he said. "Every boy or girl has that fantasy of what they would do with a magic wand."
But if you don't have a magic wand, all you need according to Mark are some scissors, and a needle and thread to make your Harry Potter fashion fantasies come true:
"I'd make the [Hogwarts robes] shorter. They're a little long. I feel like I'd make them more like coats, a little more like prep school. That would be cool, right?"
So cool, kid.