Chinese fans are putty in Potter's hands

Updated: 2011-07-09 07:56

By Xu Lin and Liu Wei (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Although China's diehard Harry Potter fans will have to wait until early August for the final film in the series, which premiered in London on July 7, they can already talk to their icon online.

Emma Watson, the lead actress in the Harry Potter films, opened a Weibo account, the Chinese version of twitter, on Friday and had more than 30,000 fans in six hours.

"We're glad to have Emma join us, because she has so many fans in China," said Zhang Han, director of Chinese web portal's entertainment channel.

But it's not just Watson - everything related to the Harry Potter books and films is popular in China.

"We are organizing fans from different cities to see the movie together," says Zhu Sinan, 24, about her big plan to celebrate the Chinese premiere of the last Harry Potter film.

Zhu is moderator of an online Harry Potter forum, which has more than 30,000 regular users.

The most active ones, she says, were those born in the 1990s.

Zhu has an agreement with UME Cineplex in six cities to get discounted tickets for the forum users, who will launch various activities such as question-and-answer games in the theaters to celebrate the premiere.

"There will be banners and posters. Some fans will wear magic robes and bring props, such as wands and pocket watches," she said.

"We will welcome the end of the series together. Although the books and movies end, the story of Harry Potter will never end as long as our love goes on."

Posts in the forum teach fans how to make props, such as wands and badges. But the most popular post tells the fans how to get letters from the stars - or their agents.

"I was so excited that I got letters from Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood after waiting for two months," says Wang Shiyang, an 18-year-old high school student in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Qi Sina, a 23-year-old doctor in Tianjin, is one of the cosplayers of the Harry Potter series in China. She started playing the role of Cho Zhang in 2010.

"I was very nervous, because she is Harry's first love, but I'm doing quite well, " she says, proudly.

She would post her photos in costume on the forum, and her biggest wish is to have the traditional robe that Cho Zhang wears in the film.

"It's impossible to get the same cloth and all I can do is find the closest one. It will be my lifelong regret if I don't get a perfect costume," she says.

"I'm going to see the film in my costume. I even put off my plan for a perm because of the big day."

China Daily

(China Daily 07/09/2011 page3)