Improv Everywhere's Harry Potter takes Penn Station commuters by surprise

The group Improv Everywhere sent an 11-year-old dressed as Harry Potter to Penn Station to ask commuters and workers where he could find Platform 9 3/4.

  • close
    The 'Harry Potter' films star Emma Watson (l.), Rupert Grint (center), and Daniel Radcliffe (r.).
    Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. Pictures/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

In the “Harry Potter” novels by J.K. Rowling, a desperate Harry doesn’t get much help from the commuters and workers at King’s Cross Station when he’s searching for the magical Platform 9 and 3/4. 

So what would happen if an 11-year-old dressed as Harry Potter went to New York's Penn Station and asked for help in finding his departure location? 

The group Improv Everywhere decided to find out, sending 11-year-old actor Sebastian Thomas to the train station dressed as Harry, complete with white owl and old-fashioned school trunks, as part of their “Movies in Real Life” series. The group carries out what they call “missions,” activities which “create scenes of chaos and joy in public places,” according to their website.

Many commuters seemed very excited to see Harry, with some smiling and capturing video of him on their phones. Thomas’s stops included a ticket booth and an Auntie Ann’s pretzel stand, where he inquired whether pretzels were good for owls.

One commuter knew the answer to his departure query and pointed him towards platform nine, telling him, “Run really hard at the pillar. You’ll get there.” Alas, Thomas tried it with no results.

Check out the full video.


We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.