Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

'Now I believe in magic': Alia Bhatt among the stars to host Harry Potter readings

The Bollywood actress joins Alec Baldwin to read chapter eight of the wizarding series' first book

Alia Bhatt has taken part in the Harry Potter at Home series, reading chapter eight of the wizarding series' first book
Alia Bhatt has taken part in the Harry Potter at Home series, reading chapter eight of the wizarding series' first book

She may have starred in Student of the Year, but it sounds like Alia Bhatt would now rather join Hogwarts than St Teresa's High.

The Bollywood star, 27, is the latest famous face to be selected for the Harry Potter at Home: Readings, a free audio series that brings to life the first book in the magical series.

The Raazi star has been enlisted to read chapter eight of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, alongside Hollywood legend Alec Baldwin and his daughter, Carmen.

The series is part of an initiative to keep families entertained while staying home amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the whole book read, chapter by chapter, by celebrities from around the globe.

Stars who have already been announced to take part in the readings include Oscar winner Olivia Colman, footballer David Beckham, author Stephen Fry and actress Dakota Fanning. Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed the titular character in the franchise's film series, kicked things off by reading chapter one.

The latest installment was released on Thursday, May 28, in which Bhatt reads The Potions Master, the chapter where Potter meets Severus Snape.

Baldwin makes a cameo to read aloud a news clipping from a fantastical newspaper about a break-in at the Gringotts bank, along with his 6-year-old daughter.

Bhatt, who has four Filmfare Awards, admitted that she hadn't read the magical series until being confined to her home during the ongoing pandemic.

“It wasn’t until lockdown in India that Harry, Hogwarts and the wizarding world became regular fixtures in my life. Somehow, despite the fierce insistence of my sister, life always intervened and I never quite got around to befriending the books," she said.

"But, confined to my home – I journeyed to Hogwarts with Harry and was transported to a world of endless possibility. And, just like magic, that was when I was asked to be a part of Harry Potter at Home. I didn’t quite believe in magic until two months ago – but now – thanks to Harry, I do."

The series is available on Spotify and harrypotterathome.com, with two episodes released every week.

Updated: May 30, 2020 12:48 PM

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