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Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story

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Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story
Film information

Paul A. Kaufman


Ronald Gilbert


Jeffrey Berman, Tony Caballero


Poppy Montgomery

Music by

Jeff Toyne

Running time


"I was there when my life happened. Why would I want to watch somebody else's vague idea of what happened?"
J. K. Rowling commenting on Magic Beyond Words.[1]

Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story is a TV movie by the Lifetime, broadcast on 18 July, 2011. It is based on the book J.K. Rowling: A Biography by Sean Smith. Poppy Montgomery stars as J. K. Rowling.

The film, which was shot in B.C. Canada locations altered to look like British locations, details the journey of struggling single mother J. K. Rowling, her bid to become a published author, and her rise to fame that followed the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The film was criticised for being too lacklustre (mainly because of the author having no say in the production), but it also shed some light on her personal life, and featured scenes such as her highly abusive first husband and the death of her mother.

J. K. Rowling herself has never seen the film, commenting that the concept of watching it "makes [her] curl up like a pretzel".[2]


The movie won Canadian Screen Awards 2013 in category for Best Dramatic Mini-Series or TV Movie. Poppy Montgomery was also nominated in category for Lead actress in television film or miniseries but she lost to Emily Osment.

Behind the scenes

  • Poppy Montgomery reportedly got blue contact lenses to play the role of the highly influential author.

Notes and references

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