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One person's religion can often be another's cult, but the blurring of such lines isn't something you'd typically associate with one of the biggest franchises on the planet. However, Timothy Spall's comments on Harry Potter do connect to J.K. Rowling's self-appointed opinion in an unfortunately fitting fashion.
Wizarding World Wonders
During an interview with Variety, the Wormtail actor was reflecting on the unending popularity of the Wizarding World, at least if you don't take its dwindling reputation and repeated controversies engulfing its creator into account, and he clearly appreciates just how many people hold the property dearly close to their hearts.
via Warner Bros.
"Harry Potter is still such a big deal. It’s edging towards becoming a bit of a religion. It’s bizarre. It’s great storytelling, but it was also beautifully made. One day, I wandered into a studio and there was someone [manually] putting leaves on a tree, one by one. That’s dedication. They were doing that for the audience."
From Queen to Cult Leader
On the other side of the coin, it wasn't more than a few months ago that Rowling branded herself queen of the TERFs and fully embraced accusations that she was brainwashing her followers into joining the cult of unpalatable opinions on certain sections of society, a sentiment she seized with both hands and ran with.
Harry Potter remains one of the biggest IPs on the planet despite Rowling's best attempts to sabotage its reputation through the means of her own beliefs, but even if you don't want to join her cult, then bowing at the altar of the Boy Who Lived is a perfectly acceptable substitute, because the two are by no means obligated to go hand-in-hand.