Saying goodbye to magical characters

“Harry Potter” actors and actresses gather in central London ahead of the Wednesday world premiere of “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

LONDON -- Daniel Radcliffe will miss being an action hero. Emma Watson will miss being a role model. Robbie Coltrane will simply miss getting to play a good guy.

The cast and crew of the "Harry Potter" movies have been saying goodbye to their characters on the eve of the premiere of the eighth and final film in the magical adventure series.

When they met the press at a valedictory news conference Wednesday, it felt like the last day of school -- a warm mixture of release and regret.

Radcliffe, Watson and Rupert Grint have grown up in the films over the past decade, playing young wizards Harry, Hermione and Ron as they progress through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and fight the dark forces of Lord Voldemort.

Watson said it is still "difficult to process" the fact that she won't be playing Hermione again. The 21-year-old said she would miss the brave, brainy young witch, who was not just a role but a role model. "I think of her like a sister," Watson said. "She feels so real to me. ... Of course I will miss the people, but actually I will just miss being her.

Grint, 21, said he felt bereft that the series had ended. "I have felt a little bit lost without it, really, not really knowing what to do with myself."

Radcliffe said he would miss the cast and crew, and the stunts. "I don't really have the natural frame and stature of an action hero," the modestly sized 21-year-old said. "So it's kind of a gift for a young actor to be able to do all that stuff. ... Bursting out of the water surrounded by a ring of fire: I will never get to do that again."

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" has its premiere today in London and opens around the world next week.