06/01/2004 at 09:00 AM EDT
The local boy made good again, with Harry Potter's European premiere in London Sunday night drawing thousands of screaming fans, PEOPLE reports.
The police count put the London crowd at 5,000 people. And besides coming to catch a glimpse of the cast of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the fans screamed very loudly for Harry author J.K. Rowling, who skipped the New York bow but looked very glam for the British event.
As for not making it to the American premiere, Rowling, 38, explained to PEOPLE: "I have a young son," meaning baby David, born in March 2003. But she sparkled on the red carpet with an emerald green dress and her smiling, bespectacled husband, Dr. Neil Murray, by her side. (Rowling also has a 9-year-old daughter, Jessica, from a previous marriage.)
"I love it, it's just such fun," Rowling said of the premiere festivities.
The movie's Harry, 14-year-old Daniel Radcliffe told PEOPLE it's tough to get used to the crowds at the Harry Potter premieres. "You can't get used to it. It's impossible. If you do, stop acting. It's surreal and brilliant."
All three of the movie's young stars seemed overwhelmed by the turnout, with Rupert Grint (who plays Potter buddy Ron Weasley) drinking it all in as he said: "It's a bit scary, a bit weird."
When asked if he thought Ron would have a future romance with Emma Watson's character, Hermione, he said: "I don't know, they have had some awkward moments."