Related Videos

Top 10 Actors Who Turned Down Harry Potter

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by Marc Turner The Wizarding World just wasn’t for them. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 actors who turned down Harry Potter. For this list we’re looking at leading actors who declined a role in the hugely successful “Harry Potter” film franchise. All of today’s entries concern performers who walked away from a part that was offered to them, or whose agents declined a part on their behalf. So we’re not counting actors who auditioned but were rejected, or anyone who ruled themselves out without being offered a role in the first place. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript

Top 10 Actors Who Turned Down Harry Potter


The Wizarding World just wasn’t for them. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 actors who turned down Harry Potter.

For this list we’re looking at leading actors who declined a role in the hugely successful “Harry Potter” film franchise. All of today’s entries concern performers who walked away from a part that was offered to them, or whose agents declined a part on their behalf. So we’re not counting actors who auditioned but were rejected, or anyone who ruled themselves out without being offered a role in the first place.

#10: Kate Duchêne

Running from 1998 to 2001, the kids’ TV series “The Worst Witch” put a magical school on the map before Hogwarts had scored the big screen treatment. In the show, Kate Duchêne plays Miss Hardbroom, the deputy head and potions teacher at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. And, she clearly did a good job, because she was offered a part at Rowling’s Hogwarts, for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. But, she turned it down, feeling it was too similar to her existing “Worst Witch” role.

#9: Ian McKellen

Following the death of Richard Harris after filming “The Chamber of Secrets”, the role of Dumbledore needed to be filled once again. And, since Ian McKellen had played the long-bearded, wise wizard Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings”, he seemed an obvious fit. But McKellen quickly declined the offer, citing one reason in particular. Richard Harris had once reportedly described McKellen’s acting as “technically brilliant, but passionless”... So, Sir Ian said he could never take over from an actor who he knew didn’t rate him.

#8: Kate Winslet

Winslet was reportedly first choice to play Helena Ravenclaw, but her agent supposedly rejected the part before she was even made aware of it. The Grey Lady Helena Ravenclaw has only a couple of scenes in “Deathly Hallows - Part 2”, but she proves instrumental in the Battle of Hogwarts, by helping Harry find one of the Horcruxes he needs. Of course, Kelly Macdonald more than makes the role her own, tapping into the character’s nervy dilema to deliver one of the final film’s eeriest moments.

#7: Naomi Watts

Back in 2007, it was widely reported that Naomi Watts was bound for the Wizarding World, having signed up to play Narcissa Malfoy in “The Half-Blood Prince”. However, negotiations never got that far, because Watts is another who never actually knew about the part she was offered. Like Kate Winslet, it’s rumoured that Watts has her agent to thank for rejecting the role on her behalf. And, seeing as the actress later admitted to wanting a role in the final Potter films, and because she never actually got one, we can only imagine how annoyed she was.

#6: David Walliams

This comedian was left kicking himself, after he said no to the prospect of playing Barty Crouch Jr. in “The Goblet of Fire”. The devoted Death Eater was ultimately played by David Tennant, but Walliams rejected the opportunity because a) the schedule clashed with filming for “Little Britain”, and b) he didn’t think the part was significant enough. With more Potter films to come, Walliams wanted a more prominent role as a Hogwarts professor. Clearly that call never came.

#5: Tilda Swinton

Having played the White Witch in “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Tilda Swinton’s a dab hand at this magic malarky...And she was initially offered a “Harry Potter” part, to play Professor Trelawney, but she declined due to a scheduling conflict. But there may have been more behind her decision than she originally claimed… Because in a 2016 interview with The Scots Magazine, Swinton criticised the Potter series for romanticising boarding schools, which she described as a “very cruel” place to grow up.

#4: Rosamund Pike

Having had her big break in “James Bond” in 2002, Pike is probably best known for her role in the 2014 thriller “Gone Girl”. But her career might’ve panned out differently, had she agreed to play the Daily Prophet’s Rita Skeeter in “The Goblet of Fire”. Pike has since said that she was originally put off by Skeeter’s limited screen time, and the prospect of having to commit to future Potter films. But she’s also admitted to regretting her decision because it meant she missed out on the chance to work with director Mike Newell.

#3: Hugh Grant

It is difficult to imagine anyone other than Kenneth Branagh as the overbearing Professor Lockhart, Harry’s second Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. But Hugh Grant actively sought out the part, and initially accepted it before withdrawing to star alongside Sandra Bullock in the romcom “Two Weeks’ Notice”. No, we don’t understand that decision either. “Chamber of Secrets” director Christopher Columbus later denied that Grant had been considered, though Hugh had supposedly already started preparing for the role, by dyeing his hair blonde.

#2: Sean Connery

How very different these films could’ve been. Way back when Chris Columbus was casting for “The Philosopher’s Stone”, he originally offered the role of Albus Dumbledore to the former Bond, Sean Connery. But, Connery didn’t understand the hype surrounding Harry, and had no interest in signing up for what he considered a children’s movie. The part eventually went to Richard Harris, of course – though even he rejected it at first. Supposedly it was Harris’s granddaughter who convinced him to change his mind, threatening never to speak to him again if he didn’t.

#1: Tim Roth

There are few more crucial characters than Severus Snape, but Alan Rickman wasn’t first choice to play him. Tim Roth was. But he opted to focus on Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes”, instead. And if you’re struggling to see Roth in the role then don’t worry; the actor has said that he would have played the character very differently to the one we know. And while Roth reckons he would have welcomed the security of a 7-year job in hindsight, he has graciously suggested that Rickman was the better man for the job.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs