Looking at the Harry Potter film franchise, it’s crazy to think that we could have seen different actors portraying the iconic collection of characters. From Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape to Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry and beyond, the Harry Potter franchsie has one of the most impressive casts ever assembled – so it would be just weird to see other actors in those roles.
As crazy as it might seem, however, there are a number of actors that were nearly cast in the Harry Potter franchise. only for them to lose the role to someone else. For our latest post on The Blog That Must Not Be Named, were looking at 10 famous actors that were almost cast in the Harry Potter movies.
10. Eddie Redmayne as Tom Riddle
While Eddie Redmayne eventually landed a role in the Wizarding World franchise, playing the heroic Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts prequels, the actor revealed that he originally auditioned to play Tom Riddle in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets.
Is it rude to say that we’re glade Eddie Redmayne tanked his audition? We couldn’t imagine a better Newt Scamander.
9. Hugh Grant as Gilderoy Lockhart
Looking at some of his past roles, it’s easy to see why Hugh Grant was the first choice for Gilderoy Lockhart. The role eventually went to Sir Kenneth Branagh when Grant dropped out due to a scheduling conflict. While Sir Kenneth Branagh did an outrageously good job as Lockhart, we’ve got to admit that we would love to see Hugh Grant’s version of the character.
8. Tilda Swinton as Professor Trelawney
Tilda Swinton was originally offered the role of Professor Trelawney, but reportedly turned it down because of her dislike of boarding schools. The role was eventually offered to Emma Thompson, who did a wonderful job as the Divination professor.
7. Kate Winslet as Helena Ravenclaw
Kate Winslet was reportedly offered a role in the Harry Potter movies as Helena Ravenclaw, the ghost known as the Grey Lady, but her agent apparently turned it down on her behalf. It’s not clear if Winslet would have accepted the role if given the choice – but Kelly Macdonald did a great job portraying the character.
6. Tim Roth as Severus Snape
Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction actor Tim Roth was reportedly offered the role of Severus Snape before Alan Rickman. The actor decided to turn fown the role and instead decided to join Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes remake. Tim Roth is an undeniably great actor, but it’s fair to say that Alan Rickman was the perfect choice for Severus Snape.
When asked about his decision to turn down the role during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, Roth said: “Do I regret it? I don’t know if I ever think about things that way. If I had done it, everything would have changed. That’s the nature of the randomness of life. It would have been nice to have a 7-year gig, that’s a nice and comforting space to be in. But no, I think the better man for the job did the job.”
5. J.K. Rowling as Lilly Potter
J.K. Rowling revealed that she was asked to play Lilly Potter in the Mirror of Erised scenes in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, but she decided to turn down the offer.
The Harry Potter author explained on her official site why she turned the role down: “The filmmakers did ask me to play Lily Potter in the Mirror of Erised scene in the first film, but I really am not cut out to be an actress, even one who just has to stand there and wave. I would have messed it up somehow.”
Geraldine Somerville ended up playing Harry’s mum in the Harry Potter franchise.
4. Sir Ian McKellen as Albus Dumbledore
Sir Ian McKellen, known best for his portrayal of Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit movies, was asked to play Albus Dumbledore following the tragic death of Richard Harris.
In an interview with with BBC HARDTalk in 2017, McKellen revealed that he turned down the role because Richard Harris didn’t approve of his as an actor. McKellen said: “When they called me up and said, ‘Would I be interested in being in the Harry Potter films?’ They didn’t say what part. I worked out what they were thinking and I couldn’t. I couldn’t take over the part from an actor who I’d known didn’t approve of me.”
5. David Thewlis as Professor Quirrell
David Thewlis may have eventually landed a role in the Harry Potter franchise as Remus Lupin, but the actor originally auditioned for a role in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone. In an interview with MovieHole, Thewlis revealed that he originally auditioned for the role Professor Quirrell.
The actor said: “I was up for the role of Quirrell in the first film, but Ian Hart got it. “I was directing my own movie when this offer came through, and I’d actually cast Ian Hart in my movie so obviously I wasn’t bitter. He said ‘Who’re you playing’? And I said ‘Lupin’ and he said, ‘Well you gotta do it, that’s the best part in the book.'”
4. Henry Cavill as Cedric Diggory
Before he became Superman and Geralt of Rivia, Henry Cavill auditioned for the role of Cedric Diggory in the fourth Harry Potter film adaptation, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. Things didn’t work out for Cavill, however, and the role eventually went to Robert Pattinson.
Robert Pattinson was a great choice for Cedric Diggory but let’s be honest, Henry Cavill would have done a good job too.
3. Jude Law as Gilderoy Lockhart
Before Jude Law was ever considered for the role of young Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts prequel franchise, he got pretty close to being cast as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. Jude Law was eventually deemed “too young” for the role of Lockhart, and filmmakers decided to go with Sir Kenneth Branagh.
Just like Eddie Redmayne with Tom Ridddle, we couldn’t be happier that Jude Law wasn’t cast as Lockhart in The Chamber Of Secrets. He was the perfect choice for a young Albus Dumbledore!
2. Saoirse Ronan as Luna Lovegood
Evanna Lynch delivered a fan-favourite performance as Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, but it turns out a massive star could have landed the role. Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan (Little Women, Lady Bird) revealed that she auditioned for the role of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies, but filmmakers went with Evanna Lynch instead.
1. Liam Aiken as Harry Potter
It’s impossible to imagine anyone other than Daniel Radcliffe playing Harry Potter, but the young actor wasn’t the first to be considered for the titular role. According to casting director Janet Hirshenson, Liam Aiken (Stepmom) was strongly considered for the role, but things didn’t work out because he wasn’t British.
While we’re sure Aiken would have done a great job as The Boy Who Lived, Daniel Radcliffe offered a brilliant portrayal of Harry Potter in the eight Harry Potter films.
Would you have liked to have seen any of these actors in the Harry Potter movies? Do you think filmmakers made the right choices? Let us know in the comments section below!
The Blog That Must Not Be Named is a Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fan blog, covering all corners of the Wizarding World.