When it comes to Harry Potter, a slew of iconic actors have donned wizarding robes for the film franchise. Actors like Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, and even Maggie Smith have all starred in the critically acclaimed series. However, you may have noticed something about the films’ cast; All of the talent is British. Author JK Rowling and the team behind Harry Potter at Warner Bros. were insistent that all talent in the films were British. Of course, most fans were and still are pleased with that decision, but there are a few who likely resented the decision.
Apparently, one beloved actor had hoped to be part of the franchise but was turned away because of they were American. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, casting director Janet Hirshenson recalled that Robin Williams was turned down from playing Rubeus Hagrid.
“Robin [Williams] had called [director Chris Columbus] because he really wanted to be in the movie, but it was a British-only edict, and once he said no to Robin, he wasn’t going to say yes to anybody else, that’s for sure,” she revealed. “It couldn’t be.”
Of course, Robin didn’t stand much of a chance when it came to being cast as Hagrid. Rowling has famously said she wanted Robbie Coltrane to play the character from the start, and the British actor was all too happy to oblige.
The casting director also revealed that one American was tested for the Harry Potter films, and it was for the lead role. Liam Alken was approached about playing Harry Potter after he worked with director Chris Colombus on the project Stepmom. However, as fans know, the part ultimately went to Daniel Radcliffe who embodies the boy wizard for millions of fans worldwide.
Of course, American actors have since joined the Harry Potter universe. Earlier this year, the world expanded thanks to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The spin-off series set its first installment in America, and a slew of Western witches and wizards were put on display for fans to fawn over.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an all-new adventure returning us to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling. Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) stars in the central role of wizarding world magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter blockbusters. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
LINKS: Fantastic Beasts Official Review / Fantasic Beats' Harry Potter Connections / Where the Franchise Goes Next / Fantastic Beasts Timeline / Johnny Depp Rumored to Cameo / There Will be 5 Fantastic Beasts Films / Will we see the Dumbledore/Grindelwald Love Affair? / Who is Newt Scamander? / Fantastic Beasts Ending Explained
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out today!