Robin Williams

The ‘Brits Only’ Rule Caused Robin Williams To Get Rejected By Harry Potter, Despite His Desire To Appear In The Film

Robin Williams got turned down for multiple roles in Harry Potter because of a certain rule.

Appearing in Harry Potter was a career-altering move for lots of the cast. In fact, a major reason for Daniel Radcliffe getting cast had to do with Maggie Smith, who recommended the actor to those behind the scenes on Harry Potter.

Despite the film’s obvious success as a monster franchise, the workload for the film wasn’t always easy. Stars such as Emma Watson even considered dropping out and would almost opt into quitting.

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It all worked out for main cast, however, the film almost looked very different. As we’ll reveal in the following, Robin Williams was once considered for multiple roles in the film. In fact, it was the late actor himself who reached out, expressing interest in appearing in the film. We’ll take a look at how those negotiations went, and why Williams didn’t make it into the film.

In addition, we’re going to take a look at which other actors were considered for the film, and why they were ultimately turned down, or rejected the offer.

Robin Williams Himself Reached Out In An Attempt To Appear In Harry Potter

Robin Williams

From the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, it was obvious the franchise was going to be very successful. The first film alone generated close to $1 billion, $978 million to be exact.

Getting to star in the film wasn’t an easy process either. Emma Watson recalls polishing her audition tape, so much so, that she ended up going through 27 takes.

“I don’t feel comfortable unless I have worked really hard. I worked hard to get Hermione, and my mum has a video I did for the first audition and she has me doing the same take over and over, like 27 times, from nine in the morning until five in the afternoon and I was just relentless,” she recalled with GQ UK.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to act, but I was sure I wanted this part.”

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Another key component to the film could’ve been Robin Williams. The actor himself reached out and according to director Chris Columbus, the late star could’ve fit in.

“Robin would have been brilliant,” Columbus said. “It would have been a different interpretation — I thought David Thewlis was great — but Robin would have been brilliant. Jo Rowling and myself said to each other when we first met, ‘Look, we want this cast to be 100 percent British.’ And by the way, I stuck to that.”

Ultimately, Williams lost out on not one, but two roles in the film.

Robin Williams Got Turned Down For Two Roles In The Film

Robin Williams wanted to appear in the films, and there were two roles he identified with in separate films. Ultimately, Robin lost out on Hagrid in Sorcerer’s Stone, along with Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Columbus agreed that Williams would’ve thrived in either of the roles. However, the ‘Brit only’ rule caused the film to pass on the actor.

“The ‘only British’ rule was so important that Robin Williams was even turned down to play Hagrid…Robin had called [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. It couldn’t be,” casting director Janet Hirshenson revealed.

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It wasn’t meant to be for Williams but in truth, he was far from the only actor who missed out on a role in the film.

Robin Williams Was Far From The Only Actor To Miss Out On Harry Potter

Hugh Grant

Several big name actors ended up turning down Harry Potter, or got rejected by the franchise. Among the bigger names, includes Hugh Grant who was considered for the role of wizard Gilderoy Lockhart. It is said that Grant backed out of the role due to his prior commitment, starring alongside Sandra Bullock in Two Weeks Notice.

Now those from the Harry Potter camp wouldn’t confirm the story, but Grant’s team did.

“Sadly Hugh had to turn down the part because he’s committed to doing a movie with Sandra Bullock next February,” Grant’s team said at the time.

Other key names to lose out on a potential role in the franchise includes Eddie Redmayne, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts and Saoirse Ronan.

Rowan Atkinson was another popular name attached to the role of Voldemort. However, it seems like the film opted otherwise, given his comedic background.

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