The unusual casting requirement for Harry Potter actors


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With the release of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’, another project expanding the wizarding world has now been added to a list that began over 20 years ago with ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ in 2001. To honor that legacy, Potterheads received a reunion special, “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: ​​Return to Hogwarts,” on HBO Max. The Wizarding World is still going strong, though it’s unclear if Warner Bros. will continue the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise after this third installment, according to a report by Variety.

Either way, with all eight “Harry Potter” movies and the first two “Fantastic Beasts” movies streaming on HBO Max, it’s easy for fans to keep rewatching the series they love and the characters who are become household names around the world. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, Bonnie Wright, Matthew Lewis, and a number of other actors who played young witches and wizards at Hogwarts basically grew up on set. Needless to say, the roles they got at such a young age surely shaped the course of their lives, as many of them discussed during the ‘Back to Hogwarts’ special.

Although actors like Watson have noted how competitive it was to land their respective roles (via magazine interview), the odds were greatly improved due to a casting requirement set by JK Rowling, director Chris Columbus and casting director Janet Hirshenson. Here’s what we know.

There Was A UK Casting Rule For The Harry Potter Movies

‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ casting director Janet Hirshenson first hinted at the film series’ well-known British casting rule in a 2016 interview with HuffPost. In a 2021 interview with Total movieChris Columbus noted that they even had to turn down amazing actors like the late Robin Williams, who desperately wanted to play Remus Lupin.

The director then explained to Initiated that same year he and JK Rowling agreed right away that they wanted the cast to be “100% British”, and apart from a few non-speaking roles given to Verne Troyer, who stood in for the goblin Griphook, and Columbus’ daughter , Eleanor, who played Susan Bones, they stuck to that deal. While it might have been interesting to see an American actor put an accent for a particular character on the show, most “Harry Potter” fans would probably say they wouldn’t change much about the cast that provided them with adaptations of the iconic book series.

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