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Harry Potter Countdown – For Mother England?

The 'Harry Potter' films have seemingly hired every well known actor in the UK - or have they?

Every British actor in a "Harry Potter" movie

The final movie adaptation of the Harry Potter epic book series is coming up soon, premiering July 7, 2011 in London. The first Harry Potter movie is now available on DVD and Blu-ray so you had better catch up while you can.

In honor of the end of a wild ride, we’ve prepared a series of articles talking about the “magical” adventure.

Today’s article is about the common complaint that literally every actor in the UK has been in the Harry Potter movies. With dozens of characters to cast, it’s hardly a surprise, although some are more like background color and essentially cameos (the topic for a later article).  Think about the elite actors involved: Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, the late Richard Harris, the list goes on and on …

But what about the UK actors who HAVEN’T been in the Harry Potter films? And why not?

There are a few common tales about those who have passed on roles; the most well known is Tim Roth, who supposedly turned down the role of Severus Snape to be in Tim Burton‘s Planet of the Apes.

Let’s focus just on living UK actors who have won the Academy Awards for now …

  • Colin Firth — a bit too recent a winner, before that more of a chick flick sort of actor. Rejected for Fanciness
  • Kate Winslet — far too busy with prestige films. Rejected for Not Wanting Small Part
  • Daniel Day-Lewis — also far too busy with prestige films. Rejected for Not Wanting Small Part
  • Helen Mirren — busy posing in bikinis and shooting guns, not as much of that in the Harry Potter series. Rejected for Being Busy with Other Films
  • Anthony Hopkins — far too creepy to be anything but a villain — and Voldemort’s already taken. Rejected for Creepiness
  • Jeremy Irons — also too creepy? Rejected for Being Forgotten
  • Richard Attenborough — Too recognizable from Jurassic Park. Rejected for Being Unknown
  • Ben Kingsley -- too famous to accept minor roles, then he just started acting in awful films. Rejected for Bad Recent Acting Choices
  • Julie Andrews -- far too busy being practically perfect in every way. Rejected for Wanting a Singing Part
  • Peter O’Toole — only so many old man parts available. Rejected for Being A Bit Too Old

Of course, then there’s everyone from the other fantasy, sci-fi, and other escapist films:

  • Lord of the Rings: Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, Sean Bean, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, John Rhys-Davies
  • US Superhero FilmsChristian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Ian McKellen (again), Patrick Stewart, Alfred Molina, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming
  • James BondPierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Judi Dench, Diana Rigg
  • Star WarsEwan MacGregor, Liam Neeson (again), Christopher Lee (again)
  • Other Films of this Type: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Rachel Weisz, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Clive Owen

And we can probably toss out all of these comedic actors (one Monty Python cameo is enough to cover this need):

  • Rowan Atkinson, Sasha Baron Cohen, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg

Now if JK Rowling manages to write another book, all bets are off. And obviously, when they inevitably reboot the series in 20 years when they run out of movie ideas they’ll probably use entirely virtual 3-D characters anyway. But I’ll be keeping an eye on the new movie carefully — you never know who might show up in the background.

Photo Credit: Warner Brothers

Categories: General

One Response to “Harry Potter Countdown – For Mother England?”

July 13, 2011 at 11:59 PM

And in turn, it’s crazy how many Harry Potter actors have guest starred or just starred in Doctor Who. :D

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