Seven Actors Who Should Have Been in the 'Harry Potter' Movies
by Ethan Anderton
November 21, 2010
Throughout the Harry Potter franchise there have been plenty of A-list actors from across the seas who have taken part in the epic story. Since author J.K. Rowling and the producers wanted to stay as true to the books as possible, only European actors were considered for roles. Though names like Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes are riddled throughout the wizarding series, there are plenty of stellar actors who have been left out. As the series ends, I've decided to list my seven choices of international talent who should have been cast in some roles in the epic series.
It's hard to recast any of the key roles played by the younger actors like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, so all of my choices for actors who should've appeared in the Harry Potter franchise correlate to the many supporting roles for adults. Why seven choices, you ask? Well, I figured I'd pick as many actors as there are Harry Potter books (but not necessarily movies), just for shits and giggles. So let's get started!
Anthony Hopkins: Since he's portrayed one of the most vicious villains of all-time with Hannibal Lecter, you'd think he could wreak some havoc for Harry Potter, but I would actually choose to set Hopkins at the Ministry of Magic. Seeing Hopkins as a diplomatically crippled politician like Cornelius Fudge or even the newest Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour from Deathly Hallows. Hopkins would certainly have given a Shakespearean/Julius Caesar kind of feel to the government in the wizarding world. At the same time, it would've been quite great to see Hopkins cut loose as Mad-Eye Moody, right?
Cate Blanchett: Her wild, and terrifying lust for the Ring of Power in The Fellowship of the Ring has inspired my desire to see Blanchett take on the role of Bellatrix Lestrange. But those same wild eyes and intimidating demeanor would've come through as Professor Trelawney in Prisoner of Azkaban, especially for the prophecy that becomes rather important in Order of the Phoenix. No doubt Blanchett has the talent to be a little over-the-top in either role which is exactly what Helena Bonham Carter does with Bellatrix and what Emma Thompson did with Trelawney.
Jeremy Irons: He played quite a vicious uncle in The Lion King as the devious Scar, but maybe he could've been the warm, consoling godfather to Harry Potter as Sirius Black. Then again, his previous villainous turns (Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Time Machine) prove that he would be quite a good Severus Snape or maybe even Lord Voldemort. Irons has a wickedly, intimidating voice and looks that could kill, but unfortunately he got stuck with crappy fantasy movies like Eragon and Dungeons and Dragons.
Tilda Swinton: As her villainous turn in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have illustrated, Ms. Swinton can be quite and evil, magical bitch and would definitely make waves as Bellatrix Lestrange. However, I'd be more inclined to give the red-haired actress the role of Lily Potter, our famed hero's mother. The role is small, but she could really bring some gravitas to the part. Of course, she could just as easily play the bitter, stuck-up Aunt Petunia and she would be just as effective.
Helen Mirren: If there was anybody who could be as sweet yet strong as Maggie Smith, it would be Helen Mirren. That's why I think she would be perfect to step into the shoes of Professor McGonagall. She's kind, but isn't afraid of getting down to business almost like a fifth grade elementary school teacher. There aren't too many roles for a woman of Mirren's age in the Harry Potter universe, but she would only need one to make a splash.
Hugh Laurie: Nowadays it's hard to picture this fine actor of both comedy and drama doing anything without limping and having an American accent, but "House M.D." shouldn't stop us from taking advantage of Mr. Laurie's talents. I find myself picturing him in plenty of roles from the patriarch Arthur Weasley to Harry Potter's mentor and teacher Remus Lupin. Even a turn as Sirius Black or James Potter wouldn't be out of the question. Finally, could you imagine a British version of Dr. Gregory House heckling Harry and Ron as Professor Snape. The possibilities are endless!
Eddie Izzard: He's only had small opportunities in films like Valkyrie and Ocean's Twelve & Thirteen to showcase his surprisingly impressive acting talents, but this British comedian is top notch. I've always thought Izzard would make the perfect Arthur Weasley or even the new character Xenophilius Lovegood in Deathly Hallows: Part I, but for my money, the best use of his talents would be as blow-hard writer/professor Gilderoy Lockhart. Sure Kenneth Branagh knocked it out of the park, and Hugh Grant might have a more charming appeal, but Izzard has the comedic chops to really nail the character.
So those are my top seven choices of international actors who should've been involved with the Harry Potter franchise in some capacity, at some point. Sadly, they won't have a chance to partake in the epic series as the finale begins this weekend (tell us your thoughts here!), and production is already finished on both Parts 1 and 2. Maybe some of these actors will get a chance in 10 or 20 years when the series will likely be remade all over again, but by then some of these folks will be out of a fitting age range and even more actors and actresses will have to rise to the challenge. So who else do you wish would have been in the Harry Potter franchise?