Seven Actors Who Should Have Been in the 'Harry Potter' Movies

November 21, 2010

Harry Potter

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 HopkinsAnthony 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 IronsJeremy 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 MirrenHelen 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 IzzardEddie 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?

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Reader Feedback - 59 Comments


This title should read "Thank god these 7 actors weren't in the Harry Potter movies". The HP movies are just fine the way they are.

Chris on Nov 21, 2010



Anonymous on Feb 23, 2011


how long after Deathly Hallows Part II, do you think they'll wait untill they remake these movies anyways??? maybe some of these people can be in the remakes?

ross on Nov 21, 2010


How DARE you sully the career of the great Dr. House! Anyone but him. I expect some shit from time to time from Hopkins. But why Hugh Laurie? I agree he's talented but I think Jeremy Clarkson would have been better. I may have seen more than the first one and a half movies.

Big Red Moose on Nov 21, 2010


You forgot Will Smith! Hell, if he could be cast as James West in the Wild, Wild, West why not make him Harry Potter himself?!!! Are you racist?!!!

Jo Mama on Nov 21, 2010


I dont know why but Jason Statham.

Jazz on Nov 21, 2010


Bit of advice to you guys at firstshowing: Be warey of the word British, when describing someone. It WILL offend someone. It doesn't really mean anything either.

DiR3cT on Nov 21, 2010


I agree with #1, #4 and #5 There are plenty of non white( Notice I didn't say Black only) British actors who should have been in the HP movies. Anyway, you mentionned "Cate Blanchett" I don't know if you've done your homework but she is Australian...therefore not British. Should you have had done your homework before posting this article, you would have known that JK Rowling (the writer of the HP books, for those who don't know) put a condition clause that says that: -ALL THE ACTORS BE BRITISH; that means they should only come from England,Ireland,Scotland and Wales. With her vetting them once they are chosen ; that should explain maybe #5 , I'm sorry 🙂 -ALL THE CREW (Designers,clothing...) BE BRITISH -ALL OF THEM BE FILMED IN BRITAIN With that clause, she injected a boom into the economy in Britain; now...that's Philanthropy! She was only lax on release dates and where it was realeased

I am... on Nov 21, 2010


Noel Clarke, the man's top notch.

Rodders on Nov 21, 2010


#6 What the hell are you talking about? The only way calling someone British is offensive is if they are not British and are upset that their nationality has not been correctly identified. Be wary of the word British? British is a nationality! Where are you from? Are you offended by being described as being from there? One of the most ridiculous comments I have ever seen on this or any other website. FYI, it does mean something. It means f**king British.

Mike on Nov 21, 2010


Eddie Izzard would have been amazing in Harry Potter! He rocks! I love Kenneth Branagh but Eddie Izzard just has something, and I love it!

Rachel on Nov 21, 2010


#9, you're not very worldly are you? "Britain" consists of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales... so when the word "British" is used, it is a general term that can mean a person is from any of those countries. The only people that might actually be OK with being called British are people from England but even they tend to want to be characterized by their ACTUAL nationality, which is ENGLISH.

Kevin on Nov 21, 2010


I wanted Bob Hoskins as Slughorn... Jim Broadbent was OK but he and his portrayal of the character are not what I envisioned when I read the book.

Kevin on Nov 21, 2010


you must be high

zero credibility on Nov 21, 2010


God this article stank.

LINKFX on Nov 21, 2010


ok a lot of the comments on this regarding britain are retared.Ireland is not part of Britain, and Irish people wud hate to be described as british. get ur fucking facts right.

geneguru on Nov 21, 2010


There is one non-British actor who has been in the Harry Potter films. Verne Troyer (American) was in the first movie.

the devil on Nov 21, 2010


@1 Aha I see what you did there, so clever. I think any of these would have been great in the HP movies especially Eddie Izzard

Duck on Nov 21, 2010


I swear i thought you were going to say Tilda Swinton should have played Ron Weasley 🙂 LOOOOL@#4 😛

Ricardo on Nov 21, 2010


I really think that those cast in Harry Potter were excellent. I can't imagine anyone else playing the parts. I seriously love and adore Hugh Laurie and I can't imagine anything more amazing than having him in the Harry Potter movies, but I wouldn't replace even one of the actors who were cast. I guess I don't even care for the idea of "re-casting" the parts as has been done here.

Kristin on Nov 21, 2010


I am British and from England. I hate it when people call themselves English. It is way too proud. Speaking of Harry Potter. Godrich's hollow was filmed in a little Wiltshire Village called Lacock. I lived 3 miles away from there and have spent many summers cycling to that place. It is beautiful. If you come to the UK you have to visit it. The Lacock abbey is also home to the dining hall seen in the earlier movies. 😀

Link1983 on Nov 21, 2010


You also have to take into account that the actor might be too big for his role. John Cleese plays Nearly Headless Nick and I find it incredibly distracting. Every time he talks I don't hear Nearly Headless Nick's lines, all I hear is "Hi i'm John Cleese. Did you know i'm John Cleese? Well guess what, I'm John Cleese.".

Steph on Nov 21, 2010


Steph, in that case you really should see a dcotor about your severe case of Cleeseaphobia!

Anne on Nov 21, 2010


No Tom Waits!? Are you kidding me?

Xerxex on Nov 21, 2010


#1 - you sure sound like a HP psycho fan. any of those actors on the list could add something to ANY movie.

beavis on Nov 21, 2010


Erm how can you forget about the legend that is MICHAEL CAINE, he would make a great dumbeldore

Nadir on Nov 21, 2010


Just so everyone knows, I don't mean to imply that these people are preferred over the actors and actresses who ended up being in the franchise. I actually have no complaints whatsoever regarding any of the cast members in the entire series. I merely thought it would be fun to think about what actors could've been in the series, and I wish that there were enough characters to have them all be in the series. I wouldn't dream of replacing any of the cast members who have done such a fine job bringing J.K Rowling characters to life on the big screen. Cheers!

Ethan Anderton on Nov 21, 2010


HP needs an unabridged mini-series. Too much is lost in these Hollywood productions.

Mark on Nov 21, 2010


ARE YOU SERIOUS? all that list is is famous British actors who act in america.

CCavins on Nov 21, 2010


HP doesnt need these 7 it did perfectly fine 😀

A5J4DX on Nov 21, 2010


Alan Rickman IS Snape. No contest.

Ben1275 on Nov 21, 2010


haha chris these movies...like aren't really that great. they're ok. and, yes they would have been better with a few roles recast, but not by much. better script writers would have done that

josh on Nov 21, 2010


@28 So? Does their acting in America make them less British?

Xerxex on Nov 21, 2010


and blanchett, i am sure, is satisfied in being in a far superior fantasy film franchise, as is ian mckellan

josh on Nov 21, 2010


Second! Alan Rickman IS Snape. And Gary Oldman IS Sirius Black! Period!

Chucho on Nov 21, 2010


#33 - yea, i don't think that would be a tough choice...........HP or LotR? - no brainer, i'd take a roll in ANY LotR movie.

beavis on Nov 21, 2010


Julian Sands should have been cast as Draco's dad.

EJP on Nov 21, 2010


Yeah none of these actors should of been in the movies, they just wouldn't of fit!

John on Nov 21, 2010


Hopkins as Moody is brilliant and I also like the idea I heard somewhere of Hugh Grant as Gilderoy Lockhart

silver on Nov 21, 2010


Don Cheadle

Black Dynamite on Nov 21, 2010


@ Xerxex, I'm pretty sure #28 just meant they are famous here, and that there are tons of talented British actors are not well known in the US. I feel that some of actors were too big for their roles, and would've preferred lesser-known actors/actresses. Even the ones that were brilliant. Had serious doubts about Imelda Staunton (Umbridge) and Branaugh, but they were even better than what I imagined with the books. I'm very good at spotting actors I've seen in only a few films, but the entire Weasley cast was unknown to me... and delivered great performances all around, as did all the rest of the cast, regardless of their resume. My ONLY gripe about casting is Bill Nighy as Scrimgouer. His tone and speech patterns made it fell like I was watching Davey Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean again. He was pitch-perfect in Hitchhiker's Guide, so I know he has the range. I imagined Scrimgouer a capable and stoic leader (when I read the books), but with a caring and sympathetic side, especially in the Burrow scene. Now that it's been brought up I'd have love to see Eddie Izzard as Scrimgouer (in a serious role) and Julian Sands would've been a great Lucius Malfoy.

Akirakorn on Nov 21, 2010


of course the so called actors were not European, but as I said in #7 British only with all the 2 other conditions I mentioned there. That would have been too easy. And most of the actors you mentioned are too well known and might have distracted the attention on the 3 main characters, that's maybe why they were not in. Maybe if Pullman had been more in control like Rowling, his dark materials would have been successful too on screen! Tilda Swinton is associated with the Narnia...hence a no no Emma Thompson character in the HP movies is pretty close to Nanny Mc phee, so it was OK But having said that, I would have loved Ewan Mcgregor in it : his turn in the Star wars movies is one of the finest of his career especially his emotional fight scene with Darth Vador was really emotional.so cool that scene. I would have loved Neeson in it, I would have loved Chiwetel Ejiofor in it , thanks #8 Noel Clark is another fine one too and he directs too so he would have brought a unik perspective as well. I would have loved Daniel Day Lewis and so on... But as I said, the focus has always been on the 3 main,so... Anyway in an age where multiculturalism is promoted early @ school, why they didn't switch things up to include non-white @ key roles? there are many asian/Indian British actors too that should have been fine...but eh! The closest to non-white key roles is Helena Bonham-Carter; but even her is mixed and has white in her blood, so... Mind you these are just questions and I am not against any race @ all what am I wondering as well is why is there no openly gay actors in HP movies...hmmm, nobody asked that? Is that because there are many boys in it? loll Sir Ian McKellen would have made a fine Dumbledore. Stephen fry would have been so perfect in many roles in them...Ruppert Everett too! once again, There has been a veto somewhere loll! shhh, don't ask, don't tell loll! But eh? Who would have heard of David yates as a director so soon worldwide? I am not saying that he couldn't have blowned up on another project , but his work on the HP movies, definitely put him on the map I am really glad no big name director, like Spielberg, was attached to any of them. Who would have heard of Michael Gambon, so soon worldwide? a lot of people got worldwide fame all of a sudden because of the movies and it created careers...so maybe that's a good thing after all!

I am... on Nov 22, 2010


I have to admit that after reading book 7 I had a casting fantasy of Judy Dench and Derek Jacobi playing Harry and Hermione visiting the cemetery in Godrick's Hallow. Ah well, no polyjuice was used in the movie...

val on Nov 22, 2010


No thank you. ...Anthony Hopkins as Mad Eye Moody? Eugh. You lost me with your first suggestion.

Shannon on Nov 22, 2010


Tilda Swinton would have made an excellent Ronald Weasley

Colin Terry on Nov 22, 2010


#40 Akirakorn, I agree, especially on two points. 1. Most of those actors in the article, with the exception of Eddie Izzard have way too much noteriety. The bulk of the Harry Potter cast is made up of people who may be well known actors, but aren't huge stars because they haven't generally appeared in roles based on famous characters or real life people. 2. I was surprised and disappointed to see how they had cast Scrimgeour. I do think that Bill Nighy has range and talent, and this is in no way a slight on him, I just thought he was inappropriate for the role. In fact, Mr. Anderton's suggestion for Anthony Hopkins as Rufus Scrimgeour was the only one I agreed with. There isn't really any point in thinking about who else might have played these parts under different circumstances, because they already have the perfect Snape, the perfect Bellatrix Lestrange, and the perfect Sirius Black. However, as I read Deathly Hallows, I had a different image in mind for Scrimgeour, and Anthony Hopkins fills it better than Nighy. But I have a suggestion of my own. Consider a long-haired, bearded and grey Hugo Weaving, picture his disguise as 'William Rookwood' in V for Vendetta when he goes to meet the inspector, and tell me if that image works for you.

JL on Nov 22, 2010


Almost EVERY British, Irish, Scottish actor has been in the HP series so far. I honestly don't think they would have been able to fit anymore in there. They've had all of these (and I probably skipped some): Alan Rickman Gary Oldman Jason Isaccs David Thewlis Imelda Staunton Maggie Smith Helena Bohnam Carter Emma Thompson Timonthy Spall Bill Nighy Kenneth Branagh Jim Broadbent Michael Gambon Helen McCrory Peter Mullan Robert Hardy Ralph Fiennes Fiona Shaw Richard Griffiths Mark Williams Julie Walters Rhys Ifans Julie Christie John Cleese Robbie Coltrane Warwick Davis Richard Harris Brendan Gleeson John Hurt Miranda Richardson Ciaran Hinds Dawn French Shirley Henderson David Tennant Nick Moran David O'Hara Guy Henry Frances de la Tour Toby Jones (voice of Dobby)

Celia on Nov 22, 2010


I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Tim Roth was offered the role of Severus Snape in the beginning, but he declined and did Planet of the Apes instead, which ended up being terrible as we all well know. Oh well, he was still good being a really evil and pissed of primate. The Planet of the Apes failure aside, I would've hated seeing him in the HP franchise. Mr. Orange doesn't wave around wands! *snorts*

SuicidalOptimist on Nov 23, 2010


Alan Rickman is perfect as Snape, but I can see Irons as an awesome Snape as well

L on Nov 23, 2010


I also think that Alan Rickman is the perfect snape even though he is a bit old to be playing a man in his thirtiesm I think that if J.K Rowling had let american actors in roles I think Adrien Brody (the pianist, the village) would have been a good snape. I think colin firth would have been a good lupin. As for the non-white actors in harry potter there has been some kingley shakebolt, the two girls harry and ron went to the ball with, dean thomas, the boy who mentioned the grim in the third movie and the girl who plays tonks is spannishm I also think that hugh grant would have been a great lockheart imagine him in the wand duel aginst snape in the second movie !!

shannon davis on Nov 24, 2010


Who's the alien in the middle of the top picture? I didn't think they allowed extraterrestrials to star in Earth-made motion pictures.

RC on Nov 24, 2010


Emily Blunt and Ewan Mcgregor!

paulina on Nov 26, 2010


I don't agree with any of these except the last. Eddie Izzard would have made a WONDERFUL Xenophilius Lovegood. That would have been brilliant.

Stef on Nov 28, 2010


Holy crap, I'm glad you didn't get to choose the cast! Those are horrible choices! Sorry! The only one that MIGHT have stood a chance in Harry Potter would be Anthony Hopkins. The rest just do NOT fit the roles of any of the characters you mentioned they should have been in.

Diana on Dec 14, 2010


What a terrible article. NONE of these actors would belong in the HP movies. The casting was just fine. Thank GOD the casting was not up to idiots like you. Big names don't automatically mean they belong in every fucking movie.

Isiss319 on Feb 19, 2011


Geoffrey Rush

Jollypolly on Dec 9, 2011


I think Hugh Grant would have been a better Gilderoy Lockhart. Too bad he couldn't accept the part when it was offered to him. Otherwise the cast was perfect. Never ever replace Alan Rickman or Gary Oldman!

Uly_5 on Dec 14, 2011


Bruce Martyn Payne would have been outstanding as Voldemort.

Uncleclay0415 on Mar 21, 2012


Whoa! Nobody could ever be a better Snape than Alan Rickman! After all JK Rowling hand picked him fir the part. And as far as I'm concerned, Maggie Smith is Professor McGonagall. Helen Mirren is good but she could never play a better McGonagall than Ms. Smith!

Cpinto0829 on May 25, 2012

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