Robin Williams rejected for Harry Potter role

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer

Robin Williams really wanted to join ‘Harry Potter’.

But thanks to a ‘Brits Only’ rule, the iconic American comedian was turned down.

Robin WIlliams in Good WIll Hunting – Credit: Miramax Films

During an interview with The Huffington Post, ‘Harry Potter’ casting director Janet Hirshenson revealed that the legendary actor and comedian was refused a role due to his nationality.

“Robin had called because he really wanted to be in the movie,” she revealed. “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.”

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According to Hirshenson, the film’s producers had decided upon a ‘Brits Only’ rule when it came to casting ‘Harry Potter’. And it seems they wouldn’t even break that self-imposed rule for one of acting’s most respected talents.

But which role did he want?

It turns out that Robin Williams was extremely keen on playing none other than everyone’s favourite giant, Hagrid.

Of course, the role eventually went to Robbie Coltrane (who was apparently always J.K. Rowling’s first choice) and the rest is history. And if you ask me, they couldn’t have cast the role any better… even if the legendary Robin Williams wanted in.

Robbie Coltrane’s Hagrid was just perfect – Credit: Warner Bros.

And this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Williams’ ‘Harry Potter’ ambitions.

Back in 2001, Williams told The New York Post: “There were a couple of parts I would have wanted to play, but there was a ban on [using] American actors.” Quite which other roles he was interested in remains to be seen. But while Hagrid’s casting may have been spot on, I’m sure there are plenty of other roles in the wizarding world which could have put the legendary Robin Williams to good use.

Sadly, it seems it was never meant to be… and Robin Williams died 11 August 2014 without ever having landed a role in the ‘Harry Potter’ series.

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