Harry Potter Director Reveals Robin Williams Was Turned Down for a Major Role in the Series

From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Sean Sposato

The Harry Potter film series is one of the largest and most beloved in all of movie history. Similarly, Robin Williams is arguably one of the most beloved actors in all of movie history and it was recently revealed by one of the franchise’s directors he was turned down for multiple roles in the film series.

In an interview with TotalFilm, director Chris Columbus discussed the fact that Robin Williams was interested in portraying the role of Remus Lupin. Columbus knew Williams from his time of working with the actor on “Mrs. Doubtfire.” However, regardless of this fact, Williams was passed up for the role for a very specific reason.

“That was the goal. No American actors in this film,” Columbus explained, before adding, “I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin. It was very difficult for me to say ‘It’s all British. There’s nothing I can do.’”

The role of the professor of defense against the dark arts ended up going to David Thewlis who amassed quite a bit of fame from the film series.

Reportedly, this isn’t the only role Williams had been said to have been interested in. In an interview in 2017, casting director Janet Hirshenson told the Huffington Post Williams was also interested in playing the role of Hagrid. Although, similar to the issue he had with Lupin, Williams was not British. The part went to Robbie Coltrane, who was said to have been JK Rowling’s first choice for Hagrid.

Williams had spoken out about not being cast in the film series, telling the New York Post in 2001: “There were a couple of parts I would have wanted to play, but there was a ban on [using] American actors.”

Do you wish Robin Williams would have been given the opportunity to portray Remus Lupin or Hagrid in the “Harry Potter” film series? Let us know in the comments! 

Sean Sposato
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