And he wasn't the only one.
Last year we were shocked to learn that Eddie Redmayne had previously auditioned to portray Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets but was rejected for the role. Not that it matters too much as the Oscar winning actor has now ventured into the wizarding world as magizoologist Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
Well, Eddie isn’t the only A-list actor to have been rejected for a role in everyone’s favourite magical movie.
It turns out that the late Robin Williams had hoped to play the role of gamekeeper Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, but was rejected by producers because of his American nationality.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, casting director Janet Hirshenson revealed: ‘Robin had called because he really wanted to be in the movie, but it was a British-only edict.’
The Brits-only rule was reportedly imposed by one of the film’s producers, ‘and once he said no to Robin, he wasn’t going to say yes to anybody else,’ said Hirshenson.
As fans of the popular film franchise will already know, the role of half-giant, Hagrid instead went to Robbie Coltrane, who was rumoured to have been JK Rowling’s first choice for the role all along.
Robin Williams wasn’t the only actor rejected for a role in the Harry Potter movies due to his non-English nationality, either.
Before Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone began production in the year 2000, it was reported that American actor Liam Aiken was originally cast for the leading role of the boy who lived.
Aiken had previously worked with the film’s director Christopher Columbus on the 1998 movie Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, and the director was keen to work with the young actor again. Unfortunately Aiken later lost the role to Daniel Radcliffe, after producers imposed the Brit-only rule.
Can you imagine Robin as Hagrid? Or Liam as Harry?