10 Movie Stars You Wont Believe Were Almost ‘Harry Potter’ Icons!

At this point, 14 years after Harry Potter first hit the big screen, its hard to imagine anyone else donning the robes. Most of the cast seem to be born for their roles, but for many, they weren’t even the first choice. Here are the stars we almost saw in the Harry Potter universe, and a couple who still found a way in.

1. Liam Aiken – Harry Potter

Liam Aiken, from Stepmom fame, was initially the top contender to take to role of the Boy Who Lived. He had everything he needed for the part except for one crucial flaw – he wasn’t British – and so he lost the part of course to Daniel Radcliffe. Aiken would later star in another adaptation of a beloved book, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).


2. Sir Ian McKellan – Albus Dumbledore

Gandalf the Grey was almost not the only grey, bearded wizard portrayed by Sir Ian McKellan. He was slated to take the role of Dumbledore, in a move that seemed to make a lot of sense to many fans – perhaps because of his part in the Lord of the Rings. Philosopher’s Stone and The Fellowship of the Ring were released just one month apart, so it would have been very interesting to see how things would have played out had Sir Ian starred in both. In the end, it was most likely his commitment to LOTR that barred him from appearing in Potter, and the role ended up with the late Richard Harris, and later Michael Gambon.


3. Tim Roth – Severus Snape

Alan Rickman is Professor Snape. It’s so hard to imagine things any other way. In fact, it has always been rumored that Rickman was hand picked by J.K. Rowling. However, Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), was also in heavy talks to take the role, but instead chose to take on General Thade in Planet of the Apes (2001).

4. Tilda Swinton – Sybill Trelawney

This would have been quite an incredible sight. Tilda Swinton was offered the role of the quirky Professor Trelawney before it was given to Emma Thompson. Retrospectively, Tilda would have made so much sense – but we’re more than happy with Thompson in the role.


5. Naomi Watts – Narcissa Malfoy

The role of Narcissa, wife of Lucius Malfoy, was offered to Naomi Watts. However, the top choice’s agency ended up rejecting the movie on her behalf. We’re not sure how much influence Watts had on this decision, if any at all, because we don’t know why anyone would want to turn down this role. Narcissa was played by Helen McRory (Skyfall) instead.


6. Hugh Grant – Gilderoy Lockhart

Hugh Grant had actually been officially cast to play the jovially vein Gilderoy Lockhard in The Chamber of Secrets, however scheduling conflicts prevented him from committing to the role. Instead, the new Defence of the Dark Arts professor was played by Kenneth Branagh. Branagh was extremely memorable in this role, and did a superb job – but we wish we could’ve gotten a glimpse of the Four Weddings and a Funeral star in Hogwarts.

7. Rosamund Pike – Rita Skeeter

The role of nosey journalist Rita Skeeter almost went to Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike, who was the first choice. The role eventually found its way to Miranda Richardson, who completely owned the role.


8. David Thewlis – Quirinus Quirrell

Whoever got cast as Professor Quirrell had a lot of weight on their shoulders. They were to be, technically speaking, the first big adversary we see Harry Potter contend with. The role went to Ian Hart, who played it with chilling perfecting, but another actor in the running was none other than David Thewlis. Of course, even though he didn’t get the role he initially auditioned for, there certainly was a place in the Potter universe for Thewlis, who stunned audiences as the werewolf Defence Against the Dark Arts professor Remus Lupin later in the series. Thewlis was truly awesome in this role, so we can’t help but be glad he missed out the first time round.

9. Jamie Campbell-Bower – Tom Riddle

Jamie Campbell-Bower, who plays a young Gellert Grindelwald in the series, had originally auditioned to play the young Tom Riddle in the Half-Blood Prince. The role went to Frank Dillane in the end, but Jamie still got the opportunity to be a part of the iconic series. He was also formerly engaged to Bonnie Wright, who we all know a Ginny Weasley.


10. Bob Hoskins – Horace Slughorn

Hook star Bob Hoskins was on the casting list to play the man who introduced us to Horcruxes, Horace Slughorn, but the role ended up going to Jim Broadbent of Only Fools and Horses and Moulin Rouge fame.