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02nd Jan 2017

Surprising reason Robin Williams was rejected for role in Harry Potter

Not many directors could have turned him down.

Mike Wright

We doubt there were many films the late, great Robin William would not make better.

His joyful, irrepressible style made him one of the most-loved presences on the big screen. So when he came calling, any director would have to have an incredibly good reason to turn him down.

But when Williams, who sadly passed away in August 2014, expressed an interest in playing Hagrid in the first Harry Potter movie, he was politely declined due to a surprising rule.

Casting director Janet Hirshenson has told The Huffington Post that the film had a very strict ‘British only’ policy for the main roles.

And that even extended to superstars such as Robin Williams.

She said:

“Robin [Williams] had called [director Chris Columbus] because he really wanted to be in the movie, 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,” said the casting director. “It couldn’t be.”

The casting director also adds that Robbie Coltrane, who got the role in the end, was J.K. Rowling’s first choice in the end.

But still, if this policy had not been in place, the Harry Potter franchise could have turned out very different.