Robin Williams was turned down for ‘Harry Potter’ role because he wasn’t British

The late actor wanted to play Hagrid in the movies

Robin Williams was turned down for a role in Harry Potter because he was from America, not Britain.

The late actor, who died in 2014, was reportedly keen to play the character of Hagrid, the loveable grounds keeper at wizarding school Hogwarts.

However, according to The Huffington Post, his calls to director Chris Columbus got him nowhere as the casting directing had been instructed to only cast British actors.


“Robin had called [Columbus] because he really wanted to be in the movie, but it was a British-only edict,” said Janet Hirshenson, the film’s casting director. “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.”

Robbie Coltrane was eventually cast for the role and appeared in all eight of the movie adapations of J.K. Rowling’s books.

Meanwhile, Eddie Redmayne recently revealed that he once auditioned for a role in Harry Potter  – and was turned down.

The Oscar-winning Theory Of Everything actor stars in last year’s Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. However, he could have appeared in Rowling’s wizarding universe nearly 15 years earlier.

“I actually auditioned to play Tom Riddle while I was at university. I properly failed and didn’t get a callback,” Redmayne told Empire.


Tom Riddle, the young incarnation of Harry’s nemesis Lord Voldemort, appears in 2002’s Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets, played by actor Christian Coulson.

“Over the years, I always hoped I might be cast as a member of the Weasley family – I’m colour blind, but I’ve always been told there’s a tinge of red to my hair – but unfortunately not,” Redmayne added.

“A lot of my friends, like Domhnall Gleeson and Rob Pattinson, got their Harry Potter moment, but I never got mine.”