Friday, July 8, 2011

The Harry Potter Cast Reimagined

It all ends next week. Or at least that's what the posters and trailers have been telling me for months. I have extremely mixed emotions about the final Harry Potter film premiering next Friday. As excited as I am to see it (and it looks AMAZING), I'm also pretty emotional about it, to be honest. Harry Potter has been a big part of my life for the past 10 years and knowing that this is the last time I'll be gathering a bunch of friends to go stand in line for a couple of hours just so we can see it on opening night...well, that makes me sad. "It's the end of an era," as Monica Gellar once so poignantly said.

I like the movies a lot and I think that, for the most part, they have been beautifully cast. I especially love that they were always cast with British actors and filmed in the UK. I think that really added to the feel of them.

But out of the cast of hundreds, there were a few roles that I could see being played by someone other than who WB picked. So here it is, my dream Harry Potter casting. And if you don't see someone on this list, assume it's because I think they were perfect (even though Emma Watson is way too gorgeous to match book Hermione, but I'll forgive her that one transgression).

So Richard Harris? He was perfect. Michael Look, I've seen him in other things and I think he's a fine actor. But I also think he was trying too hard to "make this part his own." The resulting somewhat volatile portrayal of Dumbledore is just not the beloved headmaster I have in my head. And it changed how I felt at the end of movie 6 (and I'm sure how I'll feel about one of my favorite scenes that'll be in the final film). In other words, I just didn't care as much as I should have. If we tragically couldn't have Richard Harris, I think I would've liked to see Ian McKellen take it on. (I understand why he might not have wanted to do it, what with all the Gandalf/Dumbledore comparisons. But I think he would have been amazing regardless.)

I love this character in the books and I just don't think he comes across quite as likeable in the movies. I would cast David Tennant. He was actually cast as Barty Crouch, Jr. but I think his natural affability and exuberance would have been better fitted for this role as the best D.A.D.A. teacher Harry every had.

I ADORE Kenneth Branagh. I mean it. And he was totally great in this role. But a few years ago I found out that the part almost went to Hugh Grant and, honestly, I think he would have been just a smidge more perfect as the arrogant, periwinkle-clad professor.

Granted this character was basically a non-entity in the movies, so maybe I would have just wanted her to be more present instead of differently cast. But I also kind of see her as a version of Kate Winslet's character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's too tiny a part for the great Kate, but, hey, it's a dream-casting, right?

What about you? Is there anyone who would be in your dream cast of Harry Potter who is not in the original films? Also, am I alone in expecting to sob throughout this entire 2 1/2 hour movie?


  1. I am with you on the crying and with you on the Dumbledore. I did not appreciate the violent way that Michael Gambon grabbed Harry and accused him of tampering with the Triwizard Tournament cup. Dumbledore never would have suspected him and certainly never would have physically accosted him.

  2. Except of Harry and the second Dumbledore I love all the other characters cast for the movies.
    I would have picked Ian Mckellen the actor who played Gandalf from the lord of the rings, to play Dumbledore.

    I have no idea who I would chose for Harry, all I know is, I don’t think his acting is all that good, but he does match the look of Harry quite well.

  3. Benedict Cumberbatch as Voldemort,
    David Hewlett as Lockheart,
    Williem Dafoe as Dumbledore,
    Torri Higginson as Lily Potter,
    Eliah Wood as James Potter,
    Anthony Hopkins as Mad-Eye,
    Robert Picardo as Scrimgour,
    John Litgow as Slughorn,
    Judi Dench as McGonnagall,
    Jurgen Prochnow as Karkaroff,
    Martin Freeman as Quirrell,
    Timothy Dalton as Snape,
    Mikael Persbrant as Fenrir Greyback

    I could do this forever.

  4. I would cast Victor Garber as Remus Lupin and make Remus as friendly towards Harry as he was in the books. The friendship between Harry and Remus was not the topic to put emphasis on, which was big mistake. Wonder whether Victor ever read Harry Potter lol:)