Acclaimed actor Robin Williams was turned down for a big role in the Harry Potter movies, Gamespot reports. It wasn't anything to do with the actor's talent; he was simply turned down because he wasn't British. Apparently, Williams wanted to play Hagrid.
Harry Potter casting director Janet Hirshenson talked about the event, saying Robin Williams called director Chris Columbus over wanting the role. “Robin had called him 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,” Hirshenson said. “It couldn’t be.”
Hirshenson also talked about the reasons Daniel Radcliffe was cast as Harry Potter. She said they were very specific about getting Harry's age right and also about having his eye color be blue or green rather than brown. “It was really specific on ages because there were several movies hopefully, so we could not go for a small 13-year-old to play anybody. They had to be at least the proper age of the character,” Hirshenson said.
Hirshenson talked about why Radcliffe was ultimately chosen for the role, saying that "We went back and looked at Daniel again. The other kid was terrific and very vulnerable and very Harry-looking, but besides that, Harry was going to become a very powerful kid, too. And Daniel had both sides. He was very vulnerable, but the other kid ― it was like, he [was] not going to have the balls that Daniel has, to put it that way.”
I'm not sure Williams would have been the right fit for Hagrid even if he was British. Hagrid needs to be pretty big and Williams was not. It's too bad he couldn't do another role though.
Either way, the casting department certainly struck gold with Daniel Radcliffe. What are your thoughts on the Harry Potter casting?