‘Dispassionate’: This Lord of the Rings actor had good reason for turning down this key role in the Harry Potter films

news culture ‘Dispassionate’: This Lord of the Rings actor had good reason for turning down this key role in the Harry Potter films

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Although he could have been part of this iconic saga, he voluntarily missed this opportunity and we know why.

Harry Potter, a saga with iconic actors

For a decade, fans around the world have watched the actors grow with them. We are talking in particular about Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson who played the trio of friends at the center of the story, as did Tom Felton, who was Harry’s rival. The latter were on screen from 2001 to 2011 in no less than eight films, to adapt the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends. Now inseparable from this magical universe imagined by JK Rowling, it is difficult to imagine a new casting. However, the HBO reboot in series form will welcome new actors to play these iconic characters in 2026.

In addition to the actors who played the students of the Hogwarts magic school, the teachers are also inseparable from this saga that dominated the 2000s. Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid, Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall, Alan Rickman who left his mark with his interpretation of Rogue and Michael Gambon who triumphed Richard Harris to play Albus Dumbledore. However, few know that instead of the latter, it was Ian McKellen who should have taken over as director of the magic school.

"without passion" : This Lord of the Rings actor had good reason for turning down this key role in the Harry Potter movies.

Ian McKellen should have been Dumbledore

In the 2000s, Ian McKellen was Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but also Magneto in X-Men. Or two roles in iconic big-budget productions. However, he could also have been Dumbledore to replace Richard Harris, who passed away in 2002. The actor, now 84 years old, rejected this role for a very simple reason: he did not appreciate a reflection by Richard Harris when he was alive. The latter described Ian McKellen, as well as other actors, as “technically brilliant, but passionless.” A simple comment that completely dissuaded the British actor from playing the former director: “I couldn’t take on the role of an actor who I knew didn’t approve of me,” he told the BBC a few years later. That is, we went from seeing Ian McKellen in the role of Albus Dumbledore.

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