The Harry Potter series is one of the most popular in the world, with many an iconic actor stepping into various roles in the movie adaptations of J. K. Rowlings fantasy novels. One of those men is Jason Isaacs who plays villainous character Lucius Malfoy, but he almost never became a part of the franchise.
Giving an interview at the Harry Potter Celebration in Universal this weekend, the actor spoke about his early days auditioning for the fantasy series and how he was close to rejecting the offer of playing Lucius Malfoy.
He explained: “I auditioned for Gilderoy Lockhart and I was a little bit disappointed in the room when Chris [Columbus] asked me, ‘Did you read the whole script?’ I said yes. ‘Would you mind reading as Malfoy?’ [I said,] ‘Ugh, sure.’
“Then I ran outside and called my agent immediately. I said, ‘They want me to go back in and read a different part. I don’t want to do it.’ He said, ‘Just go in and read it. You don’t have to take the job.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to play another bad guy. I’m about to go off and play Captain Hook. I’m really not interested in doing it.’ He said, ‘Just go in and do it. You never know what will happen down the road.’
“I went in and I read it as Malfoy and I found out they offered it to me a week later. I told my agent, ‘Tell them no. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.’ He [said], ‘Take the weekend and think about it.’ I [said], ‘It’s just too similar to Captain Hook and another guy.’ He gave me the weekend and my nephews called… and my godchildren called. And then every child I knew and their parents called and told me that I had to do it. Not because they cared about my career but because they wanted to visit the set, I think. So I took the job, and thank God I did.”
Though it would be super interested for Potter fans to see what Isaacs would make of the Gilderoy Lockhart role, it’s hard to imagine any other actor taking on the Malfoy patriarch and giving as good a performance as him.