Alan Cumming Reveals Why He Turned Down a Role in Harry Potter

Alan Cumming Reveals Why He Turned Down a Role in Harry Potter

Over the course of 10 years and eight films, the original Harry Potter series recruited some top-tier British talent to bring J.K. Rowling’s epic saga to life. But if the stars aligned differently, another recognizable Brit could have shown up as a Hogwarts professor in the second installment. In a new interview with The Telegraph (via The Independent) Alan Cumming detailed his own brush with the Wizarding World.

Apparently, when the franchise was getting underway, the filmmakers pursued Cumming to play Gilderoy Lockhart, the self-obsessed Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher introduced in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Kenneth Branagh ultimately played the role when the movie hit theaters in 2002. But according to Cumming, his reluctance to join the film boiled down to a salary dispute. And he didn’t mince words when informing the producers of his decision.

“I didn’t turn it down,” said Cumming. “I told them to f*** off!”

Cumming went on to explain that Warner Bros. was also considering Rupert Everett for the role around that time. But more surprisingly, he accused the producers of being dishonest about how much they could pay him to appear in the film.

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“They wanted me and Rupert Everett to do a screen test,” added Cumming. “And they said they couldn’t pay me more than a certain sum. They just didn’t have any more money in the budget.”

“And I had the same agent as Rupert, who of course, they were going to pay more,” continued Cumming. “Blatantly lying, stupidly lying, as well. Like, if you’re going to lie, be clever about it. I said, tell them to f*** right off. And thought, well Rupert’s going to get the part. They made him screen test, and I remember he brought his own wig. And then they f***ing gave it to Kenneth Branagh, came out of the shadows.”

Cumming and Everett weren’t the only other actors in the running to play Lockhart before Branagh landed the part. Hugh Grant was reportedly the producers’ first choice to play the character. However, he declined due to scheduling conflicts.

Do you think Cumming would have made a good Gilderoy Lockhart? Let us know in the comments down below!

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