Here's what the cast of 'Harry Potter' would have looked like if the intended actors had taken the roles

Here's what the cast of 'Harry Potter' would have looked like if the intended actors had taken the roles

It's been seven years since the last Harry Potter film came out, but it feels like just yesterday that we were all fighting our way to the front of the box office queue to get our hands on opening day tickets. The movies are now a staple in British cinema and the cast remains one of the best to ever hit screens. But, oh how different things could have been...

If the producers of the fantasy series had managed to bring together their first choice actors and actresses, the Harry Potter world could have looked completely and utterly different. Can you imagine Snape chastising Harry without Alan Rickman's brilliant dry wit? Or the soft-hearted Hagrid helping the boy wizard out, sans Robbie Coltrane? How about the kooky Trelawney without the wonderful Emma Thompson? To be honest with you, we can't see it either.

Hugh Grant - Gilderoy Lockhart

Reportedly, Bridget Jones actor Hugh Grant was set to star as the grossly inept Defence Against the Dark Arts professor and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award, but scheduling conflicts led him to turn it down. Could you imagine his stuttering British charm on the HP big screen?

Kate Winslet – Helena Ravenclaw

Rumour has it, Kate Winslet's agent turned down the character of Helena Ravenclaw without even checking with her because they believed it was too small a role for the A-list actress.

Ray Winstone – Mad-Eye Moody

Edge of Darkness actor Ray Winstone gave us a controversial insight into the Harry Potter paycheck situation with his refusal to play Mad-Eye Moody. After rejecting the role, he allegedly stated: "They earn fortunes from those films but for the time that is involved in making one, they don't want to pay you. I'm sorry, but I make movies to get a living."

Tim Roth – Severus Snape

Can you imagine anyone playing the role of Snape as well as Alan Rickman? I'm not sure either, but Tim Roth was going to give it a go before he realised the scale of the fame he would receive. "I wasn't ready to be on a lunchbox," he said. "But the right guy [i.e., the late Alan Rickman] got the role."

Robin Williams – Hagrid

Casting director Janet Hirshenson has confirmed that Robin Williams was keen to star as the lovable half-giant wizard, but fell victim to the 'Brits-only rule' imposed by producers. "Robin had called because he really wanted to be in the movie," she told the Huffington Post, "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. It couldn’t be."

Ian McKellen - Dumbledore

Sir Ian McKellen was next in line to portray Dumbledore when Richard Harris passed away after the second film. However, the actor later revealed he said no because Harris had named him as "technically brilliant but passionless." The Lord of the Rings actor later said: "When he died, he played Dumbledore the wizard. I played a real wizard. When they called me up and said would I be interested in being in the Harry Potter films, they wouldn't say what part but I worked out what they were thinking. I couldn't take over the part from an actor who I know disapproved of me."

Naomi Watts – Narcissa Malfoy

At the time of casting, rumours were flying that Naomi Watts had been offered the role of Narcissa Malfoy, but the English actress has insisted that, if they were considering her, she never heard about it. "I didn't even hear about it except through the media," Watts said. "Not through my agents [or anybody else]. I don't know how that transpired... Yeah! I have read some of the 'Harry Potter' books…I would love to. My son would like that, so that would be a good way to impress him.

Rosamund Pike – Rita Skeeter

Gone Girl actress Rosamund Pike reportedly signed on for Goblet Of Fire, but backed out when she realised she'd have to return for Order of the Phoenix with much less screen time. Luckily, the wonderful Miranda Richardson was there to fill her shoes.

JK Rowling - Lily Potter

JK Rowling herself was asked to appear as Harry's mother, but she refused the part because she said that she was "not cut out to be an actress because she'd mess-up somehow."

Tilda Swinton – Sybill Trelawney

Early reports claimed that Tilda Swinton was approached for the role of Trelawney, but scheduling conflicts had gotten in the way. However, based on her comments, we're not sure she would have taken the role anyway. "I'm not a believer in Harry Potter," she said later, "because I believe it fetishizes boarding school for children."

So, did seeing what the cast could have looked like make you rethink the films? If so, we've got another humdinger for you: this observation about 'Harry Potter' will change the way you look at the series forever.