The forthcoming Harry Potter TV series will introduce fresh faces to the Wizarding World – however, some characters will be harder to recast than others.
TEN years is a long time for any actor to stay in a role; on TV or in films.
The resulting effect is audiences struggling to separate actors from the long-running roles they played. Whether that’s different actors playing the parts later or seeing the original performer in another project.
We’ve seen this play out countless times, especially with the young Harry Potter cast. Daniel Radcliffe’s career will always link back to his days roaming Hogwarts.
However, Max’s forthcoming Harry Potter TV series will shake things up by introducing new, fresh actors in these iconic roles.
While The Cursed Child exists, almost all Harry Potter characters have only had one on-screen portrayal so far.
For many, Radcliffe is Harry Potter, Rupert Grint is Ron Weasley, Emma Watson is Hermione Granger and so on.
Some characters could likely be easily recast although it may be tricker for others.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the harder characters to reimagine.
The late Robbie Coltrane embodied Hogwarts groundskeeper Hagrid for the entire film franchise.
Hagrid is an extremely important character in the overall story. Not only does he introduce Harry to the Wizarding World, but he also brings readers/viewers along for the journey as well.
Hagrid is also Harry’s first friend following his tough upbringing with the Dursleys.
Throughout the series, Hagrid is a constant source of companionship and comradery for Harry.
He stands up for Harry when accused of being the heir of Slytherin. Hagrid also gives Harry a heads-up about dragons before facing one in the Triwizard Tournament.
In The Goblet of Fire, Hagrid even states some of their commonalities, such as both being outsiders and both being orphans.
Coltrane was JK Rowling’s personal choice for the role, so seeing a different actor playing Hagrid onscreen will be an interesting experience.
Whoever gets the role has big shoes to fill – literally and metaphorically.
Maggie Smith played Professor McGonagall in seven Harry Potter films – she only missed Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Like Coltrane, Smith was a hand-picked choice of JK Rowling for the part.
Smith’s stern onscreen demenaour – a skill honed from playing upper-class/authoritative characters, served her well as McGonagall.
Her performance, both hardened and empathetic, gave the impression of both a well-intentioned educator and a formidable witch.
Although a younger McGonagall, played by Fiona Glascott, briefly appeared in Fantastic Beasts, she was not a central focus.
The new actress for the Harry Potter TV series will most likely be a main cast member.
She will have to bring her own interpretation of the character, rather than imitate Smith’s long-standing performance.
Harry Potter fans know half-blood Tom Riddle grows up to become Lord Voldemort.
However, this specifically focuses on a younger version of the character.
Christian Coulson’s performance as ‘memory’ Tom Riddle in Chamber of Secrets was a key element of the film.
While Coulson was in his 20s playing a teen, he had the responsibility to portray a big part of Voldemort’s backstory.
His performance revealed the person Voldemort once was – or rather, the mask Tom Riddle showed the world.
Coulson was already technically replaced by Frank Dillane in Half-Blood Prince, however, it’s a very different take on the character.
Coulson’s Riddle was charismatic and charming which masked his sociopathic nature. Meanwhile, Dillane’s Riddle came off as creepier and on the nose, rather than subtle.
The new actor will have to balance all of this when it’s their turn to play the role.
Portrayed by the late Alan Rickman, Snape was a powerful, steely presence across all 8 Harry Potter films.
Had Tim Roth accepted the offer to play Snape, we would have seen a very different version.
As the only actor clued into JK Rowling’s intentions for later books, Rickman knew the acting choices he had to make.
Rickman elevated Rowling’s already compelling character and brought him to life onscreen.
His knowledge of Snape’s motivations, before the world knew, helped add layers of intrigue to his performance.
The new actor will have a different starting off point, as the full story has now been released.
That being said, finding another actor of Alan Rickman’s calibre will be a tall order.
This one might be kind of obvious, but it’s perhaps the most important casting to nail.
As a character, Harry holds the series together and the events are mostly from his point of view.
Like Daniel Radcliffe before him, the new actor will be taking centre stage to tell Harry’s story.
There has been much discussion over how Radcliffe didn’t match Harry’s physical description from the novels.
However, other factors need to be taken in account – namely, finding a talented child actor who will be up to the task.
All eyes will be on him – fans, critics and maybe even people hate watching. There is also the inevitable comparison to Daniel Radcliffe’s performance and who is ‘better’ as Harry.
Ultimately, the new Boy Who Lived needs to create his own unique portrayal – one that will hopefully be as memorable and lasting as its predecessor.