One of the things I love about the world of Harry Potter is that it keeps on giving. I've been a huge fan for years and I never knew any of these insane facts... some of them are so random it's unreal!
1. Emma Watson Almost Quit
After making The Order of the Phoenix, Emma Watson felt pressured, tired and dragged away from her studies by her shooting schedule, saying:
I get told what time I can eat, when I have time to go to the bathroom. Every single second of my day is not in my power
What made her stay? She couldn't bear the thought of someone else taking her place as Hermione.
2. Daniel Radcliffe Was Not Our First Harry!
Director Chris Columbus gave the role to 10-year-old American Liam Aiken, but movie execs stepped in to revoke the decision the very next day. Poor kid! However, little Liam was very gallant about the turnaround, saying:
I flew to England, and a week later I had the role. Then the next day, I didn’t. But I understood; like James Bond, Harry has to be British.
3. Master Has Given Putin a Sock?
In a bizarre but kind of understandable turn of events, Russian President Vladimir Putin was totally disturbed by how much Dobby the House Elf looked like him. In fact, he began a lawsuit in 2003 to sue Warner Bros. for misuse of his 'likeness!' Don't be too hard on yourself now, Vladimir!
4. The Castings That Got Away
Yes, we nearly had Drew Barrymore, Rosie O'Donnell, Ian McKellan and ROBIN WILLIAMS in the Harry Potter movies! Barrymore's cameo was cut from the final script, but O'Donnell and Williams didn't get parts despite their undying love for Potter meaning they promised to work for FREE! The ever-lovely Sir Ian McKellan was offered the role of Dumbledore after the death of Richard Harris, but he declined - modestly saying:
I had enough trouble living up to one legend [as Gandalf]. Two would be too much to hope for.
Oh, and M. Night Shyamalan wanted to direct The Deathly Hallows. Think of that what you will.
5. Bad Spielberg, Bad!
Steven Spielberg originally had a totally different vision for the Harry Potter series. It was going be an animated movie featuring the voice of Haley Joel Osment (the little kid from The Sixth Sense). Sure, a lot of people would have liked it, but not as much as the luscious live-action British, J.K. Rowling-approved series we ended up with!
6. Wacko Jacko in the Shrieking Shacko
This is so weird I can't even but... Michael Jackson actually approached J.K. Rowling and asked her if he could make Harry Potter into a musical. Of course, J.K. Rowling declined, but said that she learned a valuable lesson in getting over the paranoia of artistic control from the King of Pop, saying:
He wanted to do ‘Thriller’ again and again and again and instead of accepting that he had produced one of the best albums of all time… It’s very, very sad that someone with that amount of talent would be chasing that.
7. You're Skeetering Me, Right?
Rita Skeeter is not the most popular of characters, but she certainly raised a laugh in Iceland. The Icelandic workd 'skita' - pronounced the same as the unscrupulous journo's surname - means 'sh*t!' Kids in Icelandic cinemas were reportedly in hysterics whenever Rita Skeeter was mentioned.