One of the best things about the Harry Potter movies is the gargantuan size and talent of the Harry Potter cast. Many of the best actors from Britain and the rest of the world showed up to play the best Harry Potter characters, but one comedy legend ended up on the cutting room floor.
The role of Peeves the poltergeist would be a plum one for any comedy-minded actor, with Peeves essentially existing in the Potter stories as a whirlwind of chaos and snark. In other words, the perfect role for the late Rik Mayall.
Mayall duly joined the Harry Potter cast and shot scenes for the first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Unfortunately, time constraints led to Peeves being excised from one of the best fantasy movies in the entire series. To this day, we’ve never got to see what certainly would’ve been an anarchic performance.
Mayall, who of course shot to fame with his work on The Young Ones and Bottom, addressed his near-miss with Potter in a behind-the-scenes clip from the set of 2011 horror movie Evil Calls: The Raven.
The star explained that he was sent off the set at one stage because his performance was so funny to the young stars who made up the core of the Harry Potter ensemble.
He added: “I did a little bit of filming, then I went home and I got the money. Significant. Then, a month later they said: ‘Rik, sorry about this, you’re not in the film, we’ve cut you out of the film’.
“I was in the film for three weeks, then they cut me out, but I still got the money. That is the most exciting film I’ve ever been in, because I got the oodle and I wasn’t in it.”
Brilliantly, Mayall then explained that he never told his kids that he wasn’t in the finished movie. They later praised the film’s incredible make-up, because they thought he was playing Hagrid. Oops!
Tongue firmly in cheek (probably), Mayall said that the film was “crap, because I wasn’t in it”. We respectfully disagree with Mayall, and we’d class Philosopher’s Stone as among the best movies in the franchise.
It could’ve done with some Peeves, though. We’d imagine the character will definitely appear in the new adaptations when the Harry Potter TV series release date comes around. Sadly, Mayall isn’t around to play him, and it’s such a shame that we won’t get to see his performance.
We’ve got more Potter fun as we look ahead to possible new movies, including the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date and the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date. Look back at the franchise’s recent history with our Fantastic Beasts 3 review and find out more about Luna Lovegood.
Meanwhile, we’ve also explained Daniel Radcliffe’s one hope for the Harry Potter TV series, the secret horror movie nod in Harry Potter, and how to watch the Harry Potter movies in order.