Harry Potter: Jason Isaacs almost refused the role of Lucius Malfoy because of Alan Rickman

If he is less terrifying and more enigmatic than Voldemort, Severus Snape is still one of the most disturbing characters in the “Harry Potter” saga. In the film adaptations, Jason Isaacs almost didn’t accept the role of Lucius Malfoy, fearing he wouldn’t measure up against Alan Rickman.

Alan Rickman, emblematic face of the saga Harry Potter

After Hans Gruber in crystal trapElliott Marston in Mr Quigley the Australian and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of ThievesAlan Rickman finds a disturbing new role in the saga Harry Potter, based on the works of JK Rowling. In the franchise centered on the young bespectacled wizard, the British actor plays Severus Snape, a potions and defense against the dark arts professor who seems to have a grudge against the hero.

Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ©Warner Bros.

The Guardian recently revealed excerpts from Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickmanlogbook of the comedian who died in 2016. In his comments, he reveals having hesitated to abandon his character after cancer and total removal of the prostate. But in 2006, a few weeks after his operation, he agreed to return to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. About Severus Snape he also states:

I realize that as soon as I’m in Snape’s costume, something happens. It becomes impossible for me to chat, to be smiling, open. The character reduces me, ties me up. Not the best qualities on a film set. I had never been so uncommunicative with a team. Fortunately, Daniel fulfills this role with ease and charm. And youth.

Its alternately mysterious and frightening composition does not fail to impress some of its partners, starting with Jason Isaacs. The interpreter of Lucius Malfoy has also failed to refuse the adventure Harry Potter, afraid to deliver a tasteless performance which would have been totally eclipsed by that of Alan Rickman.

Confidences of Jason Isaacs

In an article published by The Guardian, several actors paid tribute to the actor, including Emma Thompson, Eddie Izzard and Jason Isaacs. The latter said:

Everything I could do as Lucius Malfoy in the saga Harry Potter was below what Alan was doing. When they offered me a part in the second film, I almost refused, because trying to appear sinister in the same film as him seemed futile to me.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ©Warner Bros.

The interpreter of Lucius Malfoy nevertheless managed to deliver a composition different from that of Alan Rickman, in particular thanks to his appearance. He added on this subject:

In the end, I came up with a Malfoy designed to avoid comparison with his portrayal of Snape, which was understandably terrifying. Malfoy had long blond hair, a high-pitched, pinched voice, and so many accessories I could hide behind.

This isn’t the first time Jason Isaacs has opened up about his complicated relationship with Lucius Malfoy. In addition to being intimidated by Alan Rickman, the actor almost refused to lend him his features in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because he didn’t want to play a second villain in a children’s movie after playing Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Later, he is afraid that his role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 be reduced and unnecessary. He asks JK Rowling in person to reassure him about the importance of the character in the feature film. Upon arrival, he too has become one of the iconic faces of the franchise, even if he is in the background.

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Harry Potter: Jason Isaacs almost refused the role of Lucius Malfoy because of Alan Rickman