The last “official” Harry Potter book and movie came out in 2007 and 2011, respectively, but 2016 was still a very good year for The Boy Who Lived. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was a West End sensation; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them earned $750 million at the worldwide box office; and, much to the delight of people who think beer should taste like movie theater popcorn, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Studios Hollywood. The core trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron had a solid 2016, too: Daniel Radcliffe starred in the wickedly weird (and very funny) Swiss Army Man; Emma Watson was cast as Belle in Beauty and the Beast; and Rupert Grint, well, Rupert Grint didn’t make CBGB 2, so that’s something?
Fifteen-plus years ago, though, Radcliffe nearly lost his chance at playing Harry. The youngster, then known for playing the young David Copperfield in the BBC’s 1999 miniseries based on Charles Dickens’ novel, “didn’t want to be an actor anymore.” That’s according to Harry Potter casting director Janet Hirshenson, who explained to the Huffington Post how producer David Heyman convinced Radcliffe to audition for the part. “One evening, [Heyman] went to the theater and he knew Daniel’s father, who was an agent,” she said, “so the producer ran into Daniel and his dad and said to Daniel, ‘Why don’t you come in and audition? Think about it.’ So he said, ‘OK.'”
Radcliffe was one of six potential Harrys during the screen test portion; afterward, there were two. “When we sat down to look at the tests,” Hirshenson said, “there was another guy that we kind of liked, too. There were two. [Director Chris Columbus] right away liked Daniel, but there were a couple of people who went, ‘Hmm. That other kid’s interesting.’ So we thought, ‘Let’s all go to sleep on it. We’ll come back and look at this again.’”
So, how did they decide on Radcliffe?
“We went back and looked at Daniel again. The other kid was terrific and very vulnerable and very Harry-looking, but besides that, Harry was going to become a very powerful kid, too. And Daniel had both sides. He was very vulnerable, but the other kid ― it was like, he [was] not going to have the balls that Daniel has, to put it that way.” (Via)
(Via the Huffington Post)