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Best Casting Decisions For The 'Harry Potter' Franchise

Dee Doyle Dee Doyle
July 14th, 2009 9:30am EDT
Harry PotterGet out your wands and your magical cloaks everyone, because Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is on the horizon and it promises to be the best HP film yet! The epic series is almost coming to a close, with only one more adapted book left, and this one is full of major betrayals, coming of age disasters, and the characters we love and hate developing further. One of the hardest parts about putting a book to life on the screen is finding the right actor to portray a beloved character. Fans are some of the harshest critics in the world. Here's a look at some of the most inspired casting choices for Harry Potter. Keep in mind that almost every role was very well casted, so here are a few of them that really stood out. Who do you think is the best casting job for Harry Potter?

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as Harry, Ron, and Hermione

These three were probably the hardest roles to cast, and yet their actors seem to make it look the easiest. It goes without saying that the three main characters are the most important casting choices of all. Harry is the title character, Ron is his plucky best friend, and Hermione is the genius who keeps them alive half the time. They are the ones you are following in the tale, the characters you relate to the most, and therefore the very heart of the story. These movies have shot all three actors to stardom, but one mistake here and the movie series would've been a bust. Radcliffe plays the awkward heroic Potter perfectly, Grint is great as the loyal but comical Ron, and Watson is adorable as the brilliant but brittle Hermione. Without them the movies might not have worked, and now it's impossible to see the characters without the actors' face attached.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione

Image © Warner Bros.


Alan Rickman as Severus Snape

Severus Snape is one of the most difficult and intricate characters in the whole series of Harry Potter. He starts out as a clearly drawn villainous type with an unexplained hatred for Harry and a suspicious air of darkness around him. Yet there's always this line of - dare I say - heroic proportions to him. As much as he loathes Harry he protects him too, pushing the kids behind him when fighting a werewolf, calling the Order of the Phoenix thanks to a throwaway comment from Harry, and being one of Dumbledore's most trusted soldiers. Is Snape good or bad? Traitorous or trustworthy? Alan Rickman plays that edge to perfection.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Image © Warner Bros. Ent.


Not only does he look like the professor, with his stringy black hair and long hooked nose, but his dry voice holds dripping disdain for Harry with every sentence spoken. He's full of bile and bitterness, seemingly a better fit in the dark world of Voldemort, and yet ... you get pulled in to Rickman's Snape. You want to know what makes him tick, why is so unfair and unjust, and after seeing a snippet of his memories in Order of the Phoenix, you start to understand. A little. The past few movies have not utilized Rickman that much, but it is a guarantee he will be front and center for the two last movies. We will get an answer to Snape's allegiance, but it is thanks to Rickman's ambiguity that we questioned it all the way through.

Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid

Hagrid is the first magical being that Harry really meets, and this has cemented him as one of the most important people in Harry's young life. The boisterous, lovable half-giant has provided the students with protection, friendship, and a whole lot of exposition. It is said that Rowling even had Coltrane in mind when creating the physical representation of Hagrid, so it was not that inspired of a choice when it came to the movie. Coltrane was a notable Scottish actor and comedian before the HP series began, but he has certainly shot to worldwide fame now with his role as the big hearted Hagrid. His Hagrid is big, clumsy, dependable, kind, and often lets slip important Hogwart secrets to push the plot forward. You bleed for him when Buckbeak gets sentenced to death, you sigh when he tries to romance Madame Maxime, and cheered when he was restored to Hogwarts. We all wish we had a Hagrid in our life.

Rubeus Hagrid

Image © Warner Bros.


Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

Bellatrix is the first female Death Eater we meet in the HP series, and one of the most evil characters in the books. She is loyal to Voldemort even after being stuck in Azkaban, and the years of torture there have worn upon her once-beautiful face. She is crazy, unstable, and a fanatic. It was Bellatrix who tortured the Longbottoms until they went mad, and she is responsible for Sirius' grimsly fate. Helena Bonham Carter is known for playing weird gothic roles, as evidenced by her characters in Sweeney Todd, Fight Club, and in the TV mini-series "Merlin." Carter plays Bellatrix in all her insane glory with wild black hair, empty black eyes, and power practically radiating from her small form. Vicious and terrifying, you believe this is a woman who would enjoy tormenting innocent people for fun. She figures into the next two Harry Potter movies and will be a very cruel adversary for the main characters.

Bellatrix Lestrange

Image © Warner Bros. Ent.


Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood

A fan favorite, Luna Lovegood aka Loony Luna is a Ravenclaw student one year younger than Harry. She's a bit odd and usually drives Hermione crazy since she takes things on faith rather than fact. Her father is the editor-in-chief of The Quibbler, the conspiracy heavy magazine, and she believes Harry when few do in The Order of the Phoenix. Luna is a talented witch and joins Dumbledore's army, and she is one of Harry's friends (an odd friend but a loyal one). Lynch joined the cast for the fifth movie and played Luna with big eyes and a wavering, drifting voice. She's definitely a strange little girl, but an interesting one, and she is able to see the Thestrals like Harry because she saw her mother die. Luna becomes a more steady character in the next two movies so Lynch is around to stay.

Luna Lovegood

Image © Warner Bros.



Honorable mentions: Maggie Smith, James and Oliver Phelps, Kenneth Branagh, and Miranda Richardson.

Dee Doyle
Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle

Starpulse contributing writer

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