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Alan Cumming Told ‘Harry Potter’ Producers to ‘F*ck Off’ When They Offered Him Hogwarts Role

Salary disputes eventually led to the part of Gilderoy Lockhart going to Kenneth Branagh.

Actor Alan Cumming attends "Freestyle Love Supreme" Broadway opening night at the Booth Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Alan Cumming

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Beloved Scottish actor Alan Cumming, it turns out, almost had a role in the Harry Potter cinematic universe. He recently told The Telegraph (via The Independent) how, when producers on 2002’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” offered him a major role in the franchise as Hogwarts professor Gilderoy Lockhart, he told them to “f*ck off” due to disputes over his salary. (The role of Lockhart ultimately went to Kenneth Branagh.)

“I didn’t turn it down,” Cumming said. “I told them to f*ck off!”

Cumming also revealed that he was competing with Rupert Everett, with whom he shared the same agent, for the role. “They wanted me and Rupert Everett to do a screen test, and they said they couldn’t pay me more than a certain sum, they just didn’t have any more money in the budget,” Cumming said.

“And I had the same agent as Rupert, who of course, they were going to pay more. Blatantly lying, stupidly lying, as well. Like, if you’re going to lie, be clever about it. I said, tell them to f*** right off. And thought, well Rupert’s going to get the part. They made him screen test, and I remember he brought his own wig. And then they f***ing gave it to Kenneth Branagh, came out of the shadows.”

Alan Cumming most recently starred in the Apple TV+ comedy musical series “Schmigadoon!” as Mayor Menlove. He also had roles in “Briarpatch” and “Prodigal Son,” and lent his voice to “The Prince” and “Hot White Heist.”

The “Harry Potter” film franchise wrapped up in 2011 after eight films, led by Daniel Radcliffe in the title role. That actor recently spoke about which role he’d want to play if the film series were to be rebooted. There have been reports of a “Harry Potter” spinoff series headed to HBO Max, a live action series that would also adapt the works of J.K. Rowling. But studio Warner Bros. went on to say that it had no formal plans to bring the book series back to life in the form of a streaming television show.

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