Rik Mayall on being cut from the first Harry Potter film

News Simon Brew
11 Jun 2014 - 07:12

An unearthed interview, where Rik Mayall talks about filming - and being cut from - Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone...

The shocking, early death of Rik Mayall earlier this week still feels unreal, as the outpouring of dedications and appreciation for his work these past few days has been testament to.

In the midst of that, Yahoo has unearthed a story about him that isn't widely known: Mayall filmed scenes for Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone, that were cut from the final film. More to the point, he'd talked about his time on the film.

In an interview that's turned up online, Mayall revealed that he'd been cast as Peeves the poltergeist, which should have been a recurring role in the movies. Starting off by saying "the film, with respect ... no, with no respect at all... the film was shit", Mayall said that he took the role without reading the books, but noting that the children at his kids' school were talking about Harry Potter a lot.

Thus, when the offer came in, "I did it, I went and fucking did it. I played the part of Peeves in Harry Potter. I got sent off the set because every time I tried to do a bit of acting, all the lads who were playing the school kids kept getting the giggles, they kept corpsing, so they threw me off".

He continued, adding that "they asked me to do it with my back to them and they still laughed. So they asked me to do it around the other side of the cathedral and shout my lines, but they still laughed so they said they’d do my lines with someone else".

After completing the filming (and, crucially, being paid), Mayall got a call a month later saying his role had been chopped from the movie. "I was in the film for around three weeks... but I still got the money. So that is the most exciting film I've ever been in, because I got the oodle and I wasn't in it. Fantastic".

Director Chris Columbus revealed that the scene was cut because they weren't happy with the design of Peeves. Mayall's Harry Potter scenes have not, to date, seen the light of day.

Here's the unearhed interview...

Thanks for everything, Rik.


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