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.

Yahoo.

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Even talking about a bit part in a film at 7.30 in the morning he cracks me up.

I think anyone who has read the Harry Potter books imagines Rik as Peeves, it was pretty much written as him.

He is really going to be missed, now where is a sensitive and articulate teenager to remind me he won't really be gone?

I was discussing his passing with a friend just last night and we both mentioned how it was odd he'd not turned up in one of the Potter films. So now we know. Will miss him, Lord Flashheart is one of my favourite comic creations of all time, bloody genius.

Agreed, in the same way hagrid was made with eobbie coltrane in mind, peeves could omly be played by one man. I'd love to see the outtakes from his scenes

He's right! At last someone has said it- the film was s***! They've pretty much all been s***! I've got nothing against Harry Potter, and hey- no harm to the people in these films, but they were like wading through a yearly village panto from hell. Well called, Lord Flashheart! Woof, WOOF!!!
Ps- um, ...we miss you :/

Finding most of his work can be hit and miss here in the US. Him as Peeves was perfect casting and might have resulted in more of his work shown here. Unfortunately, what I remember him from is Drop Dead Fred. He came out of that disaster fairly well, but the movie itself...ugh. The only saving grace that evening was that I didn't pay for my ticket.

It's true. I have always read the character in his voice, because of this casting.

DoG, i read your article to see what he said in the interview, and low and behold, said interview is at the bottom of the page. While not a long article, you should've maybe led with that!

I remember when the film was actually being made and it was announced that he was going to be Peeves. I thought it was the most perfect casting (as to me, Peeves was Drop Dead Fred), and I was so upset when I heard it was cut.

When I was a kid the rumour going around my school was that the actor playing Peeves was kicked out for trying to urinate on set. For some reason I actually believe it.

RIP Rik.

Respectfully, I disagree. Yes, PS and CoS are both pretty wan, but Prisoner of Azkaban is one of the greatest children's fantasy films ever made, up there with Wizard of Oz or Spirited Away. And the quality of the films after PoA is much better than the embarrassing Star Wars prequels or the snore inducing computer game cgi riddled Hobbit movies.

Not sure if Peeves would have worked in the films, but the notion of Rik wrecking his anarchy on Hogwarts is intriguing. John Cleese was a bit of a lame distraction as Nick, and was quickly dropped once the films streamlined the adaptations. The scenes with Kelly McDonald as the Grey Lady were an unexpected highlight in Deathly Hallows pt 2

he will so be missed one of the funniest men that ever lived :(

Absolute disgrace he was cut. Perfect casting for my favourite character. Considering the amount of money and supposed talent they had at hand (along with the author herself), I find it strange that they struggled to find a design that they were happy with. Ah well, maybe one day when they release the extra deluxe special, special edition, we may finally see him.

Love his comment on the Harry Potter film. You will be sorely missed RIP.

He was one of the comedians I grew up with can't believe the news I still love watching my Bottom & The Young Ones DVDs also sometimes watch The New Statesman because I still have it on video and havnt switched over yet, also got series 1 of Filthy Rich & Catflap DVD so he went far too young.

Would have liked him as Peeves. I also found it strange that we had Nearlyheadless Nick in the first two movies, but after that just a lot of ghosts in Azkaban and after that only if they where really needed for the story like in Goblet and Hollows, part 2. Separate and overall the Harry Potter movies are good, but continuity wise...

I love the early books, but I guess the films are just not my thing. I do agree, however- none of them are as cynical, misjudged or painfully disappointing as the films you mention.
Of them all, Azkaban is the zenith by a mile in my book too.

I'll say one thing, though- despite making my legs ache from boredom I'm glad I sat through the last two films just for The Tale of The Three Brothers. That was a thing of genuine beauty and wonder.

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