The new Harry Potter movie has just been released, and as with the other films in the series, this one features an incredible cast of actors, most (all?) of them British. The newcomer in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton, who plays the by turns ferocious and sickly sweet Dolores Umbridge. In his review of the film, Globe and Mail movie critic Rick Groen comments on this bounty of acting talent and asks rhetorically, “…is there an admired British thespian who hasn’t toiled in Potter’s field?”
Although he makes a good point (and in a clever way), there are in fact many admired British actors who haven’t yet made an appearance in the Potter films. While there are obviously only a certain number of parts available, it is interesting to imagine other actors becoming part of the cinematic representation of J.K. Rowling’s world of magic.
In a 2005 poll conducted by the wine label Mouton Cadet, 6,000 people were asked who they considered to be the 10 greatest British actors and actresses of all time. Of these top 20, only three of the women and none of the men have appeared in the Harry Potter films. Of those who are living, here is a list of those yet to tapped to don wizard or witches’ clothing. (Note: The three actresses from the list who have appeared in the movies are Julie Walters/Mrs. Weasley (#2); Dame Maggie Smith/Minerva McGonagall (#4); and Emma Thompson/Sybil Trelawney (#7)).
- Sir Anthony Hopkins: #1
- Sir Sean Connery: #3
- Sir Michael Caine: #5
- Sir David Jason: #7
- Sir Ian McKellen: #10