One of the smartest decisions made by the creative team behind the Harry Potter
films was to cast the adult roles from the very cream of British
thespians. If you’re among the brightest luminaries of the London stage
or international screen — and if you weren’t too famously connected with
the competing Lord of the Rings trilogy, like Sir Ian McKellen — you’ve probably played a Harry Potter
witch or wizard. Some of these stars, like Julie Christie (Madam Rosmerta)
Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) , have appeared only fleetingly or in a single film; others, like
Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore), are at the core of the enterprise. The
series is essentially about the coming of age of Daniel Radcliffe’s
Harry, but the actors who have played his guardians and tormentors have
given Radcliffe, and millions of delighted viewers, lessons in
effortless screen éclat.
Photo: Warner Bros.