By now, you have almost certainly heard that after Dumbledore actor Richard Harris passed away after filming Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, his role was offered to other famous British wizard actor, Ian McKellen.
In an interview, McKellen revealed the reason he turned down the role: not because he was tired of playing long-bearded magicians in robes but because, years earlier, Richard Harris had criticized him. “Technically brilliant but passionless,” Harris supposedly said about McKellen. According to Slate, this was Harris’s full quote: “I’ve seen these so-called ‘nice’ actors. Very able fellows like Ian McKellen and Kenneth Branagh. But they’re like bank managers. So sweet and careful. Who needs them?”
In an act of classy Englishness, KcKellen turned down the opportunity to take over Harris’s role. “”I couldn’t take over the part from an actor who I know disapproved of me,” he said.
To which I reply…yes, you could!
What a colossal and endless burn! He was dead and the part could have been yours! May the roles of all of my enemies who said snarky things about me behind my back be offered to me after my death, and may my performance be so good that everyone forgets about them forever. The first two Harry Potter movies were the weakest ones! They were directed by Chris Columbus, and they were competent but literal. Only after Alfonso Cuarón took over in Prisoner of Azkaban did the cinematic universe get a unique visual aesthetic! The movies got so much better, and you, you, could have been the Dumbledore in the good movies!
Richard Harris was dead; he doesn’t get to dictate your career choices anymore. You would have gotten to hang out with Ralph Fiennes and Maggie Smith all day while giving the metaphorical middle finger to a guy who said mean things about you. You sweet fool. You would have been the one in heaven.