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Young Grindelwald Actor Recalls First Botched Harry Potter Audition

Young Grindelwald actor Jamie Campbell Bower recalls his first Harry Potter audition, which didn’t go as smoothly as expected. Bower portrayed a young Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Death Hallows – Part 1, and reprised the role eight years later in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The seventh installment of the Harry Potter film franchise, Deathly Hallows – Part 1 grossed $330 million worldwide on its opening weekend, making it the third highest-grossing Harry Potter film, only behind Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and Sorcerer’s Stone.

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Though Bower portrayed young Grindelwald in two Harry Potter films, each of Bower’s appearances were only a few seconds long, and neither of them were speaking roles. Despite this, however, Bower’s brief performance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 was a key part of the film’s story, as Grindelwald once possessed one of the titular Hallows. In Wizarding World lore, Grindelwald was as fearsome a villain as Voldemort, and his reign of terror in the 1900s culminated in an epic duel with Albus Dumbledore. Bower only got the chance to appear as Grindelwald in flashbacks and pictures, yet he is still considered a part of the Harry Potter family. However, he nearly held a much bigger position within the cast.


Related: Stranger Things Proves Twilight Wasted Jamie Campbell Bower’s Villain

In an interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Bower recalls his first Harry Potter audition, and how it didn’t quite go to plan. Bower remembers agents coming to his school looking for kids to star in the first-ever Harry Potter film when he was about 14 years old. Bower says that he was picked out as a potential contender to play Harry, but that his audition with director Chris Columbus didn’t go swimmingly. Read Bower’s full recollection below:

“I went to go and meet Chris Columbus in London for the first Harry Potter, and they’d asked us to prepare a joke. And I had just heard this joke about a fairy– like, the reason why the fairy sits on top of the Christmas tree, and it’s a really, like, dirty joke, because it’s about the Christmas tree up somebody’s bottom. And I told this joke in the audition, and there was again, this sort of, like… air of just like silence after I said it. And I was like, ‘Well… fucked that up.’ [Laughs]”

Bower missed out on playing Harry Potter‘s Boy Who Lived, but he’s since appeared in a number of major properties. This includes The Twilight Saga and, most recently, Stranger Things season 4, where he played, fittingly, the villain Vecna. Though his time as Grindelwald was overall very short, Bower has built a name for himself playing villains. This makes it a bit difficult to picture what his Harry would look like. While Bower could still play a hero, there’s no question that he’s very good at being bad; that’s why even with a small amount of screen time, Bower was able to capture Grindelwald’s dark and mysterious nature perfectly.


Though getting cast as Harry Potter would’ve undoubtedly changed the course of Bower’s career, it’s unlikely that he would have ever appeared in much-loved roles of his – like his Twilight appearances – if he’d secured the role of the boy wizard. Stranger Things season 4 skyrocketed Bower to new levels of stardom, with fans and critics alike praising his sinister portrayal of Henry Creel, aka Number One. With an already massive fan following, and with his return as Vecna in Stranger Things season 5 secured, Bower’s botched Harry Potter audition will only be a footnote in his flourishing career.


Source: Happy Sad Confused


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