Alan Cumming told Harry Potter producers to ‘f**k off’ after they ‘lied’ about part

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Alan Cumming had a couple of choice words for Harry Potter producers after he turned down a major film role.

The Scottish actor was originally in the running to play narcissistic author Gilderoy Lockhart in the second film in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

But the 56-year-old claims he clashed with filmmakers over his proposed salary, and claims they lied about not having any more budget while offering Rupert Everett more money.

“I didn’t turn it down,” he told The Telegraph. “I told them to f**k off!

“They wanted me and Rupert Everett to do a screen test,” he recalled.

“They said they couldn’t pay me more than a certain sum, they just didn’t have any more money in the budget.”

Cumming added that he and Everett shared a talent agent at the time, and that he found out they were going to “pay [him] more”,

“Blatantly lying, stupidly lying, as well,” he added.

“Like, if you’re going to lie, be clever about it.”

Ultimately, the role went to Kenneth Brannagh. The part was reportedly offered to Hugh Grant, but he declined it to star in 2002 rom-com Two Weeks Notice instead.

Kenneth Branagh in n Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (IMDb/Warner Brothers)
Kenneth Branagh in n Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (IMDb/Warner Brothers)

The cast of the Harry Potter films recently reunited for a HBO Max special, released on New Year’s Day (1 January).

Much has been made of JK Rowling’s limited involvement – after initial reports that she would be excluded from the reunion, it has since emerged that she features in archive footage. The stars of the series also discuss the impact she had as an author.

Controversy has stirred around Rowling since she began making repeated comments about trans people, touching off fierce backlash from LGBT+ Harry Potter fans – and the stars of the beloved film adaptations as well.

Daniel Radcliffe notably rallied behind trans people in an emotional blog post for The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention charity for LGBT+ youth.

“Transgender women are women,” he wrote. “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”

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