‘Terrible! I was insulted’ Why major UK star quit Harry Potter films after just one movie

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts trailer from Sky

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When JK Rowling sold the film rights to her hit Harry Potter books, she was determined not to allow Hollywood to Americanise her Wizarding World. Stars from across the pond like Robin Williams lobbied hard for roles like Hagrid and Lupin, but the author was determined to keep Hogwarts purely British. The likes of Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman were her personal choices, but there was one British actor who didn’t get on well with the franchise.

Zoë Wanamaker was cast as Quidditch instructor Madam Hooch in first year movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

But over the years fans have noticed that the My Family star never reprised her role across the other seven movies.

According to The Telegraph, the 72-year-old was appalled by the pay she was offered, describing it as “terrible”.

She told the outlet in 2001: “Some actors signed three-film deals, but the money was so poor I was insulted so I just signed for one. “If they want me for a second, they’ll have to up their rates.”

Wanamaker also lamented how they didn’t receive royalties from the merchandise featuring their likeness. This included being “cyber-scanned” for the tie-in Harry Potter video game.

However, in 2018, she did reprise Madama Hooch in the iOS RPG Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, along with many other actors from the films.

Interestingly, Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two movies before his death, seemed to be satisfied with his salary.

Harris had said: “They kept offering me the role. And the more I turned them down, the more money they offered me.”

Miriam Margolyes reflects on 20th anniversary of Harry Potter

On New Year’s Day, many surviving actors from the movies took part in a 20th anniversary Harry Potter reunion called Return to Hogwarts, which can be streamed on NOW and HBO Max.

Wanamaker did not return for this either, but the likes of Coltrane, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes and the main trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint all did.

Professor Quirrell actor Ian Hart, who like the My Family star was only in the first movie, was a talking head but sadly only for a brief moment.

Reports of Rowling not featuring in the Harry Potter reunion have been around for weeks, with speculation rife that she didn’t take part due to the controversy surrounding her views on transgenderism.

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This kicked off in 2020 when the author objected to the term  “people who menstruate” rather than using the word women.

In the Return to Hogwarts special, she does appear as a talking head but in footage from the Harry Potter studio tour captured in 2019.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Rowling was invited to take part but her team felt that the archives comments were adequate.

Additionally, the outlet’s sources say her statements on transgenderism did not play a part in this decision.

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