Finding a superstar owl? Far easier, it would seem, than finding the Muggle child to play The Boy Who Lived. Ook the owl was given the role of Harry’s owl before Daniel Radcliffe was cast. The film’s producer, David Heyman, had spotted the young Radcliffe in the films of David Copperfield, but the casting director, Susie Figgis, was unable to convince his parents that the role wouldn’t eclipse his childhood and adolescence.
A nationwide casting call was undertaken, which eventually resulted in Figgis’s resignation after none of her suggested actors were thought to fit Radcliffe’s shoes. By sheer fluke, Heyman and screenwriter Steven Kloves went to the theatre and bumped into Radcliffe’s father, Alan, a literary agent. He introduced him to Daniel. Heyman recalled: “It was all the clichés - lightning struck and the skies opened! All through the second half of the play, I harryharry potter 1920s fashion couldn't concentrate. The Radcliffes left before I had a chance to speak to them, so I had a very sleepless night before calling Alan the next morning."
Radcliffe did a screen test which astounded Rowling. “I found it incredibly moving,” she said. “At that point, I didn’t have a son. And I phoned David up, and I said, ‘he’s great, he’s fantastic.’ I did say to David, ‘it’s like watching my son on screen’. Because after all Harry feels like this ghostly son that I’ve had.”
Radcliffe was reportedly paid £1 million for the role.
2. Terry Gilliam didn’t hold back about not being the director