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Why One X-Men Star Turned Down Harry Potter, Complete With An F-Bomb

X2: X-Men United’s Alan Cumming has an acting resume that spans across multiple mediums – film, television, streaming and stage. Over the years, Cumming has taken part in many classics and box office hits, but there’s one film opportunity that he passed up. According to the actor, the role wasn’t even worth his time and effort. Cumming broke down why he turned down a role in the Harry Potter franchise with an expletive-filled send-off.

For years, Alan Cumming’s name has been surrounded in rumors when being in the running to play Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The pivotal role eventually went to actor-director Kenneth Branagh with reports of Cumming turning down the role. But according to the Good Wife alum, that wasn’t entirely true. The X-Men star revealed to Telegraph why he didn’t even test for the Harry Potter role.

They wanted me and Rupert Everett to do a screen test, and they said they couldn't pay me more than a certain sum, they just didn't have any more money in the budget. And I had the same agent as Rupert, who of course, they were going to pay more. Blatantly lying, stupidly lying, as well. Like, if you're going to lie, be clever about it. I said, tell them to fuck right off. And thought, well Rupert's going to get the part. They made him screen test, and I remember he brought his own wig. And then they fucking gave it to Kenneth Branagh, came out of the shadows.

Given Cumming’s status on stage and screen at that point, it’s completely understandable that he didn’t test for the role. Alan Cumming knew what was happening and didn’t want any parts of it. At the time of the screen test, Cumming and Rupert Everett were at the same status in entertainment with the same manager. So seemingly it didn’t make sense to pay Everett for his time but not Cumming.

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As the X2 alum pointed out, Kenneth Branagh ended up getting the part anyway. That’s disappointing for some considering Rupert Everett went all out for his screen test. So, neither Everett nor Alan Cumming would ultimately get to play Prof. Lockhart. But in Branagh’s defense, he did an excellent job capturing the fraud wizard’s personality and essence.

Despite not getting the part, Alan Cumming’s career hasn’t suffered. Cumming has used his talents to bring life to countless films and television series over the years. The Good Wife alum has continued to thrive in Hollywood.

The X-Men alum is currently showcasing his vast talent in the Apple TV+ musical comedy Schmigadoon. The series is currently streaming on the platform with its season finale airing on Aug. 13.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).