Earlier this week, we reported the unfortunate news that beloved British comedian Rik Mayall passed away at the age of 56. While he was better known in the U.K., for roles in The Young Ones, Bottom and Blackadder II, he also developed a cult following on this side of the pond for playing the title role in the 1991 comedy Drop Dead Fred. Yahoo! Movies UK unearthed a 2011 interview with the comedian, where he revealed that he actually landed a role in a massive franchise that would have likely increased is fan base in the U.S., if he would have remained in the movie. The actor/comedian revealed that he landed the role of Peeves, a mischevious ghost, in 2002's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which he would have likely played throughout the eight-film franchise.
Take a look at what the late comedian had to say about how he was in the first Harry Potter movie for all of three weeks, before he was cut, when asked what his favorite movie role was.
"I tell you, the best f**king film I've ever been in, not for the film, because the film, with respect... no with no respect at all... the film was s**t, I'll tell you why. A long while ago, all the kids at my kids' school were saying 'Hello Rik, have you read Harry Potter? It's fantastic.' I'd go 'what?' and they'd go 'Harry Potter, it's a book' and I'd go 'oh, er, of course I've read it,' which I hadn't. My agent said, 'Hey Rik, you want to be in Harry Potter?' I said, 'What, is it a book?'
He said, 'It's a film.' I said, "Ah, it's my favourite book, course I want to be in it. I'd never read a word. He said: 'Alright, you're in it.' I thought, 'f**king cool. What's the money?' and she said 'it's alright' (at this point Rik does the wobbly hands of balance).
"So I did it, I went and I f**king did it. I played the part of Peeves in Harry Potter. I got sent off the set because every time I tried to do a bit of acting, all the lads who were playing the school kids kept getting the giggles, they kept corpsing, so they threw me off.
"Well, they asked me to do it with my back to them and they still laughed. So they asked me to do it around the other side of the cathedral and shout my lines, but they still laughed so they said they'd do my lines with someone else.
"So then I did a little bit of filming, then I went home and I got the money. That's significant. Then a month later, they said: 'Er, Rik, we're sorry about this, but you're not in the film. We've cut you out of the film.'
"It was three weeks later, so I was in the film for around three weeks and then they cut me out. But I still got the money. So that is the most exciting film I've ever been in, because I got the oodle and I wasn't in it. Fantastic."
It isn't known if this footage ever made it onto the Blu-ray and DVD release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but director Chris Columbus cut the scenes because he wasn't happy with Peeves' look. The actor also added that he was sent tickets to the premiere, but couldn't attend, so he sent his family instead, although he hadn't told them that he was cut from the film. Here's what he had to say, revealing who his children thought he played.
"I hadn't told my kids I wasn't in it yet, and they came back and they said: 'Bloody good make up. You didn't look like yourself at all dad.' They thought I was playing Hagrid, Robbie Coltrane's part. So that was the best film I've been in, because I wasn't in it, and it was crap. It was crap, because I wasn't in it."
Would you have enjoyed seeing Rik Mayall as Peeves? Chime in with your thoughts below.