Jack Whitehall 'missed out on Harry Potter role'
Tim Clark20 November 2012
Jack Whitehall has revealed how he once auditioned for the part of Harry Potter after the casting team visited his school.
Speaking on Richard Bacon’s Five Live show Whitehall revealed how his father had pulled some strings to secure his son a private casting for the role of Harry instead of an open-casting at the Harrodian School in London.
“I was a bit of a pot head at school - a fan of Harry Potter, not marijuana,” Whitehall said.
“What was embarrassing was that the Harry Potter casting agent came to my school and they were doing an open audition where they auditioned loads of people at the same time and picked out the one that they liked.
“My dad said 'that’s a complete waste of time, no-one ever gets cast from an open audition. I’m going to sort something out for you one-to-one’. And he did, it was an example of my dad using his contacts to help me get in, and I went in and completely messed it up.
"And in the open audition Emma Watson was two years below me and get the part.”
Presenter Bacon asked the comedian, who auditioned for the part when he was twelve, if he could remember anything of the audition itself.
“I remember being really nervous and my mum had made me up to look even more like Harry Potter. She’d bought me little round spectacles and dressed me up in my school blazer, she did everything to make me look like him.
“If she could have been able to scar my forehead, she would have, she was that desperate for me to get this role.”
“I remember going to the casting agent's house, and being with my mum and having to read it in my kitchen. In fact, thinking back now, the casting agent probably had an office to work out of so there is a possibility that my mum could have lied to me and taken me to one of her friend's houses just to shut me up.”
Whitehall, who has achieved fame through his part in Big Brother’s Big Mouth as well as his stand-up comedy, has landed some prime parts opn British TV over the past few years including that of JP in the critically acclaimed Fresh Meat. However Whitehall has also been compared to fellow pupil at the harrodian School Robert Pattinson, who landed the main role in the Twilight series and became an international star.
“He was very good even back then and I wasn't,” Whitehall said. “And I wasn't annoyed by him getting the nice parts. What I was annoyed about was my mum and how she obsessed with him and how that for the rest of my life whenever he achieved something it was shoved down my throat by my mother.”
Bacon pointed out that if he was turned down for role of James Bond he would have missed out on the world’s three biggest film franchises.
“There is still time.” Whitehall added.
Listen to the interview on the BBC here.