This Movie Prevented Hugh Grant From Starring In Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

The "Harry Potter" franchise is teeming with heroes and villains, and then there are those who don't fit cleanly in either category. Such as Professor Gilderoy Lockhart. The less-than-genius wizard we were introduced to in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" was an extremely egocentric and narcissistic man who claimed to have accomplished deeds that made him a hero — but only in name. In reality, Lockhart harbored a secret. He was nothing but a charlatan who stole credit from the achievements of other witches and wizards and obliviate-d them, wiping their memories.

Actor Kenneth Branagh was the very embodiment of Lockhart, and personally, I felt he had been pulled right out of the pages of J.K. Rowling's books. It turns out, Branagh wasn't the only one in the running for the role. It almost went to English actor Hugh Grant. However, his commitment to another movie stopped him from taking the role.

Grant Had To Film Two Weeks Notice

Hugh Grant almost played the less-than-genius wizard Gilderoy Lockhart in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." In a report published by The Guardian, Grant's agent confirmed that the actor was forced to bail on the "Harry Potter" movie. The award-winning star ditched his role in the franchise to star in "Two Weeks Notice," a romantic-comedy alongside actress Sandra Bullock.

Although the film's director Chris Columbus denied that Grant was being considered for the part, the actor's agent confirmed the news. "Sadly Hugh had to turn down the part because he's committed to doing a movie with Sandra Bullock next February," Grant's agent Karin Smith told the publication.

"Two Weeks Notice" hadn't gone into production at the time, and was still an untitled project. Grant had already decided to commit to the film, so even though the actor had begun preparing for the role of Lockhart by dyeing his hair blonde, he had to leave the movie.

In the film, Hugh Grant plays the handsome-and-needy billionaire real estate developer George Wade, alongside Sandra Bullock's Lucy Kelson, an intelligent lawyer. It was directed by Marc Lawrence.

Other actors who were being considered for the role of Lockhart include Alan Cumming and Rupert Everett, but the part eventually went to Kenneth Branagh. I, for one, am quite glad that Branagh played Gilderoy Lockhart in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." It's hard to imagine anyone else miserably failing to contain cornish pixies in a cage.