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Obert Opines: Recasting live-action ‘Harry Potter’ characters

At 2:30 a.m., I awoke to my soaking wet bed. Immediately a thought came to me: either my 15-year battle with bed-wetting had restarted or I was profusely sweating. A quick taste test told me it was sweat, and as my eyes crept open a snowy white owl flew past my window. Snowy owl? Swamp creature? A higher power was trying to tell me something. I checked Twitter as soon as I could and saw it: a live-action “Harry Potter” coming in the form of a Max Original TV series between 2025 and 2026. Just as overwhelming excitement took hold of me, I refocused. 

A week’s worth of extremely hard work awaited me (this is a fake story). I booked a flight to New York, where Daniel Radcliffe was waiting for me. After pushing over people to be the first off the plane, I stole a bike from a nearby bike rack and pedaled as fast as Lance Armstrong until I got to Radcliffe’s home. Radcliffe’s front door was unlocked, and when I got to his office, Radcliffe looked up at me while petting his cat and said, “We have work to do.”

After a 12-hour screaming match, in which Radcliffe and I were nose-to-nose as I vehemently denied every single one of his casting suggestions, Radcliffe screamed, “FINE, do it yourself!” 

Re-casting Harry Potter

It is impossible to forecast which child actors will play the younger characters in Harry Potter, so I will only cast the adults. I will only consider British actors due to the overwhelming majority of British actors in the movies. Besides Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint all were relative unknowns before being cast as Harry, Hermione and Ron, respectively. None of the three were perfect fits: Radcliffe had blue eyes rather than Harry’s green, Watson was too cute in the eyes of Rowling to play the bushy-haired, buck-toothed Hermione and Grint hardly had acting experience. The one child actor I will float out is the baby from “Creed 2,” who was masterful in portraying a baby.

Ewan McGregor as Arthur Weasley or Gilderoy Lockhart

McGregor would be perfect in either of these roles. He has plenty of experience working with child actors, knows how to build off others’ depictions of the same character, and looks to be a natural redhead (I know my own kind). McGregor also looks a lot like Kenneth Branagh, who played Lockhart in the movie series.

Sean Bean as Professor Snape

I know I’m crazy for casting a senior citizen to play a character in his early 30s, but maybe it can be canon that Snape is actually a 60-year-old at the start of the series since the movies did the same thing. Bean portrayed very similar characters in “Game Of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings,” so it’s hard to say which British actor could better represent the dark image of Snape mixed with heroic actions than Bean.  

Christian Bale as Sirius Black

It’s difficult to improve upon the nearly flawless performance Gary Oldman gave as Sirius throughout the movie series, but Bale would have the best shot. He would perfectly depict Black’s fiery passion and restlessness throughout the series. Bale will also have no issue with the disheveled prisoner look in the third season. He won’t have to go completely “The Machinist,” but he could do it if he wanted.

Kate Winslet as Minerva McGonagall

As disappointed as I was by Vin Diesel’s absence in “Avatar: The Way of Water,” I still noticed how intense but motherly Winslet was in her depiction of Ronal. Professor McGonagall is like the strict teacher you didn’t like very much as a student, but years later, you only remember her with the best of memories. Winslet showed the ability to be stern but fair in “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Plus, to my knowledge, McGonagall is never in a situation where she has to push a loved one off a life raft, so Winslet should be all good to go.

Liam Neeson as Albus Dumbledore

Any actor playing Dumbledore needs to be able to command a room while being your best friend. This casting checks off both of those boxes with one of the greatest actors ever. Although Richard Harris and Michael Gambon did a great job playing Dumbledore in the movie series, they were so old the character lost some gravitas. With Neeson, the audience will not question that Dumbledore is the greatest wizard ever.

Although this cast isn’t complete, and I ruined my friendship with Radcliffe (he won’t answer any of my 37 MySpace DMs), I have come up with five perfect castings for the most important adult characters: you’re welcome, world.

Bobby Gorbett is a junior studying journalism. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Bobby know by tweeting him @GorbettBobby.

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