Robert Hardy, Potter’s Fudge actor, talks new movie

Robert Hardy plays Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the first five Harry Potter movies. He is a fine character actor, in my opinion, and I’ve always enjoyed his performances. The Fudge character is distasteful and not very nice (nor really as much like President Bush as people have suggested) but he does help make the stories interesting.

Fudge — I mean, Hardy, plays a member of the Thatcher government in the upcoming movie “Thatcher” (about the government of Margaret Thatcher, a powerful Reagan-era diplomat and the UK Prime Minister who won the Falklands War).

You can read an interview with him here.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The insurers for the Harry Potter films were insuring me for a massive amount of money and being extra reluctant about it. I could almost hear them saying, ’Is he worth it? He’s broken most of his bones, he’s had cancer and he might drop dead at any moment!’

You mentioned Harry Potter…

I loved my time as Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, but my character has now been erased! I knew it would happen, because he’s quite a good part in the book, but there was no way they were ever going to fit everything into one film.

All three producers rang me up, separately, on the same day to give me the news – so I was told three times. They said, ’We’re so sorry, we’re having to cut the book by half,’ so that was the end of that. I was very sad, because of the amusing and wicked people I worked with, like Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith, who is an old friend. It was such fun to film, and there were so many laughs on set that it was hard to come up with a sober face just before they shouted, ’Action!’

Did working with children remind you of your own schooldays?

I was the youngest of five, and sent away to board at a prep school when I was eight. When I begged to leave because I was so utterly miserable, my father refused, saying that I had to prove myself. It was a very destructive experience, and I look back on it with loathing.

When it came to my own children’s education, I was very careful. When one of my daughters was unhappy at school, I did not hesitate – I whisked her straight out. I didn’t want her to experience the same trauma that I had.

Margaret will be shown on BBC2 at the end of February.

So, Fudge is done in the films. Somewhat sad. I was wondering if we would see him in “The Other Prime Minister”, but I suppose not.


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