Many fans of Rik Mayall know that the comedian recorded scenes for the first Harry Potter movie as Peeves the Poltergeist and that these scenes were eventually cut out of the film. It now appears that it’s not just Rik’s fans that are saddened by the lost of these scenes: actor Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) told Interview Magazine this month that the scenes were “superb” and calls the cuts “unfortunate”.
He also recalls working with Rik aged 11:
“I was sort of unaware of the caliber of who I was working with, but definitely their fame and their ability to a certain degree. There were a lot of things that those guys had been in and done that I was a huge fan of. At the time, I was a ridiculously big fan of Rik Mayall, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago. Rik was cast to play Peeves the Poltergeist in the first film, and unfortunately he was cut out in the end because of time issues, but he was superb in it.”
“I sat next to him at the read-through and I was completely lost for words. He really took me under his wing and started chatting me through the different characters behind the camera, who everybody was and what their job was, and he signed my script. It was a huge moment to be in that read-through surrounded by all of these amazing people who I’d seen on TV and then they were friendly and so unassuming.”
“Then the worst thing happens, you get to 15, 16 and start to realize, as you’ve already said, the sheer caliber of what they’ve done. You become much more aware of the craft and the medium. All of that camaraderie you’ve built up over the years suddenly takes a big hit because you go, “Oh god, I’ve been so blasé with these people. They’re actually all incredible and I’m just here chilling out with them.” So then you get a whole new fear that comes along. I was 18 when I finally got over that.”