“The kids were kind of frightened by her”: Dame Maggie Smith Terrified ‘Harry Potter’ Cast With Her Presence on Set

The actress played the role of Professor Minvera McGonagall in all eight films of the fantasy fiction series.

Dame Maggie Smith Terrified ‘Harry Potter’ Cast With Her Presence on Set

SUMMARY

  • Dame Maggie Smith is a legendary actress, who became known in the 2000s for her role in the Harry Potter franchise.
  • The legendary actress played Professor Minvera McGonagall, the stern and strict yet caring teacher at Hogwarts.
  • True to her character, Maggie Smith was reportedly terrifying to the younger star cast of the fantasy fiction franchise.
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One of Britain’s most recognized actresses, Dame Maggie Smith came to be known to a whole new generation when she played the role of Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter franchise. Her strict yet caring performance is considered to be legendary despite the star cast consisting of experienced and acclaimed thespians.

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The young-adult fantasy films were majorly set in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and hence consisted of many children in leading roles and as extras. Actor Robbie Coltrane, who played the role of Hagrid in the franchise, recalled once that Smith terrified the children on set which was true to her character.

Also read: Even in His Most Embarrassing Moment, Professor Snape Was Protecting Harry Potter and Fans May Have Missed These Tiny Hearttouching Detail

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Robbie Coltrane Said That Dame Maggie Smith Terrified The Children

Dame Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall
Dame Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall

As a part of the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise, actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint got the chance to work with some of Britain’s finest actors and actresses over the course of ten years. Stalwarts such as Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, and many more were part of eight films from 2001 to 2011.

Among them was Dame Maggie Smith, the two Academy Award-winning veteran. She played the role of the Transfiguration Professor and Gryffindor’s House Head Minerva McGonagall. Her performance as the strict yet caring professor was lauded by all and was seen as perfect casting.

Also read: “It wasn’t what you’d call satisfying”: Despite Earning Millions, Maggie Smith Doesn’t Consider Harry Potter Movies as Acting

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A still from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
A still from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

True to her character, Maggie Smith was reportedly intimidating to the star cast which was filled with children. Actor Robbie Coltrane, who played the role of Rubues Hagrid in the films mentioned to Entertainment Weekly that the children were afraid of her while filming. He said that Smith played the character very seriously and gave him tips,

“[She said] ‘You have to play it very seriously. The kids were kind of frightened by her and then they warmed up because we all had a teacher like that.”

However, the children seemed to have warmed up to her after going past the strictness and fear.

Also read: “I did a thing before ‘Potter’”: Daniel Radcliffe’s First Project With Maggie Smith Surprisingly isn’t Harry Potter

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Chris Columbus Was Also Scared Of Dame Maggie Smith

Dame Maggie Smith with Daniel Radcliffe
Dame Maggie Smith with Daniel Radcliffe

While children who were eleven years old were naturally afraid of the sixty-seven-year-old Dame Maggie Smith, some far older adults on set were also reportedly intimidated by Smith. Director Chris Columbus, who directed the first two films of the franchise and was probably the one who cast Smith in the role was reportedly scared of her while filming.

The UK Daily Evening Standard reported that Columbus was so afraid of Maggie Smith that he would send Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe to call her for her shots from her trailer. He reportedly minimized his contact with Maggie Smith a lot. The Othello star also reportedly scared her Harry Potter co-star Miriam Margoyles who played Professor Sprout.

Margoyles spoke about Maggie Smith’s Scottish accent on the British talk show This Morning and claimed that she could do a better Scottish accent than Maggie Smith. However, she was quick to ask the hosts to not make it seem like she was crossing the legendary actress,

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“Not that I’m rubbishing Maggie Smith, because she’s a great lady — I’m scared of her, actually. She’s quite something, yes. But she is a great ornament to our profession. We’re very lucky to have her around…Don’t tell her what I said though.”

It seems like Dame Maggie Smith has built herself quite a reputation that works for children and adults alike.

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Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 1081

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 400 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.