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Liam Aiken

  1. Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense, 1999.   The young New Yorker refused the role that won Osment an immediate Oscar nomination. New director M Night Shyamalan was convinced after asking Osment if he read his part. “Three times last night." “Wow, you read your part three times?” “Oh no,” said Osment, “ I read the script three times.” Aiken turned it down because he was trying to be...
  2. Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 2000.   Author JK Rowling insistedon an all-British cast (and picked Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, herself). Potter candidates included Tom Felton, who played  Draco Malfoy… William  Moseley, who became Peter Pevensie, the Harry of The Chronicles of Narnia franchise2005-2010… Gabriel Thomsen from My Family(his TV mum Zoë  Wannamaker, played Madame Hooch)…  Jack Whitehall,  also seen for Ron Weasley… and one unfortunate American. As Liam Aiken, Warner’s favourite, aged ten, and in movies for three years, tells it: “I flew to England, and a week later I had the role. Then the next day, I didn't. But I understood. Like James Bond, Harry has to be British.” So he lost the film - and its sequels -  for the next eleven years. Potter’s look is greatly inspired by Alan Cox as the young John Watson in 1985’s Young Sherlock Holmes - also directed by Chris Columbus.  His Holmes had many a Potter similarity with the book JK Rowling woul begin  five years later and publish in 1997.
  3. Jeremy Sumpter, Peter Pan, 2002.    Another British classic but this time it was his age at fault. Aiken’s audition was cancelled when the suits realised he was 12 when they wanted a Pan in the 14-17 bracket.
  4. Gaelan Connell, Brandslam, 2008.    Aiken quit when accepted by NYU’s film school. Ironically, actor-musician Connell quit the same school in mid-term in order to take over the role of Will.

 





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