Richard Griffiths


  1. Peter Davison, Doctor Who, TV, 1981-1984.
  2. Keith Barron, Doctor Who #127: Enlightenment, TV, 1983.       Once Peter Sallis withdrew because of his Last of the Summer Wine schedule, Captain Striker was shopped around to Griffiths, Barron and Donald Houston…. For the first (and only) Whovian episode scripted and directed by women, Barbara Clegg and Fiona Cumming, respectively.
  3. Michael McShane, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1990.     With Americans as Robin, Marian and Will Scarlett, why not a good Brit actor as Friar Tuck. Griffiths passed, although he certainly had the girth for it, as the whole world learnde with his Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter franchise. And so, yet another American, Boston’s McShane, entered Sherwood
  4. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  5. Tom Wilkinson, The Full Monty ,1996.  The huge Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter franchise and Alan Rickman both passed on Gerald, the delightful scene stealer among the six unemployed Sheffield steelworkers turning into Chippendale strippers to bring home some bacon. The US suits did not understand anything.  ”But there’s no guy called Monty in the script!”
  6. David Kelly, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, 2004.      Harry Potter’s Uncle Vernon (not to mention Henry VIII and Falstaff on-stage) was among Tim Burton’s dozen thoughts for Grandpa Joe.   Two passed before passing: Gregory Peck and Peter Ustinov. The others Richard Attenborough, Michael Caine, George Carlin (yes, not Carlin), Kirk Douglas, Albert Finney, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Lloyd (favourite of author Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy), Ron Moody, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Paul Newman, Peter O’Toole, Max von Sydow, Eli Wallach, David Warner.  Burton finally gave the role to Kelly (“in three minutes”) on running into him at Pinewood studios on another film.
  7. Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock, 2012.    Hitchcock’s back in business!   With two films headlined by UK actors (Anthony Hopkins, Toby Jones) in bad impressions and fat suits. This is the second one: Hopkins directing Psycho. And telling Janet Leigh: “You can call me Hitch. Hold the cock.”   Hitch didn’t look (or sound) like Hitch and  idem for those playing Janet Leigh and Vera Miles, however young James D’Arcy was an uncanny Anthony Perkins.  Apart from Johnny Depp, the casting only seemed interested in avoirdupois over plausibility…  Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Murray, Oliver Platt – and, stupidly, only two other Brits, Richard Griffiths and Alfred Molina…  but not the perfect Timothy Spall – already up for Hitch in TV’s terrible The Girl, about making Tippi Hedren, The Birds and Marnie







 Birth year: 1947Death year: 2013Other name: Casting Calls:  7