One Harry Potter Movie Mistake That Ruined Its Otherwise-Perfect Lucius Malfoy
Jason Isaacs is a phenomenal actor, and his Lucius Malfoy was brilliant — but the terrible decision by Chris Columbus almost ruined him in The Chamber of Secrets.
When it comes to the cast of the Harry Potter movies, fans tend to overlook the absolute marvel that Jason Isaacs was. This fantastic actor was immensely dedicated to his character and made, unlike some others, actual efforts to make sure his portrayal of Lucius Malfoy was immaculate. He even fought the director for that!
Having read the Harry Potter books, Jason Isaacs was terrified at the initial appearance suggested for the movie version of Malfoy Sr. He had to battle his way through to convince Chris Columbus that a supremacist like Lucius Malfoy would never wear Muggle-ish clothes or cut his hair the way Muggles do. It was tough.
It was tough, but the passion and conviction of the actor won, and Lucius Malfoy looked just the way he was described in the books: as an arrogant and idle-rich wizard. He almost didn’t sound like it, though, as director Columbus was not willing to let Isaacs keep the accent he’d invented; thankfully, Dan Radcliffe helped convince the director.
But despite all the efforts from Jason Isaacs’s side, there was one scene in The Chamber of Secrets — the first movie where the actor stars — that was so dumb it almost ruined the perfect and meticulously planned-out image of Malfoy Sr. To this day, this scene makes us groan in frustration; it’s just really out of place.
In the book, when young Harry Potter tricks Lucius Malfoy into freeing Dobby, his house-elf, the elder wizard wants to curse The Boy Who Lived but has to contain himself. What’s important is that the spell he intended to use is never specified.
In the movie, however, Malfoy Sr. straight-up tried to throw an Avada Kedavra at him!
This is just as immersion-breaking as it gets: Lucius Malfoy would’ve never tried to murder a 12-year-old child over the loss of a house-elf…at least, not at the heart of Hogwarts, right next to the most powerful wizard in the world! Frustrated or not, Malfoy Sr. was many things but not a suicidal idiot to attempt something like that.
The decision to make Lucius do that in the movie went completely against the character, turning a lazy and corrupt aristocrat into a stupidly unhinged monster for no reason. We can’t help but think that most likely, Jason Isaacs tried to change this scene, too, but director Columbus was already done with his demands at that point.