Whatever Happened to Liam Aiken, the Original Pick for Harry Potter?
When Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone premiered in cinemas in 2001, three previously unknown children were launched into stardom.
One such star was Daniel Radcliffe. Born in Fulham in 1989, Radcliffe was from a showbiz family with his mother and father being casting agents and literary agents respectively.
But Radcliffe was not the first choice to play the titular character. In fact, if everything had gone according to Chris Columbus' plan, Liam Aiken would have been cast as Harry.
After working with Aiken on Stepmom, Chris Columbus knew the young actor would make the perfect Harry Potter.
However, having already begged Warner Bros. to direct the movie, he wasn't so good at convincing author J.K. Rowling to bring Liam on board.
Rowling effectively forbade the team from giving roles to actors who weren't British. Since Aiken wasn't British, he couldn't be considered. So the auditions were announced.
Harry Potter auditions took place over a period of several months in 2000. The filmmakers held an extensive casting search that spanned the United Kingdom and included thousands of young actors.
The auditions included a combination of screen tests and in-person interviews, and the producers ultimately chose Daniel Radcliffe for the role after seeing his performance in the stage production of "David Copperfield."
But What happened to Aiken?
Unlike some actors who never make it into the limelight, Liam Aiken has been pretty successful despite the Harry Potter snub.
He has continued to work in the entertainment industry, appearing in a variety of movies and television shows.
Some of his notable roles include the lead in the 2004 film Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and 2010's The Killer Inside Me alongside Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson.
Aiken also had a recurring role on the TV series Fargo and appeared in episodes of TV shows including A Gifted Man, Law & Order, Mad Men and I'm Dying Up Hear.
Ultimately, his movies haven't been huge successes. The last movie Aiken appeared in was Bashira, a 2021 horror film based on Japanese legend. It was only shown at film festivals.
Liam Aiken is now 33 years old and keeps quiet about his private life. His net worth is said to be around $2 million.
Ultimately, Daniel Radcliffe was chosen for the role of Harry Potter, a decision that proved to be a successful one as he went on to become synonymous with the character and helped to turn the Harry Potter franchise into a global phenomenon.
Radcliffe continues to work in movies as well as on the small screen and in theater shows, including Merrily We Roll Along in 2022. His net worth is believed to be over $130 million.
Would Liam Aiken have had the same impact? It's impossible to know!