By Scott Harris
When “Harry Potter” fans head to the theater this weekend to check out “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,” they’ll no doubt be worrying about minor details like, you know, Voldemort trying to kill Harry, the Death Eaters taking over the wizarding world and basically the end of all things.
But some movie buffs will be focused on another amazing aspect of the film: all those incredible British thespians (and a couple Irishmen and Scots).
All that wand waving is cool and everything, but for us, the real magic behind the success of “Harry Potter” has been the franchise’s ability to get just about every big-name British actor in the universe to take a major role in the film. Sure, there are a couple of exceptions — Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart were probably too busy fighting in “X-Men” to find the time — but even so, “Harry Potter” has consistently fielded one of the most impressive collections of acting talent in film history.
With that in mind, then, we thought we’d take a look at just how crazy good that cast is by breaking things down into easily digestible internet nuggets of wisdom. So here it is, the “Harry Potter” cast by the numbers:
Mind you, this is just the main cast; we’re not even including the untold number of nominations for the crew and the production team. And with so many hundreds of cameos and bit parts, there may even be more on the acting front. But there’s no doubt who leads the field: Dame Maggie Smith, aka Professor Minerva McGonagall, has no fewer than six noms to her name.
6: Oscar Wins
Looks like it actually is an honor just to be nominated, because of those 25 nods, our gang from Hogwarts has taken home the hardware just six times. That’s two for Dame Maggie Smith, two for Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawny) and one each for Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn) and Julie Christie (Madam Rosmerta).
45: Golden Globe Nominations
On the one hand, it seems a lot easier to get a nomination for a Golden Globe than an Academy Award thanks to the fact the Globes just have more categories. But winning it is even harder than winning an Oscar: the wizarding world has just 10 wins to show for its 45 nominations. The big loser? Helena Bonham Carter(Bellatrix Lestrange) who has nothing to show for her five nominations except tears.
You don’t think of these stars as being television personalities, but between them they’ve racked up an impressive 27 Emmy nominations, albeit mostly for TV movies. Brendan Gleeson (Professor Mad-Eye Moody) and Alan Rickman (Professor Snape), for instance, both won Emmys for historical dramas (“Into the Storm” and “Rasputin,” respectively).
18: BAFTA Nominations… for Maggie Smith
The BAFTAs are like the British version of the Oscars and the Emmys rolled into one. Still, 18 nominations is crazy and just goes to show you don’t get the title “Dame” for sucking. Getting a BAFTA nomination seems to be a requirement to appear in a “Potter” film; all 17 actors we reviewed had at least one — including Robbie Coltrane, aka Hagrid, who has actually won three times.
6: Razzie Nominations
Yes, even good actors occasionally stink up the joint when they appear in bad films, which helps explain why our group of highly decorated actors have managed to earn six Razzie nominations over the years. Ralph Fiennes (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) leads the way with two thanks to “The Avengers,” while even the legendary Sir Richard Harris (Dumbledore the first) got a Razzie nod for “Tarzan, the Ape Man” way back in 1981.
Frankly, this is almost impossible to figure out with any degree of certainty thanks to the crazy rules those guys use. Sir Richard Harris, for example, is a Sir — but that’s because he was knighted in Denmark, not Britain. Michael Gambon (Dumbledore the second) and Maggie Smith both count, but Robbie Coltrane’s rank of OBE (whatever that is) is a step below the CBE which officially confers the title of “Sir.” So he’s… a squire? And two cast members — John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick) and Kenneth Branagh(Professor Gilderoy Lockhart) — apparently refused the title when they were offered. Probably simpler that way.
Eleventy Billion: Box Office Total
Almost as confusing as those British titles is trying to figure out how much these actors have made over their careers outside of the “Harry Potter” franchise; animated voicework and small cameo roles skew the figures in every direction. There’s one number that can’t be faked, though — the $2.02 billion Bill Nighy (Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour) raked in on his other massive film franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
2: Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon
Yes, consider this the ultimate fringe benefit for appearing in a “Harry Potter” movie: Since several of the stars have appeared with Kevin Bacon themselves in various projects (John Cleese, Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter among others), every single cast member in “Harry Potter” can connect themselves to Kevin Bacon in two degrees or less. Now that’s some real movie magic.