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Why Bill Nighy Was So Intent On Joining The Cast Of Harry Potter

The "Harry Potter" series, written by J.K. Rowling, is full of magic, suspense, and intense moments that keep readers on the edge of their seats. Though there are storylines that disappeared without explanation, the franchise is critically acclaimed, thanks to both the books and their film adaptations.

While the novels introduce many colorful characters, the films either omit or only briefly show those witches, wizards, and Muggles who have a less significant impact on Harry's story. One such character is Rufus Scrimgeour, the Minister of Magic after Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy). Though Scrimgeour is introduced in the sixth book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," he does not appear in the films until "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1."

Described by the Muggle Prime Minister as looking "rather like an old lion," Scrimgeour is played by actor Bill Nighy, who is also known for his roles as Billy Mack in "Love Actually" and Davy Jones in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series. And Nighy was adamant about appearing in the "Harry Potter" movies in some form.

Everyone else was in Harry Potter

Bill Nighy told Vanity Fair in 2022 that he wanted to be in the "Harry Potter" franchise because everyone else was, and the actor was feeling left out. "All of my friends were in 'Harry Potter,'" he said. If fans were happy to see the new minister on-screen, Nighy was even more excited. "I am no longer the only English actor not to be in 'Harry Potter' and I am very pleased," he told the BBC when his part was confirmed in 2009.

Viewers first meet Rufus Scrimgeour on-screen as he is addressing the wizarding world after Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has reached the height of his power. He speaks plainly yet effectively about the current dark times and reassures the people that the Ministry will remain strong. It is a powerful first look at the new minister, who must remain authoritative while war looms on the horizon.

Scrimgeour later speaks to Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) about Albus Dumbledore's (Michael Gambon) will. Though he cannot give Harry the sword of Gryffindor, he hands him a Golden Snitch, Ron the Deluminator, and Hermione "The Tales of Beadle the Bard," which help the trio on their journey to destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes. Unfortunately, this is the last we see of Scrimgeour before he is killed and Voldemort takes control of the Ministry of Magic.