Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Peeves Actor Rik Mayall Behaved On Set Of Harry Potter, According To The Cast

There are several characters in J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" book series who, despite having some enjoyable moments on the page, don't appear on-screen. Prime examples include Dumbledore's Army snitch Marietta Edgecombe, Winky the house elf, and Peeves the poltergeist.

Regarding Peeves, this devious haunter of Hogwarts almost did make it into the movies. In fact, Rik Mayall, an actor and comedian known for his work in "The Young Ones" and "Drop Dead Fred," filmed several scenes as the bane of Argus Filch's (David Bradley) existence in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." However, these scenes are noticeably absent from the final cut, much to the surprise of fans and Mayall. So what happened?

A large reason is that, originally, the inaugural "Harry Potter" film was about three hours long. Director Chris Columbus told The Wrap that, though young audiences at a Chicago premiere wanted even more, the adults complained that it was too lengthy. Thus, nearly 30 minutes of footage was eliminated, including all of Peeves' scenes. While he's a fun addition to Hogwarts, he's not instrumental to any major plotlines.

Still, another reason for the lack of Peeves content could be how Mayall behaved on set, and how that behavior impacted his younger co-stars.

Rik Mayall constantly made the Harry Potter cast and crew laugh

Devon Murray, who portrays Gryffindor student Seamus Finnigan, expressed his frustration to Cosmopolitan UK over Rik Mayall not being in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." However, Murray thinks he knows why Mayall's scenes aren't seen in the final product.

"...he was absolutely hilarious. I think that's why he got cut out the movie, because nobody, the cast or crew, could keep a straight face around him," said Murray. "It just didn't work when there are so many kids there trying to look scared."

Tom Felton, a massive fan of Mayall prior to landing the role of Draco Malfoy, shared a similar sentiment in his book "Beyond the Wand." Felton has a fond memory of what happened after the first nerve-wracking table read: "Rik Mayall jumped up and shrieked, 'Race you to the toilets!' He sprinted off like a demented Pied Piper, with 20 kids running after him. Me first." Mayall even obliged Felton's request for a birthday message to his older brother Ash, which the actor signed, "XXX on the bum," much to his mother's non-amusement.

Though the late Mayall isn't in the final cut of "Sorcerer's Stone," his hilarious spirit lives on through the memories of his former young co-stars, whose time on set was made a little less stressful thanks to him. Oliver Phelps, who plays George Weasley, told Cosmopolitan UK, "He was really cool, which put me at ease at the time."