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The Only Harry Potter Cast Member Who Wasn't A British Star

The eight "Harry Potter" movies proved revolutionary in the film industry in a number of ways, showing Hollywood the ropes on how to tell a story with several installments over an entire decade. From employing multiple directors to keep the films fresh to adapting the book series' final installment into two parts, "Harry Potter" helped build a foundation for modern franchise filmmaking. One major area of production that helped make the films so successful? The casting.

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling retained an unusual amount of creative control over the novels' adaptations when she originally sold the film rights to Warner Bros. in 1999 (via IGN). The films' producer, David Heyman, and "Sorcerer's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets" director Christopher Columbus didn't mind the arrangement, giving Rowling plenty of leeway to voice her opinion where other novelists involved in a film adaptation of their story might not. Rowling exercised this control to insist that the films cast actors native to the United Kingdom in order to retain the book's genuinely British attitude, as well that the production should film in England (via Accio Quote!).

Narrowing casting searches to British actors only helped the films' producers ultimately discover the series' leads, then-unknown child actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint (via Warner Bros. Entertainment). Well-respected adult actors like Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, and Robbie Coltrane joined to give the young actors bona fide stars to help carry the movies — save for an interesting American exception.

Verne Troyer played Griphook in Sorcerer's Stone — but he didn't voice him

American actor Verne Troyer portrayed Griphook, the Gringotts goblin who shows Harry to his bank vault, in "Harry Potter in the Sorcerer's Stone." Because Troyer was American, though, British actor Warwick Davis dubbed over his lines for the film's final cut (via AugustMan). Davis also portrayed another Gringotts goblin in the first film, and he remains steadily in "Harry Potter" as Hogwarts professor Filius Flitwick for the rest of the series. Davis also took over the role of Griphook in full for the character's pivotal part in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

Troyer was one of two American casting exceptions to the series' strict U.K.-actors-only rule in the first two films. The other is Chris Columbus' daughter Eleanor, who portrayed Susan Bones, a Hufflepuff student in Harry's year, in "Sorcerer's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets." Columbus has no dialogue in either film, and the character is absent in future movies, with Susan Bones' lines in the book given to other actors.

Aside from Verne Troyer's "Harry Potter" role, the actor is perhaps best known for portraying Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" spy comedy movies. Troyer died in 2018 at the age of 49.