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Why The Role Of Griphook Was Recast In Harry Potter

When Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is catapulted into the wizarding world after 10 miserable years with his Muggle relatives, one of the first individuals he encounters is Griphook, a goblin employee at Gringotts, the official bank of the magical community. In the first film in the series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," Verne Troyer portrayed Griphook, who leads a fascinated Harry and a nauseous Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) zooming through Gringotts' underground tunnels so that Harry can acquire some gold from his vault.

Troyer, who is known for playing Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" franchise, was one of the few Americans to appear in any "Harry Potter" film. In fact, Warwick Davis, who is seen throughout the series as Charms professor Filius Flitwick, did a voice-over for Troyer so the actor wouldn't be betrayed by his American accent. After "Sorcerer's Stone," Griphook isn't mentioned again until the two-part "Deathly Hallows," in which the goblin has a much larger role. Not only does he help Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) break into the Gringotts vault of Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) to steal one of Voldemort's (Ralph Fiennes) Horcruxes, but he also runs off with the sword of Gryffindor, the trio's only means by which to destroy these severed parts of the Dark Lord's soul.

Many Potterheads might not realize that the Griphook in "Deathly Hallows" is portrayed by a different actor: Warwick Davis, who dually plays the goblin and Flitwick in the final installments.

Troyer was the subject of much negative publicity

Though "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling always had a strict rule that only U.K. actors would appear in the movies, there were two exceptions in "Sorcerer's Stone": director Chris Columbus' daughter Eleanor, who has no lines as Hufflepuff student Susan Bones, and Verne Troyer. But given Griphook's massive increase in dialogue and Troyer's personal issues at the time, it makes sense that "Deathly Hallows" director David Yates felt Warwick Davis was the man for the job.

Troyer battled alcoholism for much of his career (via The Hollywood Reporter). In the years following his portrayal of Griphook in 2001, he was the subject of much negative publicity, including a viral sex tape with then girlfriend Ranae Shrider and a restraining order against him by ex-girlfriend Yvette Monet – not things people expect to be associated with a youth-focused franchise.

When Yates set out to recast Griphook, Davis jumped at the opportunity to personify him on camera, not just serve as his voice. In a behind-the-scenes interview on the set of "Deathly Hallows – Part 1," he revealed how much he always loved the character of Griphook.

"Griphook has so much more depth to him than I've ever been able to get into my work as Professor Flitwick," Davis said. "I suppose I'm stretching my acting muscles a little bit farther than I have been able to in previous films because he's a very much darker character and quite a multi-layered character."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).