Casting Harry Potter wasn’t as easy as finding a cute kid who could stare wide-eyed as he was told he’s a wizard. It turns out, he also needed to have the rocks to get down and dirty in a multi-year franchise...even if the actor’s balls hadn’t dropped yet.
In an interview with Huffington Post, casting director Janet Hirshenson chatted about the process of casting Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first film in what became an eight-part series. Some of the stories were pretty expected, like how director Chris Columbus immediately saw Emma Watson as a rising star. But there were a few surprises. Apparently, Robin Williams wanted to play Hagrid so badly he called Columbus personally, but he couldn’t have the part because it was a “Brits-only” cast.
However, the coolest reveal was the reason why Daniel Radcliffe was chosen as Harry Potter. It wasn’t because he was cute, it was because he had balls.
“There were two [for the part of Harry]. Chris right away liked Daniel, but there were a couple of people who went, ‘Hmm. That other kid’s interesting,’” Hirshenson said. “The other kid was terrific and very vulnerable and very Harry-looking, but besides that, Harry was going to become a very powerful kid, too. And Daniel had both sides. He was very vulnerable, but the other kid ― it was like, he [was] not going to have the balls that Daniel has, to put it that way.”
In short, they picked Radcliffe because they felt he would better portray Harry’s more adult scenes, which include moments of torture, violence, and death. It makes sense that they would want a kid who could play both Harry’s vulnerable and powerful sides, but it’s kind of hilarious hearing it portrayed so bluntly. Luckily for them, Radcliffe came through. Then again, he’s never been shy about showing us that he has balls.