Unearthed interview reveals that the late Rik Mayall had been cut from Harry Potter

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Jun 11, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT

The death of Rik Mayall earlier this week has come as nothing but a complete shock — prompting an outpouring of love and appreciation for his work. But did you know that the late actor had had a part in Harry Potter?

Yep, he did.

Yahoo has unearthed a story that's not exactly widely known. It turns out that Rik Mayall (of Drop Dead Fred and The Young Ones fame) had had a role — and filmed scenes — in director Chris Columbus’ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (which was released back in 2001) that were ultimately (and sadly) cut from the finished product.

In the interview, Mayall revealed that he had been cast as Peeves the poltergeist, and that the plan had been to have him on as a recurring character in the following series of Harry Potter flicks.

The comedian started off by saying: “The film, with respect ... no, with no respect at all ... the film was s--t.” Mayall revealed that he took the role without even having read J.K. Rowling’s books (and lied about it) because the children at his kids’ school were talking about Harry Potter. A lot.

“I did it, I went and f---ing did it. I played the part of Peeves in Harry Potter. I got sent off the set because every time I tried to do a bit of acting, all the lads who were playing the school kids kept getting the giggles, they kept corpsing, so they threw me off.”

Then he added:

“They asked me to do it with my back to them and they still laughed. So they asked me to do it around the other side of the cathedral and shout my lines, but they still laughed so they said they’d do my lines with someone else.”

A month later, he got the call that told him he’d been completely dropped from the film. Which he really didn’t seem to mind in the least, saying:

“I was in the film for around three weeks ... but I still got the money. So that is the most exciting film I've ever been in, because I got the oodle and I wasn't in it. Fantastic.”

Have a look at the interview:

(Yahoo via Den of Geek)