Jason Isaacs Discusses the Creation of Lucius Malfoy for the Films


Nov 22, 2010

Posted by: Mel


In an Entertainment Weekly article, Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) discusses how he initially put together the character of Lucius Malfoy in the first Harry Potter film he appeared in, “Chamber of Secrets.” Isaacs talks about the contributions he made to the character’s costume (which includes the wig) and his accent:

went to the set, and they had this idea of me wearing a pinstripe suit,
short black-and-white hair’ Isaacs recalls. “I was slightly horrified.
He was a racist, a eugenicist. There’s no way he would cut his hair
like a Muggle, or dress like a Muggle.” So Isaacs suggested instead that
he wear a long white wig, and a particularly ostentatious wizard-like
ensemble. “In order to keep the hair straight, I had to tip my head
back, so I was looking down my nose at everyone. There was 50 percent of
the character. I asked for a walking stick, which [Chamber of Secrets director] Chris Columbus first thought was because I had something
wrong with my leg. I explained I wanted it as an affectation so I can
pull my wand out [of the cane]. After a second’s thought, he said, ˜You
know what, I think the toy guys are going to love you.’ He was
completely right.”

Next: Malfoy’s accent. “There’s a particular art critic in England
who has a voice like fingernails on a blackboard’ says Isaacs, who in
real life has a far more accessible, slightly working class London
accent. “I combined him with a teacher I thought was patronizing and
sadistic when I was in drama school. To me what [the accent] smacks of
is a sense of entitlement. I just wanted to find a voice that made him
drip with the millennia that his family had been in power ” complete
disdain and contempt for anybody and everything else.”

Isaacs goes on to talk about director Chris Columbus’s reaction to the accent and Daniel Radcliffe’s (Harry Potter) opinion of it. You can read the rest of the article here.

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