Where’s Lucius Malfoy? Jason Isaacs Speculates!
Since the original Harry Potter series finished, there’s been plenty of speculation among fans about what happened to our favorite – and not so favorite – characters. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sought to answer some of those questions for us, but we’re still not satisfied – and anyway, what’s wrong with a bit of speculation? Especially when the actors have their own opinions too!
In a recent interview, Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy throughout the film series and recently attended a A Celebration of Harry Potter in Orlando, pondered on Lucius’s future and what happened to him after the war.
He has no place in the future order of things, because Voldemort loses. Even if Voldemort had won, he had no place. He got his wand snapped, which, let’s face it, is castration – at my table, in front of my wife. But also, I’d shown my true colors to my wife and son. In the end, I’d put my own status ahead of their well-being. There’s no place for him in the future. Unfortunately, like in the real world, he’ll be protected by his money. That’s sadly how the world works, but luckily, [J.K. Rowling] didn’t write that chapter.
He also speaks about how lucky he was to play a character that changed and developed as the series went on.
When you first meet him, he’s incredibly arrogant. He’s a racist, and he’s a man who believes in pure blood and is harking back to a time when he ruled the world, when things were better. I don’t mean to make too political points about the modern world, but you don’t need to look too far for people for whom that’s their raison d’etre. That’s why they get out of bed in the morning. Particularly people with ludicrous hair, like Lucius had.
Isaacs delves a little more into the character, showing just how much thought he put into playing the role.
And he’s so desperate for attention and approval from his boss, Voldemort, and Voldemort can smell that a mile off, and rejects him. I saw my job, initially, as explaining to the audience why Draco was such a little s—, being a bully, being loveless, implying generations and generations of soulless parenting. He’s a cowardly bully. He’s scared of the future, scared of people who are different from him, scared of losing his status. By the end he was this pathetic, emasculated shadow of the man he started out as. It was a banquet for an actor.
Of course, Lucius isn’t the only villain that Isaacs has played, although in the interview he admits that after his breakthrough role in The Patriot, he took a different route, playing as many different roles as he could. This didn’t stop him coming back to those villain roles later, however, and he speaks about what makes a good villain.
The things I was offered afterwards, and most of the villains you see in films, are unmotivated. They’re doing things people wouldn’t do, just so the audience won’t like them.
One of the reasons Alan Rickman, for instance, is still remembered as being a brilliant screen villain is not just because he was a magnificent actor, but [also] because his character in Die Hard wants the money, and he’ll do anything to get the money. He’s not doing anything to make the audience go ‘Boo!’
Isaacs spoke about keeping things real when playing an antagonistic character.
When I’ve played characters that are vaguely or completely antagonistic, I never want to wink to the audience. I never want to lean out of the camera and twirl an invisible mustache. I want to do things that seem believable to me.
The challenges are making sure you keep things real. It’s a heightened realism, this film [A Cure for Wellness], and how Gore shot it…every frame is a like a poster.
Isaacs also spoke about how a conversation with Sir Ian McKellen and a turn of fate lead him to Hollywood.
it’s because of Ian that I took the part. I went to Hollywood [and] got an agent, had a whole bunch of American side of my career opened up, television and film and things that followed on from that. Had Ian not said to me that, I don’t think I would have done it.
By the way, just in case there’[re] any actors reading this, this is how arbitrary the world is. I got the part in Dragonheart because a wonderful British actor had the part already and was offered a part in Cutthroat Island. They made an assessment, thought that Cuthroat Island was going to be a giant hit and Dragonheart was going to be a flop, and dropped out of the film on very short notice. So they were auditioning people with the same size chest and shoes and height, because they’d already made the costumes. A very narrow band of actors, very similar in build, who stood in the casting director’s office. That’s how I got the job.
It just goes to show – you never know what could be waiting around the corner!
You can read the full interview here, with more details about Isaacs’s latest project, A Cure for Wellness, here. A Cure for Wellness is in theaters this weekend. You can also catch Isaacs in The OA, currently on Netflix.
Where do you think Lucius Malfoy would have ended up after the war? Are you planning on seeing either of Isaacs’ current releases? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.