Jonny Taylor went head to head with Daniel Radcliffe for the role of the boy wizard, with the pair whittled down from 17,000 hopefuls who applied for the part.
So when Daniel was chosen to take the plum role, Jonny admits he was left “bitter” and reluctant to watch the films.
Fortunately, he is now casting a spell on audiences as the lead singer in the rock band The Horn (corr), with a tour and new album set to thrill fans. Pop superstar Elton John is among their many fans.
Reflecting on his near miss, Jonny admits the role may not have made him happy but it has provided much amusement for pals – who once gifted him a wand.
He had applied for the role after seeing an item on the BBC Children’s TV show Blue Peter .
“I came second to Daniel Radcliffe out of 17,000 for the role of Harry Potter,” says 36 year old Jonny.
“I think the fact that I have been doing theatre probably gave me some kind of presence as opposed to the kids who have never done something before… I was a magical little boy,” he laughs.
The family traveled to London from their home in Winchester, Hampshire, for the audition. He was then called back for a second try out.
“JK Rowling saw Daniel in the interval and she was like “oh that’s my Harry”, and I think that’s what happened.
“I was really bitter for a few years and my family would be like, ‘You could’ve done that’. I was down to the last two.
“I did go and watch the films in the end. I would’ve normally been excited to watch that type of franchise but it was completely different because I really wanted that part. It would’ve been life changing.”
The Horn release their first album People Like Us on November 3 and embark on a UK tour supporting Scouting for Girls, including a show at the Roundhouse in Camden, London, close to where he auditioned for the Potter part.
He is now more pragmatic about not landing the role and said: “I don’t know if it would have made me happy. I have worked with a few very well known actors in my life and musicians and I’ve seen different ways how fame can manifest itself in people, in various addictions and mental health as well.
I don’t think it’s normal for kids to grow up on a film set so I don’t know if it would’ve made me happy. It’s a question I’m asked a lot.”
He laughs: “I’ve been given a wand for my birthday and my best mate often takes the opportunity to tell people I was almost Harry Potter… I snapped the wand.”