8 Interesting Facts About Robbie Coltrane

We discovered some fascinating facts about the man best known for his portrayal of the shaggy-haired giant Hagrid in the Harry Potter films Robbie Coltrane.

pic: Google/ Robbie Coltrane

His given name is not Robbie Coltrane.

He was born Anthony Robert McMillan but changed his name to become an actor. He chose the stage name Coltrane as a tribute to jazz legend John Coltrane.

He wanted to be an artist before becoming an actor.

Coltrane attended the Glasgow School of Art after finishing high school to study drawing, painting, and film. Although that career path did not pan out, he stated that art school “opened my mind in so many ways.”

He once squatted in a London property.

People often imagine an actor’s life to be glamorous, but in his early days, Coltrane shared an abandoned house on London’s Finchley Road with some other squatters. He claims that the group repaired the property despite the council’s warning that it was unsafe to live in.

He turned down an offer from Hollywood.

Steven Spielberg was a fan of Coltrane’s British TV series Cracker, and he was offered several US TV shows after playing the criminal psychologist. He chose to remain in the United Kingdom in order to be closer to his children.

He wasn’t always well-mannered.

Coltrane famously described alcohol as his “undoing,” and he is said to have yelled obscenities at TV personality Piers Morgan outside The Ivy, a London celebrity hangout.

He is well-known for his secrecy.

In interviews, Coltrane is known to go to great lengths to protect his privacy. He frequently refuses to answer questions and once threatened a Guardian journalist, saying, “If you write that down, I will kill you.”

He is afflicted with osteoarthritis.

Doctors told Robbie Coltrane he needed to lose more than 40kg to be treated because he had no cartilage left in one knee. The actor now walks with a cane and appears to be doing so in National Treasure.

He did not have to audition for the role of Harry Potter.

JK Rowling cast Coltrane as the lovable giant Rubeus Hagrid in Harry Potter. He was part of Rowling’s dream cast for the films, along with Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, and was cast without audition.

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