Rhys Ifans to play Xenophilius Lovegood

I have to admit that I’ve been screening most of my news for anything Harry Potter related – not because I was anxious about any and all updates, but because all of the recent updates have been mostly about what kind of pants Ron is wearing or how many sets were used for The Half-Blood Prince. It’s tough doing a huge promotional campaign and then knocking your film back by six months. By the time we get a month away from release, the trailer will all be old footage followed by, “You’re going to see the film anyway right?”

However, last night, Potter fans got a new spark to get their blood flowing as actor Rhys Ifans announced on a late night show that he would be joining the cast and crew for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Although he doesn’t mention on the show what character he’ll be playing, it’s sense been affirmed by the fansite The Leaky Cauldron that he’ll be playing Xenophilius Lovegood – Luna Lovegood’s father. The casting is a done deal, but I’m going to take the character with a grain of salt although The Leaky Cauldron has had a strong track record of being on the inside and being right.

Of course Ifans best role of all time was as a drunken kicker in The Replacements, unless I’m being sarcastic, but he’s also showing up in the forthcoming The Boat that Rocked.

As far as Potter goes, I’m not surprised by the announcement at all. That franchise more than any other has done a stellar job of pulling in major talent and placing them in the right roles. Xeno Lovegood is both Luna’s father and the editor for “The Quibbler” which should have played a more prominent role in the last film. In the book, while everyone disbelieves Harry that Voldemort has returned, and he’s getting slammed in the mainstream press, Xeno continues to write stories in his defense which eventually do play a role in changing a few hearts and minds. Of course, fans will know that he plays a pivotal role in the last book. And also that he’s insane. But the fun kind of insane.

Physically, he’s supposed to be odd-looking and cross-eyed with long white, stringy hair. Yet again, perfect casting by the Potter production.

What do you think? How awesome is this? Now when will Bill Nighy get on board? Did you know that Xenophilius means “stranger lover” in latin? So did I.

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