It is always fun hearing about the inspirations for actor's performances. Nobody is better at letting the public in on his character's origins than Johnny Depp, but now Robbie Coltrane has revealed the basis for his role as Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Pottermovies. Obviously the real source is J.K. Rowling's series of novels, which describe the character pretty much as he's depicted on screen, and Rowling even is said to have imagined Coltrane in the part while writing the first book. But as for things he had to flesh out, such as mannerisms and speech, the actor did have a muse. He says there was a Hell's Angel biker he once knew who looked really tough and mean but would say things that showed a more sensitive side, like, "I don't know about you, but the petunias this year are very bad." See, the large man was a gardener in addition to being a biker.
A gardening biker with, "fists like hams," and, "a gentle heart." Hmmm. If I didn't think Coltrane was the most perfect thing about the Harry Potter movies, I would say Warner Bros. should have just cast that guy. Sounds like a real-live Hagrid, doesn't it? He also reminds me of these bikers upstate who look grizzly and have ferocious names like Vermin, but who sang karaoke to songs like "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." You never can tell with motorcycle gang members. They're all probably as good with kids as Hagrid, too. Need a babysitter?