Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter has a cold-blooded demeanor and the Chamber of Secrets was greatly enhanced by Jason Isaacs’ improvisation skills.
Jason Isaacs’ improv talents helped establish Lucius Malfoy’s nastiness early in the Harry Potter series. The Malfoys are notorious for being ruthless, pure-blooded wizards preoccupied with their nasty concept of purity, which drives them to join Voldemort’s Death Eaters.
Lucius and Draco Malfoy are inseparable from Harry Potter, and they butt heads throughout the series until their actions catch up with them.
While the menace of individuals like Severus Snape and Voldemort often overshadows Lucius Malfoy’s villainy, each of his presence fills the room with suspense.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a particularly stressful scene occurs when Harry confesses Lucius’ participation in the Basilisk’s mystery to Dumbledore, following which Lucius rushes out of Dumbledore’s office.
This sequence intensifies Lucius’ animosity towards Harry, but it is elevated to a new level by Jason Isaacs’ improvisation in the film.
Lucius turns back as he leaves Dumbledore’s office and kicks Dobby down a short flight of stairs. He then goes out the door, hitting him with his cane.
Lucius’ flagrant abuse of Dobby eloquently demonstrates his disrespect for people he perceives to be beneath him and given that he doesn’t try to conceal it from Dumbledore.
He plainly doesn’t respect anybody above him either. The fact that Jason Isaacs improvised this sequence adds to its uniqueness. As he reveals in the “Meet the Malfoys” reunion part of Return to Hogwarts.
We shot a take, and he [Director Chris Columbus] walks away “Thank you; this will enough,” and I threw my leg out, stepped down, and swung my stick, and Chris said, “Cut! Could we kindly wipe the floor where Jason slipped?” And I said, “No, I did not err. Dobby was kicked down the stairs by me.” “This is going to be unbelievably excellent fun,” I thought.
Improvisation Made Lucius Malfoy a Better Harry Potter Villain: Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter
Jason Isaacs was instrumental in the conception of Lucius Malfoy. Just before kicking Dobby, Jason Isaacs improvised, “Let us hope that Mr. Potter will always be available to rescue the day,” to which Daniel Radcliffe responded, “Don’t worry, I will be.”
Furthermore, as Jason Isaacs says in Return to Hogwarts, his violence in the part terrified Draco Malfoy actor Tom Felton during filming, even though Isaacs was always quick to leave character when the cameras were off.
Another famous improv happened when Lucius attempted to curse Harry immediately after leaving Dumbledore’s office.
Jason Isaacs lost the name of the original spell in between takes. Before Dobby assaulted Lucius, he began to say “Avada Kedavra.” This made the sight far more horrifying than it should have been, for even bad wizards save the killing curse for life-or-death situations.
Without Jason Isaacs’ contributions to Lucius Malfoy, Harry Potter’s Malfoy family would have been considerably different.
Isaacs was the one who thought of giving Lucius long blonde hair and a cobra-headed walking staff to defend his wand – two of Lucius’ distinguishing attributes that set him apart from the other Harry Potter characters.
Fortunately, Jason Isaacs was one of the many excellently cast characters in the Harry Potter film series, and his acting abilities brought more dimensions to a villain who would not have been as interesting if another actor had played the role.