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’Harry Potter’ star Jason Isaacs once got J.K. Rowling to spill ‘the best-kept secret in the publishing world’


Daniel Radcliffe, left, Jason Isaacs in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. (¬Warner Bros/courtesy Everett Co)

Malfoy’s father heard about it — and before the rest of us.

Jason Isaacs, perhaps better known as the “Harry Potter” films’ Lucius Malfoy, debuted as the adversary in 2002's “Chamber of Secrets.” His role as Draco’s father and desperate Death Eater/Lord Voldemort minion remains a prominent fixture in the series adored by millennials around the globe.

The character’s notorious biting (if not blatantly prejudiced) remarks might only be matched by his “platinum waterfall” of blonde locks and “blue eyes that could get you to renounce Gryffindor,” as per BuzzFeed’s ranking of the films’ 50 hottest men — which ranked Lucius number four.

By the time everyone was gearing up for the series’ fifth film, “Order of the Phoenix," as well as the seventh and final book, “Deathly Hallows," — both released in July 2007. At one point though, Isaacs contemplated abandoning the series and Apparating back to the Muggle world.

“Well I hadn’t met ['Potter' author J.K. Rowling],” the actor, 56, told the Daily News this week. “I was actually at the time, trying to decided whether to be in Five or not, because I didn’t have very much to do in the fifth film. I knew I wasn’t in the sixth film because I was in Azkaban and I wasn’t in the book. So I didn’t know whether to commit to it because they were very piecemeal, for me at least."

The scattered schedule — “a few weeks” here, a day or month there — was “tricky for other work things," Isaacs explained.

“So I thought, ‘Well, if I’ve got something to do in Seven, obviously I don’t want to walk away.' No part of me wanted to walk away at all,” he noted. "But I needed to know if I was ever going to do anything.”

Isaacs and Rowling — or “Jo” — hadn’t overlapped on set, he said, so it wasn’t until an awards ceremony that they had the chance to meet.

“We’re all in tuxedos and this is kind of a big ballroom. As I walked over I said to myself, ‘Don’t ask her if you’re in the seventh book. There’s no point asking. She’s not going to tell you. It’s the best-kept secret in the publishing world. And she’s writing at the moment, why would she give it away in public?’" Isaacs recalled.

Though he planned to just thank Rowling “and be gracious for everything that happened so far," Isaacs changed course.

“They went, ‘Jo, Jason. Jason, Jo.’ And she went, ‘Hello, darling, how are you?’” he explained. “And I said, ‘I’m terrible, get me out of Azkaban, I’m begging you.’ And she looked over her shoulders both ways and then she mouthed at me, ‘You’re out. Chapter one.’ And that’s when I signed up for number five.”