Hart Facing Police Action Over Theatre Outburst
HARRY POTTER star IAN HART is facing police action after allegedly threatening a member of the audience while he was acting in a London play.
The British actor, best known for playing Professor Quirrell in 2001's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was appearing in West End show Speaking In Tongues on Monday (23Nov09) when he shouted at Gerard Earley, telling him to shut up.
When the show finished, Earley claims he stood to applaud the cast but was stunned when Hart ran off the stage and into the crowd, allegedly lunging at him and accusing him of making too much noise, prompting an usher to restrain the actor.
Earley says, "I was very scared. He was standing up and leaning over me. I felt threatened when he started screaming and I couldn't make out what he was saying - he was pretty feral at that point... I thought he was going to jump down but (co-star) John Simm put his arm up to stop him. Then he just ran off the side of the stage. He came back out and ran at me. I'd sat back down by then and he was screaming and shouting, incoherent with rage. He was saying, 'You're disrespecting me, you're not respecting the other actors.'"
Earley claims he's considering whether to take legal action after Hart allegedly threatened to slap him: "I've contacted the police about the procedure for reporting assaults. I haven't ruled it out."
Last week (beg16Nov09) Hart admitted he wasn't a fan of performing on stage, explaining, "I simply don't enjoy the process, I don't enjoy the relationship between the audience and the actor... I find it hard work."