There are only a few such phenomenons in the world of fiction that can compare to the Harry Potter series. Children and adults alike were all taken by the adventures of the boy with a scar on his forehead and his friends. Some of us grew up reading the books, others anxiously expected each new movie. Many enjoyed both the original work in written form, and the screen adaptations, and compared the two afterward. To whichever group you belong and in whichever corner of the world you are, the truth is — we all loved Harry Potter. And we still do! We identified with the characters, we learned from them and with them, it even reinforced certain values in us, like friendship and loyalty.
And whether or not you think the movies did the novels justice, you still have to agree that they were still a work of art. The cast, the music, the effects – the whole atmosphere transported you to the magical world of Hogwarts and set you side-by-side with the main characters facing all the sinister forces that were headed by Voldemort.
To put it simply, the Harry Potter franchise was a one of a kind experience for its fans and now that all of the movies and books have been out for some time, we kind of wonder what happened with the actors we watched grow up, while growing up ourselves. Looking back at the eight films with a hint of nostalgia, we got curious as to where the most memorable cast members are today and this article is dedicated to them.
14. Fred and George Weasley
Though they weren’t among the main characters, they lent the whole picture such charm that it would be absolutely unimaginable without the trickster twins. Fred and George Weasley, the inseparable pair in the red-head Weasly family, were portrayed by brothers Oliver Phelps and James Phelps. Oliver, who is 13 minutes older than his brother, hasn’t done all that much work since the famous series ended. He is however, happily married as of last year and is probably more focused on that for now — which is understandable. His brother James, though, has done a little bit more acting in film and has even appeared in a TV series titled Silent Witness.
13. Argus Filch
Ah, good old Argus Filch. If ever there was a creepy, mischievous looking character in all the Harry Potter movies, it was Filch. The old, grumpy and cunning old caretaker at Hogwarts appeared in each of the eight films and was played by David Bradley. Unlike the Phelps twins, Bradley has been quite busy over the years, both after the series had ended and in between the separate films as well. Before landing the role of Filch, he was mainly involved in TV movies and series, but after the first Harry Potter movie was released, he began appearing in full-length movies, too. He is known for his appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and has also taken part in a number of series including The Strain and the incredibly popular HBO series Game of Thrones.
12. Dudley Dursley
We hated the Dursleys every second they were on the screen, but only truly great actors could make you despise their characters that much. Therefore, we couldn’t possibly miss including them in this article. Let’s start with Fiona Shaw, who already was a well-established actress even before her role as Harry’s cruel aunt and legal guardian. She had mainly starred in full-length feature films, but seems to have changed course after the Potter movies ended and has gotten into TV series. There are three upcoming films this year, in which she has starred, and we are excited to see her in them after this five year absence from the big screen.
Richard Griffiths, who portrayed the equally nasty uncle Vernon, was a brilliant actor with a vast acting history. Sadly, he passed away only two years after the final Harry Potter movie was released, but in that time he managed to add several more films to his legacy, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).
The last member of the Dursley family, perhaps the most annoying one, was Dudley, portrayed by Harry Melling. We’ve got to hand it to him, Melling did a wonderful job in something viewers don’t often give credit for: playing the absolutely repelling character. Once he was finished with the part, Harry Melling underwent an incredible transformation, shedding a lot of excess pounds, and has since worked on several TV series and short films.
11. Lord Voldemort
High-profile actor with a rich history in film, including critically acclaimed Schindler’s List, and The English Patient, Ralph Fiennes was simply meant to play the dark lord or Him-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Though he was not the one to portray Voldemort in the first movie (that was Richard Bremmer), we think he made a great substitute in the rest of them. As we all very well know, he went on to star in the latest James Bond movies Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), and made quite a few other notable appearances in films like Wrath of The Titans, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Hail, Caesar! (2016).
10. Professor McGonagall
The celebrated British actress has had by far the most extensive and long-lasting career of all the cast members. Maggie Smith has worked on a mind-boggling amount of movies, television shows and plays for over sixty years, winning two Oscars and over forty other different awards. She is without a doubt a brilliant actress and one of the best in the world, at that. But little does anyone know that she is also a very remarkable human being. During the filming of the fifth movie of the Harry Potter franchise, she fought a battle against breast cancer and won, and when the series had finally come to an end, Smith helped raise a whopping $4.6 million to rebuild Court Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand, after it had been heavily damaged by an earthquake. After that she went on to become a patron of the International Glaucoma Association and donated a drawing of hers to raise money for Cats Protection.
Despite being busy with charity and social activism, Maggie Smith didn’t leave her acting behind and had a number of notable roles after Harry Potter. She won two Emmy Awards for her work in Downton Abbey as the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her outstanding appearance in The Lady in the Van (2015).
Ah, dear old Hagrid, the gentle giant. Or half giant. Apart from that side to his repertoire, the Scottish actor also happens to be one of Britain’s most well-known comedians. Robbie Coltrane seems to have been taking it easy when it comes to the big screen ever since the series ended, but he has nonetheless worked on some box office successes. For example, he lent his voice to the 3D computer animation film Brave (2012), together with other famous Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. He also starred in the romantic drama Great Expectations (2012) alongside other Harry Potter co-stars Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter.
8. Professor Snape
Undoubtedly one of the most memorable personages in the entire sequence of Potter films – Professor Snape was an absolute treat to watch on screen. Even though he was an antagonist, he managed to charm everyone with his dark mystique. The world was shook by the passing of Alan Rickman, and anyone who has ever seen a movie with him, regardless if Potter-fans or not, was utterly dismayed by the news. His charisma and great acting abilities weren’t there to please film-lovers alone; Rickman was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed in numerous modern and classical theatre productions.
After the series ended, Alan Rickman starred in a number of feature films like CBGB in 2013 and A Little Chaos (2014), where he played King Louis XIV. Whereas in a more personal aspect, the renowned actor secretly married Rima Horton in 2012, and shared that the ceremony had taken place in New York, without any guests at all.
7. Neville Longbottom
By far the most delightful transformation of the younger cast members was made by Matthew Lewis, whom at one point we couldn’t even recognize anymore. All of a sudden the chubby, round faced Neville Longbottom became this insanely handsome, rugged young man, leaving everyone staring open-mouthed. And you would think that after such a dramatic change in appearance his career must have sky rocketed, hurling into film after film, but that’s not quite what’s been happening. Lewis has appeared in a few TV series and only two feature films, landing one of the lead roles in 2012 thriller The Rise. Aside from acting, which he also does on stage and not just on screen, Matthew Lewis is also vice-president of the Leeds Rugby Foundation charity.
6. Luna Lovegood
Though she was only present in four of the eight Harry Potter movies, Luna Lovegood was still quite the memorable character and was even placed among the seven most important ones by the author of the books herself, J.K. Rowling. Evanna Lynch, the actress who portrayed Luna, debuted in this role and actually had to compete against 15,000 other girls in an open audition for it. She continued to pursue a career in acting after the franchise had ended and is also involved in charity through organizations like the non-profit Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland. She uses her voice to promote healthy body image and support same-sex marriage. Lynch has also starred in several more films over the past few years, including her latest appearance in the TV movie Danny and the Human Zoo.
5. Draco Malfoy
Unlike most of the kid actors in the cast, Tom Felton did not make his screen debut with the antagonistic role of Draco Malfoy. In fact, he started doing commercials at the age of 8 and by the time he was ready to be cast in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, he was already a seasoned little actor with six appearances in film and on television behind his back. Of course, the role as the child-villain was the one that shot him into fame, but he had done a great job in managing his time, starring in other works in between Potter films and also doing plenty of work after the series. He starred in Risen (2016) and we have yet to see him in another five (!) feature films that are to be released this year. And as if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Felton has also co-founded a recording company that is dedicated to signing talented musicians that weren’t given the same opportunity by bigger labels.
4. Ginny Weasley
Young Ginny Weasley also underwent quite the pleasant transformation from Ron’s not-particularly-interesting little sister to the beautiful young woman, worthy of the lead character’s heart. After filming has ended, Bonnie Wright graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and continued to pursue her acting career, starring in After the Dark (2013) and the 2015 comedy Those Who Wander. She has also been trying out different occupations like directing, producing, screenwriting and modelling. In fact, she has already successfully directed two music videos.
3. Ron Weasley
And we have finally reached the fantastic three of the series, the inseparable friends, whose adventures we followed so closely and with such personal involvement. Rupert Grint, much like the at times clumsy, but very loyal Ron Weasley, whom he portrayed, has four siblings. Only in this case, Grint is the eldest of the five children in his family. As opposed to many of his other fellow actors, who debuted in the Harry Potter franchise, Rupert Grint began working after the first movie had been released. He has starred in several films after the last Harry Potter sequel, including CBGB, in which the lead character was portrayed by none other than Alan Rickman.
2. Hermione Granger
Bookworm and slightly arrogant know-it-all Hermione Granger magically grew and transcended into the lovely young woman we now know her to be. Emma Watson has by far gained the most recognition of all the main cast members after the end of the Potter movies. She not only further pursued acting and starred in several movies (two of which are scheduled to come out soon) but also became an activist and symbol of grace and beauty. Today Watson uses her voice and popularity to promote gender equality and the creation of an eco-friendly environment. Emma Watson was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014, and has since been campaigning for women’s rights to an education and women’s political participation in different countries. Go Emma!
1. Harry Potter
The boy who lived. You might not know this, but Daniel Radcliffe actually made his first appearance as an actor in the mini-series David Copperfield, where he starred as the young Copperfield himself. He then performed in a feature film before finally being cast in what turned out to be his ticket to fame — Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. Radcliffe has done quite a bit of work in stage and has acquired recognition for it too, as he aimed to prove that he was also capable of taking on mature roles. Nevertheless, he still continues to appear on the big screen and some of his most notable works were The Woman in Black (first film after the Potter movies) and Horns. Like his co-star Emma Watson, Radcliffe is also socially active and contributes to many charities, as well as campaigning against homophobia.