Ah Harry Potter. A British institution, a magical empire, a film franchise worth watching. Harry Potter is one of the most successful sets of movies ever produced. Consisting of eight movies all together, the series has also produced a spin-off, with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, released late in 2016 (and certainly won’t be the last). Known for its extensive use of British cast members, the Harry Potter franchise has had its fair share of British legends upon its magical screen. With Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbend, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thomson, the late great Alan Rickman, and more, the Harry Potter series has some serious game when it comes to who stars in it. However, what of the regular folk? The ones who came from nowhere?
With the students of Hogwarts all relatively unknown beforehand, it was the main three who were cast first. Already known pre-Harry Potter, a young Daniel Radcliffe was quickly cast, followed by Emma Watson as Hermione Granger and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley.
And now, nearly twenty years after the first film blew our minds, the students and teachers of Hogwarts have sadly gone their separate ways. So, to see what they have been up to, here are 15 Harry Potter stars in 2017.
15. Dudley Dursley
Ah Dudley. The boy we loved to hate. Cousin to Harry Potter through his mother Petunia, Dudley was an obese, insolent, and quite frankly pain in the neck throughout the Harry Potter franchise. Tormenting Harry, just like his parents did, Dudley finally saw the light after Harry saved him from the Dementors. Mellowing out a little, the two became pals, with Dudley starting to look and behave like a normal human being. Portrayed by the London born actor, Harry Melling, Dudley appeared in five of the Harry Potter movies. Going on to star in the BBC series Merlin. Melling also tried his hand out on stage, starring in the revival of Mother Courage and her Children at the Royal National Theater. Unrecognizable since his days on the Potter set, Melling has dropped so much weight that he recently admitted, “I can now shed the child actor thing, like the fat, and start a new career, because no one sees me as Dudley.”
14. Vincent Crabbe
Pure blood wizard Vincent Crabbe came from a long line of dark wizards and death eaters, with his father and grandfather before him. A member of the Slytherin house, Crabbe was rarely seen without best pal Gregory Goyle, and ringleader, the infamous Draco Malfoy. Becoming a dark wizard during his last year at Hogwarts, Crabbe accidentally killed himself during the battle of Hogwarts, much to the disdain of his friend Malfoy. Played by Londoner Jamie Waylett, the young actor originally auditioned for the role of Dudley Dursley, but was cast as Crabbe instead. Starring in six of the Harry Potter movies, Waylett was famously fired from the franchise after a number of legal troubles. Charged for possession of cannabis plants and intent to distribute, Waylett was sentenced to 120 hours community service. However, things got much worse when Waylett was arrested for his alleged participation in the notorious 2011 London riots, with police later charging him for violent disorder. Sentenced to two years in prison, Waylett was swiftly replaced.
13. Cedric Diggory
One of the most heartbreaking plot lines ever to have hit the Harry Potter franchise, the story of Cedric Diggory will most definitely go down in Harry Potter history for years to come. Prefect and captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, Diggory was also the star seeker. Competing in the Triwizard Tournament during his sixth year at Hogwarts, things didn’t exactly turn out as planned, creating one of the biggest tragedies of all time. However, in real life things were much better, with actor Robert Pattinson quickly turning into one of the most famous faces in the world. That’s right, going on to star in another popular franchise, Twilight, Pattinson went on to work on a number of other movies, winning various awards and honors. Ending his high profile relationship with Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart, Pattinson is now currently engaged to rapper, FKA Twigs.
12. Seamus Finnigan
Famed for being the kid that always blew himself up, Seamus Finnigan was friends with Harry Potter, as well as a fellow Gryffindor student. Starring in all eight movies, Finnigan was an early fan favorite, often providing comic relief. Born and raised in County Kildare, Ireland, actor Devon Murray was already a well-known face in his home country. Appearing in a number of televised advertisements during his early childhood, Murray then joined the National Performing Arts School, landing his breakthrough role in Angela’s Ashes. However, since the end of Harry Potter, Murray has been laying low, recently admitting that he has often suffered with depression. Tweeting his fans, Murray stated, “I’ve been battling depression in silence for ten years & only recently spoke about it and has made a huge difference #worldmentalhealthday.”
11. Luna Lovegood
Along with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Neville, and Ginny, Luna Lovegood was named as one of the “big seven”, which J.K. Rowling described as the driving force behind the Harry Potter franchise. A definite fan favorite, Lovegood was labelled as the anti-Hermione, with J.K. Rowling claiming, “she’s slightly out-of-step in many ways. Hermione’s so logical and inflexible and Luna is likely to believe 10 impossible things before breakfast.” Played by the Irish native Evanna Patricia Lynch, the actress appeared in the last four films of the series. Continuing to act, Lynch starred in her first leading role in 2014, portraying the title character in the Irish-produced movie, My Name Is Emily. Active in a number of organizations, Lynch also regularly promotes the importance for a healthy body image, having previously suffered from anorexia.
10. Fred & George Weasley
Fun loving twins, Fred and George Weasley are the elder brothers of main character Ron. Often getting into trouble, the pair were known for making pranks and telling jokes. However, although clowns, the two were also extremely intelligent, as well as playing on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Portrayed by twins James and Oliver Phelps, the brothers appeared in all eight movies, ending up among the most well liked characters. Extremely close with their fellow cast mates, the twins are often pictured playing golf with a number of their co-stars. Heavily involved in a variety of charities, the two are huge supporters of the Teenage Cancer Trust, as well as regularly taking part in the celebrity charity football tournament, “Celebrity World Cup Soccer Six”.
9. Ginny Weasley
The youngest of the Weasley bunch, Ginervra Weasley went from a shy and timid school girl, to a major player among the Hogwarts elite. That’s right, growing up to be a professional Quidditch player, as well as marrying the man himself, Harry Potter, Ginny also had three children. Mirroring her character’s success, actress Bonnie Wright received positive reviews for her portrayal of the youngest sibling, often cited as one of the best young actors on set. Continuing to act, Wright also dipped her toes into other ventures, making her directional debut in 2012. Owner of her own production company Bon Bon Lumiere, Wright has also written a number of shorts, writing and directing short film Know Thyself in 2014. Bonnie Wright is most definitely one to watch for.
8. Lee Jordon
Another of Harry’s Gryffindor pals, Lee Jordan, was a fellow Quidditch enthusiast, as well as an astute commentator. Known for his witty one-liners and short dreadlocks, Lee Jordan was often scorned a number of times by Professor McGonagall due to his unruly swearing habit. Acting from an early age, England born Luke Youngblood was already known for his many appearances on children’s television, as well as on stage in a number of London theater venues. Recently seen on NBC’s highly popular comedy series, Community, Youngblood has also just starred in the ABC musical comedy series, Galavant, playing the role of Sid. Definitely one of the most successful of the Harry Potter stars, Youngblood is just as famous across the pond as in his home country of the United Kingdom.
7. Oliver Wood
Swoon. Every teenage girl’s crush, Oliver Wood broke the hearts of many during his time on screen. Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Wood is depicted as one of the nicest students at Hogwarts, despite his unruly dedication to the game. Portrayed by Sean Biggerstaff, Wood only appears in three of the movies, much to the disdain of fans everywhere. Originally hailing from Scotland, Biggerstaff joined the Scottish Youth Theater at twelve years old, going on to star in a number of BBC productions. Now famed for his role in Cashback, which saw him play the role of an insomniac cashier, Biggerstaff was critically acclaimed for his performance. Recently seen in the 2015 film, Whisky Galore, alongside Eddie Izzard, Biggerstaff also has a number of movies lined up for the future.
6. Cho Chang
The one that got away. Member of house Ravenclaw, Cho Chang was also the top Seeker for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team. Known for being Harry’s first kiss, Cho Chang was also famed for being extremely beautiful. Played by Scottish actress Katie Liu Leung, Chang appeared in three of the Harry Potter films, making her debut in Goblet of Fire. Now, a full-fledged star in her own right, Leung recently starred in the BBC drama, One Child, as well as landing a movie with the likes of Jackie Chan and Piers Morgan. Unsatisfied, Leung has also dipped her toes into the wonderful world of theater, having recently appeared in the Tony Kushner play, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures.
5. Draco Malfoy
Everyone’s favorite bottle blond super villain, Draco Malfoy was Harry Potter’s nemesis throughout its eight-movie run. Son of former Death Eater Lucius Malfoy, Draco comes from a long line of evil, with Draco seemingly succumbing to his family’s dark wishes. Played brilliantly by England born actor Tom Felton, the young star won a number of awards for his portrayal. Known for having somewhat of an input into the characterization of his character, Felton recently claimed that he’d had more to say than people originally thought stating, “If they give me a line and I didn’t think it was something he would say, I suggested changing it. They did listen to me and I felt a part of it.” Popular off screen, Felton can now be seen in hit TV show, The Flash.
4. Neville Longbottom
Probably displaying the biggest change of all the Harry Potter youngsters, England born Matthew Lewis has turned into a bit of a heartthrob as of late. Known for his portrayal Neville Longbottom, the geeky and overweight Gryffindor friend of Harry Potter, Longbottom appeared in all eight of the movies. In fact, Longbottom was initially just a minor character, known for his bumbling and careless attitude. However, during the final act, Longbottom comes into his own, basically saving the world. Continuing on in the acting world, Lewis can now be seen in a number of TV dramas, as well as a variety of independent movies. Making his stage debut in Agatha Christie’s critically acclaimed Verdict in 2011, Lewis was then confirmed to star on the West End in the production of Our Boys by Jonathan Lewis.
3. Ron Weasley
Extremely popular, Ron Weasley is everybody’s favorite redhead. Best friend to Harry Potter, Ron appears in all eight movies, and is a major character throughout. Perfectly cast, Ron is played by English actor Rupert Grint, who was cast at the tender age of eleven years old. Since leaving the franchise, Grint initially struggled with finding suitable roles, finding it difficult to shake the character of Ron Weasley that had been imprinted on him as an actor. However, starring in a number of television dramas, Grint recently made his stage debut in the critically acclaimed Mojo, by Jez Butterworth. Known for his charitable behavior, Grint is also involved in a number of charity organizations, raising money for a variety of charities across the globe. Now appearing in the TV version of the acclaimed movie Snatch, Grint’s career seems to be going from strength to strength.
2. Hermione Granger
Best friends to both Harry and Ron, Hermione Jean Granger is the smartest of the group, as well as fan favorite. Said to be based on Rowling herself, the author recently stated, “I did not set out to make Hermione like me but she is…she is an exaggeration of how I was when I was younger.” Appearing in all eight of the movies, the character was portrayed by British actress Emma Watson. Gaining the best reviews early on, Watson was often acclaimed over her co-stars, with some even suggesting that she had “stolen the show”. Receiving a number of awards throughout her time on the franchise, Watson went on to star in a number of high profile Hollywood movies, recently starring in the box office smash, Beauty and the Beast. Also actively involved in women’s rights, Watson was appointed as the UN WomenGoodwill Ambassador in 2014, launching UN Women campaign HeForShe soon after.
1. Harry Potter
No stranger to the wonderful world of acting, Daniel Jacob Radcliffe had already made his acting debut a whole year before he was cast as the world renowned Harry Potter himself. That’s right, at only ten years of age, Radcliffe starred in the BBC drama, David Copperfield, followed by a cinematic performance in The Tailor of Panama. Playing the role of Harry Potter throughout its eight-movie run, Radcliffe was praised across the globe for his portrayal of “the boy who lived”. Now a regular in Hollywood, Radcliffe was recently spotted in the black comedy Swiss Army Man, in which he played a corpse for the majority of the movie. Also famed for his stage work, Radcliffe has won a number of awards with regards to his theater presence, as well as critical acclaim. Keeping a strong friendship with his co-stars, Radcliffe considers Tom Felton and Emma Watson in particular as two of his best friends.