Since the first installment hit movie screens in 2001, Harry Potter has captured the hearts and minds of a generation. The movie franchise is very regularly credited for its stand-out cast of young actors including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. All three of these actors were only children when they starred in the earlier movies, yet they were terrific nonetheless. These young stars, along with many other older actors that appeared in the movies, have become household names.
However, there are a certain number of now-famous actors that went unnoticed to many audiences due to a number of factors. Some actors looked very different in their parts at the time, and others were not well known on the acting scene, or were on screen for just a moment or two. Some of these stars, only began to rise in fame in the years following their roles in a Harry Potter movie. For this reason, you may be familiar with the star in question, yet never noticed them as you watched Harry Potter. In this way, this list will make for a very interesting read as you may begin to realize the amount of Harry Potter actors that you weren’t paying much attention to…
16 Alfred Enoch
Many of us have become familiar with Alfred Enoch since he began starring on the ABC legal drama How to Get Away with Murder. But did you know Enoch has appeared in 7 of the 8 Harry Potter movies? That’s right, Enoch made his Harry Potter debut in the first of the movies, Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone released in 2001. Enoch went on to appear in 6 more movies from the series with his final appearance being in 2011’s Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The actor portrayed the part of Dean Thomas and even went on to voice this character in the video game adaptions of the series. Since then, Enoch has had great acting success; he has been nominated for numerous awards, including two NAACP Image Awards for his role as Wes Gibbons on How to Get Away with Murder. The third season of the show is set to air later this year.
15 Clémense Poséy
The French actress and model made her appearance in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire released in 2005. Poséy played the part of Fleur Delacour, who is crowned champion in the renowned Triwizard Tournament. Poséy went on to portray the part of Fleur Delacour in both Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2. Between the years she was appearing in the Harry Potter movies, the actress could be found starring in a number of film and television productions including the miniseries War and Peace. Poséy’s most prestigious acting appearance to date is most likely her starring role in the Oscar nominated movie In Bruges. The actress starred alongside Irish actor Colin Farrell in the movie, as well as reuniting with her Harry Potter co-stars Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. Poséy has also had great success as a model appearing in campaigns for Gap, Cholé and G-Star Raw.
14 Frank Dillane
Many have become familiar with Frank Dillane over the past year due to his portrayal of Nick Clark in AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, a Walking Dead spin-off show. However, Dillane had been acting long before he got this role. Devote Potter fans may have recognized Dillane as having played the part of a young and evil Tom Riddle in 2009’s Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. Nevertheless, since he’s definitely grown up a bit since his part in Harry Potter many people may not have even realized it was Dillane who appeared in the movie at all. After his appearance in this movie, Dillane went on to attend The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating in 2013. The actor went on to appear in the independent film Papadopoulos and Sons, as well as the Netflix series Sense8. Dillane also appeared in the movie In the Heart of the Sea released in 2015.
13 Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy played the part of Minister Rufus Scrimgeour in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Nighy’s character initially joined the Ministry of Magic as an Auror, but after many years fighting evil magic and dark wizards, he rose to the position of Minister of Magic. The actor is probably more widely acclaimed for his portrayal of Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Nighy also played the part of the vampire king Victor in the Underworld franchise. The actor is credited for his appearance in Love Actually, which starred his fellow Harry Potter actors Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. This was not the only movie Nighy appeared in that also had a former Harry Potter actor; the actor appeared in 2013’s About Time alongside Domhnall Gleeson, who also made an appearance in the Harry Potter franchise.
12 Natalia Tena
Almost anyone who has watched Game of Thrones (that is almost everyone) will recognize Natalia Tena as having played the part of Wildling Osha in the much-adored series. However, what many of these Game of Thrones fans may have missed is the actress’s appearance in Harry Potter. Tena, made her debut in and Harry Potter the Order of the Phoenix released in 2007. The actress played the part of Nymphadora Tonks, the evil-wizard-fighting, first cousin of Draco Malfoy. Tena reprised her role as Nymphadora in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009) Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). Some people may also recognize the actress from her appearance in About a Boy (2002).
11 Kelly MacDonald
Kelly MacDonald’s appearance in Harry Potter is one that seems to have gone unnoticed by many people. MacDonald played the part of the “Grey Lady” who was revealed to be Helena Ravenclaw. MacDonald appeared in the last Harry Potter movie Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, having replaced actress Nina Young, who played the same part in the first ever Harry Potter movie. Interestingly, MacDonald began her acting career when she was working as a barmaid in Glasgow; having seen an audition poster for the movie Trainspotting, the actress decided to audition on a whim. MacDonald surprised more than just herself with the audition and eventually got the part. The actress has also appeared in movies such as Nanny McPhee, Anna Karenina and Oscar nominated movie No Country for Old Men.
10 Scarlett Byrne
These days, most people familiar with Scarlett Byrne will recognise her for her portrayal of Lexie in Falling Skies or Nora Hildegard in the Vampire Diaries. However, you may not know that the English actress made her way into the spotlight through a Harry Potter movie. Byrne made her first appearance in the franchise in 2009’s Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. The actress played the part of Pansy Parkinson, a member of Slytherin. Byrne played the same part in both the final two installments of the series also. Prior to Byrne’s appearance the part of Pansy Parkinson was played by Genevieve Gaunt in Prisoner of Azkaban and Lauren Shotton in Order of the Phoenix. Byrne went on to become a series regular in the fourth season of Falling Skies as well as a major recurring character in the seventh season of the Vampire Diaries.
9 Michelle Fairley
Michelle Fairley, who many will recognise from her role as Catelyn Stark in Game of Thrones made her Harry Potter appearance as Mrs. Granger, the mother of Hermione Granger, in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1. The actress took over this role from Heather Bleasdale who portrayed Mrs. Granger in Chamber of Secrets. At the time of her appearance in the show Fairley was not that recognized of an actress, so many fans of both Harry Potter and Game of Thrones may be surprised to look back and see how the actresses part went unnoticed. Fairley has appeared in numerous other TV shows including 24: Live Another Day, Suits and Resurrection.
8 Jamie Campbell Bower
If you weren’t aware, Jamie Campbell Bower made his Harry Potter debut in 2010’s Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Bower played the part of a young Gellert Grindelwald, the dark wizard that is defeated by Dumbledore. This appearance came only three years after Bower made his first ever movie appearance in 2007’s Sweeney Todd. Although Bower was already on the Hollywood scene before his Harry Potter appearance due to his role in the Twilight Saga’s New Moon, he was still relatively unknown. It was only in the years that followed and after he reprised his role in the vampire flicks for Breaking Dawn: Part 1 and Breaking Dawn: Part 2 that his star began to rise. So, for this reason Bower’s appearance in Harry Potter may have gone unnoticed to many people who weren’t familiar with the actor at the time.
7 Zoe Sugg
Zoe Sugg, better known as her YouTube identity Zoella, made her appearance, well almost did, in 2001’s Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Unfortunately for the beauty guru, her scene was cut by the director at the last minute. Still, many of you may be surprised to know that the YouTuber once pursued an acting career. Speaking about it, Sugg stated, “I was 10 when they first started filming the first film, and my primary school is in the village they used. So they came and asked everyone in my year (which was probably about 7 children) if we wanted to be extras and of course we said yes.” Similarly, Sugg acted as an extra in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, yet cannot actually be seen on screen. So, although Harry Potter may have kick-started the careers of many stars, Sugg can be credited for building her beauty empire all by itself.
6 Derek Hough
Derek Hough is well known for being a stand-out star on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. What many don’t know is that Hough made a brief, cameo appearance, in the first ever Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Hough played the part of a Ravenclaw and can be seen carrying a pet owl in the background of a scene depicting Harry and Ron playing chess. Since this point, Hough’s career has blown up; the star has won Dancing with the Stars an incredible six times. The star has also won two Emmy awards for outstanding choreography for various dances he choreographed on the show. Not only this, but Hough has starred in a number of stage productions including Footloose: The Musical which appeared in London’s West End. Since 2014, Hough has made recurring appearances on TV-show Nashville.
5 Julianne Hough
Just like her brother Derek, Julianne Hough also appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Hough was an extra in the movie and a member of Gryffindor; she pops up in a scene next to How to Get Away with Murder star Alfred Enoch. Hough can be seen cheering as Harry leads Gryffindor to win a game of Quidditch. Since her appearance in the movie released in 2001, Hough, like her brother, has had a hugely successful dancing career; she has been the professional champion of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars on two occasions. Not only this but the star has continued on with her acting career. Hough’s first leading role was in the remake of Footloose, released in 2011. The multi-talented star also appeared in the movie Safe Haven opposite Josh Duhamel. Earlier this year Hough played Sandy in the live FOX television production of Grease.
4 David Tennant
David Tennant, is undoubtedly most renowned for being the tenth doctor in hit British Show Doctor Who. Prior to being cast as the doctor, however, Tennant played the role of Barty Crouch Jr. in 2005’s Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Tennant’s character was an evil one who is sentenced to life in Azkaban for his part in the tortures of Frank and Alice Longbottom, the parents of Hogwarts’ student Neville Longbottom. Tennant played the role of Doctor Who for five years from 2005-2010; the actor returned for the 50th anniversary episode in 2013. Since this point, Tennant has been working on a number of different projects and has made various acting appearances such as in Broadchurch, Casanova and Jessica Jones.
3 Domhnall Gleeson
The Irish actor, probably most recognized for his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, actually had his breakthrough role appearing in a Harry Potter movie. In 2010, Gleeson took on the role of Bill Weasley, Ron’s adventurous older brother, in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Gleeson’s father Brendan Gleeson, plays Alastor Moody in the series. Originally, Gleeson stated that he would never be able to act alongside his father in a movie as he believed people would just assume the role had been given to him because of his father. However, it would appear all this changed for the actor as he decided to take on the role in the end. The same year the movie was released Gleeson appeared in two more hit movies, Never Let Me Go and True Grit. Gleeson has had immense acting success since his appearance in Harry Potter; he has starred in numerous movies such as About Time, Anna Karenina, Brooklyn and The Revenant.
2 Verne Troyer
Not many are aware that it was Verne Troyer who played the part of Griphook, the goblin who works at Gringott’s Wizarding Bank that Harry encounters during his trip to Diagon Alley. Troyner was not very recognizable in the role due to the heavy goblin make-up and also the fact that although Troyner plays the part of Griphook, the goblin is actually voiced by a different person. The actor made his first appearance in Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (2001) but later went on to appear in both the first and second installments of The Deathly Hallows. Troyer has had much movie success separate from his Harry Potter role; the actor played the part of Mini-me in the Austin Powers series.
1 Robert Pattinson
It was 2008 when Robert Pattinson shot to fame for his starring role as Edward Cullen in the vampire flick Twilight. Pattinson, however, made his first ever movie appearance in 2005’s Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Pattinson plays the part of Cedric Diggory, a Hufflepuff, who sparks a rivalry with Harry over Quidditch. Pattinson also appears in Order of the Phoenix is flashback scenes. Pattinson went on to appear in all five Twilight movies, the last of which was released in 2012. In 2010, the actor was named by Time magazine as being one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. Pattinson has had immense movie success away from both Twilight and Harry Potter; the actor has starred in movies such as Remember Me, Water for Elephants, Maps to the Stars and The Lost City of Z.