In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of the Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone novel, let’s see what the cast of the Harry Potter films is up to these days.
Daniel Radcliffe. The wunderkind who went from child actor to international superstar after he was cast as Harry Potter in Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone. The hero of the franchise, Harry was a curious boy drawn into a world of magic and through whom many millennials learned to love the world of Harry Potter.
After transitioning out of the relative safety of the Harry Potter world and into more adult roles, Radcliffe’s appeared in hit indie films like What If and Swiss Army Man as well as blockbusters like Now You See Me 2 and Victor Frankenstein.
Emma Watson has maintained a high-profile career since finishing up her work on the Harry Potter films. She first stole our heart as Hermione Granger, the bookworm and overachiever who was literally #HeroGoals. In recent years, Watson has begun the He for She campaign, which seeks to bring male feminist allyship to the forefront as well working as a UN goodwill ambassador. She also recently appeared in the Disney remake of Beauty and the Beast as well as the tech thriller, The Circle.
One of the three most prominent actors to come out of the Harry Potter franchise, Rupert Grint has had an interesting career post-Harry Potter. Originating the role of Ron Weasley, Harry Potter’s BFF and an eternal whiner/source of comic relief, Grint was a totally lovable kid. Since his Harry Potter days, Grint’s kept a low profile by appearing in mostly U.K. films like Moonwalkers and Postman Pat: The Movie, but can now be seen on Crackle’s Snatch.
Tom Felton was still a budding actor when he shot to superstardom as Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone. Felton managed to bring to life Draco’s entitled, snotty, pernicious attitude with such aplomb, it was almost like he was Draco. But let’s be real. Felton is totally not Draco, and he definitely hasn’t become typecast as the Draco type since wrapping on the films a few years ago. Since then, Felton has appeared in films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Get Him to the Greek, and A United Kingdom as well as snagging a series regular role on The Flash.
Matthew Lewis has matured from an adorably cherubic young lad into something of a stud. In fact, his maturation into a totally handsome dude has become such a source of pop culture curiosity, he’s spawned a slang term to describe his metamorphosis into regular hot dude: “Longbottoming.” The term is inspired by his Harry Potter character, the very sweet Neville Longbottom, who often had bad luck follow him around like a dark cloud.
Since his time in Harry Potter, Lewis has appeared in two hit U.K. TV shows, Ripper Street and Happy Valley. He’s also appeared in the film Me Before You.
Alfred Enoch may be familiar to audiences as Dean Martin, one of Harry Potter’s classmates, or you may know him as Wes Gibbins in the hit Shondaland show How to Get Away With Murder. Enoch’s first acting gig was in the Harry Potter films, but he’s slowly established his own thriving acting career since the films wrapped. Aside from How to Get Away With Murder, Enoch’s appeared in the film adaptation of Coriolanus and the beloved TV show Sherlock.
Bonnie Wright’s first-ever movie role was as Ginny Weasley, the youngest of the Weasleys as well as Harry Potter’s future wife. Whip-smart, capable and cheeky, Ginny always managed to brighten up the room; honestly, she deserves all the love.
Wright has continued to act, although she’s more likely to appear in an indie film than a big-budget blockbuster. She was recently seen in U.K. indie films Before I Sleep and Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg?
James & Oliver Phelps
The Phelps twins, James and Oliver, were first introduced to us as Fred and George Weasley. In the Harry Potter films, the Weasley twins were a pair of mischevious scamps, pulling practical jokes on their siblings and eventually dropping out of Hogwarts to run a joke shop.
In real life, the Phelps have been regulars at a variety of Harry Potter-themed events and panels as well as maintaining their acting careers. James and Oliver were recently in the U.K. TV movie Danny and the Human Zoo.
Pattinson has arguably had one of the most famous and prolific careers among the group of younger Harry Potter actors. After appearing as the heroic and handsome Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, Pattinson went on to star in the Twilight film franchise. His star power grew massively, and he’s remained one of the most in-demand actors of his generation. He recently appeared in Life, Maps to the Stars and The Lost City of Z.
Melling gained notoriety after being cast as Dudley Dursley, Harry Potter’s odious and oafish cousin. Appearing in nearly every single Harry Potter film, Melling always made the most of his role as Dudley. Melling’s continued to act and recently appeared with Harry Potter co-star Robert Pattinson in The Lost City of Z.
Katie Leung was first seen as Harry Potter’s first love, Cho Chang, in Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. If you remember, Cho went on to fall in love with Harry’s Triwizard rival Cedric Diggory and she eventually betrayed the Order of the Phoenix. Girl, bye.
Leung, however, has remained active in acting. She recently appeared in T2 Trainspotting as well as the TV shows Run and One Child in the U.K.
Lynch rose to fame when she was cast as Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. Luna, while totally lovable, always appeared a bit scatterbrained, as if she had her head in the clouds; maybe that’s what made her so lovable.
Since Harry Potter, Lynch has kept a relatively low profile. She has appeared at the premiere of Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as well as acting in a few smaller films. We miss you, Evanna Lynch!
Maggie Smith — a titan of English cinema, TV and theater — made her mark on the millennial generation as the stern, shape-shifting professor of transfiguration, Professor McGonagall. Smith practically jumped from one long-running hit project with Harry Potter into another when she signed on to play Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey. She’s also been seen in The Lady in the Van and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in recent years.
Sadly, Alan Rickman died in 2016. One of the most recognizable faces in English cinema, Rickman left behind a colossal résumé. To millennials, he might best be known as Severus Snape, a once-fearsome potions teacher who actually turned out to be one of Harry Potter’s greatest allies. Some of his last roles were in smaller films, including A Little Chaos, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Eye in the Sky.
Julie Walters was total #MomGoals as Molly Weasley, the fiercely protective yet low-key silly Weasley matriarch. Walters has been trucking along since Harry Potter finished, appearing alongside Harry Potter co-star Robbie Coltrane in the TV show National Treasure as well as films like Paddington, Brooklyn and Brave.
David Thewlis may be best known for his role as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films. A werewolf as well as a protector of Harry Potter, Lupin was one of the more sympathetic characters in the Harry Potter-verse. Since finishing the films, Thewlis has popped up in some interesting roles, including the recent mega-hit Wonder Woman, the FX show Fargo and Macbeth.
Now here’s a face you’d recognize even if you didn’t know her name: Emma Thompson. Thompson’s been a mainstay of English film, TV and theater for the better part of 30 years. After appearing in the Harry Potter films as Professor Trelawney, Thompson’s career highlights include roles in Saving Mr. Banks, Bridget Jones’ Baby, and Beauty and the Beast (where she was reunited with Harry Potter co-star Emma Watson).
Sadly, Richard Griffiths died in 2013. His career encompassed a great many accomplishments and highlights, which of course included playing Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films. However, toward the end of his career, he earned recognition for his excellent work in the play The History Boys and appeared in films like Hugo and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Fiona Shaw may be best known to American audiences as Harry Potter’s awful aunt, Petunia Dursley, but she’s maintained an active career in television as well as film. Since she wrapped on Harry Potter, she’s been spotted in TV projects like Emerald City, Channel Zero and True Blood.
Gary Oldman was a prolific actor before he got cast as Sirius Black, Harry Potter’s godfather, in Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban; he remains just as prolific to this day.
Oldman has been bopping around from high-profile role to high-profile role in the years since Harry Potter. Lately, he’s been spotted in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, RoboCop and Criminal.
Fiennes was a menace as Voldemort in the Harry Potter films. With a shaved head and prosthetics to erase his nose, Fiennes cut a fearful figure as He Who Must Not Be Named. Just thinking about him as Voldemort gives me goose bumps.
Lately, Fiennes has been dancing his way through life, appearing in hit films like A Bigger Splash and The Lego Batman Movie.
Helena Bonham Carter
Bonham Carter sent shivers down our spines as Bellatrix Lestrange, one of the few female villains in the Harry Potter universe. Always a great character actor, Bonham Carter practically melted into the role of the maniacal Bellatrix.
She’s continued her career at full speed, having appeared in Suffragette and Alice Through The Looking Glass recently. She can also be seen in the upcoming, female-led Ocean’s Eight.
Robbie Coltrane had appeared in a great many film and television projects before the Harry Potter film franchise came along. However, it was his role as Hagrid that helped introduce him to a younger generation.
Coltrane is still truckin’, having recently appeared in National Treasure alongside another Harry Potter actor, Julie Walters.
Gambon took over the role of Albus Dumbledore when the actor who originated the role, Richard Harris, died in 2002. First appearing in Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, Gambon has become nearly synonymous with the name “Albus Dumbledore.”
Now, Gambon continues his vibrant career as a film, television and theatrical actor. He recently appeared in The Hollow Crown, Hail, Caesar! and the TV drama Fortitude.
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