The Harry Potter movies have, undoubtedly, been one of the most memorable phenomena of our generation with millions of kids, teens, and adults burying their faces in the books or watching the magic on-screen in suspending disbelief. And while the themes of Hogwarts and magic are still kept alive with the Fantastic Beast series just unfolding, it’s hard to deny that the original feeling of wizardry started fading the moment everyone watched Harry Potter cast on their last movie – Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Even though many of the young actors started their acting careers with the Harry Potter film series, they grew up in front of the entire world as the sequels came out, and as things reached their end, they had to raise their wings and find new heights to conquer. Many of them did become famous actors, and some found themselves on entirely different paths. And for those not as young as the leading trio, well, Harry Potter was neither a beginning nor an end for their acting jobs. So, if you were curious where the movie cast who played the iconic wizards, muggles, and all those in between are, this list is perfect for you! Scroll down below to see the Harry Potter actors then and now, and don’t forget to comment and vote for your favorites!
Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall)
Perhaps one of the biggest stars of the Harry Potter cast, Dame Maggie Smith needs no introduction. Before appearing on the big screens as professor Minerva McGonagall, Smith had a seemingly-endless list of roles on stage, film, and television. The actress was such a prominent figure in the British culture and art scene that Queen Elizabeth II made her a Dame in 1990. She was cast as the Head of Gryffindor and Head of Transfiguration, Minerva McGonagall in 2001 and appeared in seven of the eight films in the series. Unsurprisingly, Smith had plenty of roles after the Potter series ended, including Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham in the TV series Downton Abbey for which she received a Golden Globe Award and two Emmy Awards. Currently, the actress has just wrapped up work on a film Downton Abbey which acts as a continuation of the show as well as working on A Boy Called Christmas which is set to come out in 2020.
Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)
While the rest of the cast had some kind of acting gig before landing a role in Harry Potter, Evanna Lynch had no experience in the field prior being cast as Luna Lovegood at all. She was obsessed with the books as a child and wrote many letters to the author before hearing about open casting for the role of Lovegood. She was picked out of 15,000 girls and producers have claimed that while many could play Luna, Evanna was, in fact, Luna, especially with her deep knowledge and affinity to the character. After the Potter series was finished, Lynch went on to play in several other movies, including a 2015 Irish independent drama film My Name Is Emily where she was a lead. Lynch also played alongside her Harry Potter co-stars James and Oliver Phelps in Danny and the Human Zoo. In 2018, Evanna competed on season 27 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars where she reached the finale. Currently, the actress has just wrapped up work on a crime comedy Madness in the Method.
Unfortunately, some of the actors are not on this list as they passed away. Richard Harris, who originally played Dumbledore, passed away in 2002 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was replaced by Michael Gambon. Alan Rickman, who portrayed the controversial character Severus Snape, passed away in 2016 from pancreatic cancer. Vernon Dursley’s actor Richard Griffiths also passed away due to complications from heart surgery in 2013.
Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
One part of the main trio, Hermione Granger was brought to life by Emma Watson when she was only eleven. Just like Radcliffe, Watson spent ten years working on the Potter films that brought her popularity and international recognition. After the final movie in the series came out in 2011, Watson continued her acting career, starring in movies like My Week with Marilyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Bling Ring. Her next big role came in 2017 when she was cast as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast. The actress also managed to split her time between acting and studying, acquiring a bachelor’s degree in English literature. In 2014 she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador and helped launch the campaign HeForShe, calling for men to advocate gender equality. She has recently finished work on Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of Little Women, alongside Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom)
Matthew Lewis stunned everyone with his incredible ‘glow-up’ as the Harry Potter films were ending as he looked nothing like the kid that we all watched at the beginning of the series. Lewis had been acting since he was five, but only at the age of 12 did he finally land the role that became one of his signatures. The awkward, wide-toothed and round-faced boy was none other than Neville Longbottom and Lewis seemed to fit that role beautifully. But ten years later, Neville’s journey was not only one from fear to courage but also quite an ugly duckling story where in the end, he emerged a beautiful swan. The actor has since made himself known outside the Potter world by playing Jamie Bradley in The Syndicate and Corporal Gordon “Towerblock” House in the BBC Three comedy drama Bluestone 42. As of 2019, Lewis has reportedly wrapped up work on a comedy titled Baby Done where he plays a character named Tim.
Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy)
Jason Isaacs is, perhaps, best known for his roles as Colonel William Tavington in The Patriot, criminal Michael Caffee in the Showtime series Brotherhood, Marshal Georgy Zhukov in The Death of Stalin and, of course, Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films. After auditioning for the role, Isaacs confessed that he read the 4 Harry Potter books that had been released at that time in one sitting and described them as ‘crack’. After the Potter films concluded, Isaacs worked on the NBC series Awake, action adventure drama series Dig and other projects. Currently, the actor is working on Scoob, an animated film based on the popular “Scooby-Doo” cartoon, where he lends his voice to Dick Dastardly.
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
The main star of the series, Daniel Radcliffe, jumped into the role in 2000 after he auditioned at the age of eleven. While at first, the actor and his parents were reluctant to accept the role, once Daniel became Harry Potter, his life was changed forever. Radcliffe basically grew up on the series, spending ten years working on eight films that brought him fame, fortune, and praise from critics. It’s no wonder the actor went on to have a splendid career in the movie scene, starring in a wide variety of roles including lawyer Arthur Kipps in the horror film The Woman in Black, famed beat poet Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, Victor Frankenstein’s assistant Igor in the science fiction fantasy Victor Frankenstein, Manny, a sentient corpse in Swiss Army Man, and more. Radcliffe also dabbled in Broadway scene working on musicals such as How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Currently, the actor is finishing work on a thriller Escape from Pretoria in which he plays real-life South African escapee Tim Jenkin.
Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid)
Robbie Coltrane had a long acting career way before he became known as the gentle half-giant Hagrid. He started acting in his early 20s and had plenty of TV and roles under his belt. Some of the most prominent credits in his list include ones such as James Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough and a supporting role in From Hell. Coltrane was J.K. Rowling’s top choice for Rubeus Hagrid so it was small wonder when he was cast in 2001. After the series that took 10 years of the actor’s life had wrapped up, Robbie worked on projects such as Pixar’s Brave, Great Expectations, National Treasure. As of 2019, Coltrane is still working on his series Robbie Coltrane Critical Evidence that he started in 2016 and has more or less ceased acting.
Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
Helena Bonham Carter is one of the many Harry Potter actresses that had an impressive career before appearing in the Potter movies. She is, perhaps, best known for her roles of Kate Croy in The Wings of the Dove, Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech and, of course, Bellatrix Lestrange. As Tim Burton’s muse and partner, Bonham Carter appeared in many of his films, such as Planet of the Apes, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and its sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. Currently, the actress is set to appear on seasons three and four of The Crown as Princess Margaret, season one of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, as well as the animated film, The Land of Sometimes.
Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley)
Coming from a family full of actors (his maternal grandfather was actor Patrick Troughton a.k.a the Second Doctor in Doctor Who!), Harry Melling brought Harry Potter’s spoiled cousin Dudley Dursley to life. The actor worked on five Potter films, making his big screen debut in 2001. While the first few movies saw Melling as the perfect fit for a round child, by 2009, the actor had lost so much weight that the producers were considering recasting the role. Harry Melling, however, reprised the role wearing a fat suit. Melling commented on it by saying that his weight loss was a very freeing experience, allowing him to seek different roles and distance himself from his Potter role: “I can now shed the child actor thing like the fat and start a new career because no one sees me as Dudley.” Since the last Harry Potter film, Melling has worked on projects like Coen brothers’ Western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs where his performance was praised by critics.
Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas)
Alfred Enoch was 13 when he was cast as Dean Thomas in the Philosopher’s Stone. He played the role in seven of the eight Harry Potter films and although it wasn’t as big of a role as the Golden trio’s, it was definitely quite a significant one in Enoch’s career. After the Potter films, the actor went on to star in the critically-acclaimed Shonda Rhimes’ series How to Get Away with Murder, where he played one of the main roles of Wes Gibbins alongside Viola Davis’ Annalise Keating. He played the main role in season 2 of Trust Me as well as numerous theater plays. Currently, Enoch is working on a project titled Provisional Measure that’s set to be released in 2020.
Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley)
The son of actor Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall was familiar with the scene from an early age. Gleeson performed in school plays, and later went on to study arts and direct and write for film and stage right after graduation. At first reluctant to act alongside his father, Domhnall joined the cast of Harry Potter (where his dad played Alastor Moody) to play Bill Weasley in 2010. Before the magical movies came out, Domhnall already had a few roles in various films like HBO television film A Dog Year and Sensation. However, his career breakthrough followed after the Potter series were wrapped up. Gleeson went on to play in films such as Never Let Me Go, Anna Karenina, Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and more. Currently, the actor has just wrapped up work on The Kitchen, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Peter Rabbit 2 and is filming a TV series titled Run.
Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley)
Rupert Grint landed his lucky role of Ron Weasley in 2011 at the age of eleven. Not unlike the rest of the Golden trio, Grint was recognized for his acting and the series that took ten years of his life and launched a successful acting career. Even while working on the Potter films, the actor took roles on the side, including one in films Driving Lessons and Cherrybomb. After the last Potter movie, Grint starred in the 2012 anti-war film, Into the White, as well as the 2015 French comedy film Moonwalkers. Currently, the actor is working on a project called Instruments of Darkness alongside Charles Dance, Sean Bean and James D’Arcy.
James And Oliver Phelps (Fred And George Weasley)
Two 14-year-old twins who had no previous acting experience took a risk and skipped school to attend Harry Potter auditions back in 2000. The result? They were cast as Fred and George Weasley, an iconic prankster duo that turned out to be their most memorable role so far. After coloring their hair back to brunette, the actors went on to star in different roles after the series, as twins and individually. They starred in Own Worst Enemy, as well as the drama Danny and the Human Zoo, alongside Evanna Lynch. As of 2019, both brothers worked on short film 7 Days: The story of Blind Dave Heeley where they played Dr. Mathews and Captain Williams.
Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort)
Perhaps best known for portraying a Nazi war criminal Amon Göth in Schindler’s List, Ralph Fiennes came into the Potter series with a long list of roles behind him. The actor who brought Potter’s titular villain, Lord Voldemort, to life spent six years on the magical films. As a talent with numerous Oscar and Golden Globes nominations, it was no shocker that Fiennes went on to have a stunning career after the Harry Potter films. In 2012, the actor landed a role in the twenty-third James Bond film, Skyfall, and he replaced Dame Judi Dench as M in subsequent Bond movies. His next big role came in 2014, when Fiennes starred in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel as concierge Monsieur Gustave, a role that earned him appraisal from critics as well as Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. At the moment, the actor is filming Bond 25 and has recently wrapped up work on Kingsman: The Great Game and is preparing to portray characters in The Farnsworth House, The Menu, The Forgiven and Hallelujah!
Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney)
Another British powerhouse, Emma Thompson has plenty of awards under her belt, including two Academy Awards, an Emmy Award, three BAFTA Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. She played an oddball of a professor in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) with the role of Divination teacher Sybill Trelawney. Thompson reprised her role in the following movies, the Order of the Phoenix and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. After the film series concluded, Thompson went on to work on numerous projects, including writing a sequel to her own movie, 2010’s Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, as well as roles in Men in Black 3, Saving Mr. Banks and Disney’s live action film Beauty and the Beast. Currently, Thompson is rumored to be preparing to portray Baroness in a live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil. She has also just finished work on Men in Black: International, Last Christmas and How to Build a Girl.
Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)
When Bonnie Wright first stepped into the shoes of Ginny Weasley back in 2001, it didn’t seem like her character or portrayal had much impact on the overall movie. After all, it was only a brief scene where the focus lied on the anticipation of adventures. However, as Ginny’s importance grew in the series, Wright showed more and more character in her portrayal, receiving praises from several critics. While filming the final two installments of the series, Wright focused on her studies and by 2012 had a Bachelor of Arts degree from London’s University of the Arts: London College of Communication. After the series concluded, the actress kept working on her acting career as well as branching out to modeling, directing and producing. At the moment, Wright is working on a comedy titled Those Who Wander.
Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)
Although not part of the main trio, Tom Felton’s Draco Malfoy had just as important a role in the films as Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Felton stepped into the Slytherin role when he was 14 and spent ten years working on the series. Acting as one of the series’ villains, Felton won two consecutive MTV Movie Awards for Best Villain in 2010 and 2011. After the Potter films concluded, the actor worked on the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as well as the period drama film Belle and The Apparition. In 2018, Tom Felton worked on sci-fi horror series Origin alongside his Harry Potter co-star, Natalia Tena. Currently, Felton has just wrapped work on a comedy, Whaling.
Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks)
Natalia Tena portrayed the lovable and unique character Nymphadora Tonks in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2. After the Potter series, Tena went on to play another memorable role as Osha in the hit series Game of Thrones. She also starred alongside her Potter co-star Tom Felton in TV show Origin. Currently, Natalia Tena has just wrapped up shooting a comedy Te quiero, imbécil and is preparing to star in a thriller called Baby.
Julie Walters (Molly Weasley)
Julie Walters is another actress awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) that’s on this list. After all, the Harry Potter series collected some of the biggest British talents for their movies! Walters has two Academy Awards nominations and is, perhaps, best known for playing June Edwards in Buster, Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter series and Sandra Wilkinson in Billy Elliot. She portrayed Molly Weasley in all Potter films except for the Goblet of Fire. After the magical series wrapped, Walters went on to work on projects like The Hollow Crown, Pixar’s Brave and Mary Poppins Returns. Currently, the actress has just finished filming The Secret Garden and Master Moley.
Jamie Waylett (Vincent Crabbe)
Jamie Waylett had quite a rough life before starring in the Potter series. At the age of nine, he was in an accident that had doctors believe Jamie would die or suffer severe brain damage. To their surprise, the boy made a full recovery. Initially, Waylett was considered for the role of Dudley Dursley, however, he was ultimately cast as Vincent Crabbe, a boy who was part of Draco’s gang and bullied Potter and his friends. Unfortunately, at the time the final movies were shot, his co-star Joshua Herdman announced that Waylett would not return to the franchise. That was because Waylett had had legal trouble after police found cannabis in his possession for which he was sentenced to 120 hours of community service. His legal troubles didn’t end there, however, as Jamie was arrested during the 2011 England riots after which he was sentenced to two years in prison for taking part in the riots. Since then, he’s been laying low for obvious reasons.
Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory)
Robert Pattinson is, seemingly, forever burned into our minds as the sparkly vampire Edward Cullen, however, before that, he was a Hufflepuff prefect Cedric Diggory. Although he starred in only one film, his role was significant enough to earn him the title of “British Star of Tomorrow”. Pattinson went on to have a remarkable acting career with plenty of nominations and awards for his various roles. It was recently announced that Pattinson will portray the iconic role of Bruce Wayne a.k.a Batman in the upcoming movie.
Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley)
Actor, screenwriter and presenter, Mark Williams portrayed Arthur Weasley in the Potter series, which is also the role he is best known for. He’s also known for his work on the popular BBC sketch show The Fast Show. After the Potter series wrapped, Williams appeared as the lead in the BBC costume drama Father Brown. He worked on projects such as the BBC daytime game show The Link, film Golden Years and Twirlywoos. As of 2019, Williams recently completed work on Heidi: Queen of the Mountain, The Dark Channel and is preparing to shoot The Inn at the Edge of the World as well as Chocolate Cake.
Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore)
Sir Michael John Gambon has dabbled in various fields of drama, from theater to television to film. He has four BAFTA TV Awards and three Olivier Awards under his belt as well as being awarded the Irish Film & Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for his contribution to Irish film. He replaced Richard Harris after his death and portrayed professor Albus Dumbledore in his place till the end of the series. Afterwards, Gambon portrayed characters in projects like The King’s Speech and the first and third series of Sky Atlantic’s Fortitude. As of 2019, the actor has recently finished working on Judy, a 2019 film about Judy Garland, and horror thriller Cordelia. He is set to play Alfred Vogt in James and Lucia, a movie about the last years of James Joyce.
Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley)
Unlike the child stars of the series, many of whom started their careers in the magical world of Hogwarts, Shaw was already an established Irish actress and theater and opera director. Although her role of Petunia Dursley wasn’t that prominent, Shaw’s portrayal of the protagonist’s aunt was definitely memorable. Currently, Fiona Shaw is working on many projects including BBC America’s Killing Eve, 2020 drama Ammonite and upcoming thriller Corvidae.
Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy)
From a minor role in 1994 Interview with the Vampire to an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Helen McCrory’s career had many rich roles and successes. The actress was first cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Order of the Phoenix (2007), but was forced to pull out of the project because of her pregnancy. She returned to the series with the Half-Blood Prince, playing Draco’s mother Narcissa Malfoy. After the Potter movies ended, McCrory portrayed many characters, including Evelyn Poole in Penny Dreadful and Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders. At the moment, the actress has just finished work on the TV shows MotherFatherSon and Peaky Blinders.
Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood)
Sean Biggerstaff started his proffesional acting career at the age of 10 when he played the son of MacDuff in a Michael Boyd production of Macbeth at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow. In the following years, the actor went on to play in the BBC production of The Crow Road, where he played Young Darren which was his first major TV role. He also played alongside his future Harry Potter co-star Alan Rickman in The Winter Guest. He was cast as Oliver Wood in Harry Potter and appeared in the two first movies as well as a brief appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the last movie of the series. Since the Potter series, Sean starred in movies such as Mary Queen of Scots and Whisky Galore! as well as theater plays like Appointment with the Wicker Man and Right Now (A Présent). As of 2019, Biggerstaff is set to star in a thriller Hector & Himself.
Josh Herdman (Gregory Goyle)
As he was the son of actor and former professional rugby league footballer Martin Herdman, it was no surprise that Josh started acting when he was only 7. He landed the role of Gregory Goyle at the age of 13, acting alongside Tom Felton as his character’s sidekick. He stayed with the character for 10 years and played him for all the remaining films. After the series wrapped, Josh started practicing jiujitsu and after five years began his MMA career in 2016. However, after spending his time fighting for a couple of years, Herdman returned to acting with roles in the 2018 film Robin Hood as well a British “Nordic”-noir detective series titled Marcella. As of now, the actor seems to be juggling both, fighting and acting, gigs and working on the action TV series Alex Rider.
Katie Leung (Cho Chang)
Katie Leung got the role of Cho Chang after her father saw a casting ad and suggested she try it. After waiting 4 hours for a 5-minute audition, Leung was chosen to play Harry Potter’s first love interest. Katie appeared in 4 Harry Potter films, as well as 2 games. After the Potter series, Leung wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue acting, however after attending a drama course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she decided to continue. She played Jung Chang as her debut stage role in Jung Chang’s autobiographical play Wild Swans. In 2017, Leung co-starred with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan in The Foreigner, playing Fan, Chan’s character’s daughter. Currently, the actress has wrapped up work on the TV series White Dragon and Chimerica.
Scarlett Byrne (Pansy Parkinson)
Scarlett Byrne started her acting career at the age of 15, when she landed a role in short film CryBaby, before moving on to play Chloe Daniels in an episode of the British TV drama Doctors. In 2009, the actress was cast as Pansy Parkinson in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and returned to play the character in the final two films. After the Potter series, Byrne played Brittany in Lake Placid: The Final Chapter as well as became a series regular for the 4th season of Falling Skies, where she played Lexi. In 2015, Scarlett was cast as Nora Hildegard, a witch-vampire hybrid, heretic, in the CW series The Vampire Diaries. The same year, the actress got engaged to Hugh Hefner’s son, Cooper Hefner, and two years later posed nude for Playboy magazine. In 2017, the actress was cast in the role of Lisa for action-thriller film Skybound. As of 2019, Byrne has been reported to be working on a short film titled Stick and Poke.