With the massive popularity of J.K. Rowling’s books, it’s no wonder the Harry Potter films were all smash hits. We fell in love with the franchise’s many memorable characters. But what do they look like these days?
From Harry to Voldemort to Dudley Dursley, we’ll catch up with all your favorites. Some are unrecognizable. Some are just older. And some have passed on.
Let’s take a look back at the films, and then find out what its stars have been up to since.
Playing the titular role, Daniel Radcliffe was a name nobody knew when he was first cast way back in 2001. Radcliffe became Harry Potter, even giving readers difficulty separating his face from the pages of the books.
He’s proven to be more versatile since the franchise ended.
Daniel has acted in a number of films, television shows, and plays outside of Hogwarts. And he’s received critical acclaim for his work.
Many actors struggle to escape the shadows of their iconic roles. Even though he played Harry Potter eight times, he has the kind of talent to play great new characters for years to come.
As the whip smart Hermione Granger, Emma Watson endeared herself to fans for a whole decade. Somewhat based on author J.K. Rowling herself, the Muggle-born witch was voted the best female character of all time in 2016 by the Hollywood Reporter.
Like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma appears to have a bright future.
She’s starred in multiple films since the end of the Harry Potter series. Most notably, she portrayed Belle in the 2017 live action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Add 2019’s performance as Meg March in Little Women, and Watson has shown she’s got more magic up her sleeve.
As Harry’s primary antagonist, Lord Voldemort was a frighteningly powerful sorcerer. He was so dreadful, wizards and witches dared not even mention his name.
Ralph Fiennes’s name is not easy to say, either. For different reasons. And if you’ve only seen him in these films, you don’t even know what he looks like.
Pronounced like “Ray,” Fiennes was Oscar-nominated for his work in Schindler’s List and The English Patient. He’s an actor’s actor, the type that elevates every project he’s in.
Fiennes continues to turn in great performances. And since his Voldemort days are over, we get to see his actual face!
James and Oliver Phelps
Who didn’t love the Weasley twins? Fred and George were known as pranksters of Hogwarts, and they found themselves in loads of trouble as a result.
Played by real life twins James and Oliver Phelps, we got to experience the boys grow up before our eyes. What do they look like now?
Well, they still look alike, but not like they once did. These two are men now, and their hair is noticeably darker than it was in the films.
The Phelps brothers are still working, and sometimes in the same movies. Hopefully both get out alive in future projects.
Though he auditioned to play Harry Potter himself, Tom Felton was cast as bully Draco Malfoy. As Harry’s nemesis, Felton became a character fans loved to hate.
With no one to manipulate at Hogwarts these days, Felton has had to discover new roles.
And he has. Tom has appeared in the Planet of the Apes franchise, The Flash series, and several others formidable projects.
Sadly, Draco Malfoy won’t be seen in any more movies, but the grown up Tom Felton is a serious actor audiences should get used to. Look at the guy. That’s a face you can trust, right?
Maggie Smith has had a very long career in front of the camera. As Professor McGonagall, the eventual headmistress of Hogwarts, she introduced herself to a whole new audience.
Made a dame in 1990 by Queen Elizabeth II, Maggie didn’t let the end of the Potter films slow her down.
Even at her age, Dame Maggie Smith has worked tirelessly. She won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her role as Violet Crawley on Downton Abbey.
And if that wasn’t enough, she was nominated for yet another Golden Globe for her 2015 performance in The Lady in the Van (pictured above)!
Gryffindor’s own Ron Weasley was Harry’s closest confidant. Played by Rupert Grint, Ron was a loyal sidekick—and a funny one at that.
When filming began on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Rupert was only twelve. It was his first movie role. He doesn’t look like that anymore.
Nowadays, Rupert has shed the robe and wand and taken on some new characters. As you can see, he’s not a little kid anymore.
He’s found steady work in television and films as an adult. He may wind up in some classics one day, but to most fans, he’ll always be Ron Weasley.
You may not remember John Cleese from the film series. We assure you, he was there… in spirit, at least.
Cleese played “Nearly Headless Nick” in the first two films. He was a ghost of the Gryffindor house who had a rather sloppy execution some five centuries earlier.
Fans of John Cleese go way back to his days silly walking and charging money for arguments on Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
He’s quite active still, popping up in movies, television and video games (his voice, anyway). We do hope the real life Cleese, with his head firmly attached, keeps on making us laugh.
As Aunt Petunia’s son, Dudley Dursley was a spoiled bully—a thorn in Harry’s side all his life. The actor who played him—another Harry—seems like more of a decent guy in real life.
Harry Melling doesn’t look anything like he did in the movies anymore.
As you can see, he doesn’t even have any arms or legs!
Kidding. He’s got arms and legs. But in Netflix’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, he plays a legless, armless traveling thespian in the Old West. An utterly helpless character in that film, Melling has shown he’s got range since his Dudley days.
Fiona Shaw played Harry’s aunt, Petunia Dursley. She was no fan of Hogwarts or the wizarding world. As a result, she’s not exactly a likable character in the films (or the books). But that’s not Fiona’s fault! She nailed the role!
And she’s played many other interesting characters over a long career.
Here she is, looking very different, in the series Killing Eve. She won a BAFTA for that performance.
The Irish actress was nominated for two Emmys in 2019—one for Killing Eve, and another for Fleabag. Who needs magic when you can perform like that?
Harry’s uncle Vernon Dursley—head of the Dursley household—was probably worse than Petunia or Dudley. Actor Richard Griffiths did a wonderful job bringing J.K. Rowling’s character to life in the films.
Unfortunately, Griffiths is no longer with us. Prior to stepping into the Vernon role, he’d had a lengthy career.
He also worked after that. Here he is in one of his final performances, looking very un-Vernon-like.
Griffiths is one of those British character actors with a long list of reputable credits. Yet no matter what you see him in, you’ll probably remember him for one thing: Harry Potter.
Another member of the Weasley family, little sister Ginny was played by Bonnie Wright. The talented, red-headed witch makes for some memorable moments over eight movies.
Just a preteen in the earlier films, we watch Bonnie grow up as the story progresses. In the end, she and Harry have fallen in love.
Bonnie isn’t a little kid anymore. She’s done some work post Potter, mostly in independent films in the U.K.
Like with any child actor playing such a popular character for so long, fans may have a hard time seeing Bonnie as anyone but Ginny.
Scottish born Robbie Coltrane played Rubeus Hagrid. Half human, half giant, Hagrid was Hogwarts’ eventual Care of Magical Creatures teacher.
Coltrane doesn’t always look like he did in the films. And he’s no giant, though at 6’1”, he did tower over the child actors.
With a face all cleaned up and graying hair, it’s hard to believe that’s the same guy.
Once known only as a comedian, he’s played a Bond villain and been series lead a couple of times. Even with over one hundred credits to his name, none of his characters may ever be as well remembered as Hagrid.
Warwick Davis first appeared as Wicket in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. We never saw his face in that movie; Wicket was an Ewok.
After his star-making turn in Willow, he was back to playing strange creatures (the Leprechaun films, among others). But Professor Flitwick was one to remember.
Here he is, in the flesh, and years after the Potter franchise. Recognize him?
As the Charms Master of Hogwarts, Davis appeared in all eight films. Of course, if you only saw him under all that makeup, you’d never know his real face.
Fans remember Alfred Enoch as Dean Thomas, the half-blood Gryffindor student. The poor guy drew the ire of Harry when he and Ginny began to date.
Enoch was a mainstay in the franchise, appearing in all but one of the films. And he’s spread his wings a bit since.
Alfred played a critical role in the hit American show How to Get Away with Murder for four seasons. After that, he co-starred in Troy: Fall of a City (pictured above).
As you can see, he’s a far cry from Dean Thomas now that Potter has ended.
Neville Longbottom had one of the stronger character arcs of the series. Cowardly in the early goings, Neville was a valiant warrior by the end.
Actor Matthew Lewis also had something of a change over the course of the eight films.
Of all the physical transformations from start to finish—particularly of the child actors— Matthew’s is among the most dramatic. Take a look: he’s hardly recognizable today.
Thanks to his performance as the young Longbottom, Lewis has had a lot of work since. And he figures to have a long career ahead of him.
Few actors play villains quite like Jason Isaacs. He seems to revel in every baddie role he gets his hands on.
Here, he got to play a Death Eater—a follower of Voldemort out to rid the world of the Muggle-borns. He’s played a lot of other characters, too.
Since he stopped glaring at wizards with those blazing blue eyes, Isaacs has appeared in several TV series. Among them, Star Wars Rebels, Star Trek: Discovery, The OA, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
Long after the exploits of Lucius Malfoy, this guy keeps gravitating to sci-fi and fantasy.
The Prisoner of Azkaban himself, Sirius Black appeared in four films of the series. Played by the immortal Gary Oldman, the once feared Sirius ultimately ends up a friend to Harry.
As for Gary Oldman, does anyone know what he actually looks like?
Oldman is so good at transforming himself from one role to the next, he’s sometimes not familiar to even his biggest fans. Take his Oscar-winning performance in Darkest Hour, for instance.
Having played so many fascinating characters over the years—and with varying dialects—Gary has had trouble accessing his natural British accent even when he’s not acting.
Depending on how big a fan you are, you may not even recall that Robert Pattinson showed up once in the Harry Potter films. Yes, just once—in The Goblet of Fire.
As Cedric Diggory, Pattinson played a friend of Harry’s… who was killed on Voldemort’s orders. But Pattinson hasn’t gone anywhere.
He’s established himself as a serious actor who takes interesting roles—and iconic ones, too. In 2019, Pattinson was cast as Batman.
Not even the Twilight franchise could stop an actor with Robert’s ability from rising high on the A-list. He’s one we’ll be watching for the foreseeable future.
David Thewlis is a British character actor whose name you may not know. You’ve seen his face, no doubt.
As professor Remus Lupin, he was more than meets the eye. In The Prisoner of Azkaban, he transforms into a werewolf! Thewlis, on the other hand, is not a werewolf.
He’s a respected actor. Working consistently since the 1980s, Thewlis has been in everything from Fargo (the show) to Justice League. There he is in Wonder Woman.
Despite dozens of performances in big movies and TV shows, Remus Lupin may be the role that forever defines David Thewlis.
French actress Clémence Poésy played Fleur Delacour in three of the films. Initially a performer in the Triwizard Tournament, she later married Bill Weasley.
The Harry Potter world is not what Clémence is best known for, and she’s done much since then.
She has starred in multiple TV series and films, including Christopher Nolan’s 2020 film, Tenet.
Poésy is the kind of performer whose small role in the Potter movies has not affected her. She’s been able to distinguish herself from the character she played. And from the looks of it, she’s going to keep that up.
As Nymphadora Tonks, Natalia Tena was an Auror. She eventually married Remus Lupin and died fighting her sister, Bellatrix. You probably also remember her ability to change her hair at will.
Tena, a formidable musician, doesn’t possess Nymphadora abilities. But she has acted in some pretty big roles.
In 2014, Tena was seen in an episode of Black Mirror (“White Christmas”). And she appeared in sixteen episodes of the massively popular Game of Thrones as Osha.
When she’s not acting, she’s performs with her band, Molotov Jukebox, where she is the lead singer and accordionist. That’s a lot of talent.
In the first two films, Richard Harris played Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts. Sadly, Harris died in 2002. The filmmakers replaced him with BAFTA winning actor Michael Gambon.
Gambon portrayed Dumbledore for the final six films of the series. A prolific performer, he’s worked a lot since then.
Under the beard and long white mane, it’s hard to know what Gambon actually looks like. Here he is clean shaven, years later.
Michael has worked so much in his career, by the time he’s done, there’s no telling what one role fans will remember him best for.
If you’ve seen a movie lately, you’ve probably seen Domhnall Gleeson. The Irish actor has found his way into so many blockbuster films and Oscar-nominated films, it’s hard to keep track of them all.
You might not even remember that he played Bill Weasley, the oldest of the Weasley siblings.
Most took notice to Domhnall as General Hux in the Star Wars franchise. And we knew his father first.
Gleeson is the son of actor Brendan Gleeson, who is best known for his work in Braveheart. But he’s also in this series, playing Alastor Moody (not Bill’s father).
Luna Lovegood, also known as “Loony” Lovegood, appeared in four of the films. Played by Evanna Lynch, we see see the character develop over that time.
Though Luna is one who refused to change (she was seen as a bit strange), Evanna sure has. She hardly resembles her character any longer.
Since the franchise ended, Lynch has appeared in a number of independent films and TV movies.
Lynch was close to never playing Luna. Her mother didn’t think she had much of a chance to land the role. Her father, on the other hand, took her to audition anyway. Good thing he did.
If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you probably know and love David Tennant. In Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire, Tennant played Barty Crouch Junior.
A villain of that film, Tennant’s Crouch was one and done for the series. But his performance was one to remember.
More recently, fans remember him for another villain he’s portrayed: Kilgrave in Jessica Jones. Beyond that, Tennant led the cast of the British crime mystery series, Broadchurch.
While some of the Harry Potter stars have struggled to work consistently outside of that universe, Tennant hasn’t had to worry about that. He’s got enough range and appeal the world over.
If this one surprises you, you’re not alone. Yes, Julianna Hough is part of the Harry Potter franchise. Technically.
She appeared in the first movie as an extra at just twelve years old. If you blink, you’ll miss her. But she’s there. And since then, she’s skyrocketed.
These days, Hough is world renowned for her dancing (Dancing with the Stars). She’s also been a judge on America’s Got Talent. Oh, and she’s an actress, too.
Julianne is often associated with her brother Derek Hough, also a dancer. And like Julianne, Derek appeared as an extra in The Sorcerer’s Stone. Who knew?
Before Harry fell for Ginny Measley, another witch caught his eye. Cho Chang was that Hogwarts student, though their romance ultimately collapsed.
Cho was played by Katie Leung, appearing in five of the eight films. Katie’s older now, as you can see. What’s she done post the wizarding world? Glad you asked!
Katie has performed in multiple television series in recurring and starring roles. She lent her voice to a character in the animated show Moominvalley.
Another voice actor in Moominvalley: Professor Flitwick himself, Warwick Davis! It’s nice to see the Hogwarts crew sticking together all these years later.
Though not a prominent character in the films, Harry’s father James is an important one. He’s played seven times by Adrian Rawlins.
Rawlins, like others on this list, is a British character actor with a very long list of credits. He’s a guy whose face you know, but whose name you may not.
As you can see, his face looks different than it did way back during the Sorcerer’s Stone days. That’s Rawlins in the HBO mini-series, Chernobyl.
Adrian has been working steadily since 1980. But he may never star in a franchise as successful as this one.
Sadly, John Hurt passed away in 2017. During a career spanning six decades (he had over two hundred acting credits) Hurt was nominated for two Oscars and won a Golden Globe.
Then he played Mr. Ollivander in the first and final two installments of the Harry Potter franchise.
Hurt didn’t stop after Deathly Hallows. He amassed roughly thirty more credits! Here he is in one of his final roles (That Good Night).
He may be gone, but whether he’s selling magic wands or evading Xenomorphs (in Alien), John Hurt’s legacy will live on forever.
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