Where is the Harry Potter cast now? For a certain generation of film fans, the Harry Potter movies have (for lack of a better word) a kind of magic about them. They were an entry point not only to the Wizarding World but also to the wonderful world of cinema and fantasy movies.
While we love all the weird and wonderful Harry Potter characters it’s important to recognize the talented actors who brought these larger than life characters to life. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Potter movies have one of the best casts in cinematic history, everyone from the teachers, pupils, and Harry Potter villains absolutely knocked it out of the park (or should that be Quidditch pitch?).
So as it’s been more than ten years since the franchise ended we thought it’d be good fun to do a deep dive on the Harry Potter cast and work out where they are now and what they’ve been up to since Dumbledore’s plan paid off and Harry defeated Voldemort.
Who’s in the Harry Potter Cast?
- Robbie Coltrane – Rubeus Hagrid
- Maggie Smith – Professor McGonagall
- Gary Oldman – Sirius Black
- Jason Issacs – Lucius Malfoy
- Tom Felton – Draco Malfoy
- Michael Gambon – Dumbledore
- Ralph Fiennes – Voldemort
- Bonnie Wright – Ginny Weasley
- Matthew Lewis – Neville Longbottom
- Alan Rickman – Severus Snape
- Emma Watson – Hermione Granger
- Rupert Grint – Ron Weasley
- Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter
Robbie Coltrane – Rubeus Hagrid
Robbie Coltrane played Hogwarts’ Keeper of the Keys, Care of Magical Creatures professor, and one of Harry and the gang’s best friends, Rubeus Hagrid. A veteran actor of the small and silver screen before the ink had even dried on the first Harry Potter book, Coltrane started his career making cameos on various comedy series. Eventually, he landed a recurring role on the sketch show Alfresco alongside Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, and Hugh Laurie.
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Despite getting his start making people laugh, it was the role of Dr Eddie ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald in the gritty and dark TV series Cracker that propelled him to stardom here in the UK. Coltrane would go on to star in not one but two James Bond movies as Valentin Zukovsky alongside the one and only Pierce Brosnan.
After playing Hagrid, Coltrane continued to work in film, appearing in pictures like Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 12, the Pixar movie Brave, and Emma Thompson’s Effie Gray. He also worked with his Potter co-star Julie Walters in the C4 limited series National Treasure which won him a BAFTA.
Maggie Smith – Professor McGonagall
J. K. Rowling once said she couldn’t picture anyone but Maggie Smith, playing Professor McGonagall, and she’s not wrong. McGonagall is supposed to be strict but caring, a difficult balance to strike, but Smith did it with grace making the transfiguration professor formidable but warm.
A two time Academy Award winner Smith, brought some serious experience to the Harry Potter set when she first appeared in The Philosopher’s Stone. Despite being in her eighties, Smith continues to work her award-winning socks off most. Her most notable roles include the Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey (2010 to 2015) and Muriel Donnelly in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
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Smith would reprise the role of Violet Crawley for both the Downton movies and even played McGonagall again in the videogame, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Her latest film, A Boy called Christmas, came out in 2021.
Gary Oldman – Sirius Black
Harry Potter’s gruff but lovable godfather was brought to life by Gary Oldman. Oldman brought a wealth of experience to the Harry Potter series, having started on the stage as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company before eventually making the leap to the silver screen with 1982’s Remembrance.
The role of Sid Vicious in 1986’s Sid and Nancy, though, really made his name, kick-starting his career, leading to roles in films like Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, The Firm, JFK, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In the late ’90s, he played villains in True Romance, Air Force One, and the science fiction movie masterpiece Fifth Element.
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He made his Potter debut in 2004’s Prisoner of Azkaban (easily the best film in the series), but it wasn’t the only major franchise he’d star in during the aughts. Oldman played Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy from 2005 to 2012. Since then, he’s continued to act, eventually winning a long-overdue Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in 2017’s Darkest hour.
Jason Issacs – Lucius Malfoy
Hello to Jason Issacs! A fan favourite Jason Issacs played the deliciously evil snob Lucius Malfoy. After working for years on various British TV series, Issacs’ career took off after he appeared in the cult horror movie Event Horizon alongside Sam Neil and Laurence Fishburne. He followed this up with Armageddon, Divorcing Jack, The End of the Affair, Black Hawk Down, and The Patriot.
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He joined the Harry Potter cast in 2002’s Chamber of Secrets and appeared in almost every film thereafter (he wasn’t in Prisoner of Azkaban). While working on Potter, he also starred in the kids movie Peter Pan, Nine Lives, Green Zone, and The Death of Stalin.
Since Potter, Issacs has made something of a name for himself as a voice actor lending his dulcet tones to various animated DC projects and most notably Avatar: The Last Airbender. He also made the leap from fantasy back to science fiction, playing Captain Lorca in Netflix’s Star Trek Discovery.
Tom Felton – Draco Malfoy
School bully and Death Eater in training Draco Malfoy was set up to be one of Harry Potter’s big villains. As the series went on, though, it became clear Draco’s heart wasn’t really in evil, and his behaviour was more a desperate attempt to impress his dad. Tom Felton was tasked with making Draco both despicable and sympathetic, a difficult task but one Felton was well suited for.
Since appearing in Potter, Felton’s appeared in movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Belle, A United Kingdom, and most recently Save the Cinema. He’s also worked on the small screen picking up a recurring role in the Arrowverse’s Flash TV show.
Michael Gambon – Dumbledore
Michael Gambon replaced Richard Harris as Dumbledore after Harris’s unfortunate passing. His first Potter film was Prisoner of Azkaban, but it was far from his time on the silver screen. Gambon made his film debut alongside Potter alumni Maggie Smith in Othello (1965). He was even asked to audition for the part of James Bond by producer Cubby Broccoli when George Lazenby decided to hang up his tuxedo.
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While he didn’t get the 007 gig, he continued to work in show business, appearing in films like The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Love, Michael Mann’s The Insider, Toys (alongside Robin Williams), Gosford Park, Ali G in da House, and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. Since getting the role of Dumbledore in 2004, he’s continued to work in film, the most notable of which is probably 2010’s The King’s Speech.
Gambon’s first love, though, was the theatres, then he made his name working with the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic. It would be impossible to list every production Gambon’s appeared in. Instead, we’ll say he’s been nominated for thirteen Olivier Awards for his work which tells you how incredibly impressive Gambon is as an actor.
Ralph Fiennes – Voldemort
Ralph Fiennes managed to do the impossible and make the most evil wizard in a century even more frightening than his book incarnation. Before he was ‘He, Who Must Not Be Named’, he, like so many of his Potter colleagues, was a thespian of great renown who’d already made a name for himself playing a very different big-screen bad guy in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.
The role of Amon Göth in Spielberg’s heartbreaking war movie made his name and saw him offered roles in films like Strange Days, The Prince of Eygpt, The Avengers (no, not that one), Red Dragon, and Maid in Manhattan. In 2005, the same year he first played Voldemort, he lent his voice to Aardman for their first feature-length animated movie Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
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During the Potter years, he continued to work, landing roles in In Bruges, The Hurt Locker, and Clash of the Titans. Once the Potter party was over, he graduated to another British institution when he joined the James Bond movies as the new M. Outside of his franchise work, he’s probably best known these days for appearing in Wes Anderson’s awards darling The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Bonnie Wright – Ginny Weasley
Bonnie Wright was just nine years old when she was offered the part of Ginny Weasley, the youngest of the red-headed siblings. Her older brother, who’d read the books, apparently told Wright that she looked like the famous witch and when she saw they were looking to cast Ginny, she auditioned on a whim. Wright, of course, got the part and made it her own, appearing in all eight of the main films in the series.
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During that time, she also appeared in TV series like The Replacements, King of the Hill, and played a young Agatha Christie in Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures. Wright’s also continued to work in film, appearing in titles like Before I Sleep, My Dad Is Scrooge, and the upcoming Those Who Wander.
She’s also spent some time behind the camera directing three short films, Know Thyself, Fade to Gold, and Medusa’s Ankles, as well as numerous music videos.
Matthew Lewis – Neville Longbottom
Acting since he was five years old, Matthew Lewis’s first onscreen role was in 1995’s TV movie Some Kind of Life. It would be the role of Neville Longbottom (which saw him wearing false teeth and prosthetic ears, though that would make his name and Lewis would appear in each Potter movie between 2001 and 2011.
Since Potter, Lewis has continued to work in film, appearing in movies like Terminal alongside Margot Robbie and Baby Done. It’s television, however, where Lewis has most excelled, starring in comedy series like Death in Paradise, as well as shows like Happy Valley series 2, and All Creatures Great and Small.
Alan Rickman – Severus Snape
Alan Rickman needs no introduction. The man, who’s been described as one of the best villainous actors of all time, made his name playing big-screen bad guys a reputation cemented by his first two major onscreen roles, Hans Gruber and the Sherriff of Nottingham. Few other actors could have played the complex but cruel potions master Severus Snape.
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Not all of his roles were villainous, however. During his time making Potter, he’d star in Rom Coms like Love Actually, the comedy movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the work with Tim Burton twice in Sweeney Todd and Alice and Wonderland.
Unfortunately, soon after completing work on his last live-action film, Eye in the Sky, Rickman suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Rickman chose to keep his illness private and died in early January 2016. Potter fans led the tributes to Rickman, creating a makeshift memorial underneath the Platform 9¾ sign at King’s Cross station.
Emma Watson – Hermione Granger
Emma Watson dazzled the casting directors with her confidence when she auditioned for the role of Hermione. JK Rowling was so taken with her that she reportedly backed Watson from her very first screen test.
While all of the main trio were widely praised for their roles in the early days of the franchise, Watson bore the brunt of the critical acclaim, even winning the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress.
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Watson would play Hermione across all eight movies; however, after the release of Goblet of Fire, she considered quitting the series. Eventually, she decided to stay after deciding she “couldn’t let the role go.” Since Potter, she’s continued to star in movies working with greats like Ridley Scott on Noah and Greta Gerwig in Little Women. Amongst a certain generation, though, she’s perhaps more famous now as Disney live-action remake Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Rupert Grint – Ron Weasley
Rupert Grint effortlessly captured the easy-going charm of Harry Potter’s best friend, Ron Weasley. Grint’s path to Potter was particularly eccentric; he submitted a rap video to the casting team after seeing a report about the Potter movies on Newsround. The cast apparently loved it and set up a meeting.
Like Watson, Grint’s performance was beloved by critics, and he won a mantlepiece’s worth of awards, including a Satellite Award in the category of Outstanding New Talent and a Young Artist Award for Most Promising Young Newcomer. Unlike Watson, Grint worked on other movies while filming Potter, including Thunderpants, Driving Lessons, and Cherry Bomb.
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Since wrapping up Potter, he’s continued to work in film and TV, appearing in projects like The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, Postman Pat the Movie, and Sick Note. He’s also started working behind the scenes on his projects producing, and starring in, Apple TV Plus’s creepy psychological horror Servant.
Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter
Like the titular Boy Who Lived, fame was thrust on Daniel Radcliffe at a young age when he appeared in the BBC’s 1999 adaptation of David Copperfield. Chris Columbus happened to catch the show while casting Potter and decided the young Radcliffe was his boy wizard. There was just one problem, Radcliffe’s parents didn’t want him to audition. Eventually, though Colombus managed to convince them, he should at least audition and Radcliffe won the part.
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While working on Potter, Radcliffe worked on the film December Boys and appeared on Ricky Gervais’s Extras. It was his theatre work that caught the public’s eye, though when he starred in Equus, which made headlines for featuring a full nude scene. Like Grint and Watson, there was a brief period after the release of Goblet of Fire where it looked like he was done with Potter, but he eventually committed to finishing the series.
After Potter, Radcliffe’s choice in project has been eclectic, to say the least. He immediately followed up Deathly Hallows Part 2 with a cracking adaptation of The Woman in Black before appearing in Allen Ginsberg’s Kill Your Darlings.
He’s basically worked solidly ever since and is impossible to pigeonhole. He’s appeared in everything from rom coms like The F Word to franchise films like Now You See Me 2 and even played a Playmobil figure. His latest role big-screen role will see him play Weird Al Yankovic in a new biopic.
There is a school of thought however, that suggests Harry Potter is the original nepotism baby, and frankly, quite an annoying young boy. If you have an annoying child in your life, why not check out our list of the best scary movies for kids and teach them a lesson.