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Harry Potter cast and characters - all the stars in the fantasy movies

The Harry Potter cast fought the Dark Lord, flew broomsticks, and cast countless spells over eight of the best fantasy movies. Here's what they all did next.

Harry Potter cast

For a particular generation of film fans, the Harry Potter movies have (for lack of a better word) a kind of magic about them. Hogwarts and the Wizarding World leapt from the page to bring us into a world of joyous fantasy storytelling, with the help of the Harry Potter cast.

We love all the weird and wonderful Harry Potter characters, and it’s no exaggeration to say that these films have one of the best casts in cinematic history (Trust us, we’ve watched all the Harry Potter movies in order countless times). Everyone from the teachers and pupils to the Harry Potter villains knocked it out of the Quidditch pitch. As it’s been more than a decade since the main series ended, we thought it’d be good fun to find out what everybody did next.

The main Harry Potter cast list:

  • Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
  • Emma Watson as Hermione Grainger
  • Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley
  • Michael Gambon as Dumbledore
  • Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort
  • Alan Rickman as Snape
  • Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid
  • Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall
  • Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy
  • Gary Oldman as Sirius Black
  • Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
  • Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley
  • Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom
  • Katie Leung as Cho Chang
  • Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood
  • Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange
  • Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge
  • David Thewlis as Remus Lupin

Harry Potter cast: Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in the Goblet of Fire

Daniel Radcliffe as 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 young Radcliffe was fit to lead the roster of Harry Potter characters. There was just one problem, Radcliffe’s parents didn’t want him to audition. Eventually, though, Colombus managed to convince them, and Radcliffe won the part.

While working on Potter, Radcliffe worked on the film December Boys and appeared in Ricky Gervais’s Extras. However, his theater work caught the public’s eye when he starred in Equus, which made headlines for featuring a full nude scene. Like Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, there was a brief period after the release of Goblet of Fire where it looked like he was done with Harry Potter, but he eventually committed to finishing the series.

After Potter, Radcliffe’s choice of projects 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.

Radcliffe has appeared in everything from the best 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 saw him play parody musician Weird Al Yankovic, and you can read our Weird: The Al Yankovic Story review to see how that went down.

Harry Potter cast - Hermione Granger

Emma Watson as Hermione Granger

Emma Watson dazzled the casting directors with her confidence when she auditioned for the role of Hermione. While all of the main trio were widely praised for their roles in the franchise’s early days, Watson bore the brunt of the critical acclaim, even winning the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress.

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 worked with greats like Darren Aronofsky on Noah and Greta Gerwig in the stunningly brilliant Little Women. Among a certain generation, though, she’s perhaps more famous now as one of the Disney princesses, Belle, in Beauty and the Beast.

Harry Potter cast: Ron Weasley

Rupert Grint as 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 team apparently loved it and set up a meeting.

Like Watson, Grint’s performance was beloved by critics, and he won a cabinet’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.

Since wrapping up Potter, he’s best known for his collaborations with M. Night Shyamalan in one of the best Apple TV shows, Servant, and one of 2023’s best thriller movies, Knock at the Cabin. Read our Knock at the Cabin review and see if he did a good job (he did).

Harry Potter cast: Albus Dumbledore

Michael Gambon as Dumbledore

Michael Gambon replaced Richard Harris as Dumbledore after Harris’s death in 2002. His first Potter film was Prisoner of Azkaban, but it was far from his first time on the silver screen.

Gambon made his film debut alongside Potter co-star 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.

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 and Her Love, Michael Mann’s The Insider, Toys (alongside Robin Williams), Gosford Park, Ali G in da House, and one of the best Tim Burton movies, 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 theaters, where he made his name. It would be impossible to list every production Gambon’s appeared in. Instead, we’ll say he was nominated for thirteen Olivier Awards for his work, which tells you how incredibly impressive Gambon was as an actor. On September 28, 2023, it was sadly announced that Gambon had passed away peacefully at the age of 82.

Harry Potter cast - Lord Voldemort

Ralph Fiennes as 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 Fiennes 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.

He was subsequently 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.

During the Potter years, he continued to work, landing roles in In Bruges (perhaps his greatest), The Hurt Locker, and Clash of the Titans. Once the Potter party was over, he graduated to another British institution where 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.

Harry Potter cast: Severus Snape

Alan Rickman as Severus Snape

Alan Rickman needs no introduction. The man, who’s been described as one of the best actors of all time, made his name playing big-screen bad guys, a reputation cemented by his first two major onscreen roles, Hans Gruber in Die Hard and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Few other actors could have played the complex but cruel potions master Severus Snape.

Not all of his roles were villainous, however. While making Potter, he starred in rom-coms like Love Actually, and the comedy movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He worked 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.

Harry Potter cast: Hagrid

Robbie Coltrane as 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.

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. Coltrane died in 2022, aged 72.

Harry Potter cast - Professor McGonagall

Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall

McGonagall is supposed to be strict but caring, a difficult balance to strike, but Smith did it with grace in the best fantasy movies, 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. Alongside her role in Sister Act, her most notable work includes Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey (2010 to 2015), and Muriel Donnelly in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

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 films, Downton Abbey: A New Era, and The Miracle Club came out in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Harry Potter cast: Lucius Malfoy

Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy

A fan favorite, Jason Isaacs 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.

Since Potter, Isaacs has made something of a name for himself as a voice actor in some of the best DC animated movies and, most notably, Avatar: The Last Airbender. He also made the leap from fantasy back to science fiction, playing Captain Lorca in the Star Trek series, Star Trek Discovery, alongside a role in the satirical comedy movie The Death of Stalin.

Harry Potter cast: Gary Oldman as Sirius Black

Gary Oldman as Sirius Black

Harry Potter’s gruff but lovable godfather, Sirius Black, was brought to life by Gary Oldman. He 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 really made his name and kick-started his career. This would lead to roles in films like Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, The Firm, JFK, and one of the best vampire movies, Bram Stoker’s Dracula — in which he gives what might be his best performance. In the late ’90s, he played some of his best movie villains in True Romance, Air Force One, and one of the best science-fiction movies, The Fifth Element.

He made his Potter debut in 2004’s Prisoner of Azkaban (easily topping the best movies in the series), but it wasn’t the only major franchise he’d star in during the 2000s. 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.

Harry Potter cast: Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy

Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy

School bully and one of the foremost Death Eaters 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 evil, and his behavior was more of 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, Burial.

He’s also worked on the small screen picking up a recurring role in The Flash TV show, for those who love watching the Arrowverse in order.

Harry Potter cast: Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley

Bonnie Wright as 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 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.

During that time, she also appeared in TV series like The Replacements, and 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.

Harry Potter cast: Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom

Matthew Lewis as 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 some of the best comedy series like Death in Paradise, as well as shows like Happy Valley season 2 and All Creatures Great and Small.

We have a lot of time for Neville, but we were fascinated to learn that Neville Longbottom has a surprising link to a Potter villain. Suddenly, we’re seeing the guy differently.

Harry Potter cast - Cho Chang

Katie Leung as Cho Chang

Katie Leung deserves a shout-out for her work in Goblet of Fire as Harry’s first love interest. Goblet of Fire was really the movie where the kids transitioned into slightly older states of mind (and cringe behavior) via the medium of very large hairstyles.

While Harry eventually was paired with Ginny, Cho was a sweet classmate who made an impression in Goblet of Fire and was seen a few more times throughout the series, no longer as a love interest but as one of the many students plunged into darkness by the threat of Voldemort.

Leung is currently one of the best Arcane characters, Caitlyn. Aside from the Arcane cast, she’s involved in a thriller series in her native Scotland.

Harry Potter cast - Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood

Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood

A devoted Potter fan for years, Evanna Lynch became Luna Lovegood off the back of an open casting for the role ahead of the Order of the Phoenix movie. Her sing-song voice and off-kilter charm put her ahead of 15,000 other hopefuls, including a certain Saoirse Ronan, to snag the role.

Luna was a crucial ally and a great friend to Harry and the gang in the second half of the franchise, delivering bizarre insights from the weird world of her father’s publication The Quibbler.

Since Potter came to an end, Lynch has leaned more into her environmental and vegan activism. Her acting work has been less high-profile than Potter, but she has some voice roles in the pipeline as well as playing the daughter of famed writer James Joyce.

Harry Potter cast - Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

Perhaps the most purely chaotic character in the entire Potter world, Bellatrix Lestrange was a perfect fit for Helena Bonham Carter. She brought cackling intensity to the role of Voldemort’s trusty lieutenant, firing deadly curses while running around in a whirlwind of wide-eyed lunacy.

Of course, this is the sort of world into which Bonham Carter’s acting oeuvre fits perfectly. Away from Potter, she has worked extensively with her former partner Tim Burton in movies like Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, and Alice in Wonderland. She also appeared in the movie musical version of Les Miserables and played the Fairy Godmother in Disney’s live-action Cinderella.

Bonham Carter has also been recognized twice by the Oscars in her illustrious career, earning acting nominations for The Wings of the Dove and The King’s Speech.

Harry Potter cast - Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge

Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge

When the devious politician Dolores Umbridge first arrived in Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort met his match. He Who Must Not Be Named might be the dominant Big Bad of this franchise, but the mundane evil of Umbridge makes her even more terrifying. For that, Imelda Staunton should take the most impressive of bows.

Umbridge quickly grew from Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to run the whole school, forcing the blinkered view of the Ministry into the world of Hogwarts. Then, once Voldemort emerged from hiding, Umbridge enthusiastically threw herself into the task of rooting out Muggle-borns. A scumbag of the highest order.

Staunton, however, is the opposite of a scumbag and is one of Britain’s most beloved actors. Most recently, she’s taken the lead role in The Crown cast as Queen Elizabeth II. She’s also had an extensive career on the stage and earned an Oscar nomination for playing the title role in the Mike Leigh drama Vera Drake.

Harry Potter cast - David Thewlis as Remus Lupin

David Thewlis as Remus Lupin

In our humble belief, Lupin is by far the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Harry ever had. And that’s even including the whole werewolf thing. David Thewlis brought charm and warmth to the character, right up until the moment he transformed into a murderous monster. Lupin, not Thewlis.

It helps that Lupin first showed up in the best Potter movie, Prisoner of Azkaban, helping Harry learn to fight off Dementors and playing a crucial role in the redemption of Sirius Black. He then assumed a quasi-parental position for Harry, appearing as one of his guiding lights as he faced death in the forest at the end of Deathly Hallows.

As for Thewlis, he has had a varied and illustrious career. His work for Mike Leigh in the ’90s earned him critical acclaim, though it was Potter that brought him mainstream attention. He also played the DC baddie Ares in Wonder Woman and has more recently appeared on Netflix as part of The Sandman cast.

Julie Walters as Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter cast

Julie Walters as Molly Weasley

The fearsome and familial matriarch of the Weasley clan, there aren’t many Potter characters as warm-hearted as Molly. She seems to love Harry a little more than her own kids, but we’ll leave that to one side while we think about where she stands among the best movie moms.

Julie Walters, of course, is the smiling presence behind Molly. She gives the character a twinkle and a vicious sense of humor, as well as enough ability in wand combat to bring an end to Bellatrix Lestrange after delivering one of the greatest Harry Potter quotes. You know the one.

Walters hit the big time in the early ’80s, winning awards and rave reviews for playing the title role in Educating Rita. Since then, she’s been part of great comedy on the small screen and some amazing films, including Mamma Mia! and Billy Elliot.

She’s also housekeeper Mrs Bird in the Paddington movies, which gives her a lifelong pass from us. We’re marking down the days to the Paddington 3 release date already.

Toby Jones as Dobby in the Harry Potter cast

Toby Jones as Dobby

We still struggle to think too much about Dobby without tearing up, but we’ll try to keep our eyes dry for long enough to write the next few paragraphs. As the loyal house elf with the big ears and even bigger eyes, Dobby became one of the Harry Potter franchise’s ultimate heroes until he fell victim to Bellatrix Lestrange’s knife.

Dobby is, of course, a triumph of both CGI and good old-fashioned animatronics, but his voice was provided by the stalwart British character actor Toby Jones.

He has become a specialist at popping into franchises for brief but brilliant roles, including as commentator Claudius Templesmith in The Hunger Games, the Trumpian Mr. Eversoll in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Hydra scientist Dr. Arnim Zola in the MCU.

Most recently, you’ll have seen Jones in the prologue of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, portraying Indy’s buddy Basil Shaw. Check out our Indiana Jones 5 review for more on how that one panned out.

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Everyone in the Harry Potter cast

There are so many actors in the Harry Potter movies that it’s literally impossible to give them each their dues with a full breakdown. But nevertheless, we’ve got the next best thing with the expanded Harry Potter movie cast list.

  • Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
  • Emma Watson as Hermione Grainger
  • Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley
  • Michael Gambon as Dumbledore
  • Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort
  • Alan Rickman as Snape
  • Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid
  • Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall
  • Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy
  • Gary Oldman as Sirius Black
  • Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
  • Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley
  • Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom
  • David Thewlis as Remus Lupin
  • Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney
  • Brendan Gleeson as Mad Eye Moody
  • Julie Walters as Molly Weasley
  • Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley
  • John Hurt as Ollivander
  • Richard Harris as Dumbledore
  • Imelda Staunton as Professor Umbridge
  • David Bradley as Argus Filch
  • Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood
  • Fiona Shaw as Petunia Dursley
  • Henry Melling as Dudley Dursely
  • Richard Griffiths as Vernon Dursley
  • Warwick Davis as Filius Flitwick / Griphook
  • John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick
  • Zoë Wanamaker as Madame Hooch
  • Devon Murray as Seamus Finnigan
  • Alfred Enoch as Dean Thomas
  • Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Jamie Waylett as Crabbe
  • Joshua Herdman as Goyle
  • Sean Biggerstaff as Oliver Wood
  • Shirley Henderson as Moaning Myrtle
  • Robert Hardy appears as Cornelius Fudge
  • Toby Jones as Dobby
  • Miriam Margolyes as Professor Sprout
  • Timothy Spall as Peter Pettigrew
  • James Phelps as Fred Weasley
  • Oliver Phelps as George Weasley
  • Chris Rankin as Percy Weasley
  • Dawn French as the Fat Lady
  • Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory
  • David Tennant as Barty Crouch Jr.
  • Katie Leung as Cho Chang
  • Clémence Poésy as Fleur Delacour
  • Stanislav Ianevski as Viktor Krum
  • Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange
  • Kathryn Hunter as Arabella Figg
  • George Harris as Kingsley Shacklebolt
  • Natalia Tena as Nymphadora Tonks
  • Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn
  • Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown
  • Helen McCrory as Narcissa Malfoy
  • Domhnall Gleeson as Bill Weasley
  • Rhys Ifans as Xenophilius Lovegood
  • Bill Nighy as Rufus Scrimgeour

Harry Potter cast - Dumbledore's Army

That’s it on the Harry Potter cast. If you need more (somehow), we’ve also got a guide breaking down everything we know about the upcoming Harry Potter TV series release date. You can also see if there’s a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date. We’ve also explained why we think Hermione overshadows Harry Potter in the movies.

Want to know more about the Wizarding World? Check out our guide explaining what Horcruxes are, as well as our round-up of the Harry Potter spells you need to know. We’ve also explained the secret inspiration behind the Deathly Hallows symbol. Or, leave this fantasy world for something else with our list of all the new movies coming in 2023.

The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US, and Mermaids in the UK.