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Harry Potter star says franchise “wasn’t important to her”

For some of the older cast members of the Harry Potter franchise, it was just another job and not as important as their other work in British theatre and TV.

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For the young stars of Harry Potter, the franchise took up their entire adolescence, followed them while they came of age, and gave birth to their film careers. But for the veteran British character actors who played the Hogwarts teachers and other adults in the universe, they were mostly just another job between being some of the best actors of all time.

For the likes of Robbie Coltrane – playing a beloved Harry Potter character like Hagrid did bring him to a whole new young fanbase, which was very different from the attention he got for gritty detective series Cracker. But for other actors like Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and more, Harry Potter was just a well-paid job that came in between other work in theatre and TV series.

Miriam Margolyes, the famously cheeky and mischievous actress, played Professor Sprout. Now aged 82, she recently appeared on the cover of Vogue in the nude (with iced buns covering her modesty) and was as typically frank about everything as she’s always been.

Regarding being cast in Harry Potter, Margolyes told Vogue; “it doesn’t mean as much to me as it does to them [the mostly young fanbase],” she says. “For me Harry Potter wasn’t important. I was very glad I got the part and I enjoyed being in it and meeting all the people, but it’s not Charles Dickens.”

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“People come up to me and say ‘I just love you’, and want to hug me. And that is dazzling.” Does she feel like a national treasure? She recalls a newspaper calling her “a national trinket, which is very witty and rather cutting actually,” she says. “I’d like to be a national treasure, but I don’t know if I really am.”

Check out our guide to the best Harry Potter characters and the best Harry Potter villains.