How 14 Characters From “Harry Potter” Changed, and What the Actors Look Like Today
It’s been 20 years since the first installment of the Harry Potter saga was released. Along with the films, both the actors that played our favorite characters and the audiences that watched them grew older. We actually got so used to seeing these people grow that their physical changes were not noticeable to most of us anymore. That’s why it’s worth remembering how their roles evolved in the story, as they were part of our childhood and earned a place in our hearts.
Bright Side wants to show you how the actors looked in some of the Harry Potter movies compared to what they look like today.
1. Harry Potter
Harry is the main character of the entire franchise. He lives with his aunt and uncle, the Dursley family, but despite the fact that they’re relatives, instead of being supportive, they do everything they can to make his life miserable. Luckily, on his tenth birthday, he gets admitted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The actor who plays this role is Daniel Radcliffe. Back when they just started shooting the first movie, Radcliffe was only 11 years old, and by the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 premiered, the actor was already 21 years old. That means he spent 10 years of his life playing the same role and bringing magic to all of our lives.
2. Hermione Granger
As soon as she entered Hogwarts, Hermione became a close friend of Harry and Ron. She also soon turned into one of the main personalities of Hogwarts because of it. She was always available to help solve any problem, and thanks to her intelligence, perseverance, and courage, she became one of the best wizards in school. Emma Watson was the actress in charge of bringing this character to the big screen. When Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first installment of the saga, was released, she was just 10 years old. She was 20 years old when she completed her contract, finishing the last movie in 2011.
3. Ron Weasley
Ron is the sixth son of the Weasley family. Just like his brothers, he attended Hogwarts. He is Harry’s best friend and is a somewhat shy and nervous character. But even if he isn’t the most courageous boy, he’s always willing to help his friends at all costs. The actor who gave life to the character is Rupert Grint. He began filming when he was 12 years old, and at the end of the saga, he turned 23 years old, which means he’s the oldest of the 3 protagonists.
4. Draco Malfoy
Draco is the youngest son of the Malfoy family. As you may already know, he belongs to the house of Slytherin. He is a character notorious for his peculiar character, his tantrums, and his general attitude of a spoiled child. Along with his 2 faithful companions, Crabbe and Goyle, he makes Harry and his friends’ lives at school harder than they should be. Tom Felton is the actor who played Draco. Felton starred as Harry’s nemesis in the first film when he was 14, and in the last film when he was 24.
5. Severus Snape
Severus was the professor of Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts. He also worked as director of Hogwarts in some of the films. He, like Draco, belongs to the house of Slytherin, and he’s known for being a very strict professor, especially with Harry and the rest of the house of Gryffindor. Alan Rickman is the actor who brought this character to the big screen. In the first movie, he was 55 years old; and he ended his contract at 65 years old when he acted in the last installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
6. Rubeus Hagrid
Hagrid is a half-giant wizard, Hogwarts’ warden, and the person in charge of the school’s keys and grounds. He was given the task of reintroducing Harry Potter to the magical world and became close friends with him. Actor Robbie Coltrane, at the age of 51, made his first appearance in the saga and concluded his involvement with the movies with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 at the age of 61.
7. Neville Longbottom
Neville Longbottom is a Hogwarts student. He was chosen to be part of the Gryffindor house. He is described as a wizard that has a very shy and introverted personality, but that didn’t stop him from proving just how great of a magician he is, as well as a faithful companion and ally for Potter. Matthew Lewis started playing this character when he was 12 years old, and by the end of the saga, he was 22 years old.
8. Ginny Weasley
Ginny is the Weasley’s younger sister and the only girl in the family, apart from Ron’s mother. She was a student at Hogwarts where she was part of the Gryffindor house, just like Ron and her other brothers. Bonnie Wright made her first appearance at the age of 9 in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and by the time the last film was released in 2011, she was 20 years old. That makes her one of the youngest actresses in the franchise’s cast.
9. Minerva McGonagall
Minerva is the “transfiguration” professor, an animagus, and also the head of the Gryffindor house. Despite her earned reputation for sometimes being a little rough around the edges, she always seeks to educate and protect both her students and the rest of the school staff. Maggie Smith started playing this character at the age of 67 in the first film, and by the last one, she was already 77 years old.
10. Albus Dumbledore
Professor Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is also a great friend and protector of Harry Potter, which comes in handy as he also turns out to be one of the most powerful wizards of the whole saga. In the first and second films, the actor who played Dumbledore was Richard Harris. He was 72 years old at the time of the first film’s release. However, from the third film onward, and until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Michael Gambon played Dumbledore. He entered the franchise at age 64 and stayed there until he turned 71.
11. Fred and George Weasley
Fred and George are twin brothers. They’re also siblings of Ron Weasley, and just like all Weasleys, they belong to the house of Gryffindor. They are known for being expert pranksters as well as members of the Quidditch team. James and Oliver Phelps brought these amusing characters to the big screen. In the first film, they were 15 years old, and in the last one, they were 25.
12. Dudley Dursley
Dudley was Harry’s cousin, son of Vernon and Petunia Dursley. He is a very spoiled child and he always does whatever he wants regardless of what’s he’s told. Together with his parents, it seems like his favorite activity is to make Harry’s life miserable. The actor who plays this character is Harry Melling. He started working with the franchise at the age of 11, and by the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, the last film, was shot, he was 20. Fun fact: this character only appeared in 5 of the 8 installments of the saga.
13. Molly Weasley
Julie Walters is the name of the actress who played Molly Weasley, Ron’s mother. Unlike Dudley, she actually appears in all of the movies. Her character is known for being strict and loving at the same time. She is always concerned about the welfare of her children and that of the family’s friends, including Harry. In the first film in 2001, the actress was 51 years old, and when the last film was shot, Walters was 61.
14. Argus Filch
Filch is the Hogwarts caretaker, a cantankerous gentleman who always takes his cat, Mrs. Norris, with him. One of his main tasks is to keep order in the school corridors and to make sure that the students are not getting into mischief. In the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was released in 2001, actor David John Bradley was 59 years old; and at the end of the saga in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, he was 69 years old.
What’s your favorite thing about the whole saga? What alternative ending would you write for the story?