How 20 “Harry Potter” Actors Looked in Their Youth and in the Films

2 years ago

For many, the Harry Potter saga marked a before and after in their lives. Both the books and the movies became milestones inside the minds and hearts of readers and audiences, not just because of the gripping plot, but also because of the actors’ who gave life to the characters they loved. But today isn’t the day to talk about the younger talents. We want to talk about the senior actors and actresses who played the teachers, villains, and parents in the saga. All of them have forged outstanding careers, so brace yourself to be surprised to see them in their younger days.

Bright Side assembled 20 photos of Harry Potter actors to show you how they looked when they were younger (much younger than in the movies). In some cases, it can be a challenge to even recognize them.

1. Severus Snape, Alan Rickman

Snape’s character, the Potions teacher, was one of the most crucial parts played by the actor throughout his career. He was a feared and beloved villain at the same time, and we are sure Rickman was perfect for the job: J.K. Rowling convinced him to accept the role after she revealed a secret about his character.

2. Albus Dumbledore, Michael Gambon

The first actor who brought Albus Dumbledore to life in the first 2 films passed away, so Gambon replaced him as the director of Hogwarts for the rest of the saga. Michael said he didn’t read the books before building up the character, he only studied the script.

3. Minerva McGonagall, Maggie Smith

Thanks to the unforgettable teacher and witch she played in Harry Potter, the juvenile audience got to know this gifted actress. Smith’s a woman with a successful 60-year career who produced excellent films and who was granted multiple awards.

4. Lord Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes

He got to play the villain of villains. Behind all that makeup and those special effects, Ralph looks unrecognizable. The actor has also portrayed other evil characters in his career, but it was Voldemort who managed to make us feel scared of the dark again.

5. Rubeus Hagrid, Robbie Coltrane

Hagrid, the endearing half-giant, was one of the most prominent roles in Robbie’s career, or, at least, the one that won the hearts of a younger audience. J. K. Rowling personally chose him to play the part and even went as far as revealing secrets about the story to him.

6. Albus Dumbledore, Richard Harris

Playing Dumbledore in the first 2 parts of the saga were 2 of his last jobs. He died from Hodgkin’s disease at 72, a month before the second film’s premiere.

7. Bellatrix Lestrange, Helena Bonham Carter

Tim Burton’s muse did a flawless job as a crazy and vile witch. Her interpretation on the screen could leave you breathless, just like any of the other performances she’s done before and after the saga.

8. Remus Lupin, David Thewlis

It’s impossible to not adore the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who became a werewolf with every full moon. One of the saddest scenes in the film is the one where he dies along with his wife at the hands of Death Eaters.

9. Sirius Black, Gary Oldman

The actor managed to seamlessly portray the danger and warmth that the character entailed (although that’s what he achieves in each part he plays).

10. Filius Flitwick, Warwick Davis

The actor had portrayed an elf and a midget before, but that wasn’t what the book’s author wanted. So, makeup artists gave him a more human appearance. In the fourth film, he appeared as the conductor of the school’s orchestra, a role that wasn’t in the book, but that was worth adding to the film.

11. Molly Weasley, Julie Walters

She was Ron’s mother and mom to 6 other naughty red-headed children. The actress was able to portray a sweet and loving, but determined and courageous, woman. Thousands of Harry Potter fans think of her as their favorite mom.

12. Vernon Dursley, Richard Griffiths

The world remembers him as Potter’s despicable muggle uncle, but in reality, he was a successful theater actor. Daniel Radcliffe got to act along with him once again on stage before he died in 2013.

13. Petunia Dursley, Fiona Shaw

She played Harry’s insufferable aunt, who made his life impossible. Some believe she was so mean because deep down inside of her, she also wanted to be a witch. The actress has had a remarkable career, both in film and in the theater.

14. Sybill Trelawney, Emma Thompson

There are so many things to say about this extraordinary actress. Not only did she stand out for her role as the clueless professor of Divination (in fact, she won an award for this part), but she will also be remembered for her countless films in all genres, in which she, of course, is the star.

15. Lucius Malfoy, Jason Isaacs

The actor portrayed the Death Eater Lucius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy’s father. He looks almost unrecognizable without his long white hair. He was evil and cynical, but in the end, he helps Harry and his friends escape from Voldemort. This “villain” has gathered numerous awards throughout his acting career, all of which he deserved.

16. Alastor Moody, Brendan Gleeson

The somewhat crazy Alastor, better known as “Mad-Eye Moody,” is scary at first sight because of all the scars that disfigure his face, but this facade hides a heart of gold. It’s hard to recognize the actor in other films after the elaborate makeup he wore in the Harry Potter movies.

17. Arthur Weasley, Mark Williams

He played Ron’s father, which was the most celebrated role he played for cinema. In the saga, he was obsessed with “muggle” objects, which he always used improperly.

18. Peter Pettigrew “Wormtail”, Timothy Spall

The actor gave life to Peter Pettigrew, a traitor and a wretch. He was involved in the deaths of Harry’s parents and later on became a Death Eater. His role in the saga is one of the most despised, although he won everyone’s admiration for his amazing performance.

19. Garrick Ollivander, John Hurt

Ollivander is the magic wands shop owner. His character plays a fundamental role in the story, since he’s the one who reveals the scary truth behind the connection between Harry’s scar and Voldemort. The great artist who portrayed him died in 2017, which meant a huge loss for the film industry.

20. Argus Filch, David Bradley

Hogwarts’s watchman’s mood is unforgettable. He’s not wicked, he just has the unsavory job of chasing mischievous students, the Weasley twins, for the most part. Without a doubt, he deserves a round of applause for having accomplished such a cool character.

Which adult Harry Potter character is your favorite? Who else would you include on the list? Dare to share your opinion with us in the comment section!

Please note: This article was updated in March 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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Some of them look quite the same actually, take Remus Lupin, David Thewlis for example! Only the scars made him a bit different, right?


Lord Voldemort with a nose is really something!! I haven't seen how Ralph Fiennes looks like. He is quite handsome actually :D


As an HP fan, I've already known those actors and actresses' real faces, but seeing them so young.. Time flies indeed :)


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