Thursday, December 2, 2021

20 Years of ‘Harry Potter’: Where Are They Now?

One of the most unique aspects of the Harry Potter film franchise was its young cast, many of whom made their film debuts starring in the films. While the adult cast was made up of legends from Alan Rickman to Maggie Smith to Richard Harris and many more, the students of Hogwarts were new to filmgoers, and we watched them grow up on screen for 10 years. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, we’re taking a look at what some of our favorite Hogwarts alumni (and the rare Muggle) are up to now!

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

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Of all the actors who grew up on Harry Potter, the boy who lived may have the most interesting post-Potter career. Radcliffe has managed to appear in every genre, from romantic comedies like What If to psychological thrillers like Horns. He cheerfully throws himself into comedies (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend), oddball indies (Swiss Army Man), and moody historical dramas (Kill Your Darlings) with a level of commitment that astonishes.

His most recent role in the hit TBS show Miracle Workers went viral as Radcliffe lip-synced to a club version of “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes” while vogueing in an old West saloon. It is just as glorious as it sounds. He’s a long way from Harry, but Radcliffe has more than proven his skills beyond the walls of Hogwarts.

Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

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Like Radcliffe, Rupert Grint’s projects after playing Ron Weasley are varied. Grint has largely stayed in the world of television in the years since Harry Potter, with leading roles in the series Sick Note, Snatch, and The ABC Murders. But his best known work is in M. Night Shyamalan’s unsettling Servant on Apple TV+. For fans who haven’t seen Grint since his last appearance in Deathly Hallows, Part 2, his role as Julian Pearce is sure to cause some whiplash. But his brilliant performance as a man who’s sister believes a doll is really her child who passed away proves he’s come into his own as an adult actor.

Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

While Emma Watson has continued her acting career since starring as Hermione, including starring roles in The Bling Ring, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Beauty and the Beast, and Little Women, it is her off-screen pursuits that have gained her the most attention. Watson was the only one of the main trio to attend college, getting an undergraduate degree in English Literature at Brown University. She is known for her work as the face of the United Nations HeForShe campaign and one of the founders of Time’s Up UK. Watson is also an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community and uses her platform to spotlight voices that otherwise go unheard, often turning over her Instagram (and its 61 million followers) to guest posters who educate her audience on a variety of current issues. Her Our Shared Shelf endeavor was described as an “intersectional feminist bi-monthly book club” that highlighted works by authors from marginalized groups and engaged her audience in deep discussions. It’s safe to say that Hermione Granger would be proud.

Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

Bonnie Wright has moved behind the camera in her post-Potter life. After obtaining a degree in film, Wright founded BonBonLumiere, her production company. Her directorial debut was the short film Separate We Come, Separate We Go, in which she cast her Harry Potter co-star David Thewlis. It premiered to acclaim at Cannes Film Festival, and she has continued directing short films and music videos for a variety of artists. Like Watson, Wright uses her platform for advocacy, working with Greenpeace and the Rainforest Alliance. Her upcoming book Go Gently: Actionable Steps to Nurture Yourself and the Planet is set to be published in 2022.

Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)

First Appearance: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

Evanna Lynch got to live every fan’s dream when she was cast as Luna Lovegood after a massive open casting call. Since Harry Potter, Lynch has continued to act on stage and on the screen, earning an Irish Film and Television nomination for Best Actress for her work in My Name is Emily. Lynch has long been open about her mental health journey and struggle with anorexia. In 2021 she published her memoir The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting: The Tragedy and Glory of Growing Up. A longtime vegan, Lynch is also the co-founder of the Kinder Beauty Box alongside fellow actress Daniella Monet. She placed third on Dancing With the Stars in 2018.

Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

Like his co-star Rupert Grint, Matthew Lewis has found success on television since leaving Potter behind. Lewis currently stars on the PBS series All Creatures Great and Small, which was renewed for a second season last year. He is also known for his roles on Ripper Street and Happy Valley. Rom-com lovers will recognize Lewis from Me Before You, playing a cocky boyfriend who is lightyears away from sweet Neville Longbottom.

Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

Unlike many of his fellow Potter actors, Tom Felton was already a known child actor before the franchise, with many 90s kids likely remembering him from his role in The Borrowers. Felton has continued to act, with roles in films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Ophelia, A United Kingdom, and the upcoming Save the Cinema. He also played Alchemy in season 3 of The Flash on The CW and reunited with Harry Potter co-star Natalia Tena in Origin on YouTube.

Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)

Harry Melling may win the prize for biggest transformation of all his fellow Harry Potter actors. Melling has built a steady career in the last few years, with critics and viewers often completely unaware of his role as the odious Dudley Dursley due to the depth of his performances. His breakout post-Potter role came in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which introduced him to a new audience. Since then, he has starred in projects like The Devil All the Time and The Queen’s Gambit.

Katie Leung (Cho Chang)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

Like Evanna Lynch, Katie Leung won the role of Cho Chang after an open casting call and had no prior acting experience before Harry Potter. Leung has degrees in both photography and acting, which she had originally postponed after being cast in Goblet of Fire. Leung received critical acclaim for her role in the theater production Wild Swans and the miniseries One Child. She also appeared in the short film Leading Lady Parts alongside notable British actresses to raise awareness for the Me Too movement within the film industry. She currently stars in the series Annika and has lent her voice to Arcane on Netflix.

Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

Alfred Enoch appeared in seven out of the eight Harry Potter films as Dean Thomas, which marked his film debut. Since Harry Potter, Enoch is best known for his regular role on the hit series How To Get Away With Murder, on which he appeared from 2014-20. He is also well known for his theater work and can currently be seen in Foundation on Apple TV+ (which was recently renewed for season 2).

James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley, respectively)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

Everyone’s favorite twins have both been busy with many projects as a pair since Potter wrapped. Both have remained a part of the Harry Potter franchise through their appearances at conventions and in various rides at the Harry Potter theme parks. The two starred in Danny and the Human Zoo as well as the recently released Last Night in Soho. They currently host the podcast Normal Not Normal together and will produce and host travel documentary show Fantastic Friends.

Devon Murray (Seamus Finnegan)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

After the Potter films, Devon Murray stepped back from acting, with Deathly Hallows, Part 2 remaining his last credited role. He welcomed his first child in January 2021. He now owns a farm in Ireland where he trains ponies (which you can learn more about on his Instagram).

Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)

Since appearing as the lovesick Lavender Brown, Jessie Cave has pursued a variety of interests. She has continued to act in television and films like Great Expectations. Cave has been most successful on the stage, writing several autobiographical plays like Sunrise, I Loved Her, and Bookworm that have gained a wide following. Cave is also a cartoonist, with her cartoon book Lovesick inspiring a line of greeting cards. She is currently the co-host of the podcast We Can’t Talk About That Right Now with her sister Bebe Cave. Her novel Sunset was published in June 2021 to critical acclaim.

Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory)

First appearance: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Last appearance: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

While Robert Pattinson is now an internationally recognized name due to his leading role in the Twilight saga, Goblet of Fire was Pattinson’s first film role (due to his scenes in Vanity Fair ending up on the cutting room floor). Much like Radcliffe, Pattinson chose to follow his Harry Potter and Twilight roles with an array of independent films and art house fare. He received wide acclaim for his performances in Good Time, The Lighthouse, and Tenet among many others. He also stars in the highly anticipated film The Batman, playing the iconic caped crusader.

Be sure to check back all week for more articles celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter films!

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Jules
I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.

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