The Harry Potter franchise was the kind of phenomenon that no one could see coming. It was this once in a generation hit that captivated millions across the world in what felt like a blink of an eye. Overnight, it was as though everyone had learned the story of The Boy Who Lived, and regardless of age, gender, or race, there was a universal relation that attracted readers and moviegoers around the globe.
Looking to adapt the successful book series into a film franchise, the Harry Potter movie adaptations cast a vast range of actors and actresses whose acting experiences widely varied. For example, a two-time Academy Award winner like Emma Thompson was called upon to act alongside relative newcomers such as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson.
That being said, all worked out as well as it possibly could have, as the Harry Potter film franchise went on to gross billions of dollars worldwide and many of those aforementioned newcomers soon became household names. But what’s happened since? What have the actors behind these beloved characters been up to in the years since the film franchise unfortunately ended? Who has moved on from acting, and who has grown up to become characters in your favorite films and television series? Let’s find out in Where Are They Now? The Cast of the Harry Potter Films.
26. Luke Youngblood – Lee Jordan
Lee Jordan was everyone’s favorite Quidditch commentator – at least for the series’ first two films. Lee always injected his flair into every match he called, commentating with a sense of comedic timing and demonstrating a true knowledge of the game. Like nearly every character on this list, the films did not delve quite as deep into this character’s backstory (or at all) as the novels did, but even so, his brief moments on screen gave audiences a good glimpse into his gregarious personality.
Fans of the cult television series Community might be surprised to learn that Luke Youngblood has made a handful of guest appearances throughout the series’ six-season run. That character is none other than the one-man party himself, Magnitude. Known mostly for his catchphrase “Pop, pop!” Magnitude has become a fan-favorite character from the Dan Harmon-created series, despite the fact that he generally only says two words and quickly disappears off camera.
25. Evanna Lynch – Luna Lovegood
Luna Lovegood is one of the franchise’s more eccentric characters. As a girl who truly marches to the beat of her own drum, Luna was never afraid to tell others what she was thinking – even if what she was thinking was kind of off-the-wall. The Gryffindor was truly a unique individual who had a true sympathy and understanding her classmate Harry Potter. Over the years, the two became quite good friends and her assistance was truly key in the fight against Voldemort in the battle of Hogwarts.
Unlike many of her co-stars, Evanna Lynch was not an actress who came from a classically trained background. Attending an open audition after sending numerous fan letters, Lynch won the part, living out her dream of starring in a Harry Potter film. That being said, Lynch has not quit acting since her role as Luna Lovegood. The young actress has starred in several feature length films since – G.B.F., Addiction: A 60’s Love Story, and the 2015 award winner My Name is Emily.
24. Bonnie Wright – Ginny Weasley
Ginevra “Ginny” Weasley has the distinction of appearing in each Harry Potter film, although she didn’t quite leave a lasting impression until the franchise’s second film adaptation of Chamber of Secrets. As the youngest child of Arthur and Molly and the only girl, Ginny followed in a long line of Weasley footsteps by being sorted into Gryffindor. Not only did the young Weasley girl serve as a valued addition to the Gryffindor House and its Quidditch team, but she also became the main love interest of the titular Harry Potter and they were later married.
Bonnie Wright has enjoyed overwhelming success in her young career, taking part in each of the eight Harry Potter films, but the actress has since taken to the indie scene after the series’ conclusion five years ago. After taking a brief break from making movies, Wright returned in 2013 and has since starred in six feature-length films, one of which – a modern retelling of the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol – is now in post-production.
23 & 22. James & Oliver Phelps – Fred & George Weasley
Which twin was Fred and which was George? While this may be a test of true fandom, most would be forgiven for not knowing, especially considering that their own mother could not tell them apart half the time. The brothers were natural born pranksters, always finding mischief and creating mayhem. That being said, they both had an intuitive business sense about them, always able to turn a profit on a quality idea. The two were never separate during their school days, although Fred, unfortunately, was killed at the battle of Hogwarts during the final film.
James and Oliver Phelps may have been attached at the hip throughout the Harry Potter series, but the brothers have managed to conduct very different acting careers since. Both have turned more to the indie scene much like their on-screen sister, but each in their own slate of films. That said, the two will star alongside one another in the upcoming feature-length film Own Worst Enemy, which is slated for a late 2016 release.
21. Alfred Enoch – Dean Thomas
Dean Thomas marks yet another student sorted into the Gryffindor house, as well as another member of the house’s Quidditch team. The character appeared in nearly every Harry Potter film, although his part in each film was not all that significant. In addition to Dean’s role in the Gryffindor house and as a chaser on the Quidditch team, the half-blood wizard also served as a member of Dumbledore’s army, an organization designed to teach self-defense and led by Harry Potter himself during the events of Order of the Pheonix.
Since his days in the Gryffindor common room on the set of the Harry Potter films, Alfred Enoch has turned to Shakespeare. Acting in several plays, Enoch took a brief break from Hollywood acting but has since returned. In fact, many may recognize this former Harry Potter star in the Viola Davis-led television smash hit How to Get Away With Murder, where the 27-year-old actor portrays law student Wes Gibbins.
20. Matthew Lewis – Neville Longbottom
Neville Longbottom may have started as a klutzy misfit of sorts, but the character’s bravery and integrity really helped him forge his own path throughout the Harry Potter novels and films. He may not have been the most popular student or the best athlete, but Neville was key in the battle of Hogwarts defeating Lord Voldemort and transformed from the butt of every joke to a respected colleague, a reliable friend, and a brave warrior.
Rather quietly, Matthew Lewis is having a fairly successful acting career after the massive success that was the Harry Potter franchise. With recurring roles in shows such as The Syndicate, Bluestone 42, Ripper Street, and Happy Valley, Lewis has managed to stay quite busy in the five years since Deathly Hallows — Part 2. In addition to a few indie flicks, the former child actor contributed a supporting role to the 2016 romantic film, the Emilia Clarke-led Me Before You.
19. Freddie Stroma – Cormac McLaggen
Finally getting his chance to shine in the Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince film adaptation was Cormac McLaggen. Cormac is best remembered by his fondness for fellow classmate Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). His advances were rejected at each turn as Hermione’s heart belonged to the youngest Weasley brother, Ron, but that did not stop Cormac from trying. Additionally, McLaggen tried out for the keeper position on Gryffindor’s Quidditch team, but once again, he was bested by none other than Ron Weasley.
Also rather quietly, Freddie Stroma has managed to stay busy in Hollywood as well. The 29-year-old actor did manage to reconnect with former Harry Potter star Bonnie Wright in 2013’s After the Dark, but after taking on various roles in both film and television, Stroma has managed to distance himself from the fan-favorite franchise. Since 2012, Stroma has contributed supporting roles to the likes of 13 Hours, Pitch Perfect, UnREAL, and even Game of Thrones.
18. Frank Dillane – Tom Riddle
Also getting his spotlight in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – at least the version played by Frank Dillane – was young Tom Riddle. Tom Riddle, of course, was the name of the boy who would grow up to become one of the most feared dark wizards in the history of magic, Lord Voldemort. In a brief flashback, audiences learned that Voldemort always had a bit of a dark side as moviegoers – as well as Tom – learned about the forbidden sorcery of Horcruxes.
Frank Dillane may not have enjoyed the longevity of the Potter franchise like many of the other names on this list, but that has not stopped this young actor from becoming quite the success story. 2015 was certainly a good year for the British actor, as he worked alongside Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Holland in Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea and Dillane also began starring as Nick Clark in The Walking Dead spinoff, Fear The Walking Dead.
17. Natalia Tena – Nymphadora Tonks
Nymphadora “Dora” Tonks appeared briefly throughout the back half of the film franchise, but moviegoing audiences – at least those without the backstory of the novels to guide them – never got a sense of who this character really was. It is briefly touched upon in the films that she and Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) were married, but Tonks the Auror, the wife, and the member of the Order of the Pheonix were more or less implied character beats within the films.
Yet another example of a character who did not get all that much screen time in the Harry Potter franchise, but has consistently found work since is Natalia Tena. Working mainly in Europe, Tena has appeared in countless television series and festival films throughout the years, winning several awards for her role as Alex in the 2014 Spanish film 10,000 Km. Most notably, however, Tena has portrayed recurring character Osha in HBO’s smash hit television series Game of Thrones.
16. David Thewlis – Remus Lupin
Unlike his wife Tonks, Remus Lupin played a much larger role throughout the film franchise, due to his arc in Prisoner of Azkaban in which he served as Hogwarts’ Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Being a werewolf made Lupin’s daily tasks much more difficult as he had to plan around the phases of the moon. The former professor became a great ally to Potter and his friends, but unfortunately, he and his wife were both killed in action at the battle of Hogwarts in the final film.
David Thewlis has been serving as one of Hollywood’s more underrated actors for decades now, and even after his run in the Harry Potter film series, he continues to appear in great movies. Just a few of his more well-received includes The Theory of Everything, Anomalisa, Macbeth, War Horse, and Queen and Country, all within the past few years. The accomplished actor is also signed on for an undisclosed role in the highly anticipated comic book film Wonder Woman slated for release next summer.
15. Rupert Grint – Ron Weasley
Ron is the youngest son of Molly and Arthur Weasley and the best friend to the titular Harry Potter. Over the course of the eight films, Ron and Harry did not always agree or get along, but the two remain the best of friends, regardless of their differences. Audiences got to know the young Weasley boy since he sported an orange mop top in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and have seen him grow and mature over the course of 10 years – still sporting a sort of orange mop top.
Rupert Grint was reportedly one of the more eccentric actors working on set, but was adored by each of his co-stars. No one was quite sure what the former child star would do after his days as Ronald Weasley, but it appeared as though he has stuck with acting. Reuniting with former co-star, the late Alan Rickman, in the 2013 drama CBGB and contributing a supporting role to the Shia LaBeouf-led Charlie Countryman in the same year are only a couple of examples of work he has done since. Most recently, however, Grint starred alongside Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman, in last year’s R-rated comedy Moonwalkers.
14. Warwick Davis – Professor Flitwick/Griphook
Warwick Davis has the unique distinction of being the only actor on this list to portray two characters in the films – Professor Flitwick and Griphook. Professor Flitwick and Griphook are vastly different characters, but Davis being the talented actor that he is, he was certainly able to pull it off. Professor Flitwick was a more mild-mannered conductor of Hogwarts’ Frog Choir while Griphook was a somewhat ornery Goblin who worked at Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
Warwick Davis has enjoyed longevity in Hollywood since his feature film debut in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, but he has not stopped since his days as Professor Flitwick/Griphook. In fact, Davis has returned to the Star Wars franchise in the most recent hit The Force Awakens and is rumored to be joining the cast of the upcoming anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In addition to his film appearances, the 46-year-old actor has since worked in Hollywood as a producer, writer, and director, all within the last three years alone.
13. Michael Gambon – Albus Dumbledore
In the world of witchcraft and wizardry, Albus Dumbledore was an absolute legend. Being the headmaster at Hogwarts, an accomplished alchemist, and a dueling champion are just a few of the wizard’s more notable successes. That being said, Albus Dumbledore was as good a friend and ally as he ever was a wizard. His aptitude for wisdom was matched only by his kindness and as the world’s most powerful wizard, he was the only man that Lord Voldemort truly ever feared.
Replacing the late Richard Harris after his unfortunate passing, Michael Gambon took over the role of the iconic Albus Dumbledore starting in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Between the franchise films, Michael Gambon remained busy acting in critically hailed films such as Fantastic Mr. Fox and The King’s Speech, and the seasoned veteran has not slowed down since. Gambon has also returned to voice acting as of late, lending his talents to the 2014 animated hit Paddington, this year’s Cohen Bros. movie Hail, Caesar!, and even popular video game The Elder Scrolls Online.
12. Robbie Coltrane – Rubeus Hagrid
If there was ever a character with an even bigger heart than Albus Dumbledore it is Hogwarts’ groundskeeper Rubeus Hagrid. With a backstory that ties into the very origins of Harry Potter himself, Hagrid is one of the first characters from the wizarding world that moviegoers get a chance to see. Over the course of ten years, seven books, and eight films, the half-giant has become one of the franchise’s fan-favorite characters.
Robbie Coltrane was a three-time BAFTA TV Award winning actor before he ever signed on to play Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, but his performance in the franchise’s inaugural film The Sorcerer’s Stone did earn him a BAFTA Film Award nomination. Since his days as Harry’s guardian of sorts, however, Coltrane has returned to his first love: comedy. That is not to say that the actor has stepped away from television and film, however, as he has served as a voice actor in Disney Pixar’s Brave and Arthur Christmas. In addition, Coltrane served as a supporting actor in the film adaptation of the Charles Dickens story Great Expectations.
11. Maggie Smith – Professor McGonagall
Professor McGonagall was strict yet caring, tough but fair. As the Head of Gryffindor, McGonagall was about as stern as they come, not someone that you would want to cross. The students of Hogwarts knew not to upset her and so did her enemies. That being said, beneath the professor’s rough exterior there lies a heart of gold. This transfiguration master was Dumbledore’s right hand and always had the best interest of Harry and the other students first in her mind.
The two-time Academy Award winner and the four-time nominee is no stranger to success and she continually puts forward quality performances in well-received television series and films. Most recently, Maggie Smith was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in 2015 hit Lady in the Van, and she has since gone on to receive multiple Primetime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham in the hit BBC series Downton Abbey.
10. Emma Thompson – Professor Sybill Trelawney
Professor Sybill Trelawney is one of the franchise’s more off-the-wall characters, which is certainly saying something. As Hogwarts’ Divination professor, Trelawney had the ability to see into the future, although most of her students did not really buy into her “gifts,” and apparently neither did Dolores Umbridge, as she fired Trelawney during the events of Order of the Pheonix. Professor Trelawney was later reinstated, however, and enjoyed numerous more years as an instructor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Yet another two-time Academy Award winner makes the list with Emma Thompson. Joining former co-star Robbie Coltrane, Thompson also contributed her voice talents to Disney Pixar’s Brave. Additionally, the accomplished actress has starred in the likes of A Walk in the Woods, Burnt, and Saving Mr. Banks all within the past few years. Thompson is far from done as a Hollywood actress, however, with a number of roles in multiple upcoming films such as Bridget Jones’s Baby and the live-action adaptation of The Beauty and the Beast.
9. Tom Felton – Draco Malfoy
The saying around Hogwarts goes: “There’s not a witch or wizard who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin.” This sentiment was, of course, proven wrong numerous times throughout the series, but even still, something about Draco Malfoy just did not sit right with Harry Potter and his friends. Simply put, Draco Malfoy was a bully, and he came from a line of spineless jerks who kind of slithered off into the sunrise toward the end of Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. Draco’s only saving grace is the fact that he had a handful of redeeming moments in which saved Harry and the gang.
Tom Felton made his name as a baddie in the Harry Potter franchise, and his first role outside of that franchise fell right in line with his villainous tendencies when he portrayed Dodge London in the Planet of the Apes prequel, Rise of the Planets of the Apes. More recently, Felton starred in the 2016 drama Risen and the upcoming indie Feed, and will even make a guest appearance on the hit CW series The Flash.
8. Robert Pattinson – Cedric Diggory
Cedric Diggory was truly one of the stars of the franchise’s fourth film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. As one of Hogwarts’ more popular and successful students, Cedric was the odds-on favorite to win the Triwizard Tournament, but his thunder was quickly stolen after the Goblet spit out Harry Potter’s name, to the surprise of everyone in attendance at the nomination ceremony– Harry included. While Cedric certainly left an impression on Harry as well as audiences, his time in the spotlight was cut short as the character tragically died upon Voldemort’s return at the end of the film.
Robert Pattinson is, of course, most famous for his portrayal of Edward Cullen in the film adaptation of the Twilight series. Pattinson is no one-trick pony, however, as the young actor has starred in a variety of films including Remember Me, Water for Elephants, and Werner Herzog’s 2015 film Queen of the Desert.
7. Helena Bonham Carter – Bellatrix Lestrange
Simply put, Bellatrix Lestrange is criminally insane. As a devoted follower of Lord Voldemort, Bellatrix was a ruthless killer. The pleasure she took from witnessing and causing others’ pain made her arguably one of the most feared death eaters. Charged with the torture and murder of Neville Longbottom’s parents during the First Wizarding War, Bellatrix and her cohorts were sentenced to lifetime sentences at Azkaban, the prison of the wizarding world. Lestrange later escaped and, as a devoted follower, helped bring Voldemort back to life.
Much like her co-star Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter has been able to balance her role in the Harry Potter franchise – albeit a much smaller role in comparison to some of the other actors and actresses on this list – all while portraying the villainous Bellatrix Lestrange. The Oscar-nominated actress hasn’t slowed down since her stint in the fan-favorite series, starring in numerous films since – Dark Shadows, Les Misérables, The Lone Ranger, Cinderella, and Suffragette. In addition to these numerous roles, Carter is also rumored to have signed on for the all-female reboot of the Ocean’s Eleven.
6. Ralph Fiennes – Lord Voldemort
Lord Voldemort was the most infamous dark wizard of all time. As the arch-nemesis to both Harry Potter and Dumbledore, Voldemort served as the overarching villain of the entire series. Even in the films that did not feature the big baddie, his presence was still felt throughout. He was truly a menacing villain and a character who lusted after power. Even with all of their starkly contrasting character attributes throughout the films, both Harry and Voldemort were constantly compared, making them two sides of the same coin.
Showing his range, Ralph Fiennes went from portraying one of the most iconic modern villains to playing the likes of M. Gustave and Laurence Laurentz in The Grand Budapest Hotel and Hail, Caesar! respectively. Fiennes has shown that not only does the actor have the chops to play the big baddie, but he also has great comedic timing as well. Additionally, the British actor has taken part in the two most recent James Bond films – Skyfall and Spectre. In the future, Fiennes looks to serve as a voice actor in this month’s Kubo and the Two Strings and the upcoming The Lego Movie spinoff The Lego Batman Movie.
5. Gary Oldman – Sirius Black
Harry grew to love his godfather Sirius like a third parent, and even wished to live with him despite the rumors of his criminal dealings from years ago. This, of course, was not always the case, as Harry at one time believed that Sirius was responsible for his parents’ deaths, but it was later revealed that he was framed by literal rat Peter Pettigrew. Seeing as how Pettigrew escaped, however, he was never able to prove his innocence and was thusly on the run for the rest of his days. Regardless, he never stopped looking out for his godson Harry.
Gary Oldman has taken a handful of iconic roles throughout his career as a Hollywood actor. Not only has he portrayed Sirius Black, but Oldman also took on the role of Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. In addition to his stint in these fan-favorite franchises, Gary Oldman has since acted in a slew of feature films such as Lawless, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the 2014 RoboCop reboot.
4. Domnhall Gleeson – Bill Weasley
One of the biggest gripes from fans of the book series is that the films did not feature enough Bill Weasley – Ron’s eldest brother. Seeing as how the character was portrayed by the now-popular Domnhall Gleeson, it would seem as though the franchise may have missed an opportunity there, but nevertheless, Bill did make an appearance or two throughout the film series and has been additionally alluded to a handful of times as well.
Domnhall Gleeson has become one of Hollywood’s more successful actors almost overnight. Gleeson had an absolutely monster 2015, starring in some of the year’s biggest films, including Ex Machina, The Revenant, Brooklyn, and the smash-hit sequel Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. The young Irish actor does not seeming to be slowing down as he is slated to appear in numerous upcoming films, such as the next Star Wars sequel and the untitled A.A. Milne project.
3. Alan Rickman – Severus Snape
Severus Snape is one of the franchise’s most complex characters. As a double agent, those on both sides did not know for certain if they could trust him, but he still earned his way as the right hand of both Dumbledore and Voldemort. In addition to this, audiences learn that Severus once loved Harry’s mother Lily, but harbored a hatred for the boy due to his distaste for his father James Potter. At the end of the day and despite his cruel exterior, Snape was one of the good guys, even though he was so good at playing bad.
Unfortunately, Alan Rickman passed away earlier this year, but the accomplished actor left a legacy of memorable films and performances throughout his long and prosperous career – some of which came in the years since his role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. Post-Snape, Rickman starred in films such as CBGB, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Eye in the Sky.
2. Emma Watson – Hermione Granger
Hermione Granger was not only one of Harry’s best friends, she was constantly referred to as the brightest witch of her age. As a book worm, a hardworking student, and simply a bright young lady, Hermione helped get Ron and Harry out of tough jams time and time again. Her wit and her level of intelligence helped save the gang on more than a few occasions, throughout not only the novels, but the film series as well.
Emma Watson has been active as an actress in the five years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, but for this household name, that is only half the story. Watson is an Ivy League graduate and a woman’s rights activist. In 2014 she was even appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. That is not to say that Emma Watson is done as a Hollywood actress. She is slated to portray Belle in the upcoming The Beauty and the Beast live-action adaptation.
1. Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter
The Boy Who Lived. The Chosen One. Harry Potter has been known by several names throughout the series, but the character has largely remained the same at his core. With a good group of friends to help him through each of his perilous adventures, Harry has managed to defeat the forces of evil time and time again throughout the series. This protagonist has had his share of troubles, both internally and externally, over the years but still has remained as courageous and as virtuous as ever.
Daniel Radcliffe has truly created separation between himself and the role of Harry Potter over the past five years. While the British actor will always be remembered for his portrayal of The Boy Who Lived, he has certainly proven himself as much more than a one-hit wonder. With roles in films like Horns, The Woman in Black, and this year’s indie darling Swiss Army Man, Radcliffe has more than proven his acting chops.
Have you noticed some of these actors in your favorite films and television series? Make sure to let us know in the comments section.