Being a part of the Harry Potter movies has to be one of the most incredible experiences of a lifetime, whether you had the role of trio member or a simple background character. As amazing as the opportunity might have been, it didn’t guarantee time in the spotlight outside the realm of the Wizarding World, and unfortunately several actors never made it as big as Emma Watson or Daniel Radcliffe.
Luna Lovegood, so beloved to Potter fans throughout the world, theoretically should’ve paved the way towards stardom for Evanna Lynch. What about Fred and George Weasley, two characters so popular that fans practically rioted when one met his end? To this day, their top Google searches include inquiries into their marital statuses, yet their film careers never really launched after their Hogwarts days.
Even actors who made viewers swoon like Sean Biggerstaff, who played the overzealous Gryffindor Quidditch captain Oliver Wood, may have gone on to see steady roles in some films or TV shows but never seemed to reach the same heights as Harry Potter.
Even though some of them remain fan favorites, their careers remained stagnant for these 15 Harry Potter Stars Whose Careers Flopped After The Movies Ended.
15. Harry Melling – Dudley Dursley
Dudley Dursley was the kid we all loved to hate. Whether gifted with a pig’s tail or a visit from a Dementor, we loved to see him receive his comeuppance after tormenting Harry Potter so severely his entire life.
Since then, fans have created their own happily ever after stories for Dudley where he becomes friends with his cousin and frequently seeks his advice for his own wizard child. As heartwarming as that non-canon scenario is, Harry Melling, who played Dudley, hasn’t received as warm an epilogue.
14. Katie Leung – Cho Chang
Cho Chang may have been the apple of Harry’s eye for a while, but Katie Leung who played Chang hasn’t seen as much stardom as many predicted when she served as a member of Dumbledore’s Army.
Without any acting experience of her own, Leung was chosen for the role over 3,000 other applicants. She has both the acting chops and loveliness to star in a larger capacity, so we have to wonder why she’s only had a handful of roles in the last few years.
The Scottish actress decided to study acting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Currently filing White Dragon, Leung has played in the TV miniseries Run and One Child. She’s also had roles in a couple of films like T2 Trainspotting and The Foreigner.
13. Matthew Lewis – Neville Longbottom
Any Harry Potter fan knows how far Neville Longbottom has come and Matthew Lewis, who played Neville in the Harry Potter movies, went there right with him. Both young men started out on the awkward side, with Neville in particular coping with a cranky grandma, constant forgetfulness, and the tragic life of an orphan whose parents were driven mad in a war. Both grew into handsome young men as Neville developed into a courageous and determined friend, truly epitomizing what it means to be in Gryffindor.
Lewis, who quickly became a favorite in the films, sadly still hasn’t become a Hollywood superstar, but he has had moderate success compared with other Harry Potter alumni. Recurring roles in TV series like Happy Valley and Bluestone 42 and roles in films like Me Before You keep him working, so maybe he will become a big star yet.
12. Tom Felton – Draco Malfoy
Like many actors on this list, Tom Felton, who played the snide and cruel bully, Draco Malfoy, in the Harry Potter films, has an enormous fan following, which you’d think would point toward an active and lucrative career. Unfortunately popularity does’t always translate to success and Felton, while no stranger to both TV and movie roles, isn’t the most sought-after actor, even after working in several productions in between filming for the movies.
He’s had much more success than many other Harry Potter actors, however, particularly with his recurring role as Julian Albert on The Flash. However, it was recently announced that he also won’t be returning as a regular to the show, since it jumps ahead a few months after his character has left.
11. Evanna Lynch – Luna Lovegood
With her dreamy expression and spot-on delivery, Evanna Lynch made us believe she was Luna Lovegood. Sure, the film cut her endless giggle sessions, making her a little more serious than we remember in the books, but Lynch was Luna just the same.
Lynch has had a few roles following her career as the Quibbler-reading witch, such as Ella in It Don’t Come Easy and Emily in My Name is Emily, but she hasn’t done any movies or TV shows since voicing Lovegood in the 2015 Lego Dimensions video game.
10. James and Oliver Phelps – Fred and George Weasley
“Honestly, woman, you call yourself our mother?” Who didn’t love Fred and George Weasley, the trouble-making twins famous for their dragon dung bombs and other Wheezes? Fans know the twins aren’t real redheads in real life, but we fell hard for them nonetheless as the class clowns we always wanted in our own schools.
Older twin Oliver played the slightly kinder George Weasley in the films but hasn’t done a lot of movies since, appearing in Own Worst Enemy and Danny and the Human Zoo. James Phelps, who was Fred Weasley, has a similar story along with some of the same movie credits.
Perhaps the Phelps brothers have the same issue that many other twin actors face: past childhood, there aren’t many roles for twins together, and it can be difficult to break into acting as a single actor once you’re well known as half of a set.
9. Jamie Waylett – Crabbe
Vincent Crabbe is one of the least-liked characters in the Harry Potter world. He’s one of Draco Malfoy’s hulking, not-too-bright henchmen, and we’re never really given any insight into why he’s either of these things. Without any sympathetic qualities, it’s easy to boo and hiss at him. Jamie Waylett, who played Crabbe in every movie except Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2, did a wonderful job playing the part.
Waylett, who initially auditioned to play Dudley Dursley, hasn’t had a single acting role since playing Crabbe. In fact, he’s not had a great run in general, getting arrested for violent behavior and stealing property in 2011 during the England riots, landing him some time in jail. Hopefully Waylett will have a more positive future.
8. Bonnie Wright – Ginny Weasley
To many fans, Ginny Weasley served as the spitfire young woman who rose from a shy little girl to the only person willing to call Harry out on his BS. She rounded him out, completing him like the other half of a set of bookends and creating a parallel to James and Lily Potter. To others, particularly those who hoped that Harry would end up with Hermione, she was simply a “Mary Sue.” Bonnie Wright, who was cast in this iconic role, played the part admirably but hasn’t yet found stardom outside the series.
Wright has played in several roles since her time as the youngest Weasley child, but none have been as big. From After the Dark and The Sea to the upcoming A Christmas Carol, Wright continues to act and may surprise us yet.
7. Sean Biggerstaff – Oliver Wood
Plenty of fans fell for Oliver Wood, the overzealous Gryffindor Quidditch team captain in the Harry Potter universe. Not only was he a skilled athlete, but he had that Scottish brogue–or at least he did once Sean Biggerstaff portrayed him.
Biggerstaff played a perfect Wood, and it’s easy to see why Alan Rickman, who requested that he play Tom in The Winter Guest, saw potential in him. Although he only officially played Wood in two films and was cut for time out of another, he also had a cameo in the final movie.
While Biggerstaff went on to land some memorable roles in both TV and film, he’s also had mostly shorts since then, as well as at least one abandoned project. Biggerstaff may have been on Doctor Who and Cashback, but he’s still mostly known for his portrayal of Wood.
6. Josh Herdman – Goyle
He died onscreen in Crabbe’s stead, since his usual nefarious partner-in-crime who died in the book, was cut from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Slytherin Gregory Goyle was the leaner and perhaps meaner of Malfoy’s minions and Josh Herdman played him in the movies. The English actor has been working in the business since the young age of seven with the help of his father, but his claim to fame is still the character Gregory Goyle.
Herdman has had much more success than his on-screen partner, but his career still hasn’t taken a turn to stardom. He has had parts in films like Piggy, The Estate Film, and Common People, and he’ll be in the upcoming Robin Hood and the TV series Marcella.
5. Devon Murray – Seamus Finnegan
As the adorable Seamus Finnegan in the Harry Potter films, Devon Murray seemed like a funny and quirky kid. His mishaps and little quips matched his character perfectly. Seeing him smoke while filming proved to be alarming for many fans, but that juxtaposition was nothing compared to witnessing Murray posing on Twitter in compromising photos of women. It was disheartening, to say the least, to see him afford women with such little respect.
Unlike many of his cast mates, the bulk of Murray’s non-Potter work, such as Angela’s Ashes and Yesterday’s Children, occurred prior to the films. Although he doesn’t have any work to reference since making the Harry Potter movies, Murray will be in a new movie, Damo & Ivor: The Movie, in 2018.
4. Kathleen Cauley and Jennifer Smith – Lavender Brown
Three different actresses played the role of Lavender Brown, Ron’s first girlfriend. In this case, the character even had a change of skin color, which is unfortunate because the series is already not the most diverse piece of entertainment ever made.
Kathleen Cauley, who played Brown in Chamber of Secrets, was replaced by a white actress, Jennifer Smith, for Prisoner of Azkaban. Why neither of these two young women were up to continuing the role we may never know, but neither of the actresses have been in any productions since.
Jessie Cave played the Lavender that Won-Won temporarily fell hard for in Half-Blood Prince. Cave has continued acting, working in TV series like Trollied and Glue, and started her own YouTube channel.
3. Sitara Shah, Shefali Chowdhury, Afshan Azad and Sharon Sandhu – Padma & Parvati Patil
Casual fans may not notice that Parvati and Padma Patil, the twins Harry and Ron Weasley took to the Yule Ball in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, were played by several actresses. Most of these young women unfortunately saw little to no career advancements after their small parts in the series.
Sitarah Shah and Shefali Chowdhury both played Parvati in different films while Padma was portrayed by both Afshan Azad and Sharon Sandhu.
Shah’s single experience in a movie was in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Sandhu, who played Padma in the same film, was only given the title of “Girl 2.” Azad, whose only film credits include her Harry Potter role, went on to be a model. Chowdhurdy, the only actress of the four to make any other films, worked in two short films.
2. William Melling
Nigel Wolport won’t sound familiar to any Harry Potter book fans because he’s not in the books at all. Wolport, played by William Melling, is a character invented solely for the films. The Dumbledore’s Army member is sort of a jack-of-all-trades, delivering lines that Lee Jordan and Colin Creevey would have had in different scenes. He looks like someone who might be a Dennis the Menace sort of character, giving Harry trouble, but he’s the opposite, fully supporting Harry and Dumbledore throughout the series.
Although he escaped the death intended for his character, Melling’s career hasn’t had as much luck. Steady work has kept him in TV series like Fried and Frankie Drake Mysteries, so maybe we’ll see him launch back into big films yet.
1. Rupert Grint
As a member of the big three, Rupert Grint should’ve gone on to become a huge star like his coworkers, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, but he just didn’t make it. Yes, Ron was the least-liked hero of the three, but he still had a huge following. Grint might not be as attractive as Radcliffe and Watson, but he’s not exactly ugly, either; he still has many fanatic fans following his face. Everyone from Scorsese to Cuaron said he was the best actor of the three, too. So what gives?
Grint nearly quit acting altogether, and some say that his casual nature is the reason why he didn’t make it big in Hollywood. He’s too much of a nice guy to be in cutthroat competition. Still, with his credentials you’d think he wouldn’t have to compete for the good roles. He has executive produced and starred in a TV series, Snatched, but it airs on the little-watched streaming service Crackle.
Have you followed any of these Harry Potter stars careers? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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