The cast of Harry Potter: then and now

Cast of Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson
David Edwards

When you think of the most popular book and movie franchise of all time, one name comes to mind: Harry Potter. It has become a cultural phenomenon around the globe and has truly changed the world. 

The first book series was written by J.K. Rowling and the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997, followed by immediate widespread success.

J.K. Rowling was traveling on a train from Manchester to London when she originally thought of the idea for the seven-book series. 

In an excerpt of The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time, J.K. Rowling speaks of her clear vision of the book that she felt on that train 

I could see Harry very clearly; this scrawny little boy, and it was the most physical rush of excitement,” she recalls. “I’ve never felt that excited about anything to do with writing. I’ve never had an idea that gave me such a physical response.”

Since the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997, the books became widely popular among both younger readers and adults and are hailed as some of the best works of modern literature. 

Since I have not read all the books, I reached out to some of my closest Harry Potter superfan friends to see which book is the best. Many of them had the same consensus and believe the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is the best because it serves as a turning point for the series. This is a very transformational time for Harry because he is essentially losing his childhood and there is no going back to the way things used to be.

Twitter seems to have a different opinion. 

Whether we are assessing the Harry Potter novels or films, they are both masterfully created and based on the imaginative world built by J.K. Rowling. 

Where was Harry Potter filmed?

If you’re wondering where Harry Potter was filmed, it mostly filmed in Leavesden Studio, but many of the exterior shots were set all around the United Kingdom in Oxford, London, and Scotland. In 2012, Leavesden Studios was opened to the public for touring and was renamed Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. 

How many Harry Potter movies are there?

While there are seven Harry Potter books, the last book was split into two films, with a total of eight movies spanning over the course of ten years. This article is your cue to go rewatch all of the Harry Potter movies in order and experience the magic and evolution of your favorite characters all over again. Here’s a quick recap of all the movies and where to watch them.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

The first adaptation of JK Rowling’s novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone centers around Harry Potter, an eleven-year-old orphan who learns of his family lineage of powerful wizards on his birthday. He’s called upon to leave his life behind and attend Hogwarts, a fantastical boarding school for wizards. It is at Hogwarts that Harry Potter meets some of his closest friends and embarks on the ultimate adventure. In The Sorcerer’s Stone, there are some of the most memorable Harry Potter quotes that we all still remember to this day. 

No matter how old you are, it’s probably been an eternity since you re-watched this classic film. To relive your childhood, you can watch the first film of the series on Peacock. 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there is rumored to be an underground monster at Hogwarts. Dobby, a cryptic elf, tells Harry Potter about the impending doom. From messages written in blood on the wall to flying cars, nothing could have prepared Harry Potter and the students at Hogwarts for the terror to come. 

This film had us all on the edge of our seats and can be watched on the Peacock app. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

In Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts, he learns that the crazed killer, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) escaped from Azkaban Prison and is out for blood. Rifts are created in the friendship between the trio of Ron, Hermione, and Harry, and dementors are sent to Hogwarts to wreak havoc. This third film in the Harry Potter franchise is filled with twists and turns and truly proves that things are not always as they seem. The film is available to watch on Peacock and Amazon Prime.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

When Harry Potter returns for his fourth year of Hogwarts, his name is drawn to compete in a dangerous competition, The Triwizard Tournament,  with other schools of magic. Even though Harry is ineligible to compete, he must partake in this dangerous competition. You can watch chaos ensue on Peacock. 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

After five years studying at Hogwarts, the stakes have never been higher for Harry, as he navigates the return of the clandestine Voldemort. Harry is struggling with schoolwork and impending turmoil. A Phoenix is a magical bird that dies and is reborn from its own ashes, and this is exactly what Harry does. You can watch Harry’s transformation on Peacock. 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, death eaters viciously attack both the wizard and muggle world. Harry also discovers a book with the writing “the property of the half-blood prince,” and dives into the dark past of Lord Voldemort. Through this information, Harry must discover Voldemort’s weaknesses, so that he can defeat him. This Harry Potter film is streaming on Peacock and Amazon Prime. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010)

In this seventh Harry Potter film, we continue to follow Harry in his journey to defeat Lord Voldemort. Dark forces threaten to tear apart the dynamic trio, but this makes their bond and loyalty to one another stronger than ever. With death-eaters taking over Hogwarts, Harry, Hemione and Ron must prepare to face the worst. This film in the Harry Potter series is streaming on Peacock and is available to rent through Amazon. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)

In this final film of the series, the ultimate battle between good and evil occurs. Harry will not quit until he rids the world of all evil and he and Voldemort meet for the final showdown of the series. The forces of even are strong, but they meet their match when facing Harry Potter. The final face-off can be watched on Peacock or rented through Amazon. 

Harry Potter allows us to lose ourselves in a magical world; with so many wonderful characters and lessons to be learned from them, we can’t help but be obsessed. The fact is, every single character in the film has a backstory, and so do the actors that played them. So where is the cast of Harry Potter now?

Cast of Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

At just 12 years old, Daniel Radcliffe was cast to play the lead in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and has stolen fans’ hearts ever since. We watched Daniel Radcliffe grow up on screen up until the release of the final film in 2011. With a role such as Harry Potter, it is easy to be pigeonholed in Hollywood, but Daniel Radcliffe was able to break away from the character and make a name for himself. 

Even with the film’s widespread success, Daniel Radcliffe never let his role as Harry Potter define him as an actor. After graduating from Hogwarts, Daniel Radcliffe used his fame as an opportunity to reinvent himself and experiment with different roles. He earned great reviews on his roles Horns, The Woman in Black, and Now You See Me 2.

In the 2016 film, Imperium, Daniel Radcliffe plays Nate Foster, an FBI agent sent to infiltrate a gang of white supremacists. Daniel Radcliffe as this character proves he has the range to play any role he chooses. 

In the Daniel Radcliffe fashion, he kindly took pictures with fans during filming.

Things have been a bit quiet for Daniel Radcliffe in 2020, but he is set to star as the Villain in the 2022 film Lost City of D. He will star alongside Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in this adventure comedy. 

Cast of Harry Potter: Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley

For over ten years, we witnessed Rupert Grint play the role of Ron Weasley, the ideal best friend to both Harry Potter and Hermoine Granger. He possesses the strength of a true Gryffindor, being brave, loyal, and logical. Though he possesses all of these character traits, he remains jovial and entertaining to watch through every Harry Potter series.

After 10 years of playing the loveable best friend, Rupert Grint began to explore the world of indie films. He went on to act in films such as CBGB and Charlie Countryman in 2013, and even made his debut in theater, in the west end play Mojo. 

In recent years, Rupert Grint has appeared in both seasons of the Apple TV+ series Servant. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the series follows a family in Philadelphia who unexpectedly let something mysterious into their home. you can watch Rupert Grint as Julian Pearce in this psychological thriller on Apple TV.

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Cast of Harry Potter: Emma Watson as Hermione Granger

Emma Watson was cast as Hermione Granger at the age of nine in 2001 and has been attached to the character ever since. Hermoine Granger was smart as a whip and independent in the film, and we grew to love her as a strong female character. Emma Watson is a strong female in real life as well, juggling academia, acting, and activism. 

Both Hermione and Emma Watson are here to remind women that it is okay to take up space and be loud

Like Hermione, Emma Watson places a lot of emphasis on education, and in 2014 she graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature.

She is also deeply involved in women’s activism and was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. She firmly believes women should be more involved in politics. 

As if Emma Watson wasn’t busy enough, she has starred in films like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast

Her most recent role is in Little Women, a film directed by the amazing Greta Gerwig alongside Saoirse Ronan. 

Cast of Harry Potter: Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy

Tom Felton was one of the breakthrough stars of the Harry Potter franchise as the villainous Draco Malfoy. Throughout the Harry Potter series, he faces a lot of internal conflicts, having to balance his morals while also staying loyal to his family. 

Tom Felton did a great job at bringing Draco Malfoy to life, making him unlikeable and a bit of a git, but certainly not the villain.  

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Tom Felton went on to act in several films after Harry Potter, his most popular being the horror film The Apparition and the period drama Belle. He also made his way onto television, starring as Julian Albert in Doctor Alchemy in season three of the series on CW.

Tom Felton recently gave in to the phenomenon of TikTok, and he gained massive popularity on the platform after reacting to the trending #DracoTok videos. His first reaction video gained over 2 million likes alone, and now he creates Draco Malfoy parodies, plays guitar, and shows off his adorable puppy. 

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Cast of Harry Potter: Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom

Neville Longbottom was introduced to the world upon Harry Potter’s arrival at Hogwarts. He was a chubby frightened kid who couldn’t seem to reach his magical powers. Neville Longbottom went through a full-on metamorphosis in Harry Potter, and the same happened to the actor Matthew Lewis in his real life. 

While Matthew Taylor has played smaller roles since his Harry Potter days, he has starred alongside Emilia Clark in Me Before You as well as The Terminal with Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, and Mike Myers.

In 2021, Matthew Lewis has bigger opportunities on the horizon and is set to star in the PBS reboot of All Creatures Great and Small. Learn all about the new adaptation here. 

Cast of Harry Potter: Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid

Long before playing the loveable groundskeeper of Hogwarts, Hagrid, Robbie Coltrane had a prominent acting career in the world of comedy and theater. In the 1980s, Robbie Coltraine acted in British television series including Kick Up the Eighties and The Comic Strip and even appeared in two of the original James Bond movies

Robbie Coltrane has kept a relatively low profile since filming Harry Potter, acting in a few smaller roles. 

This past Tuesday, friends, and fans wished the actor a happy 71st birthday, proving he is the king of Hogwarts. 

Cast of Harry Potter: Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood

Evanna Lynch is best known for her role as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series. Luna was a free-spirited character and served as a stark contrast to the character of Hermione. While Hermione focused more on logic and reason, Luna was carefree and blissfully unaware. 

In real life, the actress Evanna Lynch focuses heavily on activism for veganism and animal rights. Evanna Lynch has worked with vegan brands like Kinder Beauty, and even hosts her own weekly vegan podcast called The Chick Peeps.

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In 2021, Evanna Lynch made a huge announcement on her Instagram that her first book will be published in September. The untitled memoir centers around her struggle with an eating disorder and “explores the pivotal moments and choices in her life that led her down the path of creativity.”

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Cast of Harry Potter: Alan Rickman as Severus Snape

Last but certainly not least is the incomparable Alan Rickman, who plays Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. After Harry Potter, Alan Rickman went on to act the film Alice Through the Looking Glass and Eye in the Sky. He even had a fruitful career before Harry Potter, starring in classics like Die Hard and Love Actually.

Fans absolutely adored the actor who was a giant in the entertainment industry. In 2016, Alan Rickman sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer. Fans all around the world celebrated the beloved actor.

Even Matthew Lewis (Nevile Longbottom) had nothing but good things to save about the actor. 

After all this time? Always.

While none of the Harry Potter films are on Netflix, the Harry Potter movies are streaming on Peacock and Amazon Prime.  Which Harry Potter movie is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter.

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