The Harry Potter franchise was filled with celebrities that were either made famous by the franchise or were well known from the minute they walked into the HP universe. It’s hard to imagine that it’s been almost five years since the last film came out! After spending ten years with Harry and his faithful friends, it’s time to see what they are up to now that they’ve moved on in their careers.
1. Emma Watson
Emma Watson became known to the world after she portrayed Hermione Granger, the wild-haired clever girl in the Harry Potter film series. The role was her first professional acting job, and she had trained at the Dragon School and the Stagecoach Theatre Arts. The training must’ve paid off, because she was discovered at the Stagecoach Theatre Arts! It took a series of auditions but she landed the role of her life.
After Hermione Granger, Emma was more busy than ever. In 2007, she took a role in the movie Ballet Shoes, a film based on the Noel Streatfield book of the same name. One of her biggest non-Potter roles as in the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower, also based on a book. From there, she was in The Bling Ring, and several other films. She also completed her degree at Brown University in 2014. She was attached to play the lead in Cinderella, but turned the role down. In 2017, she’ll be seen in the role of Belle of Beauty and the Beast. She’s on a break as of February 2016 from acting, opting to focus on her role as a UN ambassador and women’s right’s activist.
2. Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe brought beloved character Harry Potter to life on the silver screen, but it wasn’t an easy journey. Wanting to act since age 5, he first appeared on the scene in the role of a young David Copperfield in the 2000 BBC adaptation of the classic novel. He was discovered by director Chris Columbus when the director watched the film, but Daniel’s parents didn’t want him to take the role since it had an intense shooting schedule. However, Daniel auditioned several times and eventually won the role – his parents were won over too, and let him play the famous role. His film debut was in the movie The Tailor of Panama, based on the famous spy novel, released before the first Harry Potter film the same year, 2001.
He was the boy who lived, and since Daniel Radcliffe left the iconic role of Harry Potter, he has certainly been living! The actor has been busy performing on stage and screen, showing that you can move on from playing such a huge role. He made his stage debut in the West End, in The Play I Wrote, directed by Kenneth Branagh. At age 17, in 2007 he shocked the world with his appearance in the erotically-charged play Equus. He continued his Broadway career with roles in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and The Cripple of Inishmaan. On the screen he has had roles in Victor Frankenstein, Horns, and Kill Your Darlings. Daniel currently lives in New York, and will next appear in the 2016 film, Imperium with Toni Colette. His Sundance project Swiss Army Man releases in June 2016 – in it, Daniel plays a dead body with superpowers who washes up on an island.
3. Rupert Grint
Rupert Grint portrayed the lovable Ron Weasley in Harry Potter, but he got his start in a school production of Noah’s Ark, playing a fish. He never did a professional role until Harry Potter, however, instead remaining in school plays. In 2000, after seeing the report about open casting, he sent in a video to producers as his audition – in it, he raps about how much he wants the role. He met with casting and won the role.
As Ron Weasley, Rupert Grint’s character was often left in the shadows of his more famous friend, Harry. Luckily, Harry and Hermione haven’t left him completely behind. Since the end of Harry Potter, Grint has appeared on the stage in London and on Broadway in the plays Mojo and It’s Only a Play, and in the 2011 music video for Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House.” He lent his voice to roles in the movies The Unbeatables and Postman Pat: The Movie, as well as the television show American Dad! and can next be seen in the movie, Moonwalkers with Ron Perlman and Robert Sheehan.
4. Bonnie Wright
She was Harry Potter’s love, having appeared in all eight Potter films, as Ginny Weasley. Bonnie was spurred to audition for the role after her brother urged her to, saying that she reminded him of the character. The Harry Potter series marked her debut in any film project, and she went on to portray the character throughout the series.
Since the Harry Potter series ended, Bonnie has appeared in numerous movies including The Sea and Those Who Wander. She also did a bit of modelling, and made her stage debut in the play, The Moment of Truth in 2013. In 2012, she received a BA in Film Production from University of the Arts: London College of Communication and Wright has been screenwriting, producing, and developing films through her production company, Bon Bon Lumiere, ever since. The short film, Separate We Come, Separate We Go, was written and directed by her; it made its premiere at Cannes in 2012. She moved on to direct other projects.
5. Evanna Lynch
Evanna Lynch was a huge Potter fan before she took on the role of the unique and wonderful Luna Lovegood. She had written J.K. Rowling as a young girl, and devoured the books. Once, at age 11, she was even in the hospital for anorexia nervosa, and got special permission to pick up a signed edition of the fifth book. She found a casting call for Luna on a Potter fan site and decided to audition. She was up against 15,000 other girls and won the role. Like Rupert Grint, she had never acted professionally until landing a role in the series.
She was the uniquely wonderful Luna Lovegood. Irish actress Evanna Lynch has continued to explore the Potter world, appearing in two stage shows for StarKind Productions, including the musical, A Very Potter Senior Year. She has also appeared in the 2013 stage show, Houdini, playing the famous magician’s wife. On screen, Evanna has acted in multiple films including My Name is Emily, as the titular character, and the BBC television film, Danny and the Human Zoo, which debuted in 2015. She uses her fame to raise awareness of anorexia nervosa when not acting, and works with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland.
6. Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane was inspired to take the stage last name Coltrane after the jazz great. He got his start in the entertainment industry in 1981, appearing in several comedy series. He then appeared in a series of films including Flash Gordon, Mona Lisa, The Pope Must Die, as well as making more appearances on TV. J.K. Rowling always wanted him for the role of Hagrid, the lovable groundskeeper of Hogwarts, and he took the role!
In the Potter films, Coltrane was Rubeus Hagrid, the loveable half-giant, who was loyal to Dumbledore, and watched over Harry. However, since the Potter series ended, the Scottish actor has kept a relatively low profile. In 2012, he lent his voice to the Disney/Pixar animated film, Brave, and appeared in Great Expectations with fellow Potter alum, Helena Bonham Carter. Additionally, he has appeared at Potter fan conventions. His most recent film was the 2014 movie Effie with Dakota Fanning.
7. Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman played many memorable roles before taking on the role of Professor Snape. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1972 to 1974, studying Shakespeare. He then went to the stage, appearing in prestigious plays like The Seagull, as well as Romeo and Juliet, which also marked a film debut. He worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and appeared in As You like It, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, winning a Tony for his performance. He made women swoon as Colonel Brandon in the Sense and Sensibility adaptation in 1995, and played the villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Other memorable pre-Potter roles included Galaxy Quest and Love Actually. In 2001, he was personally hand-picked by J.K. Rowling to play Professor Snape, even telling him key points about his character before the books had ended – this knowledge let him play Snape a certain way.
After the Potter series wrapped, Rickman didn’t stop working. He opened a play called Seminar in November 2011, receiving a Dramatic League Award nomination. He also starred in the movies Gambit and CBGB. He even directed a movie, A Little Chaos, in 2014, and also portrayed a Lieutenant in 2015’s Eye in the Sky. Sadly, his last film was Alice Through the Looking Glass, where he voiced Absolem the Caterpillar. Rickman had a stroke in 2015, and subsequently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and passed away from the disease in 2016.
8. Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes, like Alan Rickman, studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art between 1983 and 1985. He debuted in the 1992 film Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights as Heathcliff, and followed that up with the role of Amone Gothe, a Nazi, in Schindler’s List – the role won him an Academy Award nomination, and charmed women in The English Patient. He made the first physical appearance of Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Playing the antagonist to Harry Potter, You-Know-Who a.k.a. Voldemort, Fiennes has made a career out of acting as dark characters. Fiennes has been in multiple movies and stage productions since leaving the Potter world behind. He has appeared in such huge movies as Skyfall, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Spectre, and Wrath of the Titans. He is set to appear in three films in 2016 including A Bigger Splash with Tilda Swinton.
9. Helena Bonham Carter
Prior to playing Bellatrix Lestrange, Helena Bonham Carter made her debut at 16 with commercials, then played Lady Jane in Lady Jane, and also appeared in A Room with a View. Despite her acting prominence in Merchant Ivory films, she began playing cooky and outlandish characters, working with Tim Burton for films like Big Fish and Charlie and Chocolate Factory. She later married the director.
After Potter, Helena kept on making films, this time appearing in film adaptations of classic books, like Les Miserables. She also appeared as Liz Taylor in the TV movie Burton and Taylor. She’s next appearing in Alice Through the Looking Glass, where she reprises her role of the Red Queen. Helena has also been in multiple other films since Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 including Suffragette, Cinderella, and she recently was the voice of the narrator in Night will Fall, a documentary about concentration camps.
10. Julie Walters
Julie Walters was actually a nurse before she began acting. She left the medical field to study English and drama at Manchester Polytechnic (now known as Manchester Metropolitan University) and also working for the Everyman Theatre Company. She became internationally-known after appearing in the movie Educating Rita, in a role she created for the stage. She won an Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe. Multiple appearances on TV followed, and eventually she took the role of Molly Weasley, appearing in all but one of the Harry Potter films.
Another famous actress prior to the Harry Potter films, Julie Walters has continued to find success in film following her portrayal as the Weasley matriarch. Walters lent her voice to the animated feature, Brave in 2012. It’s not the only movie where she has appeared along with a fellow Potter alum. Walters was also in Effie, along with fellow Potter stars Emma Thompson and Robbie Coltrane. Additionally, the English actress can be seen in films such as Paddington and Brooklyn, and the 2015 TV series Indian Summers.
11. Tom Felton
Tom Felton started his career with commercials as a child actor, then debuted in the film adaptation of The Borrowers, followed by a role in the Clive Owen film Second Sight. Surprisingly, when he auditioned for the Potter films, he also auditioned for the role of Ron! He says he knew NOTHING about the books prior to winning the role, and he believes that helped become Draco. He appeared in all of the Harry Potter films as Potter’s nemesis.
Felton appeared in The Planet of Apes after the Potter series ended, and also in the 2014 TV series Murder in the First. He also released several EPs of his music, as well as accompanying music videos. He has three films slated for 2016, including Risen, with Joseph Fiennes and Peter Firth and Megan Leavey with Kate Mara.
12. Imelda Staunton
Before taking on the role of cruel taskmaster Dolores Umbridge, trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She appeared in several big musicals including Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. Because of her illustrious stage career, Staunton was nominated for a total of 11 Olivier Awards. She went on to play Umbridge in two Harry Potter films.
Since leaving behind the wizard world, Staunton has appeared in Paddington, Maleficent, Pride, and That Day We Sang. She also was heavily nominated for her portrayal of Alma Hitchcock, in the HBO television movie, The Girl. In 2015, she wrapped an award-winning London West End performance as Mama Rose in the revival of Gypsy.
13. Matthew Lewis
He was introduced to the world as an awkward little boy, playing the lovable fumbling Neville Longbottom. It wasn’t his first role, however, appearing in small roles on television. He won the role after auditioning, and portrayed Neville in all of the Harry Potter films. At one point during filming, Helena Bonham Carter accidentally ruptured his eardrum with a wand!
Much like his character, Matthew Lewis shocked Potter fans, by coming into his own. Though not finding as much success as fellow Potter actors, Lewis continues to act, appearing in television, film, and on stage. In 2012, he appeared in the play Our Boys. His career continued with the TV series The Syndicate, the movie The Sweet Shop, and in series 2-3 of the BBC show, Bluestone 42. He will appear in the 2016 films Me Before You, an adaptation of the bestselling books. He recently did an interview where he said the can’t watch the movies.
14. Alfred Enoch
The Potter series marked Alfred Enoch’s film debut. He was a part of the Potter franchise as fellow Gryffindor student, Dean Thomas. Although it may not have been as big a role as Ron or Harry Potter, he ended up appearing in all of the Potter films but one.
Alfred Enoch has certainly found more success post-Potter. Moving to Los Angeles following the end of the franchise, Enoch has quickly become a well-known face in the United States. He appeared in a few one-episode stints, then hit the big time having been cast as lead character, Wes Gibbins, alongside Viola Davis in Shonda Rhimes’ ABC hit, How to Get Away with Murder.
15. Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman studied Young People’s Theatre in Greenwich while working odd jobs, then graduated from Rose Buford College with a BA in Acting. He appeared in a score of plays, and made an unsuccessful attempt to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. One of his biggest roles was as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy, and other appearances, including a part on TV’s Friends. From 2002 to 2003, he barely worked, but in 2004, he landed the role in the Potter films and his career rose to prominence again.
After the Potter films, he was seen in films such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Dark Knight Rises, RoboCop, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. His next films will be Man Down, and The Space Between Us, both slated for 2016. He also dabbles in film making and directing.
16. Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith was a legend before Harry Potter. She began her career in 1952 on the stage, even receiving a Royal Order in 1972 and is actually Dame Maggie Smith. She won an Academy Award for the movie The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, one of her famous roles. She actually is a Triple Crown of Acting, having won an an Academy Award, Emmy and Tony for acting. Known in Britain for her amazing stage and film career, she took on the role of Prof. Minerva McGonagall and added the role to her amazing repertoire.
No one is surprised that Maggie Smith has continued her long acting career after leaving behind the role of Minerva. Most people already know that Smith plays the matriarch on the wildly popular PBS television show, Downton Abbey. She ended her portrayal of the wise-cracking Dowager Countess in the show’s sixth season. She later appeared in the films The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and The Lady in the Van.
17. Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon began his career by writing to a dramatic company with a fictitious resume, and was taken on as an actor. He rose to prominence with his role in The Singing Detective, a 1986 BBC serial drama. Years of being in the theater scene prepared him for playing larger-than-life characters like Dumbledore. He took over the role starting with the third Potter film after the unexpected death of Richard Harris, but Michael Gambon made the character of Albus Dumbledore his own through the last six Potter films.
The veteran actor is a behemoth of stage and screen, appearing on both since the series ended. In 2015, he said he was giving up on stage acting. He can be seen in the films Quartet and Paddington, as well as the upcoming features Viceroy’s House with Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson and Dad’s Army with Catherine Zeta-Jones and fellow Potter cast member, Bill Nighy. He also portrayed Winston Churchill in a 2016 TV film.
18. Warwick Davis
Warwick Davis was a Star Wars superfan when his aunt suggested he try out for Return of the Jedi, as the film’s producers were looking for people 4 feet tall or shorter. He was cast as an extra Ewok, then assumed the role of lead Ewok, Wicket. He went on to play the role in the spin-off films. George Lucas wrote his role in Willow specifically for him, and he went on to play two characters in the Harry Potter films. He plays Griphook and Professor Flitwick.
Warwick Davis has been keeping busy since Potter ended. He has been seen on both television and in films, including on the British shows, Top Gear and Doctor Who. Davis will also be featured in the upcoming film, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and has also done motion capture work as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in 2016’s Ghostbusters.
19. Jim Broadbent
Well-known British actor, Jim Broadbent, was only in two of the films, but he had a central role as Horace Slughorn, potions teacher and head of the Slytherin House. His career began in 1979, and hasn’t stopped, with parts in the Narnia movies, and with the actor working nearly every year since. He ended received a 2004 Grammy nominations for his work narrating Winnie-the-Pooh.
The actor has stayed quite busy, appearing in dozens of films since the series ended. Broadbent can be seen in the films The Iron Lady, Cloud Atlas, Filth, Paddington, and Brooklyn, as well as the upcoming films The Sense of an Ending and Bridget Jones’s Baby.
20. Helen McCrory
Helen McCrory began her career on the stage, appearing in plays like As You Like It and Uncle Vanya. She was originally cast in Harry Potter films as Bellatrix, but had to pull out because she was pregnant. When Helena Bonham Carter stepped in, Helen was cast as Draco’s mother.
She may have had a small part in the Potter film series as Narcissa Malfoy, but the talented McCrory has kept quite busy since her exit as a follower of the Dark Lord. She was heavily featured in the second season of the Showtime series, Penny Dreadful, as Polly in Peaky Blinders, and is featured in multiple films including Skyfall, Hugo, and A Little Chaos. Helen’s next role is in 2016’s Their Finest Hour and a Half with Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin.