The HP Cast: Those Who Captured Their Book Counterparts

In my last post, I commented on members of the HP cast who gave fantastic performances, but redefined the characters from the books. Here is a shoutout to the characters who captured the book characters really well in my opinion.

  • James and Oliver Phelps as Fred and George Weasley brought an energy to the screen that seems characteristic of F&G and they finish each other’s sentences.
  • Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid. I don’t think the dialogue he was given was great, but he had that distinct sense of unwavering loyalty and a humongous kindness about his character you’d expect from Hagrid. Trivia: When Rowling was asked who she would pick to play Hagrid (before he was cast), she had said Robbie Coltrane without hesitation.
  • David Bradley as Argus Filch – you probably don’t remember him as much, or probably don’t hate him here as much as you hate him as Walder Frey (Game of Thrones), but you probably think of him when you picture Filch.
  • Ian Hart as Professor Quirrel was exactly as I had imagine him.
  • Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart didn’t quite look the part…no offense to Kenneth Brannaugh, but I had expected Lockhart to be a lot more good looking. But the portrayal was spot on.
  • Timothy Spall and Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail had the smarminess down.
  • Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge made me as frustrated with movie-Fudge as with book-Fudge.
  • Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody perhaps went a little overboard sometimes, and although he looked nothing like I had fist imagined Moody in my head, he went on to replace that image.
  • Mark Williams and Julie Walters played Mr. and Mrs. Weasley exactly like how they were meant to be played – kind, loving, and genuinely concerned. Mrs. Weasley is the one who worries and is always screaming at her sons. Mr. Weasley is fascinated by Muggles and has a touch of the child in his heart.
  • Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, and Harry Melling did a good job with the Dursleys, even though their roles got progressively less important.
  • Natalia Tena as Tonks didn’t have the bubbly personality or the bright pink spiky hair, she gave off the right sort of vibe. The movies pretty much cut her out, but I personally didn’t mind, because her whole depression thing in HBP seemed out of character to me anyways.

The two actors who I thought did a particularly good job are:

  • Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy – He was sneering, arrogant, and conniving; and he absolutely brought the character to life. The liberties he took with the staff didn’t take away anything from the character, but only added to the elite aura of the character. One look at movie-Malfoy you know he’s a rich elitist who loathes anyone who is not a pure-blood. He even looked like he’s Draco’s dad. He did a splendid job even in the last two movies, when he is supposed to be a broken man. He was unkempt, haggard, and desperate to get back in favor of his master – exactly the way you’d expect from a Death Eater who had messed up and had been sent to Azkaban. Trivia: Malfoy was originally going to be dark haired and wearing a suit, but the actor insisted on the hair, the robes and the staff. I’m sure glad he did – wardrobe is important in bringing a character to life.
  • Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort – He was everything I imagined Lord Voldemort to be. He’s menacing, he’s terrifying, and when he speaks you know why he must not be named. He never gets remembered for this role, but I really appreciate how well Fiennes did his homework and how much effort he put into the character.

 

And now a few shout-outs to some other Hogwarts characters:

  • Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom – He did a great job, especially in PS and DH2, but it was so hard to buy a tall Neville.
  • Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley – Her role in the movies was immensely reduced, but given what we have, I don’t think Bonnie Wright did anything memorable with the role. My cousin once joked that with the way Ginny was in HBP, they’d need to cast Lindsey Lohan. More on Ginny here.
  • Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy – I remember his hilarious facial expressions in PS so well! He also didn’t have much screen time, but I think he did a fantastic job in HBP. More on Draco here.
  • Jamie Waylett, Josh Herdman, and Louis Cordice as Crabbe, Goyle and Blaise Zabini – I’ve always imagined the tall one as Crabbe and the short one as Goyle. In the movies, I think it’s the other way around, although I’m pretty sure Crabbe’s supposed to be the taller. Crabbe and Goyle couldn’t have been that hard to play, and the actors did a great job, especially in CoS when they had to play Harry and Ron disguised as them. Blaise Zabini had a minor role in the book, and an even smaller one in the movie, so it’s hard to judge. Trivia: They replaced Crabbe with Zabini in DH2 because the actor was in jail for marijuana possession. Goyle was missing during PoA because of an injury and they replaced him with a random boy who many fans thought was supposed to be Theodore Nott.
  • Alfie Enoch and Devon Murray as Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan – For the first few books, they were mostly like extras. I feel like the movie did more with them – like how Seamus always blew up something in every movie (except DH1, in which he doesn’t appear). And when they do become important in the books due to arguments with Harry or by being Ginny’s boyfriend, the movie skips those parts, so there isn’t much to judge them by.
  • Shefali Choudhury, Afshan Azad, and Jessie Cave as the Patil Twins and Lavender Brown – Unlike Dean and Seamus, Parvati and Lavender actually had defined personalities from early on – they were very silly little girls. Parvati didn’t properly appear in the movies before GoF, and Lavender before HBP. I’m sure no one will disagree that the book-twins and the movie-twins were completely different entities. For one, Padma Patil is supposed to be in Ravenclaw, and hardly appears in the books; and Parvati Patil is bff with Lavender Brown. Shefali and Afshan served their roles in the movies, which was to be 1) dates to the Yule ball, 2) extras; because at the end of the day, they weren’t very important to the books either. While you might infer that they were kind of shallow, they don’t even have talking roles after GoF. Lavender is a bit of a different case because she dates Ron in HBP. Even when I was reading the book, it didn’t fly with me that she was suddenly all over Ron. It was like she was a different character. I don’t know why Rowling had to pick Lavender. She could have just created a new character, like they did in the movie. Jessie Cave plays this character quite well, but as far as books 1-5 go, I imagine a different Lavender in my head. And for that matter, the Patil twins in my head are different too. Trivia: 1) Shefali and Afshan are both of Bangladeshi origin. I don’t think they knew each other before they were auditioning, and they were cast because they had the best chemistry. 2) Apparently Parvati and Lavender were both cast in PoA, but it’s hard to catch; and they replace the actresses later anyways. I’ve heard that Lavender Brown in PoA was black. Not sure if book-Lavender was supposed to be black.
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