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Not Just the Big D: Harry Melling Talks Life after Dudley and Harry Potter

Melling Interviews
Posted by: sue
October 06, 2009, 06:08 AM

There is a new and rare interview online today in the Telegraph with actor Harry Melling better known to readers as Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films. The young actor, who is currently appearing on stage in London with Fiona Shaw (who plays his mother, Harry's Aunt Petunia in the Potter films) discusses his career, life on the Potter films and his hopes for the future. The piece mentions the now 20 year old has lost some weight recently and looks nothing like Big D in the series.  "Dudley doesn't feature in the sixth Potter film, so there was a long gap between playing the butterball bully in the fifth, aged 16, and shooting the seventh film, this year. In the meantime, he had changed almost beyond recognition, to the producers' alarm. "They did this double-take, 'Oh my God, we are going to have to do something,' and I felt very guilty. They could have recast, but instead they padded me out."

We also learn more about the acting family that Harry belongs too, as well as his interaction with cast members on the Harry Potter films:

This focus on his career is, no doubt, the result of coming from a family riddled with actors. His grandfather, Patrick Troughton, was, for many, the greatest Dr Who. His uncles, Michael and David Troughton, and his cousin Sam, are all actors. His illustrator mother, Joanna Troughton, was keen to give Harry a chance, too. "She sent off my photos to the producers of the Potter films when I was 10, thinking I might be an extra. A year later I was asked to read for Dudley. When I got the part, I thought: 'Ooh, I'm in a film', not that I was cast as fat and ugly.'"

Wasn't being associated with the hateful Dudley a curse? "I kept quiet about it. Nobody ever recognised me."

He minded more about not being one of the Hogwarts' children. When people asked him about the films, and what Michael Gambon or Julie Walters were like, he would have to say, "Dunno, I've never met them." But, stuck in Privet Drive, he did get to work with Richard Griffiths and Fiona Shaw, who play Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, Dudley's parents. "Just watching them was an education. Fiona taught me a Caliban speech, which I later used to get into drama school."


"I always thought he would be a marvellous character actor," Shaw says, "but he's turned into a marvellous leading actor. Suddenly I feel I'm looking at Hamlet." Compared to Daniel Radcliffe, whom he once envied, Melling now realises that he was lucky not to be one of the Hogwarts' leads. His career got off to an early start, but without the irksome trappings of fame, or the danger of being typecast. "I can now shed the child-actor thing, like the fat, and start a new career, because no one sees me as Dudley."

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1420 Points

thats nice

Posted by alicia00 on October 06, 2009, 03:53 PM report to moderator
2417 Points

Good for you Big D….err, Harry!!

Posted by Hagrid 713 (ROAR) on October 06, 2009, 04:02 PM report to moderator
2525 Points

To me he will always be seen as Dudley how he did a wonderful job acting. Man he looks good!

Posted by The Nerd on October 06, 2009, 04:28 PM report to moderator
1479 Points

sorry wrong wait.

Posted by magicmaniac on October 06, 2009, 04:58 PM report to moderator
4852 Points

he looks a lot different! good interview!!! :)

Posted by #1 Witch ROAR! on October 06, 2009, 06:16 PM report to moderator
625 Points

Go Big D!!!


Posted by humbert0 on October 06, 2009, 06:44 PM report to moderator
3560 Points

He is actually rather handsome now. Good job loosing the weight!

Posted by Brosia, OoM 2 [WBM] on October 06, 2009, 07:10 PM report to moderator
3560 Points

He looks so great!

Posted by Brosia, OoM 2 [WBM] on October 06, 2009, 07:11 PM report to moderator
3560 Points

Hope to see him again soon!

Posted by Brosia, OoM 2 [WBM] on October 06, 2009, 07:11 PM report to moderator
3560 Points

Wonder how good his next project will be?

Posted by Brosia, OoM 2 [WBM] on October 06, 2009, 07:19 PM report to moderator
90 Points

I barely recognized him!!!! Good for him =)

Posted by Ruby Hagrid {WBM} on October 06, 2009, 10:18 PM report to moderator
3455 Points

thats such a nice interview from him! we dont hear from him often!
i didnt even recagnoize him in the pic i thought he was Mat lewis with long hair!!!
i its funny how he felt guilty about losing weight!

Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on October 06, 2009, 10:28 PM report to moderator
1642 Points

Finally we hear from him, and then he’s guilty of losing weight?
LOL .. Hahahaha ..

Posted by Bella'love ^HISS^ on October 06, 2009, 11:07 PM report to moderator
5610 Points

aw. i love him. :-)

Posted by Peace.Love.Potter ♥ on October 06, 2009, 11:14 PM report to moderator
3740 Points

If I had been shown that picture and asked which “Harry Potter” star it was, I would have had no idea! Great article, thanks!!

Posted by Want to be a Weasley on October 06, 2009, 11:28 PM report to moderator
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