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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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3417 Points

Great interview! I almost didn’t recagnoize him in the picture. It’s funny he felt guilty for losing weight, I’m glad they kept Harry & didn’t recast for Dudley.

Posted by paul_hp_fan [OoM2] *ROAR* on October 06, 2009, 11:36 PM report to moderator
1046 Points

it’s nice to hear from him and his perspective not being one of the hogwarts kids, i wonder how his career will differ from theirs in the long run?

Posted by bec majec *roar* on October 06, 2009, 11:39 PM report to moderator
2570 Points

Ya, i wonder to

Posted by madman1277 on October 07, 2009, 12:48 AM report to moderator
37 Points

I always feel kind of sorry for the actors who get cast for seemingly unpleasant attributes because there’s always so much more to them than that. It’s so great that the character of Dudley didn’t “frame him for life” to be typecast as a stupid, snobbish bully—he’s actually at liberty to move on with the experience, but not the character profile, which is fantastic.

Posted by Miss E.M. Foxxe on October 07, 2009, 01:06 AM report to moderator
1884 Points

Good interview. Hmm seems like they are going to make him still fat for the last films. The book said he was big not fat for DH. He did seem to mature a little in the last book. At least he was worried about Harry. That’s an improvement.

Posted by Cool G on October 07, 2009, 01:16 AM report to moderator
545 Points

I actually recognize him in this picture… I didn’t the last time we saw him in the movies…

Posted by Nicci Weasley on October 07, 2009, 01:31 AM report to moderator
241 Points

Aw awesome. I’m glad that he’s found his place in the world, it must have really sucked to be stuck in Privet Drive. If I was him I would have asked to be an extra in the Hogwarts scenes :P

Posted by Linnyish on October 07, 2009, 01:46 AM report to moderator
3271 Points

Great interview! I’m so glad that he is continuing with his acting. I was shocked when I saw the pic of him though… he looks so different now that he lost all the wieght. He looks different, but great! :)

Posted by Half-Blood Princess66[ROAR!] on October 07, 2009, 02:00 AM report to moderator
8876 Points

He seems such a great guy. A few years ago I saw an interview with him and he seemed to be one smart down to earth guy. I had no idea that he’s Patrick Troughton’s grandson, how cool is that.

Posted by Moose_Starr on October 07, 2009, 02:59 AM report to moderator
1081 Points

wow! he’s alot thinner than I thought Im so happy to hear from him. I really did miss the Dursley’s the last couple of books!

Posted by Esmeralda.ROARღ on October 07, 2009, 03:04 AM report to moderator
1081 Points

Gah! movies! I meant that I missed the Dursley’s the last couple of MOVIES!

Posted by Esmeralda.ROARღ on October 07, 2009, 03:07 AM report to moderator
197 Points

wow he looks sooo different. i wonder how the character dudley will look like lol

Posted by nox avis on October 07, 2009, 03:27 AM report to moderator
80450 Points

Troughton was and is my favorite Dr…. I had no idea he was related…

Posted by Won_Two on October 07, 2009, 03:46 AM report to moderator
276 Points

Great to hear from him! I had no idea Harry was part of the Troughton dynasty either. I expect he will go on to do great things in the acting world. Good luck to him!

Posted by moony_lupin on October 07, 2009, 04:11 AM report to moderator
2482 Points

OMG he looks wonderful! It’s always stunning when u realize how much some people change through the years. He’s certainly changed a lot… love the pic
go Harry!!

Posted by ele0206 -ROAR- on October 07, 2009, 04:11 AM report to moderator
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