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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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3940 Points

i am happy for him, he seems like a nice person and fiona shaw truly believes in him, which, had to be quite nice for him…i am so happy he’ll be in DH, if they follow true to the book it will be very sentimental, which will be a nice finishing touch to the Dudley character, and a nice send off to Harry Melling, as himself !!

Posted by just another weasley ROAR,OoM2GS on October 07, 2009, 04:12 AM report to moderator
2027 Points

i never thought id live to see the day when i thought dudley was hot….

Posted by sunlitdays (ROAR) on October 07, 2009, 04:38 AM report to moderator
4138 Points

Wow he is so skinny!

Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on October 07, 2009, 04:46 AM report to moderator
762 Points

oohh, they didn’t really have to pad him. i mean, neville’s face is supposed to be round, but it’s obviously not since matt lewis grew up and lost weight, too. and dudley was supposed to have changed since the dementor attack, i think it’s likely that he could have lost some weight afterwards

Posted by DoVe_PaTrOnUs *-GFTC-* on October 07, 2009, 05:12 AM report to moderator
444 Points

Wow, that’s quite a change. I’m very impressed by him, that it was his decision to lose the weight, and that he did it by eating better and not by going on some weird diet.

It’s a very bittersweet article about his reaction to playing Dudley and not getting to be at Hogwarts with the rest of the kids. I’m glad he is turning all that into something positive to further his career. He’s a very impressive young man.

Posted by Eeyore on October 07, 2009, 05:43 AM report to moderator
310 Points

He seems really nice and certainly not like Dudley. :)

Posted by accioangela on October 07, 2009, 05:45 AM report to moderator
125 Points

I thought that was Matt!
He is so cute, i never would of guessed it was little duddles

Posted by Rodinius Black on October 07, 2009, 05:48 AM report to moderator
385 Points

aww i’m so glad he didn’t get recast! it would have been so odd. plus now i think he will be a better dudley because dudley is nice in DH

Posted by MiliMalfoy [FTC!] on October 07, 2009, 06:30 AM report to moderator
1642 Points

Actually, I’m glad we still have Harry as Dudly ..
No recast !

Posted by Bella'love ^HISS^ on October 07, 2009, 06:55 AM report to moderator
145 Points

I never knew his grandfather was Patrick Troughton from Dr. Who & the Omen. Cool.

Posted by zoltan42 on October 07, 2009, 07:15 AM report to moderator
4056 Points

I can barely spot the outline of his face as it was in Movie 5! He really did get a lot thinner.

Posted by fifi ~::~ ıɟıɟ {WBM!} {ITC!} on October 07, 2009, 07:22 AM report to moderator
2661 Points

He seems really nice! :-) I like that he’s glad he isn’t in the spotlight. I hope this means the Dursleys will be in the 7th film, as Dudley has a nicer part.

Posted by Wingardium Leviosa ❄WBM❄ on October 07, 2009, 07:53 AM report to moderator
654 Points

Wow! think about in SS movie when he played Dudley. He looks completely different

Posted by mjkalldaway (ROAR) on October 07, 2009, 08:06 AM report to moderator
3048 Points

It is wonderful that he is extending himself beyond Potter. I look forward to the future projects to which he will contribute.

Posted by Kirk on October 07, 2009, 08:39 AM report to moderator
428 Points

Wow.. Harry Melling looks good!… They will beef him up to become big D!.. cool!

Posted by alegria35 on October 07, 2009, 08:53 AM report to moderator
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