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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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6941 Points

I’m happy for him that he lost weight, and it wouldn’t be the same if they recast his character.
I’m glad to see that they are going to include the Dursley’s in DH, for awhile there I thought that they weren’t going to sign back on as the Dursley’s. I knew they had to include them in DH seeing as it is the last film, they need to include everything!

Posted by harrypotter1991{ROAR} on October 07, 2009, 11:57 PM report to moderator
539 Points

Heavens me, that boy is handsome. I feel like I’m looking at Hamlet too! Can’t wait to see what’s in store!

Posted by Faerenach on October 08, 2009, 01:19 AM report to moderator
1549 Points

ZOMG. i thought it was matt lewis..i was shocked it was the guy who played dudley. he is thinner. :)

not so big D anymore.

i remember him in the first movie. ‘36? but last year i had 37!’

Posted by vampressISap0tter *ROAR* on October 08, 2009, 01:53 AM report to moderator
4180 Points

Doesn’t he kind of look like Josh Peck now?? idk, mabye it’s just me. :]

Posted by Delilah [ROAR] on October 08, 2009, 05:11 AM report to moderator
507 Points

He looks so different

Posted by IloveDobby on October 08, 2009, 09:33 AM report to moderator
32 Points

wow it must be weird filming Harry potter when your character is not harry but your name is!!!!

Posted by whitehorse on October 08, 2009, 12:04 PM report to moderator
4007 Points

Harry seems very happy, I must admit I always felt sorry for him being cast as the fat jerk! Seems not to have bothered him at all!!

Posted by KC Nox on October 08, 2009, 01:53 PM report to moderator
385 Points

Big D has lost alot of weight

Posted by ProfKnight on October 08, 2009, 09:34 PM report to moderator
835 Points

“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.”

Now that’s what I love, how they work to keep the same actors! He looks fantastic! I didn’t even recongnize him. I can’t wait to see how he will look in DH.

Posted by Gryffindor Cutie on October 09, 2009, 05:02 PM report to moderator
13651 Points

Ah that’s great!

Posted by hp931 on October 10, 2009, 09:48 AM report to moderator
3134 Points

Wow — that’s so interesting. I’m sure it must have been hard not to have been cast at Hogwarts (like how Petunia felt when she was a young girl!) — but it sounds like he has a really good head on his shoulders, and I’m very impressed by him. (And about the weight … of course the producers would pad him — the fans would be outraged if he were fired for being a healthy weight! It just wouldn’t be the same with a new Duddykins.)

34 Points

I am really glad that he is getting some recognition! Harry has done great work as Dudley, very believable but underrated I feel. Now as an adult he will get more of a chance to show what he can do – brilliant!

Posted by teleaht on October 12, 2009, 07:55 AM report to moderator
1742 Points


Posted by wing on October 15, 2009, 10:34 AM report to moderator
1742 Points


Posted by wing on October 15, 2009, 10:34 AM report to moderator
1742 Points


Posted by wing on October 15, 2009, 10:34 AM report to moderator
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