Natalia Tena Shares Her Thoughts on Tonks’ Wardrobe

Jan 16, 2017

Posted by: Lainey Ruffner

Actor Interviews, Casting, Films, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Interviews, Media, Movies, News, OotP Film, Tena, Tena Interviews

Despite what she claims was a terrible audition, Natalia Tena landed the role of Nymphadora Tonks and embraced the unique traits of the quirky metamorphagus.

Tena admits that she had never even read the Harry Potter books when she first tried out for the role of Tonks, so she had no clue what the hype was all about.

“I hadn’t seen any of the films. I hadn’t read any of the books. I didn’t know what a Muggle was. I walked into the room and tripped over a chair, and for some reason, I was quite loud.”

The casting team must have viewed her clumsiness as an unscripted representation of Tonks’ true nature, because she was called back for another audition. The whole audition process was so long that Tena managed to find time to read the Harry Potter books that were currently released before finally being cast for the part.

The whole process behind finding Tonks’ unique look was also fairly lengthy and a few changes had to be made from the original wardrobe plans. According to Pottermore, the first outfit consisted of high-heeled shoes, striped tights, and a pink tutu, but Jany Temime, the costumer designer for all of the Harry Potter films, thought that this outfit wasn’t a good representation of the strength that Tonks exudes in the books.

Image result for nymphadora tonks

The decision was made to switch the high-heels to boots, and add in a long coat, hooded sweatshirt, fingerless gloves, and ripped tights. As the general feeling of the scenes in the movies changed, so did Tonks’ wardrobe. For the battle at the Ministry of Magic at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, she is sporting a military style, long, red coat. Tena thought these outfits were a good fit for how she perceived Tonks’ character:

“She’s ready for battle, but she still looks cool.”

The wardrobe changes that are seen in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince are even more evident as Tonks’ look becomes noticeably ‘darker’ along with the general tone of the film. Her hair is more brown than purple and her clothes have lost some of their spunk.

“Her outfits are created with softer textures and muted colours, although the palette stayed the same. ‘She’s in love, and a bit more girly. But she does bring that adult aspect, she has to. She’s still wearing those boots. There’s just less twinkle.'”

One of the biggest discrepancies between the book description and the movie portrayal of Tonks came is seen in her hair color. Although being a metamorphagus meant she could change this at will, and her hair is violet when Harry first meets her, Tonks’ hair is described most often in the books as being bubble-gum pink. In the movies she is never seen sporting this pink hair and Pottermore claims the reasoning behind this is:

“in order not to conflict with the pink associated with Dolores Umbridge.”

Tonks in the Ministry of Magic from the Order of the Phoenix.

It’s understandable that they wouldn’t have wanted to give a strong, independent, kindhearted, female character any association with Umbridge, who is almost her stark opposite in traits, however it is still disappointing that this took away from the young, free-spirited, punk attitude that Tonks has in the earlier books.

To read the full feature on Pottermore, click here.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.