Happy Birthday to Mark Williams

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Aug 22, 2017

Posted by: Kim McChesney | Comments

Actor Birthdays, Actor Interviews, Birthdays, Grint, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, McCrory, News, Phelps, Redmayne, Television Programmes, Walters, Williams

Mark Williams, the English actor who played Harry Potter’s favorite father figure, celebrates his 58th birthday today. Who among us disagrees that Muggle-loving wizard Arthur Weasley wasn’t the most functional nurturing adult male in Harry’s life? He may have been a bit eccentric and his post at the Ministry of Magic definitely encouraged his interesting curiosities (like his dearest wish to find out how Muggle airplanes stay up in the sky), but his consistent paternal presence became a mainstay for Harry. There may be fans who’ll argue that Sirius fits the father figure bill, but let’s face it, even though Harry had a greater love for Padfoot, he may not have been father of the year material. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to find out.

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Image credit: Warner Bros.

Mr. Weasley first shows up on the scene in Chamber of Secrets when he arrives home from an overnight Ministry raid searching for dark magic objects and finds Ron, Fred, and George, have rescued Harry from the Dursleys in the flying Ford Anglia. Mark Williams appears in the movie version at the same moment and remained in the role of the Weasley patriarch until the end of the series. During a decade of filmmaking it would have been difficult not to establish a relationship with the young actors who played his family. Here’s an anecdote he shared with the LA Times in 2009,

JP: So, you, Mark, as an actor, have kind of been a father figure to the kids on the set …

MW: Well, not really now, they’ve all grown up!

JP: Yeah, you’re right, they’re not anymore, but did you take on a paternal role set?

MW: Well, yeah, but you gotta be careful you know? They’re bored of it now, but there was a time when we first started where, particularly after lunch, Dan [Radcliffe] and Rupert [Grint] could just have this giggle hour. It just reminded me of being back in school. you know, that time around 2 or 3 o’clock, you just couldn’t say anything serious. But, I have to say that they show remarkable forbearance … They must be so bored with talking to middle-aged actors throughout their childhood. But, the whole setup has been great for that. It’s like ‘Don’t be bringing your ego in here cause they’re just 8-year-old actors.’

Playing house with acclaimed actress Julie Walters seemed to be a joy for Williams as well as the entire Weasley “family”. Take a look at a 2009 video from Warner Bros., Harry Potter: The Quest on what a tight-knit clan it was off-screen as well as on.

Below is another hilariously entertaining interview with Williams and Helen McCrory, who played Slytherin matriarch, Narcissa Malfoy, from Fairfax Media. In it, Williams discusses developing his wand technique, and the draconian on-set props rules. They both shared how the battle scenes took them back to childhood and how they love to play the “baddies”.

Since his Potter days, Williams spent some time on Doctor Who as the father of the eleventh Doctor’s companion, Rory, and has played the title role as the crime-solving priest in the BBC period drama Father Brown beginning in 2013. As covered here by Leaky earlier this year Williams once again donned his vestments and collar  to do some sleuthing in the fictional English village of Kembleford in season five of the series. An air date for season six has yet to be announced.

Williams will also be voicing a character named Barry in the upcoming animated comedy adventure Early Man scheduled to be released in January 2018 in the UK. The lead character, Dug, will be voiced by none other than Eddie Redmayne, Fantastic Beasts Newt Scamander.

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It’s always great to take these birthday opportunities and look back on some of our favorite Harry Potter moments, get to know the actors that played our favorite characters a little better and find out where we can see them now. Leaky sends all the best to Mark Williams on his special day!

Featured image credit: Life





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