Happy Birthday to Ian Hart


Oct 08, 2017

Posted by: Kim McChesney | Comments

Actor Birthdays, Birthdays, Character Birthdays, Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, Hart, News, Television Programmes, Trailers

English stage, television and film actor Ian Hart, who is best known to the fandom as Harry Potter’s first Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Quirinus Quirrell, celebrates his 53rd birthday today. Though Hart’s time in the Potterverse was cut short by his disintegrated demise in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, he made quite an impact as the nervous, “two-faced” host of He Who Must Not Be Named. In fact, Leaky recently discussed Quirrell’s place in the story as Voldemort’s horcrux number one, as well as some other interesting character observations in the professor’s birthday post last month.


Although Ralph Fiennes is usually recognized as the actor who embodied the nemesis of the Boy Who Lived, Hart, unknown to some, left his mark on the series by doing double duty in the Sorcerer’s Stone as the story’s first villain as well as the voice behind the first CGI-generated first look at Lord Voldemort.

Hart, who was born Ian Davies in Liverpool, England, had been acting for over ten years when he landed the role of a 22-year old John Lennon, pre-British Invasion in the 1991 independent film The Hours and Times.The producers of the later-released Beatles biopic Backbeat saw Hart in the earlier film and hired him to read as Lennon during auditions, eventually casting him the Beatle once again. Hart’s performance in Backbeat, which was released in 1994, earned him the Most Promising Newcomer Award from the Evening Standard British Film Awards. Hart went on to play an imagined 50-year old Lennon in the 2013 TV movie Snodgrass, which was based on a novella by Ian R MacLeod, and explored what the iconic musician’s life would have been like if he had parted ways with the band in 1962.


In a 2004 interview with the Daily Record covered here by Leaky, Hart spoke about his audition for the first Harry Potter film. He had this to say about the experience, admitting that he hadn’t read either of J.K. Rowling’s books out at the time,

“When I went to the audition, I didn’t have the faintest idea about it,[… ]“I’d never read any of the books. I went to bookshops and they gave me book two. “I was looking through it saying: ‘Where’s my character? It can’t be that big a part as I can’t find it.’ “But luckily enough I got the job.”

And Hart admitted he had fun making the big-budget movie,

“I learned how to fly,[….]I loved flying around on ropes.” “It’s only for a moment in the film but I was there doing it for days.”

Since his time in the Wizarding World, Hart has appeared in numerous films and television programs including the psychological thriller series Bates Motel, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, British crime drama serial The Driver with former Walking Dead antagonist David Morrisey, and  HBO period drama Boardwalk Empire.

Hart’s latest film, British drama God’s Own Country, about a young sheep farmer in Yorkshire whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker, is garnering praise at Film Festivals and from critics on both sides of the pond. In it Hart plays the young farmer’s ailing and bitter father Martin. The film was the only UK-based production to be included in the Sundance Film Festival’s world drama category this year and the Hollywood Reporter had this to say about Hart’s performance after its Sundance premiere,

“…an almost unrecognizable Hart gives a moving performance as a hardened man who shows surprising reserves of sensitivity when it most counts.”

God’s Own Country premiered in the UK on September 1, 2017 and will be released in theaters in the US on October 27, 2017. Take a look at the trailer for the film below:

We’d like to wish Ian Hart all the best with his new film and a very happy birthday from the Leaky Cauldron!

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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.