Best of British in Harry Potter

The Harry Potter film series has done wonders for the British film industry over the years and also been able to showcase so many talents in the films as well. We certainly do see the best of British in the series. Some with big parts throughout all (or most) of the films. While others have smaller parts, or even just cameos. But they really have been such a credit for showcasing the talent which is on offer in Britain. A lot of the actors and actress are held in high regard in the theatre world. Some of my favorite actors and actress have appeared in the film series which is so refreshing to see so many of them in the same films.

A lot of well-respected actors appear in the films bringing life to the much-loved characters from the books.

Alan Rickman – Severus Snape

A very well-loved actor who always seems to be the bad guy. But is he always the bad guy in the Potter series? Well that’s the difficult thing to figure out. One minute you love Snape and the next you hate him, you love to hate him and I don’t think anyone but Rickman could have you thinking that about a character.

Maggie Smith – Mineva McGonagall

She has been around for so long now and to have her as a key character in the Potter films just shows that nobody does it better than Maggie. She has been in so many different types of films and is perfect in the role of the strict but likeable Professor McGonagall.

Richard Harris/Michael Gabbon – Albus Dumbledore


After the first two films Richard Harris sadly passed away and this meant the films needed a new Dumbledore. Michael Gabbon was the man brought in to take on the difficult task of becoming Dumbledore. Both taking different approaches to the role, mainly the age different between the two actors is noticeable. But Gabbon makes the role his own.

Robbie Coltrane – Rubeus Hagrid

Very well known within the UK for his TV roles, the main one being in ‘Cracker’.

Julie Walters – Molly Weasley

A much loved actress who has appeared on TV, in film and on the stage over the years. Such an inspired choice as the loveable Molly Weasley. Not as soft as you may think at times, having to keep the Weasley clan in check.

Richard Griffiths – Veron Dursley

A very well-respected actor mainly on the stage, but has plenty of TV and film credits to his name.

Gary Oldman – Sirius Black

Mainly known for his bad guy characters, which we think he is in Potter. Lots of film credits to his name, also spent sometime on the stage.

Jason Isaacs – Lucius Malfoy

Almost unrecognisable with the long blonde wig required for Isaacs to become Malfoy. Often finds himself in the bad guy role, and that is very much the same in the Potter films.

Helena Bonham Carter – Bellatrix Lestrange

Don’t think any other actress could pull off the utter craziness which was required for the role of Bellatrix but Bonham Carter really is just perfect for it. Very well-respected Oscar nominated actress who never goes for the dull roles. Always the roles which require a bit of an edge.

Ralph Fiennes – Voldemort

Obviously if you did not know who was Lord Voldemort you would never guess it was Fiennes. Totally unrecognisable due to Voldemort’s strange facial features. But so brilliant in the very evil role.

John Cleese – Nearly Headless Nick

The Monty Python legend himself adds some humour to the role of nearly headless Nick, the Griffindor Ghost. This role just had to be someone funny, and Cleese certainly does not disappoint.

Dawn French – Fat Lady

The Vicar of Dibley makes an appearance in one film as the fat lady, who takes the password letting students into Griffindor tower. Steals a couple of scenes with her very loud voice.

Miriam Margolyes – Professor Sprout

A very well-respected stage actress who has done it all, made appearances in a couple of the films as Professor Sprout.

Jim Broadbent – Horace Slughorn

One of my favorite actress due to his versatility in so many different roles. One minute he is singing and dancing around in Moulin Rouge and then he’s Bridget Jones dad. There’s nothing this fine actor cannot do, he’s even a Professor in Harry Potter!

Emma Thompson – Sybill Trelawney

Much loved British actress for her roles as someone you feel utterly sorry for throughout. That character comes through slightly as Trelawney, whilst also acting very crazy.

David Tennant – Barty Crouch Jr.

Very brief appearance for a well-known actor mainly due to his stint as Doctor Who on TV. His character spends most of the film disguised as someone else. So we do not really seen Tennant very much.

Timothy Spall – Peter Pettigrew

First seen in Auf Wiedersen Pet the much-loved Geordie programme. Since then he has gone on to appear in so many massive films, but none bigger than Harry Potter.

Imelda Staunton – Dolores Umbridge

Could any actress have brought the utter creepiness and annoying features of Umbridge to the screen? I think not, so creepy throughout! Brilliant actress who has also taken on so many different roles.

Bill Nighy – Rufus Scrimgeour

One of my favorite actors due to the random roles he seems to find himself in, I was extremely happy to see him in the Potter films.

Pam Ferris – Marge Dursley

A brief appearance for the very well-known Ferris. Who doesn’t last very long after she is accidentally blown up by Harry. Been in plenty of well-loved TV series in the UK including Darling Buds of May and Where the Heart Is.

Fiona Shaw – Pertunia Dursley

Showing which film was my favorite as a child I cannot help think of ‘Three Men and a Little Lady’ when I see her in these films.

Miranda Richardson – Rita Skeeter

The ever eccentric Miranda Richardson really was just the perfect choice for Rita Skeeter. Very well-known actress for her Queenie in Blackadder and many other roles.

John Hurt – Mr Ollivander

Very well-respected actor for his tv and film credits, who I did not even recognise as Ollivander.

Brendan Gleeson – Mad Eye Moody

The very in your face style of Moody was brought to live by the brilliant Gleeson, who takes on very different roles all of the time.

Roger Lloyd-Pack – Barty Crouch

Most well-known and recognised as Trigger from ‘Only Fools and Horses’ not bad that he gets some screen time in the Goblet of Fire. I am sure everyone’s response to seeing him in the Potter films will be a reference to Trigger.

Who’s performance did you enjoy the most? 


Which British actors and actresses do you wish were in the franchise?

3 thoughts on “Best of British in Harry Potter

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