Welcome to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Please take off your cloaks and put away your wands and brooms! One of the bestselling series of novels in the world with over 450 million copies sold, the Harry Potter books quickly overshadowed popular series like Goosebumps, the Berenstein Bears and Sweet Valley High by at least 100 million copies despite each of them having at least five dozen books. Talk about incredible!
Naturally, the success of J.K. Rowling’s books set the stage for a film adaptation where the ten novels were transformed into a series of eight movies released between 2001 and 2011 that grossed nearly $8 billion at the box office. To put its incredible success into perspective, Harry Potter became the highest grossing series until Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought the intergalactic tale back to the top of the list four years later in 2015.
With Harry Potter fans around the world taking sides when it comes to Hogwarts’ famed Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff houses, the pop culture success of the series is absolutely groundbreaking not only for Rowling but for the actors as well. But, outside of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, which other actors joined the world of Hogwarts for a little magic? From small roles and cameos to uncredited appearances, take a look at 24 stars you never noticed were in the Harry Potter movies. Will you recognize them? Let’s find out!
#24 – Kelly Macdonald
Working as a barmaid in her native Glasgow, Scotland, Kelly Macdonald saw an advertisement for an open casting call for the 1998 film Trainspotting and decided to audition on a whim. Surprising even herself when she landed the part, she went on to star in Gosford Park, Intermission and Nanny McPhee before earning her first Emmy Award in 2005 for her performance on the television film The Girl in the Café. Years later, she joined the star-studded cast of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2 as Helena Ravenclaw.
Helena made only two appearances throughout the entire film series (in the first and final films) with Nina Young originally playing the part in 2001 and Macdonald wrapping up the character in 2011 when fans learned that Helena was none other than the notorious Grey Lady living in the Ravenclaw House. Feeling incredibly lucky to land the part, Harry Potter’s magic must have rubbed off on Macdonald during the film because she also earned another Emmy Award nomination for her starring role in Boardwalk Empire, which ran from 2010 to 2014.
#23 – Domhnall Gleeson
“May the force be with you!” Ok, the quote might not be from Harry Potter but, if you’re a Star Wars fan, there’s a good chance you’ll recognize that quote and the next actor on our list as the villainous General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens—Domhnall Gleeson. A talented stage and screen actor, the 32-year-old Ireland native finally made his breakthrough as a star in 2010 when his performance as Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows netted him starring roles in Never Let Me Go alongside Keira Knightley and in True Grit opposite Hollywood greats like Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.
After his portrayal of Ronald Weasley’s hard-working and adventurous older brother, Gleeson continued to build his fame with stellar performances in Anna Karenina, Dredd and Ex Machina before becoming a vital part of the Star Wars series. So what’s next for the lucky Irishman? Last seen in the 2015 epic survival film The Revenant, fans can expect to see plenty more of Gleason in 2017 with four projects in the works including the biographical thriller Mena, the drama Day 6 and the epic Star Wars: Episode VIII.
#22 – Jamie Campbell Bower
Making his acting debut in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, English actor Jamie Campbell Bower was a seemingly unknown name in Hollywood even after he joined the vampire craze in 2009 as Caius Volturi in The Twilight Saga: New Moon. A year later, he landed a flashback role as the young Gellert Grindelwald who was defeated by Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1. However, not even magic spells and wizardry could jumpstart his movie star career.
Reprising his role as Volturi in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1 and Part 2 in 2011 and 2012, the 27-year-old Bower also starred as Jace Wayland in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and as King Arthur in the television series Camelot. But, even though his work on the screen was consistent, it wasn’t enough to earn him star status, which is exactly why he returned to the stage in 2015 where he took on the role of Joe in the musical production of Bend It Like Beckham. Coincidentally, he’s also the lead singer and founding member of the London band Counterfeit.
#21 – Luke Youngblood
Far from ever being considered the most popular star on our list (sorry buddy!), Luke Youngblood certainly made use of his good fortune when he was cast as Lee Jordan in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the new millennium. Making his feature film debut in the mega-franchise after a small appearance on the television series Time Gentleman Please, Youngblood was ecstatic to join the Gryffindor gang where he played an older student who commentated the ever-famous and widely competitive Quidditch games.
Months after The Chamber of Secrets, Youngblood landed a recurring role as Ben Batambuze on The Story of Tracy Beaker from 2002 to 2004 and later appeared on the British fashion competition Project Catwalk where he placed third. Disappearing from the spotlight for a few years, he reappeared in 2010 in the television film Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster and on an episode of Glee before joining the cast of the hit NBC comedy series Community as Magnitude. Still on television today, the 30-year-old can be seen playing Sid on the ABC musical series Galavant.
#20 – Fiona Shaw
“Elementary, my dear Watson.” Launching her career in the 1980s on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes as Miss Morrison, Fiona Shaw built a stellar reputation as a versatile and talented actor in the United Kingdom. Over the last three decades, she’s appeared in dozens of television series and films including Persuasion and Anna Karenina with her work culminating in 2001 when she took on the role as Harry Potter’s bitterly envious and rude aunt, Petunia Dursley, for five of the eight Harry Potter films.
Wrapping up her last appearance in the series—in Deathly Hallows Part 1—in 2010, Shaw has stayed incredibly busy over the last six years working on films like The Tree of Life and Pixels as well as on the hit HBO series True Blood where she played Marnie Stonebrook in the fourth season. And, while she’ll always be recognized as Mrs. Dursley, that hasn’t stopped this Irish actress from taking the Broadway stage where her performance in The Testament of Mary earned her a 2013 United Solo Special Award. What an accomplishment!
#19 – Alfred Enoch
Months before his 13th birthday, London native Alfred Enoch received the call of a lifetime when he was invited to join the students at Hogwarts to make his acting debut as Dean Thomas in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Reprising his role in seven of the eight films as well as voicing the character in the video games, Enoch was well on his way to becoming a star and returned to London to become a stage actor where he appeared in multiple productions including Timone of Athens, Happy New Year and Antigone.
These days, the 27-year-old Enoch has already made a name for himself across the pond in the United States where he is far more recognizable thanks to his starring role as Wes Gibbins on Shonda Rhimes’ smash hit series How to Get Away with Murder. With its third season set to air this fall, the series has brought Enoch ongoing success and notoriety to the tune of multiple NAACP Image Awards and nominations recognizing his talent on the popular legal drama. Keep up the great work!
#18 – Zoe Sugg
Whether you turn to YouTube for DIY videos, movie trailers, funny cat videos or How To’s, it’s undeniable that the popular site has also produced some amazing and unique talent including the next star on our list, Zoe Sugg. Better known by her YouTube username Zoella, Sugg is a fashion vlogger with millions of online subscribers on everything from her YouTube channel and website to social media where she’s even earned the title as one of “Britain’s most influential Tweeters.” So, why don’t we remember her in any of the Harry Potter films?
That’s because if you blink, you’ll miss her! Sugg was an extra in the potions class in the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. But don’t let her minor appearance fool you. The 25-year-old Sugg has managed to find her own niche of stardom after publishing her debut novel, Girl Online, in 2014 and becoming a New York Times bestselling author after the book broke the record for the highest first-week sales of a first time novelist. Having since released the sequel Girl Online: On Tour, it’s safe to say that Sugg is doing extremely well these days as an award-winning blogger and media icon!
#17 – Michelle Fairley
Despite not having an extensive film career, Michelle Fairley has racked up an impressive number of television and theater credits over the last 30 years after making her acting debut in 1989 on an episode of Saracen. Since then, she’s appeared in shows like Casualty, Misfits and Lark Rise to Candleford as well as in productions of Macbeth and Othello. As for her stint on the Harry Potter series, the British star appeared in only one of the films—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1—as Hermione Granger’s mother.
People around the world would certainly recognize the 52-year-old Fairley today after starring as Catelyn Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones where she was nominated for several awards before her character was written off the show in 2013. Since then, she’s managed to stay relevant and in the spotlight with appearances in Crossing Lines and The Lizzie Borden Chronicles in addition to a recurring role as Dr. Ava Hessington on Suits and as terrorist Margo Al-Harazi in 24: Live Another Day.
#16 – Mark Ballas
Long before he ever stepped foot on the dancefloor of Dancing with the Stars, Mark Ballas was an unknown name from Houston, Texas whose love of dance started at home with his parents, professional dancers Corky and Shirley Ballas. At 15 years old, Ballas made his acting debut in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as an extra in the Hufflepuff House, which reaffirmed his love of dance even more than acting. By 2007, his life was forever changed when he joined Dancing with the Stars as a professional coach at only 21 years old.
Now 30 years old, the popular dancer and choreographer has appeared in over a dozen seasons of the reality series with two first place finishes with figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. He’s also been paired with big names like Bristol Palin, Melissa Joan Hart and Kim Kardashian over the years. And, when he’s not too busy busting a move on the dancefloor, you can find him in the recording studio with his fiancé, singer-songwriter and actress BC Jean, working on singles like “Roses and Violets” for their band Alexander Jean.
#15 – Charlotte Ritchie
Yet another star who appeared as an extra in the Harry Potter franchise, Charlotte Ritchie made her major motion picture debut as an uncredited student in the Defense Against the Dark Arts Class in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005. She has since joined the classical crossover band All Angels while balancing her acting career with finishing her degree in English and Drama at the University of Bristol.
After Harry Potter, Ritchie played Emily Owen on Life of Riley in 2009 but is better known for her starring roles in popular British series such as Melissa “Oregon” Shawcross” in Fresh Meat, as Hannah in Siblings and as Nurse Barbara Gilbert in Call the Midwife. And, while the 26-year-old isn’t exactly a household name in the United States, she’s certainly keeping herself busy in London with her most recent credit coming in 2016 as Ruby in three episodes of the British comedy series Raised by Wolves.
#14 – Frank Dillane
Zombies and wizards go hand in hand like… If you’re a zombie addict like the rest of us, then you’ve probably seen AMC’s new spin off series Fear the Walking Dead starring Frank Dillane as Nick Clark. Following in his famous father’s footsteps (Stephen Dillane of Game of Thrones), Dillane made his acting debut at six years old in the 1997 film Welcome to Sarajevo as Chris Henderson. It wasn’t until over a decade later in 2009 when Dillane became widely known as Tom Riddle, the teenage Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
After the release of Harry Potter, DIllane attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where he graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting just as he wrapped up his work on the independent film Papadopoulos & Sons. He then appeared as Shugs in the Netflix series Sense8 before starring as Owen Coffen in the 2015 film In the Heart of the Sea. Needless to say, with the popularity of zombie flicks these days, it’s a safe bet that this 25-year-old Brit will be around for quite some time!
#13 – Clemence Poesy
Given her first acting job by her father, actor and writer Etienne Guichard, when she was a child, Clemence Poesy was in her 20s when she landed her first English speaking role on the BBC miniseries Gunpowder, Treason & Plot in 2004. The following year, she made her major film debut in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Fleur Delacour, a student who participated in the Triwizard Tournament. Five years later, she reprised her role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2.
In addition to her performance as Fleur Delacour, the 33-year-old Poesy has also made a name for herself in films like 127 Hours with James Franco and The Great Game, but is perhaps even better known for playing the role of Chuck Bass’s girlfriend Eva Coupeau for four episodes of the hit series Gossip Girl. Of course, you may even recognize her as one of France’s most prominent fashion models where she’s been featured in numerous magazines promoting everything from fragrances to Gap clothes.
#12 – Bill Nighy
One of the biggest names and surprise additions on our list is 66-year-old Bill Nighy who has enjoyed an impressive 40-year career marked by memorable roles in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and, of course, as Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. However, because of his starring roles, it’s often easy to forget that the English actor was also an integral part of Harry Potter’s story when he was cast as the heroic Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour.
With Scrimgeour assassinated by the Death Eaters when they invaded the ministry, Nighy’s role in the series was short-lived with only one appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1. However, Nighy was thrilled with the heroic part because it meant he wasn’t the “only English actor not to be in Harry Potter.” After all, with his level of prestige, a one-off role in a mega-franchise like Harry Potter only added to his esteemed reputation as one of the most talented actors in all of England!
#11 – Henry Lloyd Hughes
British native Henry Lloyd Hughes was 19 years old when he made his first television appearance on Murphy’s Law in 2004 just months before he was cast as Roger Davies, a student at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Although he only made one appearance in the entire franchise, his performance was enough to garner him a spot alongside Tom Hiddleston in the 2007 British drama Unrelated.
Although his career got off to a slow start, Hughes has had plenty of acting credits since Harry Potter including a prominent role as Mark Donovan in the British sitcom The Inbetweeners and in the 2011 film The Inbetweeners Movie. The 30-year-old has also starred in Anna Karenina, Miliband of Brothers and A Fantastic Fear of Everything in addition to landing the part of Allen Scott-Frank in the highly anticipated sequel Now You See Me: The Second Act starring Jesse Eisenberg and Isla Fischer.
#10 – Jarvis Cocker
Known for belting out hits like “Common People,” “Disco 2000” and “Do You Remember the First Time” as the lead singer of the band Pulp, Jarvis Cocker is also considered to be one of the founding fathers of the Britpop genre that took England by storm throughout the mid-1990s. As a result, Cocker has enjoyed ongoing success over the last three decades as not only a musician but also as an actor, radio host and music video director whose iconic style has made him a living legend in his native Yorkshire.
In 2005, Cocker appeared as Myron Wagtail, the lead singer of the fictional band the Weird Sisters, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where he originally performed an entire song with the group before it was cut short due to the film’s time restraints. Of course, loyal Cocker and Potter fans can head over to the DVD’s “Extra Features” section to find the full song as the now 52-year-old Cocker rocks out with his Hogwarts pals in a performance truly fit for wizards!
#9 – Natalia Tena
Speaking of musicians… Another musician you might know who also appeared in the Harry Potter series is Natalia Tena, the lead singer of the band Molotov Jukebox that released their first album—Carnival Flower—in 2014. While she’s known on stage as a talented singer and accordion player, Tena has also proven her acting chops after making her debut in the 2002 film About a Boy where her silver screen talent eventually landed her the role of Nymphadora Tonks in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Reprising her role as the Hufflepuff House alumni and Order in the Ministry spy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Tena ended her run as Nymphadora with The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 only to join the star-studded cast of Game of Thrones as Osha in 2011. With her character still alive today, the 31-year-old Tena continues to make appearances on the hit series while dabbling in other projects such as Black Mirror, Residue and The Refugees.
#8 – Freddie Stroma
Enrolling at the prestigious National Youth Theatre of Great Britain when he was 16 years old, Freddie Stroma landed a couple of minor BBC television roles right out of the gate before he was cast as Gryffindor student Cormac McLaggen. Taking a year off from the university to star in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Stroma eventually completed his studies at the University College London where he earned a degree in, believe it or not, neuroscience. But, not even a neuroscience student could turn down the opportunity to star in the final two Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films.
Obviously putting his neuroscience degree to the side in favor of a career as a model and actor, Stroma has been in the spotlight ever since with appearances in movies like A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song, Pitch Perfect and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. And, wouldn’t you know it, Stroma is yet another Harry Potter alum who also makes an appearance in Game of Thrones as Dickon Tarly in the “Blood of My Blood” episode of the drama’s epic sixth season.
#7 – Scarlett Byrne
Hailing from Hammersmith, London, Scarlett Byrne was 15 years old when she made her acting debut in the short film Cry Baby and then starred on the British television drama Doctors. At the time, she auditioned for the part of Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but failed to get a call back. Her luck changed, however, in 2009 when she was cast as Pansy Parkinson in the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Like Stroma, the young Byrne reprised her role as Pansy for the final two films.
Despite her nasty silver screen reputation as a Slytherin House student who messed with Harry, Hermione and Ronald, Byrne managed to shed her character rather quickly after the Deathly Hallows Part 2 for a complete turnaround as Brittany in Lake Placid: The Final Chapter. She then played Alexis Glass-Mason in Falling Skies before being cast in the recurring role of Nora Hildegard on The Vampire Diaries from 2015 to 2016 just as she made headlines for her high-profile engagement to Hugh Hefner’s 23-year-old son Cooper. Talk about coming full circle!
#6 – David Tennant
“Trust Your Doctor…Who?” With millions of rabid Doctor Who fans in the world, many have their favorites and their least favorites including Scottish actor David Tennant. Known for playing the Tenth Doctor in the series from 2005 to 2009, many fans were thrilled when the 45-year-old Tennant accepted the invitation to reprise his role alongside Catherine Tate in May 2016 as part of a special three-story series of the famed Doctor Who. But, playing the Doctor isn’t all he’s been up to these days!
Long before joining the hit BBC series, Tennant played fairly minor roles throughout much of the late 1990s and into the new millennium including the part of Barty Crouch Jr. in the 2005 film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. With his character taken over by Lord Voldemort, Tennant’s role was short-lived but did little to deter him from greatness as his work on the stage blossomed with a critically acclaimed performance of Hamlet in addition to his work on the Netflix series Jessica Jones as the mysterious Kilgrave. To add to his budding reputation, he even received the 2015 National Television Award for Special Recognition.
#5 – John Cleese
One of the most recognizable names in comedy, John Cleese has spent the last five decades leaving audiences doubled-over in laughter as one of the masterminds behind Monty Python. Starring in several films with the troupe such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, the English actor, writer and producer has also appeared in films such as A Fish Called Wanda, Clockwise, two James Bond films and three Shrek hits. Where does he find the time?
Not even Cleese, however, could turn down the wizardry of Hogwarts as he joined the gang as the lively Nearly Headless Nick living within the walls of the Gryffindor House in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. Ironically enough, the Nearly Headless Nick was a huge hit as a welcome comedic relief in the first film because of its upbeat tone, which only added to the 76-year-old Cleese’s reputation as one of the most talented and versatile comedians in England! After all, who else could make a headless man that funny?
#4 – Julianne Hough
With only two more Americans on our list, next up is Mark Ballas’ former dance partner, the beautiful and talented Julianne Hough. The youngest of five children in a family of dancers and musicians, Hough was nine years old when she began competitively dancing and was 13 when she made her acting debut in the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with an uncredited part as a Hogwarts schoolgirl. What a bummer!
Despite being uncredited in the film, the 28-year-old Hough has done just fine for herself over the last 15 years after becoming a household name on the ABC reality series Dancing with the Stars where she won the prized mirror ball trophy twice with professional athletes Apolo Anton Ohno and Helio Castroneves. She’s also had a solid acting career in films like Rock of Ages, Footloose and Safe Haven in addition to portraying Sandy in the live television production of Grease in early 2016.
#3 – Derek Hough
It’s all in the family! Julianne’s brother Derek Hough also landed an uncredited role in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a Hogwarts schoolboy but, not even a minor setback like that could stop the young heartthrob from pursuing his dreams on stage. Like his sister, the 31-year-old Hough became an overnight sensation on Dancing with the Stars and has since appeared on over a dozen seasons in the series with an amazing six wins with celebrities like Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler and Bindi Irwin.
Like Julianne, Hough has also joined his sister in the acting arena for hits like Rock of Ages in addition to appearances on television series like Nashville where he played Hayden Panettiere’s on-screen love interest. Interestingly enough, Hough also directed the 2014 music video for “Get My Name” by his longtime friend (and fellow dancer on our list) Mark Ballas. Now recognized as one of the most recognizable dancers in the world, it looks like this Utah native has done exceptionally well despite being just a “Hogwarts schoolboy” in his youth!
#2 – Robert Pattinson
From magic cloaks and wizardry to love-struck vampires, Robert Pattinson has certainly run the gamut in his brief 12-year career. Though better known as Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga, Pattinson launched his acting career in 2005 when he was cast as Hufflepuff House student Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Named as the 2005 “British Star of Tomorrow” and hailed as the next Jude Law, Pattison reprised his role with a cameo in The Order of the Phoenix before his character was murdered by Peter Pettigrew.
Despite the death of his character, Pattison’s career in Hollywood was only beginning to come to life as his performance in Harry Potter sealed his fate as Edward Cullen. Earning international fame and fortune from The Twilight Saga, the 30-year-old Pattison has remained a major film star with exceptional performances in films like Water for Elephants, The Rover and the highly anticipated release of James Gray’s The Lost City of Z. Who would have ever imagined a young wizard would become a star-studded actor more popular than Harry Potter himself?
#1 – Verne Troyer
Believe it or not, the first American to make his way onto our list is southwest Michigan native Verne Troyer. Standing at only 2’8” tall and weighing 35 pounds, the 47-year-old Troyer has risen to fame because of his dwarfism after first appearing in 1990s hits like Baby’s Day Out, Dunston Checks In and Men in Black. However, the first role that truly made him a household name was opposite Mike Myers as Dr. Evil’s clone, Mini-Me, in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
Now considered a go-to dwarf actor in the industry, Troyer’s size came in handy in 2001 when he was cast as Griphook in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Interestingly enough, although he was cast in the part, Troyer’s voice was actually replaced by fellow dwarf Warwick Davis who is known for his work in Willow, Leprechaun and as Ewok Wicket in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Whatever the case, the voice replacement did little to deter Troyer’s career as he has gone on to star in dozens of films including The Love Guru and Gnome Alone.