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Not Just the Big D: Harry Melling Talks Life after Dudley and Harry Potter

Melling Interviews
Posted by: sue
October 06, 2009, 06:08 AM

There is a new and rare interview online today in the Telegraph with actor Harry Melling better known to readers as Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films. The young actor, who is currently appearing on stage in London with Fiona Shaw (who plays his mother, Harry's Aunt Petunia in the Potter films) discusses his career, life on the Potter films and his hopes for the future. The piece mentions the now 20 year old has lost some weight recently and looks nothing like Big D in the series.  "Dudley doesn't feature in the sixth Potter film, so there was a long gap between playing the butterball bully in the fifth, aged 16, and shooting the seventh film, this year. In the meantime, he had changed almost beyond recognition, to the producers' alarm. "They did this double-take, 'Oh my God, we are going to have to do something,' and I felt very guilty. They could have recast, but instead they padded me out."

We also learn more about the acting family that Harry belongs too, as well as his interaction with cast members on the Harry Potter films:

This focus on his career is, no doubt, the result of coming from a family riddled with actors. His grandfather, Patrick Troughton, was, for many, the greatest Dr Who. His uncles, Michael and David Troughton, and his cousin Sam, are all actors. His illustrator mother, Joanna Troughton, was keen to give Harry a chance, too. "She sent off my photos to the producers of the Potter films when I was 10, thinking I might be an extra. A year later I was asked to read for Dudley. When I got the part, I thought: 'Ooh, I'm in a film', not that I was cast as fat and ugly.'"

Wasn't being associated with the hateful Dudley a curse? "I kept quiet about it. Nobody ever recognised me."

He minded more about not being one of the Hogwarts' children. When people asked him about the films, and what Michael Gambon or Julie Walters were like, he would have to say, "Dunno, I've never met them." But, stuck in Privet Drive, he did get to work with Richard Griffiths and Fiona Shaw, who play Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, Dudley's parents. "Just watching them was an education. Fiona taught me a Caliban speech, which I later used to get into drama school."


"I always thought he would be a marvellous character actor," Shaw says, "but he's turned into a marvellous leading actor. Suddenly I feel I'm looking at Hamlet." Compared to Daniel Radcliffe, whom he once envied, Melling now realises that he was lucky not to be one of the Hogwarts' leads. His career got off to an early start, but without the irksome trappings of fame, or the danger of being typecast. "I can now shed the child-actor thing, like the fat, and start a new career, because no one sees me as Dudley."

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1910 Points

He felt guilty because he lost weight lol!!!

Posted by Jane_Potter on October 06, 2009, 06:13 AM report to moderator
7475 Points

what a great guy.

That picture in the top corner made me do a double take. It’s just like with Matt Lewis, they make him look horrible in the films and they both look brilliant on thier own.

Posted by Luce-Lupin !~ROAR~! on October 06, 2009, 06:25 AM report to moderator
65 Points

Haha! I had no idea he was related to Patrick Troughton, who was one of the best Doctors of all time. I hope to see Harry go far, I always felt sorry for him having to play Dudley, who is, or was, one of the most dislikable characters.

Posted by Atticus on October 06, 2009, 06:28 AM report to moderator
36743 Points

Nice interview!

Posted by simos girl {WBM} ~Lemon~ on October 06, 2009, 06:56 AM report to moderator
1535 Points

My jaw dropped when I saw Harry M.‘s pic. It was like ’oh my god, he’s so thin…’ and he felt guilty because he’s finally lost weight, hahahaha.

Posted by ginevrapotter07 on October 06, 2009, 06:58 AM report to moderator
773 Points

brilliant :) it’s nice to hear what Harry’s been doing and a bit more about him because the focus is usually on the Hogwarts kids – Dan, Rupert, Emma, Tom, Evanna & Matt.
i can’t believe that picture of him, he looks so good! anyone else in love with that curly hair? ;)

Posted by Sigourney♥ on October 06, 2009, 07:00 AM report to moderator
1535 Points

Yeah, he does look like Matt Lewis w/ long hair, doesn’t he? Wooow, that’s a really nice interview. I just realized, he wasn’t in the 6th film!!!!!!

Posted by ginevrapotter07 on October 06, 2009, 07:00 AM report to moderator
4881 Points

Aww, he sounds so nice!! So does Fiona actually :D

Posted by HBPFan [ITC!] - CatPhoenix14 on October 06, 2009, 07:04 AM report to moderator
11307 Points

He looks great, he sounds like he has a had a lot of fun with this experience. I hope he does some more films very very soon!

Posted by GF_of_Seamus on October 06, 2009, 07:05 AM report to moderator
407 Points

nice interview :)

Posted by flowerchild on October 06, 2009, 07:14 AM report to moderator
47 Points

My first post ever. I love Dudley.

Posted by Marron on October 06, 2009, 07:29 AM report to moderator

I absolutely agree wif Harry. He is actually luckier compare wif Dan who always gains the attention.

Posted by lilyluna on October 06, 2009, 07:56 AM report to moderator
13519 Points

Wow, I really didn’t recognize him from the picture!

Posted by jenge {Meredith Mooncloud} ~ [ITC!] on October 06, 2009, 08:19 AM report to moderator
374 Points

Nice interview! I didn’t recognize him when I look the picture! Looks completely different.

Posted by Rossonera on October 06, 2009, 09:22 AM report to moderator
925 Points

Interesting point of view! Let us hope that he doesn’t spend too much time “resting”. A large nest egg, I am sure, can be a big comfort.

Posted by Graymayne on October 06, 2009, 09:39 AM report to moderator
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