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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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117 Comments

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1479 Points

He’s guilty he lost wait!He should be proud!

Posted by magicmaniac on October 07, 2009, 09:00 AM report to moderator
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16258 Points

he still plays dudley pretty well. dudley is a spoiled a-hole and he does it great.

Posted by Gryffindor1991 {ROAR!!!} on October 07, 2009, 10:17 AM report to moderator
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4852 Points

good interview!

Posted by #1 Witch ROAR! on October 07, 2009, 10:20 AM report to moderator
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3560 Points

He looks good now that he lost all that weight.

Posted by Brosia, OoM 2 [WBM] on October 07, 2009, 11:20 AM report to moderator
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3560 Points

Hope to see him soon!

Posted by Brosia, OoM 2 [WBM] on October 07, 2009, 11:20 AM report to moderator
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272 Points

Wow he was related to Dr Who, haha. I’m excited to see where hes gonna go, and what he’s going to do in the future. He looks really good lately, glad hes back in the 7th film :D

Posted by TheGriff [ROAR!] on October 07, 2009, 11:42 AM report to moderator
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6921 Points

Nice interview. I wish him the best of luck. And he does do a great job as Dudley.

Posted by badger666 on October 07, 2009, 12:18 PM report to moderator
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240 Points

He sounds awesome, and way to be positive on being cast as such a dreadful character as Dudders! I hope he is really successful with his career.

And he’s pretty cute now, too…

Posted by Scribbled [WBM] on October 07, 2009, 12:35 PM report to moderator
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113 Points

o my lord, i never realized how awesomely hot he is! i just wanna hug him or something! lol <3

Posted by watchmen_roadkiller on October 07, 2009, 01:33 PM report to moderator
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82 Points

He seems pretty nice. i think they should have incorporated the dursleys more into the movies

Posted by SharonE on October 07, 2009, 01:35 PM report to moderator
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2404 Points

It’s refreshing to hear from the ‘other’ Harry.

Posted by bookishgal,OoM3,GS on October 07, 2009, 05:00 PM report to moderator
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32 Points

wow it must be weird filming Harry potter when your character is not harry but your name is!!!!

Posted by whitehorse on October 07, 2009, 08:01 PM report to moderator
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32 Points

wow it must be weird filming Harry potter when your character is not harry but your name is!!!!

Posted by whitehorse on October 07, 2009, 08:01 PM report to moderator
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121 Points

It’s nice to read about interviews with minor characters. I hope his career takes off.

Posted by Genine_Malfoy on October 07, 2009, 08:02 PM report to moderator
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6941 Points

I’m happy for him that he lost weight, and it wouldn’t be the same if they recast his character.
I’m glad to see that they are going to include the Dursley’s in DH, for awhile there I thought that they weren’t going to sign back on as the Dursley’s. I knew they had to include them in DH seeing as it is the last film, they need to include everything!

Posted by harrypotter1991{ROAR} on October 07, 2009, 11:56 PM report to moderator
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