Harry Melling's Life after 'Harry Potter' Included a Weight Loss Journey That Left Him Unrecognizable to Fans

Laura Beatham
Jan 14, 2022
09:20 A.M.
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Former "Harry Potter" star Harry Melling's life after the franchise included many memorable acting roles and a weight loss journey that left him unrecognizable to fans, a fact he once described as a blessing. 

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Harry Melling's career started as a younger child on the set of the highly successful movie franchise, "Harry Potter." Melling played Harry Potter's rude and chubby muggle cousin, Dudley Dursley. 

Although the films started Melling's career, he does not look back on it. Instead, he told The Telegram he is focused on the future and feels distant from the movies. 

Harry Melling pictured as Dudley Dursley in the "Harry Potter" films. [Left] Melling attends "The Tragedy Of Macbeth" European Premier, 2021, London, England [Right] | Photo: YouTube/MOV Clips & Getty Images

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However, he is amazed that "Harry Potter" still have a large presence in the world 20 years after the first film came out. Melling admitted his friends' children watch it and suddenly recognize he is the iconic character. 

The British performer might have started his career with "Harry Potter," but his career certainly did not end with it as he continued to feature in successful movies and TV shows after the franchise. 

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A few of his stand-out performances include "The Old Guard," where he starred with Charlize Theron. He portrayed a preacher alongside Robert Pattison and Tom Holland in "The Devil All The Time."

Another of Melling's acclaimed performances came from his role as chess champion Harry Belkit in the lockdown, Netflix hit "The Queen Gambit." He starred in the series with Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Harry Melling being interviewed ahead of the UK Premiere of "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," 2018, London, England. | Photo: Getty Images

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His most recent movie, "The Tragedy of Macbeth," came out in December 2021. In the Joel Coen drama, Melling portrays Malcolm, the son of Duncan, alongside Brendan Gleeson, Frances McDormand, and Denzel Washington.

Melling is at a high point in his career, and it could perhaps be because a dramatic weight loss left audiences not able to recognize Melling as his "Harry Potter" character. The actor once called this fact a blessing as he said in an interview:

"I think one of the blessings of that sort of stage in my life was the fact that I didn't get recognized... I felt like I had the opportunity to sort of cause a new start."

Harry Melling attends 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs' photocall during the 75th Venice Film Festival, 2018, Venice, Italy. | Photo: Getty Images

His weight loss journey was less of a need or want to lose weight but instead was a part of

growing up

. Melling shared once he had started drama school, moved around more, and ate more sensibly; he lost a considerable amount of weight. 

However, it was not an utterly unconscious decision. Melling admitted that as a teenager, he realized his weight dictated the type of acting roles he got, so he recognized he needed to lose weight to get the parts he wanted. 

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