Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Where Are They Now: Harry Melling

Curtis Brown Agency
Dudley Dursley isn't the most well-liked Muggle character in the wizarding world. Showered with love by his parents Vernon and Pentunia, and raised with their ignorance, the spoiled child grew up basking in bullying his cousin. The role of Dudley was portrayed by the young actor Harry Melling, who like his co-star Daniel Radcliffe would grow up on-screen. Like many actors in the Harry Potter series, to celebrate Harry Melling's birthday, let's take a look brief at the career Melling has achieved so far and what the actor has been through since the Harry Potter series concluded.

Before entering the Harry Potter cinematic universe as Dudley Dursley, Melling had already begun his career as a child actor on the stage. The London native starred in productions such as The Provoked Wife, King John, Antigone, and Plenty. At eleven years old, Melling snagged the precarious role of the spoiled Dursley, a character who was plump and dumbed down. It was a role that would guarantee him an appearance for five films While appearing in five of the Harry Potter films, he starred alongside his Harry Potter co-star Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley) in a revival of Mother Courage and her Children in 2009 - when Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince movie was released.
"The thing with [having played] Dudley is that you get a call every now and again going, 'We're looking for a really fat rattish guy.' And then my agent has to go, 'Oh, no, sorry. He's changed.'" - The Movie Network
In 2011, Melling almost lost the role for of Dudley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 after undergoing a weight loss transformation while attending drama school. The young star had lost so much weight that he was almost recast, but he ended up reprising his role by wearing a fat suit (a scene that is now famously deleted from the official film). For the final film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the Dursley clan did not make a final appearance in the franchise. On his weight loss, he has said that being able to shed the weight has allowed him to let go of being a child actor and branch out into different roles after playing Dudley. Shaw once described Melling's physical changes as an opportunity to transform into a character actor she knows he has the ability to become.

After the film series ended, Melling returned to the stage where he received rave reviews from critics. Across London, he has starred in numerous productions such from Shakespeare such as King Lear and Robert Askins's Hand to God and James Graham's The Angry Brigade. He continued to make appearances in television and film, though his credits are limited after the Harry Potter franchise. In 2016, he starred alongside Charles Hunnam and fellow Harry Potter co-star Robert Pattinson and in The Lost City of Z, a film about British explorer Percy Fawcett's who attempted to find an ancient lost city in the Amazon. In television, Melling had a supporting role in the BBC One Tv series Merlin in 2010, and as Bastien in the BBC television series The Musketeers in 2016.

As of 2018, there's no public news of his current or upcoming projects. Melling lives a relatively private life in London where he grew up. In the Harry Potter universe, Dudley Dursley will always be a member of the wizarding world. Though Melling gave a part of his acting talent to the film series, we have no doubt that he'll continue to establish himself as a versatile actor for years to come.

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