If you are drooling over the picture above, then let me tell you, millennials, all of you hated him once.
What?! Don’t looked so shocked. I mean, if not all, at least the Pottermaniac would swear on this.
No?! Still couldn’t recognize?! Ok, to break the suspense, he is actor Harry Melling, aka Dudley Dursey, Harry Potter’s big bully, spoilt-brat cousin. Welcome to WatchTank, and today we are counting down picks to reveal the top ten things you never knew about Harry Melling. Realization time over?! Now, apart from his portrayal of Harry Potter’s cousin, Melling had recently wooed the audiences, winning hearts and praises for portraying Steven Merrick in The Old Guard.
How about a quick background check?!
Born in London, on 31st March 1989, Melling had his schooling done in St Paul’s Primary School, Hendon School, and Mill Hill School.
Melling had a good stint with the theatres, where he got to perform in prominent stage productions like The Provoked Wife, King John, Antigone, and Plenty. He had also portrayed the role of Robert Brown in the BBC television series Just William.
With that interesting career graph, aren’t we all keen to reveal more about Melling? Let’s hit the section below for that.
10. The massive weight loss
The above images depict the change. Could anyone ever imagine that Dursey, the over-sized, spoilt-brat grumpy kid whose only joy was to trouble Harry, would turn such a hot mess?!
The eleven-year-old obese kid in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to 2010’s twenty-one-year-old Melling in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the change was remarkable and unrecognizable.
Melling had shed sixty pounds and did not match an inch with the Dursey we had known. The makers also thought the same and decided to recast someone else for the role. However, Melling reprised his role back by donning a fat-suit.
That was a remarkable change for sure when Melling decided to go from fat to fit and get rid of those extra kilos. To quote him, ‘I can now shed the child-actor thing, like the fat, and start a new career, because no one sees me as Dudley’.
Though we loved Melling in his new avatar, didn’t we also miss the cute Dursey?! Think about that.
9. All for a role
Now, all of you must be thinking about the reason behind such a massive weight-loss? Trust me; we are on the same boat.
Irrespective of how much people coax you, taunt you, or request you, unless you have your moment of self-realization, it’s all in vain.
Melling also had his moment of deep realization. Care to know? In 2009, in one of his interviews, he stated that, while performing in one of the National Youth Theatre shows, he had no choice but to play the role of an overweight older man in a play, when he was only fifteen.
That must have been disappointing. But that was also the moment that triggered his inner will for weight loss. He added, ‘It was when I was playing this old fat dad I realized I didn’t want to play those roles for the rest of my life. So I started running; I suppose you could say it was a Forrest Gump moment, I just didn’t stop. I also started eating healthily and going to the gym’.
PS: He confessed that he had thrived on Toffee Crisp, which he could eat that five times a day. But then he started eating sensibly, and the weight dropped gradually.
8. A hated character that got better with time
As millennials, we have grown up with Harry Potter, signifying both the movies and books. True for you, also?!
We grew up with the characters, saw them unfold, and lived their transitions, twists, and surprises. Few of the characters were earmarked for changes for better like, for instance, Dursey.
In the entire Harry Potter series, he started as a brat fat kid, but gradually started changing for better as the movie goes by. The change is for the better depicted by a particular scene that stated the departure between Dudley from Harry. That scene had emotional dialogues between Harry and Dudley, where Dudley said, ‘I don’t think you are a waste of space’, to which Harry replied, ‘That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me!’
This one scene was more than enough to reveal the relationship between what they shared. Though it got edited from the movie, you can still watch it on YouTube.
Yet, Melling is a seasoned actor and was superb in his portrayal of Dursey.
7. Credited for doing stunts
Cutting out the nostalgia, it’s time for the real action now. Did you get that?! From the bully and brat cousin to a villainous entrepreneur- Melling had a leap for sure. Ok, to state clearly, we are discussing his latest Netflix release, The Old Guard, where he portrays the role of Steven Merrick, or ‘the youngest CEO in pharma’, as he introduced himself.
What was the best part of his role? Melling got to do the stunts himself. To this, he added that ‘I say this with a huge amount of pride because often on this shoot I was sort of watching all the other actors do their amazing choreography bits and being exploded and all sorts. And actually, at the end, without giving too much away, let’s just say I was sort of on a whole wire system levitating in the air. That was pretty exciting. You know, I don’t usually get to do stunts. So, for me that was a very exciting moment’.
Missing put on the excitement?! Get hooked on to The Old Guard.
6. Opting for versatility
All the characters that Melling have opted for, to date, speak of immense versatility.
Melling wants to test his acting skill by taking up the challenge to play characters with several hues. The fact is comprehensible if we have a glimpse of his career graph that lists movies like The Devil all the time, The Old Guard, The Ballard of Buster Scruggs, and of course, the Harry Potter franchise. He never failed to amaze his audiences with the variation.
PS: In case you are more of a Netflix person, do not forget to watch Melling’s miniseries titled The Queen’s Gambit, set to premiere this year. All set to watch?!
5. The star kid minus the starry baggage
Harry Melling has a family legacy. He belongs to the famous Troughton acting dynasty.
To turn back the pages, his grandfather was Patrick Troughton, who was known for his second doctor’s role in Doctor Who (1963). Besides, he is also the nephew of actors David Troughton, and Michael Troughton. The cherry on the top remains that he is also the first cousin of actor Sam Troughton and Warwickshire cricketer James ‘Jim’ Troughton.
For a person who is such a fine actor himself, and belonging to such a prodigy of famous people, it was possible for him to turn into a haughty star kid with tantrums. Instead, he opted for a low profile and paved on success with hard work and struggle.
Another reason to love him?!
4. Started from a tender age
Harry Melling had the potential of being an actor from a very young age. Why?! He used to set up stage shows and perform for his family when he only four. That was for sure, a great start- what say?!
3. Fair use of the lockdown period
What was your lockdown routine?! Learn something protective?
As for Melling, Netflix was the primary thing for him in this lockdown, though he has also spent some quality time reading books. Books to him always opened up a new perspective and allowed us to see the world in a new way.
2. The love for theatres
Harry’s love for theatres started at a young age. When he was eighteen, he attended the LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). But, he left it early to join the company of Mother Courage and her Children at the National Theatre, along with her on-screen mother, Fiona Shaw.
This followed a series of theatre roles that included Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse, the Old Vic Theatre’s King Lear opposite Glenda Jackson, and as a lead in the West End transfer of hit show, Hand To God.
Way to go, Melling!
Did you know that Melling hated traveling?! Read on for more.
Traveling is never on the list
Melling hates traveling and being late. He just wished if he could reach a place with one click of his fingers.
No one got selected
After Melling’s outstanding performance, the Harry Potter franchise’s casting agents held auditions in his Alma Mater, Hendon School, for the second movie. However, this time no one got selected.
Last but not least, for Melling.
1. Parents’ support in the transition
As per Harry, neither his parents his supported nor stopped him to overeat. Melling felt this part being the most miserable one. It’s normal for children to remain fat. But, if it starts showing adverse effects, and they are not happy in their skin, that’s where the problem begins.
Harry Melling had wooed us with his acting chops. His journey from being fat to fit is an inspirational one and would act as a catalyst to help us reach the goals.
That sums up about Harry Melling. Shower us with your comments, reviews, and suggestions in the section below.