A whole generation grew up with the magical world of Harry Potter. The story of the orphaned young wizard and his adventures captured the hearts of people all around the world. It’s not for nothing that J.K. Rowling’s books are the bestselling series of all time.
Whenever a book gets a movie adaptation, loyal fans are going to compare the two versions. Almost always, the books are a million times better. Of course, it’s not easy to cram several hundred pages of action into a couple of hours of footage, and it’s impossible to find actors who look exactly like the characters they portray are described in the original text (with few exceptions).
Let’s compare the way some of the main Harry Potter characters look on the big screen with how they are described in the books. This list was compiled by Providr.
1. Harry Potter
The protagonist of the series was played by Daniel Radcliffe. In the books Harry is described as having messy hair just like his father, and more importantly the same green eyes as his mother. The actor’s eyes are blue, and when he got cast in the first movie, he was to wear green contact lenses. Unfortunately, Radcliffe was allergic to them, and after consulting with J.K. Rowling, it was agreed that the main thing was that Harry and his mother had to have same coloured eyes, but not necessarily green.
2. Hermione Granger
One of Harry’s best friends, Hermione was portrayed by the wonderful Emma Watson. The character is supposed to have thick, bushy hair, and large front teeth, so Watson tried on some false teeth in one of the scenes for the first film. However, this idea was scrapped, and the actress’s natural teeth were deemed good enough.
3. Ronald Weasley
Ron Weasley, Harry’s best mate, has a long nose covered in freckles in the books. The character was portrayed by Rupert Grint. Even if the actor’s nose could hardly be described as long, and he obviously has no freckles, we can’t imagine anyone else in this role.
4. Severus Snape
This is one of the exceptions I mentioned earlier. The casting of Alan Rickman as Severus Snape was absolutely spot on. Yes, he is supposed to be a bit younger in the books (Snape is 31 years old in the first one), but Rickman’s masterful performance makes even mentioning that little fact obsolete.
5. Alastor Moody
Former Auror Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody is much more sinister-looking in the books: his whole face is badly disfigured, he is missing a chunk from his nose, and his magical eye wasn’t held in place by a strap. In the movies, he is played by Brendan Gleeson, and it probably was a good idea to tone down the level of scary by leaving his nose intact.
6. Viktor Krum
Bulgarian Quidditch player Viktor Krum was portrayed by Bulgarian actor and bodybuilder Stanislav Yanevski. While the character is said to have a crooked nose, thick eyebrows, and dark hair, the movie execs decided to give him a buzz cut.
7. Mrs. Dursley
Petunia Dursley, Harry’s cold-hearted aunt, was played by Fiona Shaw. The main difference between both versions was the colour of her hair, which is blonde in the books, just like her son Dudley’s. Petunia was also described as having a very long neck, which came in handy as she was often spying on her neighbours.
8. Minerva McGonagall
Dame Maggie Smith is Minerva McGonagall, there’s no two ways about it. Maybe the strict Transfiguration teacher was supposed to be only 56 years old, but you will find no-one complaining about the minute difference.
9. Dolores Umbridge
Dolores Umbridge was arguably the most loathed character of the whole series, hated even more than the Dark Lord himself! Played perfectly by Imelda Staunton, the movie version of the character lacked the large resemblance to a frog often mentioned in the books; Umbridge was said to have round bulging eyes, large mouth, and pale loose skin.
10. Rufus Scrimgeour
Bill Nighy played Rufus Scrimgeour, the Minister for Magic. The movie version of the character appeared a bit muted, because in the books he was described as having a lion’s mane of graying ginger hair and wire-rimmed glasses.
11. Bill Weasley
One of Ron’s many siblings, Bill Weasley was attacked by a werewolf, resulting in his face becoming completely disfigured. While Domhall Gleeson did sport a few scars in the movies, it was significantly less than in the original.
12. Narcissa Malfoy
Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother, was portrayed by Helen McCrory. In the books, the character is described as having long pale blond hair which made her look like a drowned woman. But the stylists in the movie gave her hair two different tones.