Harry Potter's Harry Melling is far from Dudley Dursley in Netflix film
Harry Melling has done brilliantly to shed the title of Dudley Dursley, no less due to the fact the 31-year-old looks nothing like Harry Potter’s spoilt brat of a cousin anymore – now buried even more so by his turn as a fanatical preacher alongside his Potter alum Robert Pattinson in Netflix’s The Devil All The Time.
That’ll do it.
The actor transitioned into theatre following his days on Privet Drive as the most hated cousin of our generation but has returned to the land of film. Luckily there isn’t the sniff of the idea he’s been typecast from his boyish first role in Hollywood.
Melling plays preacher Roy Laferty (less Reverend Lovejoy, more speaking in tongues), in the star-studded cast that also lists Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan and Riley Keough on the call sheet. And sadly, much like his time as part of the Potter franchise, yet again he and newly-Batmanned Pattinson were passing ships in the night.
While that may be the case, Melling still has a lot of love for Pattinson (who played Cedric Diggory in the Potter franchise), as they come back together on the same project years, and many brilliant roles, after first carving names out at child stars.
‘[In Harry Potter] we never met each other. We did a film in Belfast, [2016’s] The Lost City Of Z, that was the first time we met,’ Melling tells Metro.co.uk. ‘I’m a huge fan of Rob, he’s an amazing actor and I think this year has been such an amazing year for him. It’s always going to be a joy if you’re lucky enough to be in a film with him.’
In his latest pursuit, Melling plays a religious leader in World War II-era Knockemstiff, Ohio, who’s reeled into darkness by sinister characters in the screen adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s award-winning novel.
From pouring a jam jar of (real, may we add) spiders during a particularly maniacal sermon to committing much more heinous acts, without giving anything away, of course, the actor is still acing life as the perfect villainous, tortured character.
He explains: ‘I think it’s always fun to play someone who is complicated. We all are. It’s always fun to play someone that has a lot going on; many shades of things. When you have that living underneath you, you can have fun.’
Since playing Dudley all those years ago, the role has – as it arguably has for his co-stars – followed him around, albeit to a lesser extent seeing as Melling is far from the Dudley we remember from the franchise.
Puberty will do that, we suppose.
Still, there is no denying the power of the franchise and what it has afforded its child stars. There’s still the whiff of bittersweet being able to use it as a launchpad, but the downside is still having it follow you around like a bad dementor.
‘I think there are elements it has allowed opportunity but at the same time, people naturally think of you as a particular thing when you establish yourself in one thing,’ he explains.
‘It was interesting growing up with the Harry Potter films and wanting to go down the theatre route and making that adjustment, and making the adjustment again to more film.
‘I always want to be the actor who does varying roles, and that’s where I really get my kick out of it.’
The actor chuckles at the mention of whether, seeing as he looks nothing like Dudley anymore (in fact, in his final appearances in the franchise, he was nearly recast, having lost so much of the puppy fat that caricatured the role that he donned a fat suit) he’s been able to escape much of the attention actors like Tom Felton might still get for their iconic roles, just by their likeness to the beloved characters.
And yes, we’re well aware it’s been over a decade – but we’re a nostalgic bunch.
‘I was 10, it was a long long time ago,’ Melling muses. ‘It’s nice to be the guy that you’re going, “why do I know him?”.
‘I think there is a lot of ammunition in that as an actor.’
However the star still looks back incredibly fondly of his time on the Warner Bros set.
He went on: ‘To be 10 years old running around that set was crazy and a fantastic experience. An insane one but a wonderful entry point into the world of acting.’
The Devil All The Time will be available on Netflix from September 16.
Source: Read Full Article