We watched Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint grow up right before our eyes, but what about the adult stars of the Harry Potter series? What did they look like before they became professors and headmasters?
Keep reading to see what your favorite Hogwarts teachers looked like before Hogwarts was even a thing. The Harry Potter series is full of fantastic British actors who built entire careers before they ever waved a wand or rode a broomstick.
This is a picture of Professor Snape himself— it’s Alan Rickman in a 1978 production of Romeo and Juliet. Rickman plays Tybalt, Juliet’s hot tempered cousin. With a voice like his, it’s hard not to get cast as a villain.
Snape was sort of a villain, but the character gave Rickman room to show off his softer side. Snape’s story will always be one of my favorites in the Harry Potter series.
David Thewlis is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. From his stint as Professor Remus Lupin in Harry Potter to his work on Fargo to his most recent voice acting gig in Big Mouth, this guy’s got range.
Thewlis started his professional acting career back in 1987.
Why yes, that is the gorgeous Mrs. Weasley way before she had seven red-headed children. Julie Walters first gained notoriety for playing the title role in Educating Rita.
She’s won a whole bunch of acting awards, and recently she played Rosie in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
We are truly not worthy of the great Emma Thompson. She was almost unrecognizable as Professor Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter series.
Thompson has been active in the acting community since 1982. This is a photo of her on the set of BBC television adaptation of Olivia Manning’s novels Fortunes of War in 1987.
Gary Oldman played Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies. It seems like every British actor ever got to play a role in the Harry Potter universe.
This man is an acting powerhouse and he’s always been able to completely disappear into a character. It was his work in Sid and Nancy that really put him on the map.
Yes, that is the one and only Dame Maggie Smith. You probably know her best as Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter, or as Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey.
Maggie Smith started acting in 1956, and she’s currently working on a Downton Abbey movie.
Ian Hart played the stuttering Professor Quirrell in the first Harry Potter movie. He also provided the voice for the CGI version of Voldemort affixed for the back of his head.
Hart has also played John Lennon in three different productions, and he played Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the film Finding Neverland.
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter started acting in 1983. She began her film career by playing the title role in Lady Jane, and by playing Lucy Honeychurch in A Room with a View.
She was absolutely terrifying as Bellatrix LeStrange in the Harry Potter films. This lady can really do it all.
Ralph Fiennes looks gorgeous in this headshot, but he looks pretty gruesome when he’s in his full Voldemort makeup. That’s right, this is the Dark Lord himself.
Ralph Fiennes has had an amazing acting career, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon.
This is a young Robbie Coltrane. He started acting in 1979. You probably know him best as Rubeus Hagrid, Hogwarts’ groundskeeper and Care of Magical Creatures teacher.
He looks really different without the long hair and giant beard. Coltrane is currently hosting a true crime series called, Robbie Coltrane Critical Evidence.
David Bradley started acting in 1971. He’s in his late seventies now, but he did a lot of television acting when he was younger.
He played Argus Filch in all of the Harry Potter films, and he played Walder Frey in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
Imelda Staunton was a stage actress who performed in musicals before she became Professor Dolores Umbridge in the final four Harry Potter films.
She looks a lot sweeter in this photo than she did in the movies. A lot of people dislike Professor Umbridge as a character more than they dislike Lord Voldemort.
Warwick Davis has played Ewock Wicket in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Professor Filius Flitwick in the Harry Potter series, and Griphook in the Harry Potter series.
That’s two Harry Potter characters for one brilliant actor. I had no idea that Flitwick and Griphook were played by the same person.
Richard Harris played Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Unfortunately, he died before he could reprise his role as Dumbledore in the remaining six films. His first ever starring role was in The Sporting Life in 1963.
After Richard Harris died, Michael Gambon took over the role of Albus Dumbledore. His performance was different from Harris’, and at first, fans had a hard time adjusting to it.
Jude Law plays a young Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts movies, and a lot of fans think that Jude Law looks a lot like a young Michael Gambon.
Kenneth Branagh played Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. If you studied Hamlet in high school, you probably watched him play the title character while you were trying not to get caught texting in class.
Harry Potter just wouldn’t be an iconic British classic without Kenneth Branagh.
Brendan Gleeson had supporting roles in Braveheart, Lake Placid, Mission Impossible 2, and Gangs of New York before he played Professor Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter Films.
Actually, he played Barty Crouch Jr. disguised as Alastor Moody in the fourth film. Brendan’s son Domhnall Gleeson plays Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films.
John Cleese is best known for cofounding Monty Python and starring in all of the Monty Python films. He played Nearly Headless Nick in the Harry Potter movies, and he voiced Fiona’s father in the last three Shrek films.
This man is a verifiable legend.
Fiona Shaw has been in a whole bunch of successful films including My Left Foot and Anna Karenina. She plays Harry’s Aunt Petunia in all eight of the Harry Potter films.
More recently, Fiona had a supporting role on the Emmy nominated television series, Killing Eve.
Richard Griffiths played Harry’s Uncle Vernon in all of the Harry Potter movies. In this picture, he’s playing Uncle Monty in the movie Withnail & I which was released in 1986.
Griffiths died in 2013 at the age of 65 after complications during heart surgery.