So this post was inspired by my ex. Last summer we were watching Sense and Sensibility (1995), as part of a deal we made, and he noticed that a lot of the same actors were in Harry Potter. So I, being the huge Jane Austen fan I am, decided I would compile a list of actors who crossed over from adaptions of the Jane Austen novels into the world of Harry Potter.
Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Series and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
So many of you out there know of Severus Snape the Potions instructor from Harry Potter. He is first depicted as a mean, bulling, horrible teacher who dislikes Harry with a fiery passion.
Harry thinks Snape is a truly evil character, but it is later revealed that Snape is secretly helping and aiding Harry, working as a double agent against Voldemort.
He loved Harry’s mother Lily, and tried to do everything in his power to protect her. Loving her ’till he died.
Well Alan Rickman played Severus Snape in all the Harry Potter films, and also played Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995).
Colonel Brandon is one of the best Austen heroes. He has such a sad backstory, but still remains kind and good-hearted. When he was younger he fell in love with a girl, but his father broke them up. He went on to India, but she went down an awful life as she fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant. She died young, but Brandon took care of her child, raising it as his own. He then falls for Marianne, not caring that she had no fortune, but instead loving her mind and spirit. He is rich and of high social standing, but doesn’t allow those customs to dictate the ways of his heart. He continues loving her and even though she may not care for him, he still wishes her well.
When she is injured and caught in the rain, he carries her to safety. When she catches a cold and almost dies he travels a great distance to bring her mother to her. He is such a kind, generous, and one of the most amazing Austen men.
Both are men who are absolutely romantic, continuing to love their first love and will do anything to help their children. Snape becomes a double agent to protect Harry, all without his knowing. Brandon cares for the daughter of his first love, treating her as if she was his own. They are just amazing characters that you can’t help but love them. Truth be told, I would marry either one.
For more on Snape go to Even After All This Time: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
For more on Colonel Brandon go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault
Elizabeth Spriggs as the Fat Lady in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
The Fat Lady is the portrait that guards the Gryffindor chamber. The kids have to give her the password before they are allowed in.
Mrs. Jennings is Lady Middleton’s mother, Sir John Middleton’s mother-in-law. She is kind and caring, always trying to send the Dashwoods extra food or inviting them to dinner as she knows the family has a fixed budget. She also invites the girls to join her for a season in London, knowing that they could never afford such a luxury. When stupid Willoughby breaks Marianne’s heart, Mrs. Jennings is in her camp and ready to skin him alive. However, her gossipy and meddlesome ways, does at times make her a difficult person to like all the time.
These two characters aren’t very similar, although they both like to state their views. After the first film, they change the Fat Lady, but I don’t care for those depictions as much as I liked Elizabeth Spriggs.
For more Mrs. Jennings, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: Homespun Bride
Emma Thompson as Professor Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter Series and as Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Now the Sybill Trelawney costume is done so well that many of you probably didn’t recognize her. But Trelawney is played by Emma Thompson, who not only wrote the Sense and Sensibility screenplay, but also was one of the lead characters, Elinor Dashwood.
Professor Trelawney is the divination teacher, and I have to side with McGonagall that I feel she makes up more than what she actually sees. But at times she does see things, such as she predicted the destruction of Voldemort. She also predicted the return of Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort.
Elinor is very different from Prof. Trelawney. Elinor is always sensible and quiet, keeping all her feelings and thoughts inside her head, never spouting them off at random times. She is very serious as everything to keep the house going and family together falls on her.
This two are nothing alike at all.
For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas
Gemma Jones is Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
In Deathly Hallows, Madame Pomfrey is a great healer. She is able to fix everything, from Hermione’s cat appearance to Harry’s broken arm. She is always in charge, cool, collected, and knows just what to do.
Mrs. Dashwood on the other hand is nowhere near the level of Madame Pomfrey. Truth be told we never see how she acts pre-grief, but after the death of her husband she lost in it. Besides the grief/loss, she is also being kicked out of her home, losing everything she owned, forced to move, and is put in conditions she never thought she would be a part of. She does not cope well, both living in the past and doing nothing; leaving everything for her daughter Elinor to take care of.
For more on Mrs. Dashwood, go to A Family Affair
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Charlotte Palmer in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
So as Dolores Umbridge she is evil incarnate. I mean the writing lines in your own blood? How horrifying! How does someone like this work around children? Seriously! And keeping Moody’s eye on her door like some great prize!!! What a, I can’t even say the words…just
She deserved everything she got from the centaurs.
As Palmer though, she isn’t mean or evil, she is just very loud and prattles on ALL the time. You know the type. She is kind of annoying but you love her relationship with her husband (played by Hugh Laurie)
Anyways, even though Charlotte can be annoying and never stops talking, much better than ugh, Umbridge.
Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter Series and Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Now as Fudge, he’s a horrible man. He chooses to be a little ostrich and keep his head in the sand rather than deal with the issues that are abounding. He is also extremely awful in the way he tries to turn everyone against Harry. He even brings dementors to the school and tries to kill Buckbeak. He then becomes so afraid of losing his job as Ministry of Magic that he goes crazy trying to make Dumbledore the villain.
While some find Sir John annoying I think he is a really nice guy. He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life), but he still has a kind and gentle heart. When the Dashwood’s are kicked out of their home, he lets them his cottage for a price far under what it is worth. Not only does he do that, but he invites them over to his house daily, supplying them with food and comfort far beyond their current abilty. He is fiercly loyal and caaring for his friends; standing by Colonel Brandon even when others say things about his rash behavior of breaking up the planned outing. He even forgives Willoughby after the whole Marianne issue. Just an extremely kind man (who definitely deserves more love from the Austen community).
These two guys couldn’t be more different.
For more on Sir John Middleton, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys
Ciaran Hinds is Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) and as Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion (1995)
Now in the films we don’t really get a sense of who Aberforth is. He only comes in at the very end; helping Ron, Hermione, and Harry sneak into Hogwarts for the final battle. He ends up joining the last fight, even though he promised he would do nothing to help his brother as he still blames him for his sister’s death.
Similar to Persuasion, his character Fredrick Wentworth also knows how to hold a grudge. He is upset at Anne for having rejected him all those years ago, but unlike Albus, forgives, moves forward, and the two reconcile.
For more on Captain Frederick Wentworth, go to A Letter of Love: Persuasion (2007)
Fiona Shaw was Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion (1995)
Now here are two characters that couldn’t be more different. As Aunt Petunia, Shaw is just horrible. Petunia is a mean, jealous, cruel, abusive woman. She has always been jealous that her sister Lily had the powers and she had none, therefore unable to go to Hogwarts. She unleashes all her unhappiness and issues on her nephew; locking him in a cupboard, practically starving him, letting her child bully him, etc.
Mrs. Croft on the other hand totally rocks! She and the Admiral’s relationship is so cute as you can see how much the two love each other, so much that Mrs. Croft refuses to stay on land when her husband is at sea, but travels with him as she hates for them to be parted. She also cares deeply about her brother and wants him to be happy. She is so kind to Anne as well and becomes a dear friend to all.
For more on Mrs. Croft, go to Rational Creatures: Anne Elliot, Mrs. Croft, Mrs. Clay, & Louisa Musgrove
Sophie Thompson as Mafalda Hopkirk in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010) and as Mary Musgrove in Persuasion (1995) AND Miss Bates in Emma (1996) AKA the Gwyneth Paltrow Version
Now in the film Malfida Hopkirk doesn’t play as large a role as she did in the book. In the film she seems to be really a nothing character, only being there so Hermione has someone to change into when she, Harry, and Ron are breaking into the Ministry of Magic.
In Persuasion Thomas plays Mary Elliot-Musgrove, Anne’s sister and horribly whiny and annoying. She’s kind of like the Mrs. Bennet of Persuasion. She is the younger sister and has always been jealous of her older and pretty sister Elizabeth, and the nice, quiet, sensitive, sister, Anne. Whenever one of them gets attention she just goes on and on whining about how unfair it is.
Ugh I hate her. I’ll be writing on her more later.
Miss. Bates is a spinster, poor, and dependent on the help of others. She lives through her niece Jane, which subsequently means she will not stop talking about her. Everything makes her think of her, she continuously talks about how perfect she is, going on and on. But unlike Mary, Miss Bates is a nice woman, just lonely and unhappy. But you do understand why Emma has a low tolerance for Jane when she does come to live there.
For more Mary Musgrove, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars
For more on Miss Bates, go to Should We Pity Miss Bates or Strive to Be Her?
Guy Henry plays Pius Thicknesse in the Harry Potter Series and John Knightley in Emma (1996) AKA The Kate Beckinsale Version
Now Pius played a bigger role in the books than they give him in the films. In fact, you hardly spend anytime seing him the film, making him pretty nonexistent.
Guy Henry also plays John Knightly in the Emma (1996) and John is so annoying. He doesn’t care what anyone says only what he thinks is right. He is such a wet blanket and AWFUL I have a whole ‘nother post on him.
For more on John Knightly, go to Take a Chill Pill John Knightley
Mark Williams played Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter Series along with Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility (2008)
As Arthur Weasley, we have the pure, albeit poor, wizard. He is deeply interested in muggle things and always asking questions on what is the purpose of this item or that one.-just utterly adorable!
But don’t let that fool you. He still is a butt-kicking member of the Order of the Phoenix and will do anything in his power to take down Voldemort. He also is a great father to not only his kids, but to Harry and Hermione as well.
Now Sir John is kind and adorable but as said earlier, often people find him annoying. He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life). Now in this remake they toned it down from how active he was in the book and 1995 version, causing his mother-in-law to be the one who really is the busybody.
He is fiercly loyal and caring for his friends and just one of the sweetest guys ever.
Michael Gambon replaced the original Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter Series and is Mr. Woodhouse in Emma (2009)
As Dumbledore, Gambon plays the extremely powerful professor, who has a ton of secrets and never reveals them to Harry Potter-even though most of them have to do with him. Before the death of his sister he was wild, opinionated, rash-but after he lost her, he became calm, cautious, tempered, and loved by all the students.
As Mr. Woodhouse, he’s completely different. After he lost his wife to illness, he shrunk as a man. He became very fearful; everything could cause issues and pain, like cake, going outside, etc.
The two are similar in that tragic deaths in their past changed them significantly, but unlike Mr. Woodhouse, Dumbledore isn’t afraid of the world, but afraid of himself.
For more on Mr. Woodhouse, go to All By Myself
All this resulting in:
Robert Hardy also appeared in the 1986 version of Northanger Abbey. A talented actor!
I wasn’t aware of that. Thank you for letting me know.