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 Harry Potter 1-8 (2001-2011) 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
For more on Col. Brandon go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault
Elizabeth Spriggs who played the Fat Lady in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and also played 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.
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 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows Part 2. She also played 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.
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Unbridge in Harry Potter also plays Mrs. Charlotte Palmer.
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 played Fudge in Harry Potter and Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility.
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 playes Aberforth Dumbledore
Now in the films we don’t really get a sense of who Albus 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 her and the two reconcile. However, he is still adorable and wonderful.
For more on Captain Frederick Wentworth, go to A Letter of Love
Fiona Shaw was both Aunt Petunia in Harry Potter 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! Her 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 tries to help him pick the right girl. She is so kind to Anne as well and becomes a dear friend to all.
For more on Mrs. Croft, go to A Frederick Wentworth Sighting
Now Sophie Thompson is a real wonder, being in two Jane Austen films
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.
Now in Persuasion Thomas plays Mary Musgrove, not the most important character but still more crucial. Mary is Anne’s sister and horribly whiny and annoying. She’s like the Mrs. Bennet of Persuasion. She is the younger sister and has always been jealous of her eldest 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.
As Mrs. Bates she’s not much better. Mrs. Bates is a spinster and unlike Emma, she is 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, ugh so annoying.
But she is a nice woman, just lonely and unhappy so you can’t totally hate her. But you do understand why Emma has a low tolerance for Jane when she comes to live there.
Guy Henry plays Pius Thicknesse in Harry Potter and John Knightly in Emma
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.
He plays John Knightly in the Emma (1998). 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 Knightly
Mark Williams played Arthur Weasley, along with Sir John Middleton from Sense and Sensibility (2008)
As Arthur Weasley, we have the purebred, 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. He is 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 massive brood, but to Harry and Hermione as well.
Now Sir John is kind and adorable but 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 caaring for his friends; standing by Colonel Brandon even when others say things about his rash behavior of breaking up the outing. He even forgives Willoughby after the whole Marianne issue. One of the sweetest guys ever.
Michael Gambon replaced the original Albus Dumbledore along with 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. He is very wise and personable. Also 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.
All this resulting in:
For more on Emma, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines
For more on Persuasion, go to Part VII: It Was Said One Night
For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys