Our Wizard’s Council convenes to consider the question of the hour: What do we think of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast?
PLEASE NOTE: THIS POST IS *SPOILER FREE*
Welcome to the Wizard’s Council. Back in olden days, before the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy in 1692, the Wizarding world was governed by the Wizard’s Council. This was the longest serving ruling body over the Wizarding World in history, and though it was disbanded in 1707 with the founding of the Ministry of Magic, it was still considering one of the wisest and august bodies to ever rule the UK and Irish Wizarding Worlds. (Sadly, the same cannot be said for the Ministry, which seems to only be as good as it’s current Minister.) Here at Wizards and Whatnot, we come together once again as this august body to think deeply on the issues of our time.
KATIE: On the whole, I think this cast looks great—certainly better than the age-ups of the Warner Bros.’ cast at the close of Deathly Hallows, Part 2. While the Cursed Child actors don’t much resemble their film counterparts, they all bring a unique look to the characters that may be new, but fitting all the same.
Paul Thornley strikes me as particularly well-suited to his role as Ron Weasley; he’s just got The Look. Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy certainly has the physical looks of his father’s family, but based on photos he seems to be without the usual Malfoy swagger, and a little more reserved than the likes of Draco and Lucius. I was initially surprised that Draco would sport the long-haired look as Lucius does in the films, but that reaction was short-lived; after all, we all end up taking after our parents in some small ways, at least, whether intentionally or not, so it’s true to form that Draco would do the same.
While at first the fact that Albus is wearing his brother’s hand-me-downs gave me pause—why wouldn’t he be treated to new clothes as James was?—but then, we have to figure that Ginny would be more pragmatic than that. She grew up poor, and it likely taught her to be more resourceful and far less wasteful; she may be financially well-off now, but that wouldn’t make her frivolous. Furthermore, speaking as someone with three siblings, one of whom is a younger sister, I can attest to the fact that hand-me-downs and trade-offs are common practice, and not at all a bad thing. Why get rid of useful things when you can toss them on your sibling’s bed instead? Perhaps there’s more to it within the context of the narrative, but for now it seems to be a non-issue.
And that’s all she wrote—I do wish we’d been given a look at the rest of the cast, but no dice. So all I can say of the characters otherwise is that the Cursed Child team has done a bang-up job of keeping their respective actors under wraps. The Game of Thrones team might do well to offer these producers jobs; their secret-keeping skills are unmatched by anything I’ve seen before.
AYESHA: I think that the cast looks much better than I anticipated. I think they did a good job of incorporating book descriptions into their character designs, and I especially appreciate that Harry’s hair is both messy and black. I think that’s a lot of what the issue comes down to for me; actors will look as they are presented by those creating the production. Of all the reveals, I think my favourite has to be the Weasleys, because their portrait really gives off the vibe of the characters who inspired them. Hermione’s instinct to be organized, Ron’s more casual approach, and Rose who looks like she has elements of both her parents’ personalities.
I am curious about how Price and Boyle will be characterized as the Malfoys, because I think Lucius’ influence on Draco’s character in this play might go deeper than the hair. In contrast to the warm and friendly look of the Weasleys, Scorpius and Draco are posed more stiffly, and I’d even say that Scorpius looks scared or uncomfortable. Perhaps the smugness of pure-bloods has died down since Voldemort’s fall, but I’m wondering if that look of unease is because of the dynamic between the two characters, their position in the story, or both.
As far as the Potters go, I’m loving Poppy Miller as Ginny Weasley. She seems to have just the right amount of attitude while still believably being a parent. Albus and Harry, while not necessarily derived from the sort of note on which we left Harry at the end of Deathly Hallows, probably seem a bit less affectionate because it’s likely to be a subject of tension in the play. I would be uncomfortable if someone named me Albus Severus too.
I’m really eager to see what they’ll be doing with the other Potter and Weasley children. You’d think they’d be revealed in this kind of family portrait-style promotion. Like Katie said, it seems mum’s the word on the other actors, but what I’ve seen so far of their casting is promising. The next big question about the actors is how they’re choosing to portray these beloved characters.
KELLY: After seeing the photos of the Harry Potter cast for the Cursed Child, I was both excited and sad. Sad because it was weird seeing the characters we grew up with and loved looking so different and being played by different actors. I mean, I think we can all admit we would have loved to see Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson reprise their roles. However, after I got over the fact that of course different actors needed to be cast, I was quite impressed by the photos, especially the younger actors. I was filled with excitement wondering where this new story would take us and how their story would compare to the original Hogwarts narrative. I also really love the casting of Hermione and her daughter. In fact, I’m really excited to see (fingers crossed, one day!) Noma Dumezweni in action and hope she shuts her haters down. In fact, from the reviews I have read, it sounds like she is one of the breakout stars of the play.
I am most intrigued by Scorpius Malfoy, especially based on J.K. Rowling’s comment that she no doubt thinks girls will be big fans of his and considering the past Malfoys we got to know were not very likeable. After reading reviews of the play, it also sounds like he is a fan favorite. It would be interesting to see if he plays more of a good guy protagonist opposed to Draco’s villain. Maybe Scorpius is Albus’ best friend? Maybe they are enemies like their fathers were? What if Albus is the Slytherin and Scorpius is the Gryffindor? So many options!
I guess we will have to wait to find out.
RYAN: At the end of The Deathly Hallows Part 2, the age up wasn’t the best, but I’m still glad it was done. It was something that fans would definitely want in the film. With the recent reveal of some of the Cursed Child cast, I have to say, job well done. The cast we have seen so far looks like they were molded directly from the epilogue itself. It’s just weird and saddening to see different faces on the roles we all know so well. But we can’t have Felton, Grint, Watson and Radcliffe forever, they have passed on the baton now.
The Malfoys look perfect from the cast reveal of them. One look at Boyle, cast to play Scorpius, and I instantly saw a young Felton from the films. But can we talk about how worried and slightly scared he looks? Is it his relationship with his father Draco? Is it the Malfoys’ reputation after the fall of No-Nose? We will have to wait and see. Seeing Malfoy with Lucius-like hair is not a surprise, one would figure he would wear his hair long. I feel it is a nod to Malfoy’s childhood and his relationship with his father.
The Weaselys looks just like that, the Weaselys. Actually I stand corrected the “Granger-Weaselys.”
Parker is a spot on Ron, jumper and all. The play version flows from film Ron very well. Ron always seemed to not have a fashion sense and dressed untidy. Play version appears to follow suit. Dumezweni has fit nicely into the Greatest Witch of Her Age’s shoes very well. She has that Hermione feel to her. As for race, I couldn’t care less. It never said Hermione was white in the books, this is just we pictured her.
And last, The Potters. Is Albus Severus Potter the cursed child? He should be with a middle name like that. I have always disliked Snape, so I was bummed Harry named Albus after him. With that said, the Potter family looks like they jumped out from the book. Harry’s hair is still a disaster, and both Harry and Ginny are humble about their looks. Harry will always be famous, but it has never gone to his head (ok maybe a little when he was The Chosen One). The fact that Albus is wearing his brother James’ hand- me-downs incorporates Ginny’s childhood, and I love that touch.
I can’t wait to see more of Cursed Child!
DAN: I echo what a lot of you guys have already said. Overall, the cast looks great. Sure, some of the actors cast as kids don’t look exactly like kids, but it’s theater, and the theatergoers won’t be right up in their faces, so it’s fine. Among the children, I agree with Ayesha that, as Rose Granger-Weasley, Charrelle Skeete stands out. I absolutely see elements of both Ron and Hermione in there (and maybe Fred and George as well, given that mischievous smile). Noma Dumezweni also looks perfect as Hermione–few things say Hermione Granger like crossed arms and a no-nonsense expression.
With their sneers and scowls, the Malfoys were always a little cartoony, and it looks like Alex Price will continue that tradition as a middle-aged Draco. Still, far and away the most interesting cast portrait has to be Anthony Boyle’s as Scorpius Malfoy. I know I’m repeating what some of you have already said, but his body language is a picture of unease, and if he was raised by the stern-faced Draco we see here, that’s not surprising. Scorpius’ photo is the one that has the most interesting implications for the way the story will unfold.
The cast members are in place, and they look solid. I’m extremely ready to see these people in action. Or at least to hear about what they were like in action, and to hope that Warner Bros. will do everything in its power to bring them to the big screen, which is an opportunity I can’t see the studio passing up.
MARNIFER: I have to throw my hat in with the majority because these cast photos are great. Each actor captures the spirit of the characters we love, and in the younger actors I see traits which have clearly passed down to the next generation. There’s a rightness to the family portraits which is exciting and encouraging.
I was particularly struck by the Malfoys. Each family picture features a parent’s hand on their child’s shoulder. For the Potters and the Granger-Weasleys, it is mom’s hand imparting protective love. But with Astoria Malfoy missing, Draco’s hand on Scorpius is authoritative and intimidating. Moreover, with Draco wearing his hair long I see ripples of legacy. He seems to have taken up Lucius’ heavy-handed fathering, and its effects are all over Scorpius’ face. And in Alex Price’s confrontational image it’s clear that this Draco has not mellowed, no sir.
Scorpius actor Anthony Boyle reminds me of a bit of Michael Cera. In Boyle’s solo portrait, there’s an interesting conflict running across his expression which lends the character an immediate vulnerable likability. His pose is cocky and meant to convey arrogance, but there’s unmistakeable worry in those eyes.
Our Wizard’s Council meets every other week, unless there is an emergency session. Check out our other entries here.