Netflix‘s latest hit series, The Queen’s Gambit, features some big names, from star Anya Taylor-Joy, to The Outsider‘s Bill Camp and Game of Thrones‘ Thomas Brodie-Sangster. But some Harry Potter fans tuning into the show got a surprise they weren’t expecting when a familiar face popped up in the new chess drama. It’s been a while since he last starred in the fantasy franchise, but dedicated Potterheads recognized Dudley Dursley himself, Harry Melling, as one of Beth’s (Taylor-Joy) chess opponents in The Queen’s Gambit.
If you missed it, Melling first shows up in “Exchanges,” the second episode of The Queen’s Gambit, when Beth enters a chess tournament and faces off against his character, Harry Beltik. Melling appears in four episodes of the show in total, and although he plays a chess master, he’s not exactly a pro in real life. In an interview with People, Melling confessed that he was “awful” when he first picked up the chess pieces to practice for the role. “I didn’t know how to play,” he said. “I knew a chessboard, I knew what the pieces looked like, but I had no idea how they moved, where they went, what the rules were. So I was starting from scratch.”
The actor also admitted that he’s much less recognized now, pointing to his weight loss since appearing in Harry Potter. “I went to drama school when I was 18 and that’s kind of where the weight shifted, not for any sort of major need on my side, but it’s just something that just happened,” he said. “And I’ve done a lot since drama school, went to do lots of theater. I think one of the blessings of that sort of stage in my life was the fact that I didn’t get recognized. I had this history of being part of the films, but also I felt like I had the opportunity to sort of cause a new start, which I think is useful.”
And at first, fans certainly didn’t recognize Melling in his latest role. “I just realised that Dudley Dursley was one of the hot chess conquests in The Queen’s Gambit and I am shook,” one wrote on Twitter.
The Queen’s Gambit isn’t the only project Melling has appeared in since Harry Potter. In fact, he’s been keeping busy over the years, starring in Netflix films like The Old Guard and The Devil All the Time, as well as His Dark Materials, The Lost City of Z, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Next up, you can see him as Malcom in Joel Cohen’s adaptation of Macbeth, which he’ll star in with his Queen’s Gambit costar Moses Ingram and Harry Potter costar Brendan Gleeson.
Author : mliss1578