How Domhnall Gleeson's Harry Potter Role Helped Him Play Star Wars' General Hux

Domhnall Gleeson's General Hux looking stern in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

On the surface, two characters can't be much more different than Bill Weasley and General Armitage Hux. Bill Weasley is an effortlessly cool wizard who wears a ponytail and a fang earring, and works as a curse breaker for Gringotts Bank. He also happens to be quite the ladies man, having married the gorgeous Fleur Delacour. General Hux, on the other hand, is a cripplingly uptight military man and loud talker whose volume is matched only by his cruelty and ambition. Despite their differences, these two characters are both played by Domhnall Gleeson, and it turns out that his role in Harry Potter actually helped the actor when it came time for Star Wars, as he explained:

Harry Potter was the best possible training for that. I felt a little worried about fan reaction, but you can't control that; all you can do is your job. General Hux is ridiculous in lots of ways, but not in a hilarious way. But just anything to do with that level of...what's the word? Pomp and all the rest of it, the higher reigns of military, all the badges and the medals. At a certain point you say, 'Why is that man wearing that hat? That doesn't make him more powerful.'

His part as Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the first role in a major blockbuster film for Domhnall Gleeson. More than just being the closing chapter in a beloved franchise, Harry Potter is also based on a beloved book series, and fans had been waiting to see Bill Weasley (who shows up earlier in the books) for some time, so there were massive expectations that came with that. Because he had that experience on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he was better prepared for that kind of pressure when he took on a role in perhaps the biggest franchise of them all, with maybe the most intense fans: Star Wars.

It sounds like getting used to that pressure with a small part in the final two Harry Potter films gave Domhnall Gleeson a sense of what to expect and how to deal with it when it came time for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where he had a bigger role as one of the main villains. As he told Entertainment Weekly, you can't control fan reaction; all you can do is your job. That may seem obvious, but experience is the best teacher and it sounds like that really helped him when it came time to stop fighting dark wizards and start fighting space wizards.

Speaking about the character of General Hux, Domhnall Gleeson acknowledges that General Hux is a bit ridiculous and extreme, adorning himself in the garb of military might. Although personally, I would say that that ridiculousness does give way to some humor at Hux's expense, as he is laughed at by the enemy and dragged in front of his subordinates by his superiors. He definitely does not command the same level of respect that Grand Moff Tarkin did, and that's part of what makes his relationship with Kylo and the First Order in general so different than that the Empire.

Domhnall Gleeson returns as General Hux in the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: Episode IX, in theaters on December 20, 2019. Before that though, we get to return to the Wizarding World in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, apparating into theaters on November 16. For all of the biggest movies still to come this year, check out our release calendar.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.