Harry Potter actress Jessie Cave turned in a strong performance as Lavender Brown in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, but unfortunately, her return to the franchise for Deathly Hallows didn’t go quite so well, at least behind the camera. The comedian, who is about to release her debut novel entitled Sunset, recently reflected on her time working on the incredibly popular franchise, and she was open about how uncomfortable she felt. Between the films, Cave grew up and as many people do, gained some weight, and when she came back, she was treated “like a different species.”
Her comments came as part of a much longer and fascinating discussion with The Independent ahead of the book release. Jessie Cave touched on a wide variety of personal and professional topics including the death of her brother. As part of the conversation, Harry Potter came up, and she was very honest about her experience and her larger feelings around weight, body image and societal expectations. You can read a portion of the Harry Potter specific quote below...
I gained a lot of weight after doing Harry Potter, just because I wasn’t starving myself, and I was growing up and that’s just what happens. (When I returned for Deathly Hallows) I was treated like a different species. It was horrible. It was probably more me and my insecurity, knowing that I wasn’t fitting into the same size jeans, but it wasn’t a time where actresses were any bigger than a size eight. And in the previous film I had been, and now I was a size 12. So that was horrible. It was a really uncomfortable experience.
Lavender Brown is a key character in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, but after things don’t work out with Ron Weasley, she’s mostly relegated to a bit character for the rest of the series in both the books and the movies (as happens with quite a few others). Jessie Cave can be seen a few times in the last two movies, most prominently in a quick and disturbing scene with Fenrir Greyback and before that, with a larger group in the Room Of Requirement.
During the interview, Jessie Cave, whose baby was diagnosed with Covid earlier this year, also spoke candidly about the attention she received from The Half-Blood Prince and how the feeling of a light being shone on you can go away when you gain weight and how difficult that can be. It led her to feel “invisible.” Here’s more of her quote…
But you get a bit bigger, or you’re not as relevant, and it goes off, and you have to make your way in the dark. I definitely felt invisible when I gained a little bit of weight. And since then, it’s made me have weird issues with weight and work. And it’s so fucked up, but it’s just how it is. Women have to deal with that all the time.
Jessie Cave’s first book, Sunset, is available now and earning strong reviews. It is, by all accounts, as candid and introspective as the quotes above. You can check it out here, and then afterwards, you can rewatch her crush her performance as Lavender Brown in The Half-Blood Prince.