“Cursed Child” Stars Discuss the Special Place “Potter” Holds in Their Lives

Every Potterhead has a unique story regarding how the wizarding world became influential in their life, and the film and Broadway casts are no exception. In an interview with PopSugar, proud Gryffindor Nicholas Podany (Albus Potter) and Hufflepuff Bubba Weiler (Scorpius Malfoy) discussed the role Harry Potter has played in their lives since before their casting in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Podany’s mother started reading the books to him when he was six years old, and the rest is history. Harry Potter was a creative outlet for him during his youth and continues to be so on Broadway.

[She] read me to sleep with them. She’s from England originally, and she did all the dialects of the characters. That’s what made me want to be an actor, was her reading the stories. Then I was like, ‘I want to tell stories myself’ [and] found out I could. I wasn’t good at sports anyway, so I got to put that energy somewhere else.

Weiler, on the other hand, says he had a “traumatic experience” with the Potter books as a kid. His first encounter with them was neither magical nor immersive.

When I came back from third grade, everybody had read the ‘Harry Potter’ books over the summer, and I hadn’t. So I just lied to everybody and told them I had so I could hang out and talk about them. I just lied my way through all of it.

The deceiving plan backfired when Weiler tried to attend a Harry Potter birthday party and flunked the trivia game for admission.

In order to get into the birthday party, you had to answer trivia questions. It was like giving a password to the common room. And all these kids just watched me get a very obvious ‘Harry Potter’ answer wrong, and everyone was like, ‘He has not read that book.’ So I was just ashamed and was just like, ‘The whole thing is not for me.’

Weiler’s mentality toward the series changed in college. His best friend was a major Potter fan and insisted he read the first book for her 21st birthday. Weiler shared in the universal feeling of being captured by the magic.

I became very obsessed. I remember when I was reading them, people would come up to me on the train, and they’d be like, ‘Oh my god. You’re rereading?’ And I’d be like, ‘Actually, this is my first time.’ And that person would be like, ‘Oh.’ And then they’d be like, ‘Oh!’ And I’d watch them get so excited for me.

Weiler feels that he did not miss out or join the Potter craze too late because “everyone’s always down to talk about Harry Potter and “still excited about it.” This remains true for Cursed Child. Podany and Weiler both agree that the wizarding world means a lot many people. However, neither was nervous about taking their roles as Albus and Scorpius.

There are so many people who this story means so muc[m]h to. So there is the pressure to get it right for them, but at the same time, because they love it so much, the audiences approach our story with so much openness and love that it makes it so much easier. It doesn’t so much feel you’re doing it for them as you’re doing it with them. Making the transition to being a part of this world and giving magic to the audience and to the kids in the audience feels exactly the same as being in the audience and being a kid in that audience waiting for the books. It all feels magical.

Podany says, “Even though there’s a lot more of a budget behind my current wand, my stick wand when I was a kid felt just the same,” and Weiler adds, “It’s like getting to live out your childhood fantasies and also having it be your job. That[‘s] the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to do.”

Share your earliest memory of Harry Potter below and see Cursed Child‘s newest arrivals at Broadway’s Lyric Theatre!