Even “Harry Potter” Actors Have “Normal” Jobs, and That’s Okay

In response to a news article from British tabloid the Mirror, which shamed an actress for taking a job as a security guard after working on a popular soap opera, Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) decided to take matters into his own hands. He responded by writing that, after the Harry Potter films ended, he worked at a pub.

 

While the revelation might sound shocking, it shouldn’t be. Even those we might consider to be celebrities have to make ends meet, which is often a reality of the entertainment industry. Articles geared toward working actors, in fact, also discuss the very subject of what they call “survival jobs”:

Even ‘jobbing actors’ with steady acting work can be in need of extra cash, and some performers have side jobs to prepare for the bad times or keep busy around projects. Having other work also offers actors the ability to say ‘no’ to projects they’d rather not do.

The types of journalists who are prone to behaving like Rita Skeeter should remember that there’s nothing shameful about having another way to pay the bills. Still, somehow, this phenomenon of shaming celebrities for taking on everyday jobs rears its ugly head every now and again.

Following the discussion sparked by his tweet, Rankin spoke with BBC Radio 4 host Samira Ahmed on Front Row to discuss the issue and his own experiences. Matt Hood of Equity, a union for entertainment professionals in the United Kingdom, was also a guest on the radio show.

On the way in which the tabloid story was covered, Hood expressed that it was intrusive.

I thought it was a shameful and unwarranted intrusion into the personal life of someone who’s just doing what many actors do, that they grind to make sure they earn a living.

Rankin described it as “just tedious, really,” and he said that he didn’t think it was newsworthy.

‘Person Gets Job’ is essentially what that headline boils down to, and what that entire story boils down to, and I don’t really see any need for it to be newsworthy.

On that note, Ahmed asked Rankin if he had planned to stay in acting upon completing the Harry Potter films, to which he answered affirmatively.

I mean, it was always my plan to stay in acting. In fact, it was always my plan to be an actor – I just didn’t expect it to happen the way it did.

He went on to explain that the reality is that there are more actors than there are parts. Sometimes, that necessitates that an actor gets another job. For Rankin, of course, that was in the kitchen of a Wetherspoons pub.

I was the guy deep-frying the chips, cooking steaks, and microwaving lasagnas.

While he said that he did get recognized while on the job, that was only because he had to take time off to participate in a BBC event one weekend. Among his Wetherspoons colleagues as well, Rankin stated that it was never an issue that he had been in Harry Potter.

At the end of the day, it shouldn’t be anyone else’s problem that an actor happens to have a job that’s not exactly glamorous. A job is a job, and it shouldn’t matter if it’s magical, Muggle, or microwaving lasagnas.

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Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.