Chris Rankin (born November 8, 1983) is an actor and producer for theater and film living in Mid Wales, United Kingdom. Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Chris moved (with his family) to Norfolk, UK, at the age of six. At age eleven he began acting in school and, at 17, he was cast as Percy Weasley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
I feel very happy that people appreciate the work I do and who I am. I still think that I’m the same guy I was before Potter came along. I’m no celebrity, and I don’t want to be. I like doing the work I do, it’s just a job at the end of the day, and if people get enjoyment out of it – I’ve done the job well.
Chris co-founded the Painted Horse UK Theatre Company in 2004 and performed in its first two productions, “Hedda Gabler” and “Salome.” In 2012, Chris graduated from the University of Lincoln with a degree in Media Production. In January 2013, Chris married his long-time girlfriend Megan Rankin née Walker. He continues to act and produce for theater and film today.
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Chris first became involved with the Potter films after hearing about a casting call on the BBC’s program Newsround. Told by his friend who was applying for Ron, Chris decided to submit a photo and letter for the role of Percy, which was the most logical choice since he was not a twin and was too old for Ron.
I sent in a letter saying, ‘Dear Sir or Madam, I m interested in playing Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films. This is why: I was a prefect at school, I’ve got ginger hair, I’ve been in these shows, I’ve done these plays. Here’s a photo of me. Sincerely, Chris Rankin.’ It’s kind of weird, still!
After four months of silence, Chris received a call in August 2000, asking him to meet with a casting director the following day. Two days after this meeting, he met with producers and director Chris Columbus, and five days later he began work on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
I sent them a photo of me, a list of all the shows I’d been in at school, local youth theatre, and didn’t hear anything. Two weeks went by, nothing, so I gave up. Six months later they rang and said, ‘What are you doing tomorrow? Would you like to come for an audition?’ I said, “Okay!” They faxed me through a couple of pages of script and I looked at that. I went down the next day and met the casting director and had an audition with her. She said, ‘Yeah, okay, do you want to come down and meet the director and the producers in a couple of days at the studio?’ So I did. She rang the next day and said, ‘You’ve got it! We start next week.’ It was really surreal. It happened so fast.
Chris rode with actress Emma Watson on their first day to the studio where a table read-through of the script was to take place, with all of the veteran British stage and screen actors present, as well as author J.K. Rowling.
I think the best scene that I’ve filmed was the one in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when we’re all sitting around the table having breakfast. That was just really, really fun working with all the Weasley family. We had a good laugh, and Julie Walters who plays Mrs. Weasley is the funniest person ever. We spent days just giggling. They’d mess up tapes on purpose and just play practical jokes on us. That was fun. I think working with them was sort of the highlight.
Chris has always been very grateful for his experiences with the Potter films and he has completed an undergraduate degree in Film Production at the University of Lincoln in Lincoln, England which he attended before and after filming the final two Potter films.
Did you know…?
- While he landed the role of Percy in the Potter series, that isn’t his favorite Weasley. Chris favors Arthur Weasley, stating that he is the type of dad he’d like to have.
- Chris considers himself a Ravenclaw.
- Occasionally, Chris replies to fan letters in character as Percy.
- In addition to film and stage, Chris also does voice work.
Work on Fandom
Work on Fandom
Chris has long been fascinated with the role that fans play in popular works of literature. He is, self-described, a “regular” at Harry Potter fan conventions dating back to 2005, and even wrote his undergraduate dissertation at the University of Lincoln on the subject of “Will the Harry Potter fan community survive once the saga ends?” The entire dissertation was made available following the fan conference Ascendio in August 2012 via Chris’s official website.