Harry Potter's Jessie Cave says she was "treated like a different species" after gaining weight in-between movies
5 July 2021, 14:54
"I was treated like a different species. It was horrible."
Harry Potter actress Jessie Cave has opened up about the pressure she felt to maintain her weight while playing Lavender Brown and how her on-set experience changed once she had put on weight.
Jessie played Lavender, Ron Weasley's first girlfriend and a member of Dumbledore's Army, in three Harry Potter movies: Half Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Deathly Hallows – Part 2. While filming Half Blood Prince, Jessie was a UK 8 but she went up two dress sizes by the time it was time to film Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
"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," Jessie explained in an interview with The Independent.
Speaking about returning to film Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2, Jessie added: "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."
Since Harry Potter, Jessie has had roles in Black Mirror, Call the Midwife and Trollied. However, she soon developed "weird issues" with her weight related to her acting career. "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 said.
She added: "It's the most toxic relationship, acting. Unless you’re doing well, you’re only being rejected [...] I definitely went crazy in my early twenties, thinking, 'But they said they liked me and that I was perfect for it?' But then you realise there’s 100 other girls who are as good as you if not better, maybe prettier, maybe thinner, and they’re perfect for it."
Ultimately, Jessie believes that her experiences have contributed to her current career path. Jessie, who now has three children, is a comedian and she's just released her debut novel Sunset.
She continued: "If I’d stayed thin – unnaturally thin, unhappily thin – I would have probably got more acting roles, and then I wouldn’t have started writing. Then I don’t know who I would be now because writing is who I am."