Jessie Cave on her 'uncomfortable' experience on the set of Harry Potter after gaining weight

·3-min read
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images

Illustrator, writer and Harry Potter actress, Jessie Cave, who played Lavender Brown in the hit movie series, has spoken out about the pressures she faced growing up on film sets and how gaining weight - which is entirely normal when transitioning from teenager to adult - resulted in some 'uncomfortable' on-set experiences.

Speaking to The Independent about her brilliant-sounding new novel, Sunset, on navigating grief in your twenties, Jessie also discussed her time as an actress - and the unrealistic body image ideals placed upon those in the public eye. "I gained a lot of weight after doing Harry Potter, just because I wasn’t starving myself," she confessed. "And I was growing up and that’s just what happens."

She continued on to say that when she returned to film The Deathly Hallows (parts one and two), that she was treated differently. "I was treated like a different species. It was horrible," Jessie recalled. "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."

Photo credit: Dave M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave M. Benett - Getty Images

Jessie then candidly shared what it was like after the films wrapped and the light that had been shone on her - in her own words - "goes off", and how again, she feels her changing body impacted on the work she was offered.

"You get a bit bigger, or you’re not as relevant, and it [the light] goes off, and you have to make your way in the dark," she said. "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 f***ed up, but it’s just how it is. Women have to deal with that all the time."

The multi-talented mother-of-three also explained that her body image issues had taken root before she landed her role within the globally popular franchise, referencing watching Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox in Friends as influential.

"They were minuscule, they were so thin and for years I put it down to, 'Oh they must be naturally small, they’re just lucky'," she remembers. "And now it’s obvious that they were just so starved."

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Jessie also spoke about how the fiercely competitive nature of the film industry can massively dent a person's self-esteem. "It’s like going on a million first dates, and them going brilliantly, and then you never hear from them again," she shared. "It’s like getting ghosted a thousand times a year and it kind of sends you crazy. 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, though, it sounds like Jessie is much happier with the way her life is nowadays, remarking that if she'd remained in a smaller body, things could have panned out differently.

"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," Jessie said. "And then I don’t know who I would be now because writing is who I am. I’m almost grateful that I gained all that weight."

We're applauding her candour loudly and can not wait to read the book. ❤️

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