Miriam Margolyes says it’s ‘humbling’ to know she’ll be ‘most remembered’ for Harry Potter scene

·2-min read

Miriam Margolyes claimed she will be most remembered for playing Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter franchise.

Margolyes has starred in a huge variety of roles over the course of her 60-year career, winning a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in 1994 for her role in Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence. However, she’s aware that her most famous turn is a very minor one.

“It’s a very humbling thing actually,” Margolyes told the BBC’s Imagine presenter Alan Yentob, “to realise that the part for which I will be most known and most remembered is one scene really.”

She continued: “I’m just an infinitesimal part of a franchise.”

Margolyes appeared as the Herbology teacher in the second film in the saga, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, teaching a fainting Neville Longbottom and the rest of the class how to handle screaming Mandrakes. She reprised her role in the franchise’s finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 but had no speaking part.

Margolyes has played a number of other highly memorable roles, including the nurse in Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.

Miriam Margolyes in BBC’s ‘Imagine... Miriam Margolyes: Up For Grabs’ (BBC)
Miriam Margolyes in BBC’s ‘Imagine... Miriam Margolyes: Up For Grabs’ (BBC)

Since appearing in the Potter movies, Margolyes has defended the series’ controversial author JK Rowling, claiming that anger at the author’s views on trans people has been “misplaced”.

Margolyes added that she’d be happy to mediate between Rowling and Harry Potter star Emma Watson, who has vehemently supported trans rights and appeared to make a subtle dig at the author’s views at the 2022 BAFTAs.

Elsewhere in the Imagine interview, Margolyes admitted to hitting her paralysed mother while caring for her after she’d suffered a stroke.

Imagine… Miriam Margolyes: Up for Grabs is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.

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