Robbie Coltrane Felt Working With Young 'Harry Potter' Actors Was Like Watching His Own Kids Grow Up

Robbie Coltrane - the beloved star who played the beloved Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies - passed away yesterday (October 14) at the age of 72.
Credit: MediaPunch Inc / Alamy
The Scottish actor and comedian played rugged gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid in all eight installments of the magical movie franchise, starring alongside then-child actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Ruper Grint.

As tributes from Coltrane's Potter co-stars pour in, many people are remembering the fond way that Coltrane himself described his relationship with them.

During an interview on HBO's reunion special 'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts', the actor reflected on what it was like watching the young cast grow up.
Credit: Chris Jobs / Alamy
"You've got to remember, when they first started they were about eight. I think the oldest of them was 11," Coltrane said in the special, which aired on New Year's Day 2022.

"Now they’re big grown-ups with their own lives. Grint's had a baby – Grint’s now a father! It’s just astonishing, the change," he continued, adding: "Watching them growing up was kind of like watching your own grow up, you know? Because you were protecting them."

Coltrane shares two children with his ex-wife Rhona Gemmell: Spencer, born in 1992, and Alice, born in 1998.

Watch the interview here:

Coltrane went on to praise his young co-stars, saying: "I was always astonished at how fearless they were. I remember walking into The Great Hall, and I've been doing this for 30 years, and I thought, 'Dear Lord! Woah, better get this one right.'"

"I do have enormous happy memories of this actually," he added.

Following news of Coltrane's death, Radcliffe penned his own emotional tribute to the star.

"Robbie was one of the funniest people I've met and used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set. I’ve especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on 'Prisoner of Azkaban,' when we were all hiding from the torrential rain for hours in Hagrid’s hut and he was telling stories and cracking jokes to keep morale up," he said in a statement to Variety.
Coltrane with Radcliffe, Watson and Grint in 2002. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
"I feel incredibly lucky that I got to meet and work with him and very sad that he’s passed," Radcliffe continued, adding: "He was an incredible actor and a lovely man."

As well as starring in the Potter movies, Coltrane was also known for his villainous turn in the Bond flicks GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). In 2006 he was appointed an OBE for his services to drama, and in 2011, he was awarded a Scottish BAFTA.

Our thoughts continue to go out to Coltrane's family, friends, and fans at this time.

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