As the Harry Potter empire expands it is easy to forget that it has been nearly 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first released in movie theatres.
Even more inconceivable is the fact that a majority of the young cast who brought the wizarding world to life are now fully fledged adults, who have long since graduated from Hogwarts.
As a result of productions such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – a whole film franchise in its own right, spawned from the world that J.K. Rowling created – and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – the critically acclaimed London stage production based on the adventures of Harry’s son, Albus – it’s hardly surprising that we are all oblivious to how much time has passed since The Boy Who Lived entered our lives.
Just to emphasize how dramatically things have changed, let me run you through some alarming facts about the world that still inhabits our imagination…
But before we do, you need to watch this woman recall every word in the books from memory…
Firstly, a majority of the child actors that we watched blossom on the screen are now old enough to have children of their own attending Hogwarts. For example, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown), Katie Leung (Cho Chang) and Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory), have all recently celebrated their 30th birthday.
If that wasn’t enough to make you feel old, then the news that Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) is now a married man may just do the trick. In May, the 28-year-old British actor announced via Instagram that he’d married his American sweetheart, Angela Jones.
Then, of course, there is the tragic loss of some of the franchise’s most iconic stars, such as Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) who passed away in 2016 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
The following year, both Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge) and John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander) passed away, leaving the Harry Potter fandom further devastated.
It has been an interesting decade for the franchise, which is worth a reported $25 billion.
For example, the books have made J.K. Rowling the first billion-dollar author, the films have taken more at the box office than the Star Wars franchise currently has and Hogwarts has been lovingly built in various locations around the world, including Universal Studios.
But whilst that may be impressive, there is a high chance that it won’t take your breath away quite like the transformation of Padma Patil.
Afshan Azad was only 16-years-old when she was cast as Padma in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The British born star, born to Bangladeshi parents, had never considered pursuing a career in acting until talent scouts came to her school in Manchester and picked her from the crowd. After several successful auditions, Azad won the role and her whole life changed.
She then went on to appear in the following four films in the franchise. Yet despite her impressive résumé, Afshan hasn’t explored her acting career any further.
That hasn’t stopped her from gaining a lot of attention from fans, particularly online where the 29-year-old has a large and loyal following.
For example, on Instagram, she boasts more than 100,000 followers, all of whom are transfixed by her striking resemblance to Kylie Jenner.
But rather than try and cash in on her fame, Afshan appears very relaxed by her notoriety. Referring to herself as “that Indian girl from Harry Potter” in her Instagram profile description, it’s clear to see that Afshan is enjoying life post-The Battle of Hogwarts.
Maybe the franchise could consider a spin-off series in her name soon? I know I am not the only person who’d be interested!