Harry Potter's Jessie Cave Says She Lost Acting Roles Due to “Normal-Sized” Body

Jessie Cave, who played lovestruck Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter series, described an encounter with a costume director that haunts her to this day.

By Elana Rubin Aug 04, 2021 5:41 PMTags
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Turns out Jessie Cave's time at Hogwarts wasn't so magical after all.

The actor, who played Lavender Brown—the Gryffindor who famously cast a love spell on Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise—has lingering trauma from her experience. "I was not a right fit for the industry at that time," she told The Guardian. "Lavender Brown is conventionally pretty, no glasses, small. By the time I went back to do the last film, I had gained a bit of weight and I wasn't that person any more."

The treatment she received was so bad—she recounted an anonymous costume director "grabbing" her stomach—that she is now "terrified" when she goes into a costume fitting.

"I'm prepared to be told something unkind," she said. "You're treated like a different type of thing; you're not somebody with feelings who has thought about what pants they're going to wear that day because they're going to be seen."

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Years later, though, the mother of three says she has seen some positive changes: "Now when they're nice to me, and they are sensitive to how I may be feeling about my body, or that I may be breastfeeding or whatever, I almost cry."

Entertainment Pictures via ZUMA

Despite moments of kindness in fittings, Jessie still thinks she has lost out on roles because of her appearance.

"I've definitely considered losing weight—and when I have lost weight, I tend to get a part," admits Jessie, whose other roles include a stint in the Netflix series Black Mirror. "I mean, it's not rocket science. But I eat healthily, I'm a normal-sized woman, and I'm still regarded, probably, as a fat actress."

The actor previously opened up about her size, and specifically how she got "bigger" between filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, parts one and two, saying she was "treated like a different species" when she came back to film the last two movies in the franchise.

"It was horrible," she told The Independent in July. "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 8 [U.S. size 4]. And in the previous film I had been, and now I was a size 12 [U.S. size 8]. So that was horrible. It was a really uncomfortable experience."

She shared that the reason for her weight gain was because she "wasn't starving" herself: "I was growing up and that's just what happens."