Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death has more in common with its predecessor, the 2012 chiller Woman in Black, than just a title and source material.
The first film starred Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself, in the lead role. The spooky new movie about the strange goings-on at a haunted house during World War II co-stars Potter alum Helen McCrory and Adrian Rawlins.
McCrory, who plays Angel of Death’s uptight schoolmarm, was pregnant when Potter producers offered her the role of pure-blood witch Bellatrix Lestrange in Order of the Phoenix. She passed and the part went to Helena Bonham Carter but two years later she jumped at the chance to play Narcissa, Bellatrix’s sister and the mother of Draco Malfoy, in The Half-Blood Prince.
Co-star Rawlins is the shadowy Dr. Rhodes in Angel of Death, but is best known as the father of Harry in seven Potter movies. Years before playing James Potter the actor starred in the original Woman in Black TV adaptation as Arthur, the role Radcliffe played in the recent remake.
Over the ten years they were in production it seems like the Potter films employed almost all of the British Actors’ Equity Association. Everyone from Ralph Fiennes, Richard Harris and Gary Oldman to Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton and Emma Thompson appeared in the series. When Bill Nighy was cast in The Deathly Hallows he said. “I am no longer the only English actor not to be in Harry Potter and I am very pleased.”
Less well known than the British superstars that peppered the Potter cast are some of the supporting players, many of which have gone on to breakout success without Harry.
Tom Felton will likely always be associated with cowardly bully Draco Malfoy, so it’s not surprising he played the spineless bad guy utters the famous “damn dirty ape” line,” in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Before he starred opposite Rachel McAdams in the time travel romance About Time Domhnall Gleeson was Curse-Breaker Bill Weasley in The Deathly Hallows. The son of actor Brendan Gleeson is on his way to household name status with a role as an Imperial officer who defects to the Republic in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The biggest breakout Potter alum has to be Robert Pattinson. He’s best known as sparkling vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise but he first appeared as Cedric Diggory in The Goblet of Fire. “The day before [the movie came out] I was just sitting in Leicester Square,” he said, “happily being ignored by everyone. Then suddenly strangers are screaming your name. Amazing.”