‘Harry Potter’ Star Jessie Cave Opened Up About Criticism Over Her Weight in the Industry

When she goes to costume fittings, she's "prepared to be told something unkind."

Jessie Cave, who played Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter franchise, said she “was not a right fit for the industry” at the time she scored the role. In a new interview with The Guardian published August 2nd, Cave opened up about life after Lavender and said that she’s been tainted by the industry in regards to her weight.

“It was like winning the lottery,” Cave, now a mother of three, best-selling author and comedic actress, said about landing the part in the franchise. She was chosen from 7,000 other girls who auditioned for Lavender Brown—and it was only her third audition ever.

But I was not a right fit for the industry at that time, Cave said. 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 anymore.

Though no one within the industry told Cave she needed to lose weight, it was implied, and in ways that have scarred her. A costume director on a more recent project once grabbed her stomach. “Which was just horrible,” Cave told The Guardian. “And I laughed. You’re like [she puts on a placating voice]: ‘Oh, you’re hurting me. Actually, it’s fine.'” But that instance has stuck with her.

Now I go into the costume fitting for any job and I’m terrified, Cave said. I’m prepared to be told something unkind. 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.

She later told The Guardian that she’s “definitely considered losing weight — and when I have lost weight, I tend to get a part.” Cave continued, “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.”

Thankfully, the dialogue around women’s bodies has greatly improved in recent years, and Cave says it’s shocking when she’s treated kindly. “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.”

Cave stars in an upcoming ITV comedy called Buffering, which premieres tonight, August 5th, and her novel, Sunset, is out now.

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