Out of All Harry Potter Villains, This One Daniel Radcliffe Really Admired

Out of All Harry Potter Villains, This One Daniel Radcliffe Really Admired
Image credit: Legion-Media

The Harry Potter alumni is one absolutely packed with stars of stage and screen.

And it's easy to forget how daunting it must have been for Daniel Radcliffe – along with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – to be the movies' 'stars' among acting royalty.

Of course, it would have also been an invaluable experience for the young actors and an opportunity few aspiring stars could even dream of.

However, one acting legend, who played a formidable villain, really stood out to the young Daniel Radcliffe. But which one?

Ralph Fiennes was impeccable as Lord Voldemort, Helena Bonham Carter turned in a fabulous performance as Bellatrix Lestrange, and the supremely talented David Tennant was great as the criminally underrated Barty Crouch Jr.

But the villainous actor who made the biggest impression in Radcliffe was none other than Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge.

Out of All Harry Potter Villains, This One Daniel Radcliffe Really Admired - image 1

Utterly and completely devoted to the Ministry of Magic, Umbridge was a force to be reckoned with who had a cult-like commitment. Staunton's portrayal was the perfect balance between a pantomime villain and a real person. There was literally nothing to like about her, and yet she seemed believable.

In a 2022 interview with GQ, Daniel Radcliffe spoke about working alongside some of the biggest names in the acting world – and he singled out Imelda Staunton as someone for whom acting was 'so effortless'.

He described how she 'didn't mystify acting too much' and could go from 'just chatting away to everyone and having a nice life' to suddenly giving 'an incredibly terrifying or intense performance'.

Of course, it's not exactly breaking news that Imelda Staunton is a great actress. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Staunton began her career on stage before making her television debut in a 1982 episode of BBC 2's Playhouse.

But it was in 1986 that her on-screen career really took off. That year she landed roles as Betsy Loveless in the movie Comrades and appeared as Staff Nurse White in the popular mini-series The Singing Detective. And it seems she's been on our screens ever since.

But she's never lost her love of theatre and has continued to tread the boards throughout her life. With so many acting credits to her name, it's no wonder that she has honed her craft so perfectly. And on the set of Harry Potter, she also helped inspire the next generation of actors.