‘Harry Potter’: Which Two Cast Members Are Father & Son in Real Life?

There certainly no shortage of cast members when it comes to the Harry Potter movies. Given that there are eight films in the global phenomenon, thousands of actors were needed to fill out the cast. Funnily enough, two of the actors that were chosen to be in the films are related in real life. But which two Harry Potter alums share a bloodline?

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the Harry Potter films.]

Harry Potter cast members Domhnall Gleeson and Brendan Gleeson
Domhnall Gleeson and Brendan Gleeson | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Which ‘Harry Potter’ cast members are related in real-life

Even the biggest Harry Potter enthusiasts may not know that Brendan Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson are father and son. Brendan joined the cast first in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Though the audience doesn’t find out about it until the end of the movie, Brendan portrays two characters in the fourth film.

Brendan Gleeson portrayed Mad-Eye Moody and Barty Crouch Jr. in the movies

When we first meet Brendan’s character, the audience and Harry himself, are led to believe that he is Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody. Acting as Hogwarts’ new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Mad-Eye Moody is an ex-Auror aka dark wizard catcher. With a gruff appearance and a practical approach to the dark arts, Brendan’s character teaches Harry about the Unforgivable Curses: The Imperius Curse, The Cruciatus Curse, and The Killing Curse. Furthermore, he helps Harry Potter compete in the Triwizard Tournament.

Of course, we later find out that who Harry believes is Mad-Eye Moody is actually Barty Crouch Jr., a Death Eater who is working to deliver Harry to Voldemort. The real Mad-Eye Moody is kept in a chest where he is tortured for information about how best to impersonate him. When Barty Crouch Jr. is discovered, he suffers the fate of the Dementor’s kiss. Therefore, Brendan only portrays Mad-Eye Moody in the subsequent films until his death in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.

Domhnall played Bill Weasley

Domhnall’s journey in Harry Potter is far more straightforward than his father’s. In fact, he doesn’t even make an appearance until the penultimate film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Domhnall was cast as the oldest Weasley child, William “Bill” Arthur Weasley. Bill was essential in helping Harry escape from Privet Drive after the trace broke on his 17th birthday. His fiancée, Fleur Delacour, (along with five others) took polyjuice potion to transform into Harry Potter so that the Death Eaters wouldn’t know who was the real Harry Potter was.


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Funnily enough, The Seven Harrys scene is the only scene in which Brendan and Domhnall act alongside one another in the Harry Potter films. In the following scene, when the Order of the Phoenix returns to The Burrow, Bill announces that Mad-Eye has been killed. As Mad-Eye Moody was one of the most powerful wizards, this is a devastating blow to the Order.

The father-son duo are related in the Harry Potter movies also

Apart from being father and son in real life, Brendan and Domhnall’s Harry Potter characters are also distantly related. Though they don’t come from the same immediate family, Bill and Mad-Eye are both Pure-blood wizards. All Pure-blood families are distantly related, which is why Harry is loosely related to his archenemy, Voldemort. Clearly, there’s plenty of blood ties in the Harry Potter movies, both on-screen and off.