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Potterheads around the world today are raising a wand for Robbie Coltrane. The talented Scottish actor has died at the age of 72. Best known for his portrayal of the gentle giant, Rubeus Hagrid, Coltrane captured hearts all over the world while on screen. However, it seems that he was just as kind-hearted when the cameras weren’t rolling as well. Those who worked with Coltrane on the Harry Potter movies have gushed about his playful and sweet demeanor.

Robbie Coltrane at the Harry Potter premiere
‘Harry Potter’ alum Robbie Coltrane | Carl Court AFP via Getty Images

Robbie Coltrane brought humor and mischief to the ‘Harry Potter’ movies

While the subject matter of the eight Harry Potter movies got pretty dark at times, life on set was pretty light-hearted. In HBO Max’s television special, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, Emma Watson explained that the adults on set contributed to a fun filming environment. “The adult actors came in and were, like, the mischief, in a funny way.” Continuing on, Watson mentioned Coltrane by name, explaining that he had a particularly playful spirit.

Watson’s main Harry Potter co-stars were quick to co-sign her memory of Coltrane on set. According to Daniel Radcliffe, The World Is Not Enough star was fantastic at getting him and the other child actors to be overcome with giggles in the early films. “He loved making us laugh, and he was incredibly good at it,” Radcliffe remembered.

The ‘Krull’ actor started off his career in comedy before pivoting to movies and TV shows

Those familiar with Coltrane and his career prior to his role in the Harry Potter movies know all too well how great he was at making people laugh. In addition to being a talented actor, the Cracker star was also a gifted comedian. In fact, he started his career in entertainment by performing stand-up in clubs around Edinburgh. From there, he traveled to London to pursue acting and was able to show off his comedic chops in TV shows like Alfresco and A Kick Up the Eighties.

‘Harry Potter’ cast members recall how fun and warm Coltrane was as Rubeus Hagrid

Coltrane was always the top choice to play Hagrid. He was able to balance the humor, warmth, and grit that the role required. In the aforementioned reunion special, Rupert Grint gushed about working with the 6’1 actor. “He was such a kid,” Grint recalled. “So immature and just so much fun.”


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Of course, Coltrane knew how to balance humor with encouragement and compassion. Watson recalls feeling a bit nervous while filming a scene in Hagrid’s hut in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was the first really emotional scene that she was tasked with. After her character Hermione gets called a mudblood by Malfoy, she is moved to tears. Ultimately it is Hagrid who comforts the young witch telling her not to give another thought to being muggle-born. Watson explained that the “warmth and kindness” Coltrane showed her at that moment, and during the entire series, really stuck with her.

Clearly, Coltrane made a lasting impact on his fellow Harry Potter castmates and made the set a more fun place to be. We’re sure that he will be greatly missed. But as fans of the series no doubt know, “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”