Actor Jessie Cave recently opened up about body image pressures while playing Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter movie series. If you need a refresher, Jessie Cave made her debut in 2009’s The Half-Blood Prince after being cast from an open audition of more than 7,000 actors.Ever since Harry Potter, Cave has had roles in Black Mirror and Glue. Besides acting, Jessie is also a comedian. The actor’s debut novel, Sunset, is out now as well.
In her interview with the Independent, Jessie shared, “I gained a lot of weight after doing Harry Potter, just because I wasn’t starving myself — and I was growing up, and that’s just what happens.”
However, when Jessie Cave came back to film the next two Deathly Hallows movies, she said that she was treated like a completely different species. The actor found this experience extremely traumatic.
She said, “It was probably more me and my insecurity, knowing that I wasn’t fitting into the same-size jeans, but it wasn’t a time where actresses were any bigger than a size 8 [US size 4]. In the previous film, I had been [that size], and now I was a size 12 [US size 8]. So that was horrible. It was a really uncomfortable experience.”
Cave’s body insecurities went on to shape her relationship with her work. She expressed, “I definitely felt invisible when I gained a little bit of weight. And since then, it’s made me have weird issues with weight and work — and it’s so f#cked up, but it’s just how it is. Women have to deal with that all the time.”
All the body image standards and constant rejection affected Jessie’s mental health. While talking about auditioning for roles, she said, “I definitely went crazy in my early twenties, thinking, But they said they liked me and that I was perfect for it? But then you realize there’s 100 other girls who are as good as you, if not better, maybe prettier, maybe thinner, and they’re perfect for it.”
However, Jessie Cave said that all of this contributed to her ending up on the career path she’s now happy in. The actor is a successful comedian and writer. She said, “If I’d stayed thin — unnaturally thin, unhappily thin — I would have probably got more acting roles, and then I wouldn’t have started writing,” she said. “Then I don’t know who I would be now, because writing is who I am.”