‘I definitely feel safer not in that environment of the acting industry,’ said the Lavender Brown actor
Cave first appeared in 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, starring as the loved-up oddball Lavender Brown who has a brief romance with Ron Weasley (played by Rupert Grint).
The actor reprised her role as Lavender in the following two sequels, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I (2010) and Part II (2011).
In a new interview with The Independent, the actor – who was promoting her new book Sunset – revealed that she was “treated like a different species” after gaining weight when she returned to shoot The Deathly Hallows Part I and Part II, which were filmed simultaneously.
“I gained a lot of weight after doing Harry Potter,” said Cave. “I wasn’t starving myself. I was growing up and people tend to gain weight as they get older. That’s just what happens. So I did.
“And so going back to the last film[s], I was treated like a different species.”
She described the experience as “horrible” and “really uncomfortable”, adding: “It was probably more me and my insecurity, knowing that I wasn’t fitting into the same size jeans.”
“It wasn’t a time where actresses were any bigger than size eight,” said the star, who said she “felt invisible” after gaining weight.
The 34-year-old added that “since then, it’s definitely made me have weird issues with weight and work. And it’s just so f***ed up, but it’s just how it is”.
“Women have to deal with that all the time, not just in the acting industry, but I definitely feel safer not in that environment of the acting industry,” she said.
Following her role in the JK Rowling franchise, Cave left acting to pursue writing as a career. In 2018, she starred in her debut play titled Sunrise.
Cave added that if she had “stayed thin, unnaturally thin, unhappily thin”, she thinks she would have been given more acting roles and would not have begun writing.
“I had always written and I had always drawn and so I was doing Harry Potter as a kind of detour in a way,” she said. “So it was weird for me because it was suddenly like, ‘Oh, but I’m an actress but I’m not getting any work and I’m not thin enough anymore.’
“So what am I? What do I do? So I did start writing. So I’m almost grateful that I gained all that weight.”
Cave was cast as Lavender after attending an open audition in 2007 for which 7,000 people turned up.
You can read the full interview with Cave here.
For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this piece, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677. You can visit their website here. NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. They can be reached by phone on 845 838 2040 or their website here.