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Naturally, all the young actors cast for the first Harry Potter film felt very lucky. They were each
the perfect age and description for their characters at the perfect time.
No actor felt luckier, however, than Jamie Waylett. After all, only a few years earlier, doctors did
not believe he’d be alive to see his eleventh birthday.
He was nine-years-old when he was hit by the car that left him nearly brain-damaged. His
injuries were so severe that no doctor could sugar coat the results. After three days in the
intensive care unit, they decided to be upfront and honest with his parents, revealing that Jamie
had almost no chance of surviving.
Jamie’s parents, though overwhelmed and distraught, understood the news as the truth. A close
friend of the family, however, was not convinced. He confronted the doctors in the intensive care
unit and demanded that they check Jamie’s blood. Though skeptical of the demand, the doctors
appeased his friend as well as his family with a simple blood transfusion.
Jamie woke up the very next day.
Over the next year, Jamie began to improve. Though it was a slow process, it soon became clear
that the doctor’s first diagnosis was wrong. Jamie was going to live.
It was only a short time after Jamie returned to a normal life that some casting directors came to
visit his school. They were casting for the first Harry Potter film and were searching for students
who fit the description of the characters from Harry Potter.
Jamie was approached by the directors along with three other students. They took Polaroid
pictures and asked them questions, where Jamie, who had never read a book from the series and
even dismissed it as boring and uninteresting, asked for a shot at the role of Dudley Dursley.
The directors took one look, however, and informed Jamie’s headmistress that they had found
their Vincent Crabbe, one of two sidekicks to Harry’s schoolmate and enemy, Draco Malfoy.
Unlike the other young Harry Potter stars who heard of the audition through advertisements or
word of mouth, the part had practically fallen into his lap.
Jamie didn’t understand the extent of the role or the long-lasting impact the role would have. He
and Tom Felton simply played PlayStation in the days it took the directors to cast Gregory
Goyle. Once the threesome was set, they began filming Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Still, Jamie refused to take the role seriously and had fun during the filming. He quickly became
known as the practical joker. He likes to keep the cast and crew laughing with impressions of
his fellow Harry Potter actors and even his directors.
He stated that his favorite scene was the Halloween scene because he enjoyed everyone running
out of the room at the same time and practically falling over their robes, and that though he
looks like the perfect Crabbe, he’s most like the character of Ron.
It wasn’t until after the film was released that he realized the magnitude of Harry Potter, and the
significance of having a role in the series. Even at the age of twelve, he knew that he couldn’t let
the fame and success of the franchise get to his head.
In an earlier interview, he was quoted as saying,"It'll all go won't it? The movies will end and the
money will run out. When I go home, I'm just me."
Unfortunately, whether fame playing a factor or not, Jamie made some bad decisions that
subsequently interfered with his career. He now faces legal trouble that has effectively ended
his time with the Harry Potter family. Neither Jamie nor the character of Vincent Crabbe will be
returning for the last two Harry Potter films. Though Jamie and his family still feel very fortunate
that he is even alive today, the role of Vincent Crabbe may just be his greatest achievement.
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