Harry Potter star Ekow Quartey looks worlds away from his iconic character two decades after appearing in the franchise as he takes on a new leading role.
Ekow, 33, is known for playing the mysterious Hogwarts third-year student who delivered two of the franchise’s most haunting lines in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, reports The Sun.
Ekow’s character has become something of an icon in the two decades since the film was released. While he has no name and is only credited as “Boy 1,” he delivers two dark warnings to Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends in the movie.
Now he’s affectionately known by fans as “Bad News Bem.” Bem’s dialogue involved explaining the Grim, an ominous “omen of death” in a divination lesson, and sharing a dark warning about Sirius Black (Gary Oldman). “It’s like trying to catch smoke, like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands,” he told Harry.
But after dropping these powerful lines, Ekow never spoke in the franchise again. However, he did appear briefly as an uncredited member of Dumbledore’s Army in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Since then, the former Hogwarts pupil has gone on to nab an equally impressive role, though.
Now he’s taking the lead in the UK National Theatre’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, which he will be performing at Shakespeare’s Globe later this year.
Ekow plays Benedick alongside Calum Callaghan as Borachio, John Lightbody as Leonato, Amalia Vitale as Beatrice and Adam Wadsworth as Claudio.
The former Harry Potter actor announced the news in a series of TikTok videos posted on the Globe’s page.
In one video he posted in costume alongside the caption “Oh, you probably recognise me as the person in the artwork for Much Ado About Nothing.”
As it went on, he lip synched to the sound: “It can get weirder, I just washed my hands. That’s why they’re wet …”
The video then cuts to a shot of the actor from behind. He poked fun at his magic past as a picture of his Harry Potter character was edited in. All the while, he continued to lip sync, saying, “no other reason.”
Harry Potter fans went wild over the clip, which has had over a million views since it was posted last week.
Commenting on it, one TikTok user gushed about Ekow calling him, “the boy who DELIVERED.” Replying, the Globe took the comment to another level, writing: “The boy you (de) live (re) d.”
Ekow continued to poke fun at his Harry Potter past while promoting his new role in a follow up video. In it, he posed wistfully alongside the caption: “What if you never said ‘it’s like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands?’”
Celebrating the career move, Harry Potter fans replied to the videos.
One said: “OMG the Shakespeare of Harry Potter himself.”
“Absolutely excellent casting,” added another.
A third pointed out: “I have no doubt you’re a Shakespearean actor after you changed our lives with the most dramatic delivery in the entire Harry Potter series.”
“Prisoner of Azkaban AND Much Ado About Nothing??? Bro’s untouchable,” praised a fourth.
“I KNEW those lines felt Shakespearean,” agreed a fifth.
Alongside Much Ado About Nothing, Ekow’s theatre career also includes starring in the National Theatre’s production of The Witches from November 2023 to January 2024.
He also played the titular character in the Globe’s 2020 production of Macbeth.
But Ekow has also enjoyed a busy screen career since his Harry Potter days.
In 2022 he played Sir Pedro in the third series of the Starz period drama Becoming Elizabeth, and he’s had guest appearances in popular British shows like Call the Midwife.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission