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Behind the scenes: Cornelius Fudge

Actor Robert Hardy was rather disappointed not to be dressed in his character’s infamous green suit and bowler hat combo. But as it turns out, director Chris Columbus had his reasons...

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Extracted from Harry Potter: The Character Vault
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Actor Robert Hardy was elated when he was cast as the Minister for Magic, first seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but disappointed during costume fittings when he wasn’t shown the green suit and green bowler hat that his character wears in the books. ‘I was really fancying that green hat!’ he says.

The designers for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were just following director Chris Columbus’s desire not to have too-strong colours in the costumes overtake the performances, and the Minister was dressed in earth tones – browns and mahoganies – in a Dickensian-style suit and robe. His hairstyle, with long sideburns, also fit in with the fashions of the Dickensian time period.

For his appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and for the rest of the series, Jany Temime rethought the Minister’s garb, and followed her philosophy of dressing Ministry workers in less-than-obvious-but-still-wizard wear. Fudge now wears a dark pinstriped double-breasted coat that goes to his knees, and pinstriped dress robes, and finally got the bowler hat, albeit in black. His haircut is much shorter and straighter, losing the sideburns.

Temime’s attention to detail shows in the little touches that define a character; in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Fudge wears that iconic sign of wealth, a fur hat, during his visit to Hogsmeade. After the battle in the Ministry at the climax of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Fudge arrives at the Ministry late at night, apparently having thrown his coat and robes over a pair of buttoned-up striped pajamas. Hardy feels that the costumes exemplified ‘high politics’ in an elegant way.

Harry Potter: The Character Vault book cover

Extracted from
'Harry Potter: The Character Vault'