When he wasn’t glowering at Hogwarts students as the caretaker Argus Filch in the “Harry Potter” movies, Bradley spent the 2000s doing variations on the character in other films, playing the cruel gambler Nigel Bray in Douglas McGrath’s “Nicholas Nickleby” and confounding Simon Pegg as the grumbly farmer Arthur Webley in Edgar Wright’s “Hot Fuzz.” When it came to “The First Avenger,” though, the movie’s creatives quickly realized his “Tower Keeper” was a little too much like his Wizarding World counterpart. As Johnston recalled on the “First Avenger” DVD commentary:

“David Bradley, of course, played Filch in all the ‘Harry Potter’ films. And the first costume design we had for him looked exactly like his Filch character [laughing]. In fact, we said, ‘Where’s the cat?’ That’s all he needs.”

Happily, Bradley has gotten to branch away from his Filch persona since The Boy Who Lived’s story came to an end on the big screen. While he’s not about playing unsavory characters like the malicious Walder Frey on “Game of Thrones,” he’s also portrayed his fair share of nobler types thanks to his collaborations with Guillermo del Toro on “The Strain” (where he played the Van Helsing-esque vampire/Strigoi expert Abraham Setrakian) and as Merlin in the animated “Tales of Arcadia” franchise, in addition to voicing Geppetto in del Toro and Mark Gustafson’s stop-motion “Pinocchio.”

Since we’re on the topic … isn’t it weird how Filch — one of the few members of the Hogwarts staff incapable of doing magic — was the one charged with keeping an entire castle clean? Filch is a jerk, sure, but how much of that stems from the literal wizards around him making him do their dirty work? You can add that one to the long list of dubious subtexts in the “Harry Potter” franchise.

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