Harry Potter star looks unrecognizable after cage fighting lifestyle change
A Harry Potter star who has undergone a massive transformation since the franchise ended is now back on our screens – only this time he’s not helping the Slytherin villain-turned-hero Draco Malfoy.
Josh Herdman, who was just 13 when cast as Malfoy sidekick Gregory Goyle, and remained in the role until the very end, until his own fire spell at the Battle of Hogwarts annihilates it.
The mirror reports that Josh was originally supposed to play Harry Potter’s spoiled cousin Dudley Dursley, but was cast as the bully Goyle instead.
In February 2018, Josh admitted he went off the rails after the Harry Potter series ended and almost completely ruined his career due to excessive partying.
At the time, Josh said: “If I’m being honest, I was a party animal, like a lot of young people.
“I don’t know, it was the people I was hanging out with and you have money.
“It was exactly what I was doing and I had had enough so I gave up and started focusing on my fitness, quit smoking and haven’t looked back. “
Although he still enjoys screen time, Josh felt a change was needed in his life as he felt like he was “playing the lottery for a living”, while waiting for acting roles.
Josh decided to take up martial arts and cage fighting, initially with the goal of reducing his anxiety and mental health issues – and it’s now an invaluable aspect of his ongoing health and wellness journey. .
Josh said: “I had had enough so I decided I was going to get in shape and I knew I needed something to focus on and martial arts changed my life.
“You need discipline, you need tenacity, you need motivation to keep going. When you start you get hammered, you’re a novice.
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“It’s what a lot of people who start martial arts can’t go through and they don’t like it, but it was exactly what I needed and it taught me a discipline, which I had to need at the time, and a focus, that changed everything for me.”
He transformed physically through this new hobby and is almost unrecognizable from Potter’s time, sporting a shredded body and a shaved head.
Josh added: “I’ve never been fat or anything, but before I started martial arts I was a smoker and you feel like you can’t breathe.
“You generally feel a lot better about yourself. I feel happy, I can go for a ten mile run.
“It’s super beautiful and the transformation is really cool. You’re not doing it just for that, it’s like an added bonus. It’s more for your mental well-being.”
Josh even made his amateur fighting debut as an MMA opponent in April 2016, beating Polish fighter Janusz Walachowski at the City Pavillion in Romford, East London.
Speaking about his experience, he said, “I have been training in traditional Japanese jujitsu for almost five years and hold a shodan black belt.
“It’s raw, exciting and unpredictable. I find it more interesting than boxing although I appreciate the beauty and artistry of boxing. It also made sense to switch to MMA because of my background in jujitsu.”
But Josh didn’t fall in love with acting and realized he could be passionate about playing characters and his sporting interests.
Josh returned to acting and appeared in thriller film ‘Piggy’ in 2012, ITV crime drama Marcella in 2018 and starred as Righteous in the 2018 film Robin Hood.
Josh also lost consciousness in a motorcycle accident with his father in 2015 when they skidded on oil and had to be taken to hospital.
However, Josh and dad Martin had to wait over an hour for an ambulance to arrive after the crash earlier this month.
Speaking to the Richmond and Twickenham Times, Martin said: “It was quite a nasty accident, I thought I had broken my shoulder and my son thought he had broken his leg and hand.
“We sat on the side of the road with the police for about an hour and a half before the ambulance arrived.
“A passing ambulance even stopped to ask what had happened, but either they had someone in the back or they were on their way for another call.
“We were both knocked out by the accident and couldn’t believe it.”
The father-son couple were eventually treated and taken to West Middlesex University Hospital for treatment, with Martin left with a torn ligament in his ankle and a bloody elbow injury.
And now Josh is taking part in brand new ITV series The Games which sees 12 fitness fanatic celebrities do battle in a sports spectacle over a week of live programming.
The familiar faces have undergone weeks of intensive training ready to go head-to-head in a series of sporting challenges in the athletics arena, swimming pool, gymnasium and velodrome.
Speaking ahead of the first live broadcast, Josh said: “I like a challenge and I’m really competitive. I always want to learn new things and we’re being taught by the best coaches and teachers.
“It’s going to be a fantastic life experience, learning new things, having a challenge and competition, so that ticks all the boxes for me.”
As well as live coverage of the events, each episode will feature the preparation of celebrities as they learn the sport from the ground up from some of the UK’s top coaches.
Josh added: “The event I’m looking forward to the most is the canoe slalom. I’ve never done it and it’s so foreign to me. I imagine it will be like riding a motorcycle, but I don’t know how accurate it will be. to be, we shall see.
“I’m the least confident in diving. I don’t like jumping off things. I’m not afraid of heights, I like to fly, as long as I know I’m safe.
“But I don’t like throwing things at myself, I’m not very good at it. So that’s what I’m least looking forward to. And swimming. I’ve never been a good swimmer.”
You can watch Josh compete on The Games, resuming Tuesday, May 10 at 9 p.m. on ITV.