Why wasn’t Julie Walters in the ‘Harry Potter’ reunion special?

At the turn of the New Year, fans were treated to the reunion of the Harry Potter cast, including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham-Carter, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton, and so many more. Joining the stars were also the directors from each of the films: Chris Columbus, David Yates, and others. Though they are no longer with us, cast members that have passed away, such as Alan Rickman and Helen McCrory, were remembered fondly by cast and crew with a touching memoriam.

However, there was one actor in particular that did not appear in the reunion special: the matriarch of the Weasley family and the ultimate mother and protector for anyone — Molly Weasley. Played by the forever iconic Dame Julie Walters, her absence left fans wondering about her absence. We found out why she wasn’t included, but first, remind yourself just how awesome Molly Weasley is with this clip of her duel with Bellatrix Lestrange.

Sadly, in late 2020, Walters announced she was semi-retired from acting by informing The Times that she received a diagnosis of stage three bowel cancer. Thankfully, after receiving chemotherapy, Walters was eventually given the all-clear from medical experts. However, as the reunion was most likely filmed during 2021, it’s reasonable to conclude that Walters decided not to appear due to receiving treatment and putting recovery first.

Of course, her absence might also be related to the statement she gave to The Times, in which she clearly stated that she has no intention to ever work again, unless the film in question is Mamma Mia 3.

Walters’s absence was certainly felt by fans and co-stars alike, including the rest of the Weasley clan, who reminisced about their time working with the actress. Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, said during the reunion, “She really kind of took me under her wing, and she was like the perfect mother figure.”

Whilst there is no announcement of a third Mamma Mia film, Dame Julie Walters is thankfully still alive and well. Knowing that she is fully recovered, fans can only hope that there are enough ABBA songs to warrant Walters returning to the screen.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is now streaming on HBO Max.