Actress Shirley Henderson has a career that spans well beyond a bathroom at Hogwarts, and today, we’re going to find out what she’s been doing since her stint in Harry Potter.
From Korean films to acclaimed biopics, here’s what happened to the actress who played Moaning Myrtle?
Who’s Moaning Myrtle?
When you rewatch the eight epic Harry Potter films, it probably seems like every single actor in the United Kingdom was in the cast, including Shirley Henderson.
She officially joined the series in its second outing, 2002’s Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets, as the ghost known as Moaning Myrtle.
Despite having roles in previous box office hits, like the romantic comedy, Bridget Jones’s Diary and director Danny Boyle’s breakthrough film Trainspotting, Chamber of Secrets is the movie that really put Henderson on the map and in the toilet.
Moaning Myrtle, who died at Hogwarts years before Harry started school, still haunts the bathroom where she died, exacting revenge on school bullies whenever she can find time to take a break from sobbing.
Despite her difficult nature, she actually proves useful during her interactions with Harry.
In Chamber of Secrets, Harry eventually discovers that the mythical monster of Slytherin house is living in a hidden chamber directly beneath Myrtle’s bathroom and in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, she assists Harry as he tries to decipher one of his tasks for the Tri-Wizards Tournament, even though she does so while spying on the 14-year-old while he takes a bath.
Perhaps the strangest part of Handerson’s Potter role is that she was 37 years old when she first played the ghost of Myrtle.
Immediately after exiting the Harry Potter franchise in 2005, Shirley Henderson found herself in a project fit for royalty. Sofia Coppola’s avant-garde Marie Antoinette.
The 2006 film stars Kirsten Dunst as the doomed queen of France, who enjoys a life of pure excess before meeting a particularly grisly end during the uprising of the French Revolution.
The film, which won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design, features Henderson as Madame Sophie, who is frequently at odds with Marie Antoinette and constantly plotting against the queen throughout her reign. Madame Sophie might not have been a leading role, but it was an important one, proving the Henderson was the perfect utility player in everything from period pieces to blockbusters.
After working on many successful theatrical releases, Henderson joined the steaming revolution and took a pivotal role in Netflix’s Okja. The film is about a young girl and a super pig, whose DNA has been modified to make it a completely unique animal and unfortunately, a new food source.
The talented cast has huge stars including Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano and of course, there’s Shirley Henderson in a literal supporting role as the assistant to Swinton’s flighty CEO, Lucy Mirando.
Besides being one of Netflix’s most critically praised films, the movie gave Henderson a chance to give a stellar performance alongside Swinton, even though their character look like seriously bad people.
Shirley Henderson continued her strong run in prestigious projects with 2018’s Stan & Ollie, which stars Oscar-nominee John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy and Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel.
The film tells the story of the famed comedic duo, as they struggle through personal and professional problems near the end of their careers.
The roles of Laurel and Hardy’s wives required two talented actresses who wouldn’t be diminished to simple background players.
Stan & Ollie found that in Henderson, who plays Lucille Hardy, and Nina Arianda, a Broadway star who plays Ida Laurel.
The two actresses brilliantly stand out in the film, which isn’t easy next to iconic characters like Laurel and Hardy.
Clearly, Shirley Henderson spent years making a name for herself in big international projects, but she always found time to return home and work in highly regarded British television.
Henderson kicked off this trend with 2013’s Southcliffe, a crime drama where she portrayed a woman in the midst of a breakdown. Working alongside stars like Game of Thrones Joe Dempise and Black Mirror’s Rory Kinnear as inhabitants of a small town grappling with a series of violent shootings, the show was a huge success for Henderson, earning her a BAFTA nomination for the role. Continue her pattern of choosing intense characters, Henderson took on a supporting role in Happy Valley as an unbalanced woman with a lot of secrets and apparently, not a single umbrella and in an extremely unexpected reunion, Henderson appeared in Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders with none other than Rupert Grint, her old bathroom buddy from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But even after all these years, she still can’t quite get her mind out of the toilet.
Plenty of actors jump at the chance to return to the films that first brought them attention, and Shirley Henderson is no exception.
Back in 1996, Henderson had some very memorable scenes in the original Trainspotting, and in 2016, she got the chance to reunite with all of the main cast members for a sequel. Henderson reprised her role as Gail, who married her boyfriend Spud and had a child with him.
We can’t help but think that the actress is formerly known as “Moaning Myrtle” might have a few more dirty secrets in common Ewan Mcgregor.