This Slytherin is taking it to the ring! Former Harry Potter star Joshua Herdman, who played Gregory Goyle in the beloved series, has discovered a new career after the franchise ended in 2011 — and he is now a Mixed Martial Arts cage fighter.
Herdman, now 28, portrayed Draco Malfoy’s best buddy and sometimes-protector in the franchise, and he’s actually taking his physical-fighting skills to build up his new career. Just this past weekend, Herdman made his debut in London as an MMA fighter, and even won his first match. In an interview with MMA blog Addicted OTR, Herdman discussed his new hobby and whether he plans to pursuing acting any further.
“I’m doing it because I enjoy it,” he said of cage fighting. “But I also take it very seriously. It’s in my family’s blood. I like competing and pushing my boundaries … I chose MMA because I love the sport. It’s raw, exciting and unpredictable. I find it more interesting than boxing although I appreciate the beauty and art in boxing. It also made sense to move onto MMA because of my jiu-jitsu training.”
Herdman’s dad Martin Herdman was also a boxer, and like his son, also pursued acting. “I haven’t fallen out of love with it,” the star said of his dramatic career. “I still have an agent and still go for auditions. It’s just a little bit like playing the lottery for a living.”
Herdman was one of the 14 core cast members to star in all eight of the Potter movies, which first debuted in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Despite what was portrayed on-screen in the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s beloved series, Herdman told the blog that he’s cool with all of his former costars, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and others.
“I don’t have any beef with any of the cast to be honest, they were all pretty good guys,” he said, confessing that he and fellow Slytherin Jamie Waylett (Vincent Crabbe) had their fair share of issues.
“We truly all got on pretty well. Jamie and I didn’t get on in the early days,” Herdman recalled. “But towards the end he was probably one of my closest friends on set. He’s a really funny guy. He’s a good rapper too.”
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