British actor Timothy Spall, known to Harry Potter fans as Peter Pettigrew, appeared on the red carpet after a dramatic weight loss

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated December 18, 2019 11:57 PM
Credit: Danny Martindale/FilmMagic

The chubby, ratty Wormtail is long gone.

Actor Timothy Spall – best known to Harry Potter fans as Peter Pettigrew, or Wormtail – stepped on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival Wednesday looking dramatically slimmer.

Spall was there for the premiere of his latest film, The Journey, about the true story of two political enemies during the Irish revolution who forge a friendship. In the lead role, Spall portrays Unionist politician Ian Paisley.

Spall’s son, Rafe, also an actor, recently underwent a major weight loss of his own. Rafe said that gaining weight seems to be a family trait, at least according to his dad.

“My dad would say there’s a Spall fat gene,” he told the Guardian in 2013.

Timothy is also a cancer survivor, and has been in remission from Leukemia since 1996. But the illness changed his outlook on life.

“Life throws things at you that you don’t choose,” he told the New York Post in 2014. “So if you are lucky, and have the audacity not to die and to live and take the experience, it’s an old cliché, but what doesnt kill you makes you stronger.”

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“Having gone through a serious illness – and I had a young family at the time – [there are] all the questions that you have to ask yourself about what’s going to become of them and what’s going to become of you. It gives you a true sense of what it is to be up against ‘it.’ “