In a new interview, Cave, who played Lavender Brown in the hit franchise, said the experience left her "terrified" when she goes for costume fittings now

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Jessie Cave
Jessie Cave
| Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett / Getty

Jessie Cave struggled with comments about her weight on the set of the Harry Potter films, and the experience has stuck with her through her acting career.

The 34-year-old, who played classmate Lavender Brown in the last three movies, had gained weight in between filming, and reflected on the reactions she got in a new interview.

"I was not a right fit for the industry at that time," she told The Guardian. "Lavender Brown is conventionally pretty, no glasses, small. By the time I went back to do the last film, I had gained a bit of weight and I wasn't that person anymore."

Cave said that she was never told to lose weight, but that a costume designer on set grabbed her stomach. "Which was just horrible," she said.

The incident put her on guard for the last decade as she went into new acting jobs.

"Now I go into the costume fitting for any job and I'm terrified," Cave said. "I'm prepared to be told something unkind. You're treated like a different type of thing; you're not somebody with feelings who has thought about what pants they're going to wear that day because they're going to be seen."

The mom of three, though, has seen improvements in the last five years and a better respect towards her body.

"Now when they're nice to me, and they are sensitive to how I may be feeling about my body, or that I may be breastfeeding or whatever, I almost cry."

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Cave has noticed, though, that her weight has made a difference in whether she gets a role.

"I've definitely considered losing weight — and when I have lost weight, I tend to get a part," she said. "I mean, it's not rocket science. But I eat healthily, I'm a normal-sized woman, and I'm still regarded, probably, as a fat actress."

Cave, who just published her debut novel Sunset in June, had previously talked about her experience on the Harry Potter set in July, telling The Independent that she "gained a lot of weight after doing Harry Potter [and the Half-Blood Prince], just because I wasn't starving myself. And I was growing up and that's just what happens."

Lavender Brown
Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown
| Credit: WARNER BROS/ Everett Collection

Cave said that she "was treated like a different species" after her weight gain and "definitely felt invisible."

"It was horrible. It was probably more me and my insecurity, knowing that I wasn't fitting into the same size jeans, but it wasn't a time where actresses were any bigger than a size eight [U.K.]," she said. "And in the previous film I had been, and now I was a size 12. So that was horrible. It was a really uncomfortable experience."

But Cave can also appreciate the path her life took because of it.

"If I'd stayed thin – unnaturally thin, unhappily thin – I would have probably got more acting roles, and then I wouldn't have started writing. And then I don't know who I would be now because writing is who I am," she shared. "I'm almost grateful that I gained all that weight."