Harry Potter's Gregory Goyle actor unrecognisable after dramatic transformation

Tattooed and toned, Josh Herdman has come a long way since his Hogwarts days.

It's been more than 20 years since Josh Herdman joined the Harry Potter franchise as the Slytherin sidekick of villain Draco Malfoy. The then fresh-faced 13-year-old played Gregory Goyle in the first film and then went on to reprise the role in the next seven movies - one of only a handful of actors to do so.

Fast forward to today though and the now-tattooed and toned-up British actor is unrecognisable.

Josh Herdman today next to a shot from his Harry Potter days
Josh Herdman recently posted a picture of his modern self next to a shot from his Harry Potter days. Photo: Instagram/@josh_herdman_official

After becoming a dad to two boys with his wife Jessica, the star set out on a completely new career path, taking up cage fighting and martial arts. With five years' worth of training and a black belt in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, he turned his focus to a career as a professional MMA Fighter.


Commenting on why he made the unpredictable career move in 2016, he said he needed a steady focus. "If I'm honest I was a party animal," he said in a 2018 interview with the Press Association.

"I was, like many young people are. I don't know, it was the people I was hanging around with and you have money," he explained. "It was just what I was doing and I had enough of it, so I gave it up and started to focus on my fitness, I quit smoking and I haven't looked back."

Josh Herdman working out and with his two sons
Josh stepped away from acting to focus on a professional sporting career and spending time with his two sons. Source: Instagram/@josh_herdman_official

After going off the rails in his late teens following his successful acting career, his unbelievable transformation has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of his life.

"I had enough of it so I decided I was going to get fit and I knew I needed something to focus on and martial arts did change my life," he said.

Josh has always enjoyed MMA so it was a logical choice after transforming himself. "I chose MMA because I love the sport - it's raw, exciting and unpredictable," he told Addicted MMA On the Road. "I find it more interesting than boxing, although I appreciate the beauty and art in boxing. It also made sense to move on to MMA because of my jujitsu training. I would like a few amateur fights first to get me started and where it goes from there, who knows?"

Josh Herdman
Winning his first fight in 2016, Josh continued his training and scored another win in 2018. Source: Instagram/@josh_herdman_official

While Josh says acting was like "playing the lottery for a living", he didn't completely turn his back on it, having starred in a handful of film and TV roles after leaving the world of Hogwarts behind. Most notably, he starred in the movie Robin Hood alongside Jamie Foxx in 2018 and also had an ongoing role in the popular British crime drama Marcella.

Also, in May last year, he entered the world of reality TV, starring in the British series The Games. Joined by 12 other celebrities, the former film star competed in a range of intense sporting challenges that required weeks of rigorous training. Although he didn't win, he did finish up in a very respectable third place.

Josh Herdman on The Games
In 2022 Josh competed in the reality TV series, The Games, taking out the third spot. Photo: Instagram/@josh_herdman_official

Josh still clearly has a soft spot for his Harry Potter roots though, often referencing the days of starring alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. He's even been spotted at a number of Harry Potter conventions around the world, most recently appearing in the US at a three-day event for Harry Potter fans.

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at lifestyle.tips@yahooinc.com.