Jon Campling made a dramatic appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 when he stopped the Hogwarts Express with simply a menacing look and hand-raise.
Now he has moved to Eastbourne with his wife. He said, “Why didn’t we do it earlier? I love the end of the line railway station, it reminds me of Hull, where I’m from.
“We love the seafront, it’s so under-developed, the Duke of Devonshire area, Old Town, the pier – it’s all beautiful.
“A lot of people have asked me: ‘Why Eastbourne?” What they mean is they don’t know Eastbourne. It’s a bit of a secret. The only thing people know is it’s ‘full of old people’ – it’s an out-dated view, there’s much more to it than that.”
What was it like, being in Harry Potter films? “It was magical. I was treated like a king on set. We went to Scotland, it wasn’t a green screen, and spent two days filming it on an actual train track in November. It was utterly surreal.
“I really did stop the train – they waited for my signal to put on the breaks. It was my first day on set – I was terrified, but the trick was not showing it.”
Jon’s scene in The Deathly Hallows involves his character leading a team of Death Eaters on the wizarding school train.
He said: “It’s very clever writing. It looks like I’m looking for Harry Potter. But they are actually looking for Luna Lovegood. It’s foreshadowing when you see her captured later at Malfoy Manor. Not a lot of people know that.”
The actor is also recognised globally as the face of a character in the major gaming franchise Final Fantasy. His physical performance was motion captured for King Regis in Final Fantasy XV, a character he shared with the voice of Sean Bean.
Now Mr Campling is working with Brighton-based Actors of Dionysis, playing the role of Creon in Antigone.
His other passion is raising money for charity Invest in ME, a cause close to heart as his wife has the condition. He said, “I can’t see the point in being a little famous if I can’t raise money for charity.”
For more information, visit investinme.org