Harry Potter: Is Deathly Hallows A Career Ender?
Will the three main stars survive in Hollywood without Harry Potter?
We are now mere hours away from the release of the new Harry Potter movie Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1, but I find myself wondering something about the cast. Will the actors that play the three main characters of the series: Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), go on to have long successful careers or will this be the end of their stardom?
I think history shows us that we might want to enjoy these three while we have them because they may not be around for long. Sure, right now they are hot and will get other roles and do other things because everyone knows who they are, but if they are unable to quickly find success in a different movie or show as a different character they may well have trouble shedding the typecasting of Harry Potter. Case in point: the TV show friends. While on TV they were all big stars and while we all know their faces and names most of the cast has failed to go on to other success. Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry tried other roles on TV and movies, but none of them caught on. David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow have basically fallen off the face of the earth and Courtney Cox has had a couple of mildly successful TV shows. Only Jennifer Aniston has gone on to large scale further success.
The only real comparisons we have for Harry Potter are TV shows because this is really the only long running series of movies that has had the same actors in it from start to finish. These kids literally have spent half their lives shooting Harry Potter and there really isn’t any other movie series like that out there. But there are plenty of long running TV shows where the stars have never moved on to similar success after the show. Another potential strike against the Harry Potter cast is that they were child actors when cast. It is very difficult to child actors to then move on to more adult roles.
Of the three Harry Potter stars I think Emma Watson has the best chance of continuing her success. She has grown from being a cute kid to being flat out gorgeous. She also seems pretty well grounded and is taking herself out of the limelight for a little while as she goes to college. I think of the three she is the least typecast so she has the best chance of breaking out. Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry is going to have a tough time shedding the Harry Potter moniker. When you see his face you see Harry Potter. He was in a play recently where he actually got nude on stage and all the gossip blog had posts with the title, “See Harry Potter Naked.” He could eventually shed the Harry Potter image, but I think it would take him getting a role that is completely the opposite of Harry Potter and nailing it. He will have to be memorable enough that people now think of him as that role, not Harry Potter. Rupert Grint could go on to other things simply because he is kind of the odd man out. He is one of the big three, but the story really is about Harry and Hermione (at least in the movies, I have never read the books). Rupert is a distant third. Add in that he looks a lot different now than he did as a kid and it could help him. His potentially problem is that he appears to be a pretty average guy. I’m not sure he has the charisma to develop other characters enough that we forget him as Ron, but I could see him as a character actor.
Only time will tell for sure. With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 opening tomorrow and Part 2 opening next summer it will be at least several more months until the Harry Potter movies are slowly removed from the public’s conscience. From there I think it has more to do with how the public feels about the actors in other roles than it does their actual acting ability that will define their future. One thing we know for sure is that these three, like the cast of friends, have plenty of money in the bank so they can take their time and develop their futures without having to worry about paying the bills.
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