Posted by Alia Haddad on July 12, 2011 at 12:31 am
With the last Harry Potter ever, or at least in the foreseeable future, opening this week (June 15th to be exact), promotion and marketing of the film seems to be at an all time high. I can’t go anywhere, or watch any T.V., without being inundated with the three faces that we have seen grow up right in front of our eyes, or rather, our T.V. screens. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have become faces of not only recognition, but instant familiarity. The thing is, though, in addition to publicizing the film (and very well, I might add), it has also left me wondering one serious question– “Will we ever see these faces again after the release of the movie, or will the Harry Potter series be the death of them (not physically, but symbolically)?”
Before getting into a tizzy over the fact that you all think I’m critiquing the three biggest teenage idols, just hear me out. Harry Potter was a huge franchise, and these kids were handpicked for their roles, chosen because they most closely matched the images J.K. Rowling implanted in our heads with her vivid character details in her books. Seven films later, is it actually possible to look at these actors without instinctively identifying them with their Harry Potter characters?
I mean, it’s a valid question. Let’s look at a couple other movie franchises of the same caliber. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were arguably the biggest stars coming out of George Lucas’s Star Wars. Well, yeah, Harrison Ford was pretty big too, but he didn’t play the kind of major characer that Luke Skywalker and Princess Leila Organa were. And out of the two of them, it was Carrie Fisher that managed to hold a semblance of a career. Well, kinda-sorta. She appeared steadily in pretty good films, yet she always remained a supporting actress. Perhaps most memorably known for her portrayal of Sally Albright’s best friend Marie in Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally, Fisher has also been the voice of Angela in Family Guy since its inception. Mark Hamill’s career, on the other hand, as his IMDB page will illuminate, while it is full of projects is somewhat, well, bleak, mainly doing a lot of voice work on former cartoon shows. Yes, yes, he did get into a car accident, leaving him with scars, but he did appear in movies after said accident, so I don’t think the accident is solely to blame for his dwindled career post Star Wars.
Some of the characters in the Lord of the Rings series have also suffered similar career paths. While Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom have managed to still remain big stars, Wood has survived mainly on supporting roles in independent films (Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Bloom is hard to find in a role in which he doesn’t swing a sword. And on top of that, both are currently filming Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. Other young stars that came out of the film found their home in TV–Dominic Monaghan starred on Lost when it was still running and Sean Astin seemed to get the voice-over curse (he voiced Special Agent Oso in the so-titled show from 2009-2010) that has befallen former stars Hamill and Fisher.
So, are Radcliffe, Watson and Grint doomed to follow a similar fate? Well, I have my predictions. It seems to me that Watson out of the three of them has the best chance to spread her wings far from Hogwarts, perhaps because she has already clearly expressed this wish to do so. But, will she just get stuck in the teenage/young adult crowd (a la Emma Roberts)? While I also imagine Daniel Radcliffe being able to break free of the films’ namesake role, I have a sneaking suspicion he will get lost somewhere in the independent scene. Who I’m really stuck on is Rupert Grint. Yes, maybe he’ll do the British film thing for a bit, but will he ever be anything other than Ron Weasley? And for that matter, can any of them really be anything other than the roles that made them beloved?
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