Sixteen years after the first Harry Potter film was released (that would be Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone), what are the film franchise’s stars doing now?
Then: In 2000, Daniel Radcliffe was 11 when he won the part for the bespectacled wizard Harry Potter after what director Christopher Columbus described as an intense process to find who embodied the spirit and depth of the character.
“Then, Dan walked in the room and we all knew we had found Harry,” Columbus said in a BBC article.
Now: In an interview with Heat in 2012, Radcliffe revealed that the pressures of fame made him an alcoholic. He’d turned up to the set of Harry Potter (at that time filming for Half-Blood Prince) not feeling like himself.
“I went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work. I can point to many scenes where I’m just gone. Dead behind the eyes,” he said.
Since then, Radcliffe, now a sober 27-year-old actor, has starred in a steady stream of films including blockbusters like Now You See Me 2, horror flick Woman In Black 2 and indie favourite Swiss Army Man.
Then: Emma Watson was 11 when she got the part as the smart muggle Hermione Granger. She earned rave reviews for her performance and even received a Leading Young Actress award in the Young Artist Award (an awards in Hollywood).
Did you know that after completing the fifth movie, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Watson wanted to drop out to focus on her studies? Thankfully, the studio was able to work their production dates to suit Watson’s needs.
“They essentially moved the Harry Potter film schedule around my exam dates, which was amazing. It all worked out,” she said to MTV News in 2016.
Now: Watson, 27, graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature in 2014.
Most recently, she played Belle in the worldwide box-office hit Beauty And The Beast and it is reported that she will be this year’s highest-paid actress (for a single film). Just how much is Watson expected to bring home for her work in Beauty And The Beast?
A whopping US$15mil (RM65mil).
Then: In an interview with The Guardian back in 2011, Rupert Grint was confident that he’d do well in the audition for Ron Weasley aka Harry Potter’s best friend. “I’d already won a Ron Weasley lookalike competition in a newspaper so I thought I had a chance,” he said.
His parents filmed him performing a rap on reasons why he’d do justice to the part.
Needless to say, the then-12-year-old Grint won the part. His debut film performance earned him the Satellite Award for Outstanding Young Talent and Most Promising Young Newcomer at the Young Artist Award in 2002.
Now: Post-Harry Potter, a few independent films and one Ed Sheeran music video later, Grint has yet to cast his spell on Hollywood.
Recently, he starred in the TV adaptation of Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. While it was mauled by critics, Grint earned positive reviews for his performance.
Then: He was Harry’s bully and nemesis Draco Malfoy. Before that, he played Jodie Foster’s son in Anna And The King, which was filmed in Malaysia back in 1999.
Unlike the other young actors, Felton (then 13) joined the Harry Potter movie franchise as someone with prior acting experience.
Perhaps that sense of maturity worked like a charm on some of his younger co-stars. In an interview with Jonathan Ross, Watson revealed that she had a crush on Felton.
“Between the ages of 10 and 12, I had a really terrible crush on Tom, to the extent that I would go into work in the morning and look down the numbers on the call sheet to see if he was going to be in.”
Now: Felton has done a number of significant projects such as Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and he plays Julian Albert in the hit TV series The Flash.
Then: He was Neville Longbottom, the scared introverted wizard who didn’t know why he got sorted in Gryffindor, a house known for bravery. Lewis was 12 when he got the part. As the series continued, Lewis had to wear a fat suit and fake teeth to look the part. He admitted that he struggled with that look as a teenager on set.
“Being 15 years old in the middle of puberty, having to wear a fat suit. There’s girls around; I’ve got this fat suit on every day. No one knows I’m wearing this damn thing, they all just think I’m fat,” he said to People magazine in 2017.
Now: Lewis, 28, continues to make headlines for his looks … but it’s not what you think. The 182cm actor’s transformation from geeky to suave and fit has been widely reported. His most recent film work is the romantic drama Me Before You.
Then: Evanna Lynch was 14 when she beat 15,000 other girls to win the part of loveable oddball Luna Lovegood. Her character first appeared in the fifth movie Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. Prior to getting the part, Lynch shared that she wrote to Rowling to credit her for how the Harry Potter books helped her overcame a difficult time in her life.
“I was sick. I had an eating disorder at the time and I wrote to her because I felt like Harry Potter was the only thing that took my mind off it,” she said in a recent interview with ITV. Rowling wrote back and they became pen pals.
Now: Lynch, now 25, is starring in Disco Pigs, the Enda Walsh play. To this day, she still thinks highly of the effect Harry Potter has on her.
“It’s just me being a nerd. The books almost have a resetting effect on me. They bring me back to who I am,” she said to Huffington Post.