Looking at these magical pictures it appears the three biggest stars in Harry Potter have taken a large dose of Ageing Potion. The trio has morphed from fresh-faced unknowns to ambitious young professionals, ready to leave the wizarding world behind for the land of muggles.
As Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe posed at the launch of the sixth film, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, they must have been reflecting on their nine years in the spotlight. With filming on the last installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, almost completed, the trio are now preparing for life after Hogwarts.
At today’s press conference director David Yates, who also made the fifth movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, said: ‘Our cast are just getting that little bit older now and the hormones are starting to fly and for me it marks a real transition point between our cast as children and our cast as adults.’
Emma Watson, 19, is off New York, where she will study at Columbia University. She has talked of becoming an ‘anonymous’ student and has registered under her middle name of Charlotte. Watson is fast becoming the highest profile of the trio starring in advertising campaigns for Burberry and fronting the covers of numerous glossy fashion magazines. ‘I’m very excited and looking forward to a bit of normality for a while, it would be nice,’ she said today. ‘But that by no means that by going to university I’m never going to act again. It was nice to be back and to know that this film is, to me, more of a romantic comedy than ever before and that we would have a chance to focus more on that side of things.
Emma says with the end of filming on the series of eight films, she will be saying goodbye to her ‘second family’ on the Watford set. ‘It’s going to sound dramatic, but I feel like it’s going to be my life over as I know it,’ she said. ‘My whole life has been about Harry Potter and then all of that will shut down and I don’t know what it will be like. I go to university in September – I’ll be doing bits and bobs at Christmas, but September feels like my cut-off point, the moment when I’ll really stop.’
Daniel Radcliffe, who turns 20 this month, has chosen to focus on establishing a name for himself as a serious actor, finding acclaim on the stage in high-profile Broadway and London shows. The actor recently stripped for his demanding role in the disturbing play, Equus. ‘Hopefully just keep acting is the plan,’ he said today. ‘I just want to keep going for as long as I can and I’ve had a fantastic time with Potter. I will be very sad to leave it.’
In an interview with this month’s Esquire he revealed that despite his success he has fears about the future: ‘The thing is, in a few years I’ll be 21, 22, and that’s when all the guys who’ve been at drama school will come out. They’ve been learning dance or singing and all that stuff, and I’m going to need to compete with them because I won’t have Harry Potter as my safety net any more.’
Rupert Grint, 20, who recently recovered from a mild bout of swine flu, was equally modest about his future prospects. ‘It’s always at the back of my mind that acting might come to an end for me when Harry Potter finishes. I don’t know if I’m good enough to have a long career,’ he said. ‘I’ve got a bit of an inferiority complex about my acting. My self-esteem is quite low in that sense.’
Grint just completed filming Wild Target, in which he stars alongside Bill Nighy as an apprentice hit-man. He also starred in the gritty thriller Cherrybomb, in which he played a troubled youth dabbling in sex, drugs and violence.
According to Warner Bros, the seventh film will be broken into two parts with the first scheduled to hit cinemas in November, 2010 and the second part in the summer of 2011.