Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint grew up (literally) in front of our eyes during the 10 years that elapsed between the first Harry Potter movie and the last. Even if you weren’t a particular fan of J.K. Rowling’s books or the film franchise, you had to admire the accomplishments of the series -- and wonder how, or if, the three lead actors would fare in their post-Potter careers.
Radcliffe, the indisputable star of the series as the title character, seems to have gone out of his way to distance himself from the boy wizard. Back in 2007, he made the bold decision to star in a new stage production of Equus, in which he displayed his acting chops -- and also appeared completely naked. That same year, he starred in indie drama December Boys, which didn’t make too much of an impression despite its adult subject matter, but his first post-Potter starring role in 2012’s atmospheric horror drama The Woman in Black became a surprising box office success, with many critics giving Radcliffe kudos for his performance.
He drew further positive notices for playing young beat poet Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, which is evidently more of an ensemble piece, yet still daring (in view of Hary Potter 's primarily young-adult audience) because he’s portraying a homosexual character and engaging in sexual activity on-screen. Now he’s about ready to make another fascinating choice: he’s in final negotations to star in a new version of Frankenstein, but he won’t be playing Dr. Frankenstein or the Monster; instead, he would play Igor, the doctor’s hunchbacked assistant. The script by Max Landis (Chronicle) calls for an especially dirty, unkempt Igor. Talk about playing against type!
While Radcliffe prepares to slide into a supporting role in a major production, Watson is considering doing the opposite. She is in “very early talks” to star as Cinderella for Disney and director Kenneth Branagh. Cate Blanchett is already set to play Cinderella’s wicked stepmother.
Cinderella would be the most prominent role Watson has taken on since leaving behind the feisty, fiery Hermione Granger. Post-Potter, she lined up a series of roles, ranging from supporting (My Weekend with Marilyn) to more substantial (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which did a great job of positioning her in the real world), and has three more movies that should be released in the next year or so: Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, Seth Rogen’s apocalyptic comedy This Is the End, and Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah. That’s an impressive variety of studio and independent films, and should show everyone what she’s capable of doing in non-magical roles.
Meanwhile, Rupert Grint, the humble, likable but too often overshadowed Ron Weasley, has followed a modest course in his post-Potter career. During the Potter years, he made more films than his compadres, but since then he’s shot less-showy appearances in the likes of Into the White and The Necessary Death of Charlie Countrymen, as well as punk-rock drama CBGB. The latter two have yet to be released.
He’s been mentioned for possible starring roles -- he sounds like a perfect choice to portray Olympic ski jumper Eddie the Eagle -- but none of those have come to fruition yet. We can’t help rooting for him, though; he deserves an opportunity to make a little magic of his own.