Star trio facing life after Harry Potter

The stars of the Harry Potter films each face the tricky task of forging a new career as the phenomenally successful series which has shaped their lives from an early age comes to an end.

Daniel Radcliffe has gone into musical comedy, Emma Watson into modelling and Rupert Grint into low-budget films, each seeking to make their name outside the eight films based on J. K. Rowling's novels about the boy wizard.

For 10 years, the British trio have grown up on screen, from pre-teenagers into young adults, in one of the most lucrative film series of all time.

But when the final curtain falls on Thursday in London with the world premiere of the eighth movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2", the magical world of wizardry and witchcraft they have inhabited for a decade will be history.

"Because this is such a widely seen thing I think I will always be known as the guy from Harry Potter," said Grint, who played Potter's loyal friend Ron Weasley.

"That will always be next to my name, I think. That's kind of the challenge, to move away from that," the 22-year-old told reporters on Wednesday.

Grint said he was happy to say goodbye "in a way". "Though it's taken quite a while to get to that point," he said, admitting that when filming first ended "I had so much freedom at once, I didn't know what to do. I still don't."

Now, he said, he had mentally "closed the door" on his Potter career.

Grint has appeared in a handful of movies outside the Potter series, including "Comrade", a low-budget Norwegian anti-war film due out next year.

"I will always miss it but it's nice to move on and explore different things," he said.

"There's nothing specific I want to do, just something different really."

He said 10 years playing the same character was a long time and he "couldn't imagine" reprising the role.

Radcliffe, 21, who played the eponymous hero, has already appeared naked in the play Equus in London and New York. He is currently appearing in the lead role in the musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" on Broadway.

"If I can make a career for myself after Potter, and it goes well, and is varied and with longevity, then that puts to bed the 'child actors argument'," that they never make it as adults, Radcliffe told GQ magazine.

"If I can do it, in the biggest film franchise of all time, no other child actor who comes after will ever have to answer those same bloody questions."

The main Potter actors have all earned a fortune - Radcliffe £42 million ($67.5 million, 46.5 million euros), Watson £22 million and Grint £20 million, according to The Sunday Times newspaper's rich list.

"I don't know what to do with it. I'm very fortunate to have it, and it gives you room to manoeuvre," Radcliffe said.

"But the main thing about having money is it means you don't have to worry about it."

Grint said of his fortune: "I've never seen it. It's obviously there, but I've never really known what to do with it."

Watson, 21, who plays Hermione Granger, celebrated the end of filming by having her hair cut short and began modelling and fashion work.

She has already featured on several magazine covers and is to appear in two forthcoming films, "My Week with Marilyn Lucy" and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower".

She spent 18 months at Brown University in Rhode Island but left in March. She is thought likely to resume her studies in Britain later this year.

David Barron, one of the film's producers, said Watson was a "star in waiting", while Radcliffe had "proved himself already", and Grint was a "very capable actor" who had far more than just "comedic genius".

David Yates, who directed the final four Potter films, said he thought the trio had the maturity to forge the right career paths.

"They've got to a point now where their confidence is reasonably strong," he said.

"I would hope that they don't end up making big mega-movies because that might be an impossible thing to chase. Lightning doesn't strike twice. They don't need to financially.

"What they might end up doing, which would be wonderful, is just making interesting choices.

"The great thing about all three of them is they've got the integrity, the judgement and the people around them to help make those choices."

Arts and Entertainment Musical by Damon Albarn


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