Subjects: Daniel Radcliffe, 21-year old English actor; Emma Watson, 21-year old English actress; and Rupert Grint, 22-year old English actor.
Date of Assessment: June 13, 2011
The Case(s): This week, I’ve decided to perform mini-assessments of a preliminary nature on the three main actors of the nearly-concluded Harry Potter film franchise. While the entire trio has only reached their early 20s in age, they’ve each been acting for over half of their lives, so it’s worth a mild guessing game at whether or not they’ll stick around in the long term. The main problem we’re tackling here was adeptly described by Brian Prisco in his review of Welcome to the Rileys in reference to Kristen Stewart and James Gandolfini:
For most actors, getting a regular gig on a television show or a film series is a boon, because essentially you can make enough money that you will never have to work again. The problem is — most actors want to work again. When you’ve been playing an iconic character for years, it’s hard for people to separate you from that work, and so most actors will take on really radically different roles. And it tends to be a mixed bag as to how that turns out … And things don’t really bode too well for any of the children from Harry Potter, save perhaps Rupert Grint.
The three actors in question for the Harry Potter franchise are, by now, all quite wealthy with frontman Daniel Radcliffe worth a reported $84 million as of 2010. None of them will ever have to lift a finger again if they so desire, but none would be happy to wave goodbye to the spotlight and disappear into oblivion. So let’s take a quick glance at their chances for success, respectively speaking:
Daniel Radcliffe:: Forget movies, for this guy’s gonna be one of those long-term New York and West End theater sensations (sorta like Bernadette Peters, only not). From his critically-acclaimed turn on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying to the shocking exposure of his angry ass in Equus, Radcliffe’s got live theater in his back pocket (or lack thereof, as the case may be). Oh sure, he’ll do the occasional spot of film work when the occasion suits him (probably a few one-shot blockbusters), but Radcliffe’s a theater geek, through and through.
Emma Watson: Post Potter filming, Emma headed to Brown University for a couple of semesters but recently took a leave of absence from school. It’s thought that she’ll eventually pick up her studies at Oxford, but she’s definitely in the midst of an “enjoy life” phase at the moment. On the professional front, she’s got two movies (My Life with Marilyn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower) in post production but nothing else on the acting horizon. I predict that, compared to Radcliffe and Grint, she’ll never be able to demonstrate the range necessary for a long-lasting acting career. However, she’s raking in some pretty good cash (as if she needs it) with a few lucrative modeling spokesperson gigs, and her celebrity should carry her far in that department for at least the next few fashion seasons.
Rupert Grint:: Here, I agree with Prisco’s statement because Rupert is definitely the actor’s actor of the bunch, and if any of the three can ever successfully shake off the association with their HP characters (or, at the very least, cease being known as “that Harry Potter kid”), it’s gonna be this one. Rupert’s already begun to dispense with his good-boy image in the slightly dirty Cherrybomb and took on the role of an assassin’s apprentice in Wild Target. Furthermore, he’s got four very interesting looking films in various states of production, so there’s no shortage of Rupert Grint to come. Dare I say that he might just manage to be the same type breed of childhood-actor-turned-indie-star that we currently recognize in Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m getting at here.
Group Prognosis: Since this assessment was meant only as a cursory overview of three actors who’ve each put in a decade’s worth of work thus far, it’s rather pointless to try and make a detailed prognosis. However, I think it’s fairly clear that Daniel Radcliffe will probably continue his path as a Broadway-bound dandy; Emma Watson will putter around in various modeling contracts and perhaps try her hand at romantic comedy; and Rupert Grint will soar to relatively great heights in several acting aspects. Let’s revisit this topic in another decade, shall we?
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.