What next for the Harry Potter stars?

Can the former child stars escape the shadow of their Harry Potter roles?

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With £42 million in the bank, Daniel Radcliffe need never work again.

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The fact that he wants to is testament to his ambition to prove himself as an actor. As the star of the Harry Potter franchise he has chosen his next steps wisely, distancing himself from invisibility cloaks and flying broomsticks with tentative moves into grown-up theatre.

In contrast, co-star Rupert Grint plans to take the title role in a biopic of ski-jump chump Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards. It’s a bold move for the actor known around the world as Ron Weasley.

Yes, he and his co-stars are among this country’s Top 12 young millionaires (Grint is worth £20 million). But how do you forge a meaningful acting career after that? You might ask: what’s the motivation?

Emma Watson, 20, is the current face of Burberry and has worked on a range of clothing for the Fairtrade fashion brand People Tree.

She’s also determined to finish her studies at Brown University in Rhode Island. For my money, she’s the weakest of the Potter trio. It may be fortuitous that she has other interests.

Grint embodies exactly the kind of stage school overacting that a developing performer naturally grows out of (“C-can w-we panic no-ow?” – Chamber of Secrets); however, we’ve been watching him fail to do that since 2001. I feel sure he’ll get better with age, but it’s going to be tough for him to emerge from Ron’s shadow.

This sort of character association is not just about being a child star. Pierce Brosnan was in his 40s when he became James Bond; four films later, he was James Bond for the rest of his life.

But the Potter kids have literally grown up in public, and we feel a certain parental ownership over them.

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Or maybe Grint has it all worked out: a laid-back individual, he bought an ice-cream van in 2007, so if it doesn’t work out… stop him and buy one.