Daniel Radcliffe: Branching out After Harry Potter

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With the premiere of the final instalment of the Harry Potter saga growing ever closer, the conclusion of what the film trailer aptly calls “the motion picture event of a generation” marks both the end and the beginning for the young cast. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry, in particular has done a lot of thinking, planning, and talking about his future as an actor, “It would be too easy to take the easy ride, I think,” Radcliffe said in a report to the BBC.
Instead, the young actor has decided to take the lead in a Broadway musical that has very recently opened in New York, obtaining mixed reviews. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a remake of an old musical that stretches the talent of Radcliffe, who has to speak and sing with an American accent as well as dance as the lead character, J Pierrepont Finch. Finch is a window washer who quickly figures out how to step on people while moving up the corporate ladder, a far cry from a boy wizard who aims to save the world. The musical will also exercise Radcliffe, literally, to the point of exhaustion with some eight showings each week until it finishes in early 2012, preventing him from headlining the film news anytime soon.

Many actors can sometimes become bitter towards the type casted roles that boosted their career, never really shaking off the image of that first big part. At times, Radcliffe has fitted this mould, (see: Equus), but recently seems to have better embraced The Boy Who Lived as a giant springboard for the rest of his career, “Ten years of one character is a long time and I’m ready to move on as well,” he said after talking about how much he will miss it. It does seem like he is taking the high road, however, and picking some challenging roles to help him in his quest to break the Potter mould: “The challenge is now in the longevity of it (my career), and that’s what I’m pursuing.”
All of this is coming off the back of the completion of the Harry Potter series, with the final movie due to hit theatres on 15 July. And while Radcliffe’s most recent endeavours have garnered mixed feelings for critics, there is no doubting that the film reviews of the movie for the second half of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows should and will be nothing short of brilliant. After the release of the first book in 1997 and the first film in 2001, there has never been another story that has so fully encompassed the childhood imaginations and passions of an entire generation.

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