Monday 19 March 2018

Harry Potter and the wands of change

As the movie wizardry comes to an end, John Costello examines how the franchise's three young stars grew up in the spotlight

The magic is about to end. Harry Potter is getting set to cast his last spell 21 years after JK Rowling conjured up the adolescent wizard while sitting on a train from Manchester to London.

This Friday the final film of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, will see Harry clash with arch-enemy Lord Voldemort for the final time, as the young wizard battles to save the world from evil forces.

While the first book had a tentative print run of a mere 1,000 copies back in 1997, it went on to sell 450 million copies, build a global brand valued at $15bn (€10.5bn) and make Rowling the world's first and only author to earn $1bn.

The alchemy that is the Harry Potter phenomenon has also made multimillionaires of its actors, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. But with the films and books now at an end, how have the child stars transformed over the years? And how, having grown up on the film set, do they plan to keep the magic alive once Hogwarts turns out its lights?

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