"The next 12 months are going to be quite telling," Daniel Radcliffe told us recently, as he faces the end of the "Harry Potter" franchise and attempts to refashion his career, putting the boy wizard who made him a star firmly behind him.
The 21-year-old Brit has just kicked off his Broadway musical career with the lead in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," a show that will keep him Stateside into next year. He'll be saying goodbye to "Potter" in July, when the second and final part of "The Deathly Hallows" hits theaters, and is looking forward to promoting his starring role in the supernatural thriller "The Woman in Black," which is scheduled for an early 2012 release. Put together, he's got quite a busy year ahead of him, at the end of which, Radcliffe himself admits, he'll be able to tell if he's successfully broken away from "Potter" territory.
Moving past the magical wunderkind is something he wanted to accomplish early and definitively. "If I had been taking some time off and not doing stuff, I think the temptation in terms of the media and the public, to a certain extent, is [that] if you don't hear from a child star for a while, you can kind of condemn them to the been-and-gone pile," he explained. "I wanted to make sure that didn't happen."
His "Potter" co-star Emma Watson seemed to come to a similar conclusion in March, when she announced her intention to take a break from Brown University and focus again on her acting career. "As you know, I love Brown and I love studying pretty much more than anything but recently I've had so much to juggle that being a student AND fulfilling my other commitments has become a little impossible," she wrote on her website, adding that she wanted to "focus on my other professional and acting projects."
Those other projects, like Radcliffe's, have been far different than "Potter" — a conscious decision both of them have made in order to grow artistically. "I wanted to make sure people knew that I wanted to work and I didn't necessarily want to take the easy option of immediately signing up to another huge tent-pole fantasy series,"
Radcliffe said. "For me, I get very, very bored unless I'm doing something that challenges me and makes me jump through a few hoops."
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