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|When Danny Met Harry|
- British boy to play child wizard
THE SEARCH for Harry Potter is finally over as it was confirmed yesterday that 11 year-old Daniel Radcliffe will step in to fill the young wizard's shoes.
And fears that the role would be played by an American kid can be put to rest - as Daniel, who starred in last year's BBC adaptation of David Copperfield, is British. The youngster, expected to earn an estimated UKP 10 million from the role, was picked despite stiff competition from his US rivals.
Director Chris Columbus, who was behind the smash hit Home Alone, had been hounded by Hollywood big-wigs to cast an American child. "The process was intense and there were times when we felt we could never find an individual who embodied the complex spirit and depth of Harry Potter," he said. "Then Dan walked into the room."
Author J.K. Rowling was adamant that Harry should be played by a Brit. And she was clearly chuffed with the result. "We couldn't have asked for a better Harry," she said. Culture secretary Chris Smith was also pleased on hearing the news. " I am delighted that British talent is being used in this quintessentially British story."
The Brit factor will be bolstered as two British child newcomers join Daniel. 10-year old Emma Watson is to play smarty-pants Hermione Granger and 11 year-old Rupert Grint will take on the role of Harry's best friend Ron Weasley.