The Harry Potter film series is one of the few book franchises to translate wonderfully to the screen. The success is largely due to the cinematic appeal of Rowling’s wizarding world. Chris Columbus, who previously directed the “Home Alone” series, helmed the franchise and helped bring Rowling’s literary vision to life. However, the driving force behind the film’s prosperity is the acting.
As seen in the embedded video, the chemistry of the young actors involved in the film is undeniable. Also, it’s hard to believe that someone as young as Daniel Radcliffe could have so much charisma. While his maturity is evident, it’s his youthfulness that stands out to me, a trait that made his depiction of the eponymous Harry Potter that much more likeable.
A deep-dive into Radcliffe’s career post-Potter is quite fascinating. He’s still acting, but only gravitates towards weird, experimental roles in largely independent films. If you’ve seen “Swiss Army Man,” you know what I’m talking about. The reasoning behind his trajectory is unclear, but my guess is that playing Harry Potter made Radcliffe feel more like a pop culture icon than a classically trained actor.
Side note: “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” scared the living shit out of me as a kid. I have a serious phobia of snakes, and the friend that showed me the film failed to mention the 10 scenes involving a talking serpent. I remember asking his parents to drive me home at 2 in the morning because I thought the great Basilisk was crawling in my sleeping bag. Yikes.