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Category: HarryPotter

Will Daniel Radcliffe cast a spell over Tony Awards voters?

April 16, 2010 |  6:42 pm

Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Daniel Radcliffe has found his first post-"Harry Potter" role. He is to star next year in a Broadway revival of the Tony-winning tuner "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Radcliffe will play the plum part of J. Pierpont Finch, a window cleaner who rises to the top of a huge company while, of course, wooing and winning a girl along the way.

"How to Succeed" is one of only eight tuners to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama. The original production won the top Tony for best musical in 1962 as well as six more, including awards for lead Robert Morse and supporting player Charles Nelson Reilly. And the 1995 rialto revival of "How to Succeed" won Matthew Broderick the lead actor Tony. Loads of talent are involved in this second revival. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ("Chicago") lead the producing team while Tony Award winner Rob Ashford ("Thoroughly Modern Millie") is to direct and choreograph.

Daniel Radcliffe has been worried about his career prospects once he finishes filming the final two installments of the "Harry Potter" franchise. The 20-year-old knows that many of his contemporaries will just be graduating from drama school. Last year, he explained to Esquire about his decision to take twice-weekly ballet lessons, "They’ve been learning dance or singing and all that stuff, and I’m going to need to compete with them because I won’t have 'Harry Potter' as my safety net anymore. I need to make myself as viable a choice for any part as I possibly can."

After completing the sixth film in the franchise -- "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" -- in 2007, Radcliffe made his stage debut in a revival of the 1975 Tony-winning best play "Equus." He persuaded both the tough London and Gotham theater critics he could actually act. For his efforts, Radcliffe earned a Drama Desk nod in New York and two WhatsOnStage Awards in the West End.

Radcliffe's only other major screen roles since "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" shot him to worldwide fame in 2001 were in two 2007 projects -- the telefilm "My Boy Jack," and the feature "December Boys." He received good reviews in the former as the title character  -- the son of Nobel-winning author Rudyard Kipling -- determined to fight in World War I. However, this small-screen success did not translate into any awards recognition for the young actor. Similarly, his work in "December Boys" was well-regarded but was not recognized come kudos time.

Indeed, Daniel Radcliffe has reaped surprisingly little in the way of awards hardware. He has lost five successive Saturn Award bids for best performance by a younger actor. He failed to win any of his three Broadcast Film Critics Assn. nods for best young actor for his performances in "Sorcerer's Stone," "Prisoner of Azkaban," and "Goblet of Fire." And he still doesn't have an MTV Movie Award on his mantle, despite four nominations in various categories.

Photo: Daniel Radcliffe in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1." Credit: Warner Bros.

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Can Daniel Radcliffe ride 'Equus' to the Tony Awards derby?

September 26, 2008 | 10:31 am

Daniel Radcliffe of "Harry Potter" fame overcame the advance publicity about his nude scene in the Broadway revival of "Equus" and convinced the tough Gotham critics he can actually act.

While they were, for the most part, less than enthused about the overall production, the theater scribes raved about Radcliffe's performance. The English actor, 19, earned similar notices last year for the London run. Then he won only two kudos from the WhatsOnStage Awards, which were sealed with a notorious gay kiss. Now Daniel Radcliffe could well be a contender next spring for the Tony Award for best actor in a play.

Back in 1975, the original mounting of "Equus" was nominated for five Tonys, winning best play for Peter Shaffer (he would win again in 1981 for "Amadeus") and the director prize for John Dexter (a winner again in 1988 for helming "M. Butterfly"). Peter Firth, who originated the role of the troubled teen who blinds six horses, lost the best actor race to a rare double nominee — John Kani and Winston Ntshona — from the twin bill "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead" and "The Island."

Equus_daniel_radcliffe

This time 'round, the field for best revival is crowded with upcoming productions of classics "The Seagull" and "Hedda Gabler" as well as Tony winners "All My Sons" (1947) and "A Man for All Seasons" (1962). And, as the directors' race draws from both original and revived plays, it is unlikely that Thea Sharrock will make it into the final four.

Typical of the mixed reviews was Ben Brantley of the New York Times, who said, "Daniel Radcliffe steps into a mothball-preserved, off-the-rack part and wears it like a tailor’s delight — that is, a natural fit that allows room to stretch. Would that the production around him, first presented in London, showed off Mr. Shaffer’s 1973 psychodrama as flatteringly as it does its stage-virgin star."

Linda Winer of Newsday enthused, "The actor, tiny but a commanding feral presence, manages to be both extraordinarily lucid and mysterious as Alan Strang, the alienated provincial English boy who literally worships horses but blinds six of them in an explosion of psychosexual religiosity. Radcliffe, despite the visceral physicality of the role, appears supremely comfortable in his own skin — and, yes, kids, thanks to the nude scene, we get to see all of it."

Said Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News: "He's terrific and gives a passionate performance as Alan Strang, the 17-year-old stable hand who worships -- and blinds -- six horses. Yes, he's nude in a scene, but not gratuitously. And yes, he's (at least partially) in good company in the revival of Peter Shaffer's play, which intrigues but shows its age."

The USA Today review began, "The good and bad news about the new Broadway revival of 'Equus' with Daniel Radcliffe is that the actor is aging a lot more gracefully than the play. In this London-based production, which opened Thursday at the Broadhurst Theatre, the Harry Potter star puts to rest any arguments that his appeal should be limited to moony adolescents and maudlin grown-ups. If only the same could be said for Peter Shaffer's 35-year-old drama."

Clive Barnes of the New York Post found "Radcliffe, with his luminously intense eyes and fragile but wiry body, looks wonderfully right as Alan, the 17-year-old British boy besotted by everything equine. His acting, beautifully understated and withdrawn, has just the right manner for this horribly mixed-up adolescent, at the prey of a wayward religiosity and a twisted sexuality cemented together with suburban hypocrisy."

For David Rooney of Variety, "Daniel Radcliffe significantly helps overcome the fact that Peter Shaffer's 1975 Tony winner doesn't entirely hold up. The play is an astute career move for the 'Harry Potter' frontman as he confidently navigates the transition from child stardom to adult roles -- and Radcliffe's performance provides 'Equus' with a raw emotional nerve center that renders secondary any concerns about its wonky and over-explanatory psychology."

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'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' exits 2008 Oscars derby, but was it ever in?

August 18, 2008 |  9:23 am

Regardless of why Warner Bros. bumped "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from this fall to next summer, the shift takes this special effects-laden film out of this year's award derby. While you might think that this blockbuster flick would be a major player in the technical categories, it turns out the first five films of the franchise, though boffo in ticket sales, have been busts at the Harry_potter2 Academy Awards. Try as he might, Harry Potter can't work his magic on Oscar voters, conjuring up six nominations so far but cursed with zero wins.

The first wizard film, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001), did the best of the lot to date with three nominations: art direction, costumes and music score. It lost to, respectively, "Moulin Rouge!" "Moulin Rouge!" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

Nos. 2 and 5 — "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) — weren't nominated for anything! Third time was no charm either as "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004) lost its bids for music score and visual effects to "Finding Neverland" and "Spider-Man 2." respectively. For film No. 4 — "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005) — its lone nod for art direction lost out to "Memoirs of a Geisha."

As for the reason for the release date change: Defamer.com disagrees with a Fox News report by Roger Friedman that Warners made the move because of star Daniel Radcliffe's upcoming Broadway appearance in a controversial production of "Equus." While Defamer correctly points out that Radcliffe was stripping off in the London production of the play last year when the release of "Phoenix" rose up, Friedman is right that the rialto run this fall will attract even more attention.

(Warner Bros.)


Harry Potter and the curse of the Oscars

July 31, 2008 | 11:09 am

OK, OK, it's great to go wild about Harry again with the release of the new trailer for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," but beware, kudos nuts. Harry Potter can shake his magic wand over and over, but it fails to enchant Oscar voters.

Turns out, in fact, that Harry Potter is the new Susan Lucci of the Oscars. Since 2001, his five films have netted six nominations and no wins.

Harry_potter_and_the_halfblood_prin

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) weren't nominated for anything! The only Oscar bid cooked up by "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005) was for art direction (it lost to "Memoirs of a Geisha"). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004) did slightly better, nabbing noms for music score and visual effects. It lost to, respectively, "Finding Neverland" and "Spider-Man 2."

It was the first wizard flick that did the best. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) reaped three nominations: art direction, costumes and music score. It lost to, respectively, "Moulin Rouge!" "Moulin Rouge!" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

However, Harry Potter has had the magic touch at the Grammys where two of Jim Dale's recordings won best children's spoken word album: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2000) and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (2007).

By the way, when you view the new trailer for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," don't be upset that it doesn't include more of your fave characters.

"It’s only a teaser, just to get people excited," Rupert Grint told MTV News.

The MTV report continues: "Ron Weasley nearly dies after he drinks Professor Slughorn’s poisoned mead, a gift the professor was meant to pass on to Dumbledore, in an assassination attempt gone horribly wrong. Ron had already been poisoned in one sense — 'He gets poisoned quite a bit in this film,' Grint laughed — because he ate Romilda Vane's chocolate cauldrons (also meant for someone else, this time Harry) which were spiked with love potion. Harry rushes his friend off to the potions professor for a quick fix, only Ron goes from a bad predicament to a lethal one in mere moments. 'That was a really fun scene,' Grint said."

(Photos: Listening Library)


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