Copyright ©2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Lines are forming outside movie theaters across the country, lines of young adults wearing Quidditch jerseys, carrying wands, perhaps brooms. They are the horde of Harry Potter followers and they are lining up to celebrate and to mourn. And more specifically, they're lining up to see the last Harry Potter movie.

Our film critic Bob Mondello has been thinking about another group of people going through a life change: the actors who brought these fantasies to the big screen.

BOB MONDELLO: Do you have any idea how many wizards, werewolves and vampires are going to be out of work soon? In a few months, Craigslist is going to have all kinds of eye-catching resumes:

School athlete, captain of Quidditch team, seeks entry-level position. No degree, but considerable leadership experience. Contact Harold Potter. Or night shift sought by graduate of multiple high schools. If you're thinking extremely long-term, ask for Edward Cullen.

Okay, this is facetious for the characters, but what about the actors who will no longer be playing them once their series end? We've known little Danny Radcliffe since he was just a wand-wielding tyke.

(Soundbite of film)

Unidentified Man #1 (Actor): (As character) You're a wizard, Harry.

Mr. DANIEL RADCLIFFE (Actor): (As Harry Potter) I'm a what?

MONDELLO: Now, he's on Broadway, and what's he doing? Looking for work.

(Soundbite of play, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying")

Mr. RADCLIFFE: (As character) (Singing) How to apply for a job? How to advance from the mailroom?

MONDELLO: "How to Succeed," the title of Radcliffe's show, is kind of the question for all these young millionaire actors, since after four or five or eight movies as one character, when they do new roles, you can't help picturing them in their old ones.

Daniel Radcliffe seems determined to avoid that, having done a nude scene in "Equus" before tap-dancing in "How to Succeed."

His one-time fellow wizard, Robert Pattinson, no doubt thought he'd escaped typecasting when his character, Cedric Diggory, died a horrible and memorable death in the Harry Potter series.

(Soundbite of film)

(Soundbite of screaming)

Unidentified Man #2 (Actor): (As character) Cedric.

(Soundbite of music)

MONDELLO: The, shall we say, fatal flaw in this fatality, though, is that Pattinson leapt directly from the Potter movies into the "Twilight" ones. They end next year, and as vampire Edward Cullen, he can't die or even age.

(Soundbite of film, "Twilight")

Ms. KRISTEN STEWART (Actor): (As Bella Swan) How old are you?

Mr. ROBERT PATTINSON (Actor): (As Edward Cullen) Seventeen.

Ms. STEWART: (As Bella) How long have you been 17?

Mr. PATTINSON: (As Edward) A while.

MONDELLO: After being asked to do little more than glare, coo and sparkle in the "Twilight" movies, Pattinson's been trying to redefine himself as a warm-blooded heartthrob, but in "Water for Elephants," when you see lights move behind him at night, you can't help thinking werewolves are stalking him. And when he stands romantically behind Reese Witherspoon...

(Soundbite of film, "Water for Elephants")

Mr. PATTINSON: (As Jacob) There's a better kind of life that's meant for you, whether you love me or not.

MONDELLO: You kind of wish she'd cover up her neck.

Pattinson's werewolf rival, Taylor Lautner, hasn't been doing much in Tinseltown besides sprouting fur under duress, but he'll try to claw his way into other territory come fall in a film called "Abduction."

(Soundbite of film, "Abduction")

Mr. TAYLOR LAUTNER (Actor): (As Nathan) Sometimes I feel different.

MONDELLO: Where he learns he's not just a high school student.

(Soundbite of film, "Abduction")

Mr. LAUTNER: (As Nathan) I walk around like everybody else.

Unidentified Man #3 (Actor): (As character) Get ready to party.

Mr. LAUTNER: (As Nathan) But suddenly everyone around me is dying.

MONDELLO: Been there, howled that.

As the human in Twilight's long-running Beauty and Two Beasts act, Kristen Stewart doesn't have quite the same problem. Her next big role, Snow White, isn't exactly a stretch. But she's been doing two outside jobs for every "Twilight" movie since the series began. That should help her escape the Frodo dilemma.

(Soundbite of film)

Mr. ELIJAH WOOD (Actor): (As Frodo Baggins) I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

MONDELLO: Elijah Wood, who played Frodo in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was a lad of 19 when he first put on his hobbit feet. Now, he's 30. And what's he done since? Well, immediately after the Rings movies, he got good reviews as a minor character in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," and after that you remember his starring roles in "The Oxford Murders" and "The Romantics," no? Well, neither does anyone else.

Wood will play Frodo again in "The Hobbit," and in fairness, he's been putting himself out there as an actor all along, but in the public's mind, he's still got oversized feet, which should serve as an alert to those whose fame is intimately tied to fur, fangs and wands.

Hermione Granger, grab your resume: expert in arithmancy. Graduated late, but top of her class. Willing to start work now. I'm Bob Mondello.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.