Back in February, J.K. Rowling warned us that her upcoming book would be “very different to Harry,” but we’re not sure anyone was prepared for just how different she was talking about. We thought maybe more mature, since it’s for adults; perhaps more self-contained, after the exhausting process of the seven Harry Potter novels and companion books. Still, we kind of expected there to be some kind of magic or other form of entirely imaginative new world, or something wholly captivating like that. Today, her new publisher, Little Brown, announced the title and synopsis of the novel, The Casual Vacancy, and it turns out to be a story about … um … local politics?
“When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock,” reads the synopsis of the book, which hits shelves on September 27. “Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.”
It’s a “blackly comic” novel, the publisher promises. Actually, it sounds pretty good. Rowling is as skilled with developing interesting characters as she is at wizardy things, we know. And we’re sure most original Potter fans are all grown up and reading all sorts of different genres. Now, she stands to add to her empire by bringing in all the readers who steer clear of any hint of fantasy. OK. We’re happy for her being able to stretch her wings and all. But if this doesn’t work out, or even if it does, Jo, we’ll be here, hoping you can pick up that wand of yours again one day.
[Photo: Getty Images]
We all get how hard it must be for the stars of Harry Potter to find new and exciting roles after the end of their beloved franchise. And brava to Emma Watson for doing so in such a chic way two whole years ago. So it should be none too surprising that Daniel Radcliffe has finally changed up his ‘do. But it kinda is. We got so used to seeing Daniel’s straight hair with bangs — high off the ear, brushed down for Potter, brushed off his face to the side for real life — that it’s a shock to the system to see these photos of him on the set of Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays a young Allen Ginsberg. So much curly hair! Can it possibly be all his? He had a lot of 19th-century bangs and sideburn action for The Woman in Black, so it could be.
Here’s a little retrospective of DanRad’s hair for his various roles. Which is your fave?
And how happy are you that he’s playing Ginsberg in 1944, not the ’60s-era version of the poet most of us think of?
[Photos: Warner Bros., Splash News Online, Getty Images]
Seeing as how the first Harry Potter book was released in 1997, the original generation of Potter fans are by now old enough to have jobs and utility bills and thick, lustrous facial hair. It makes sense, then, that author J.K. Rowling would want to write something for her newly adult following. “The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher,” the Potter scribe said in a statement today about her next book and new publisher Little, Brown and Company. We should probably give up hope that Rowling is planning to bring Snape back from the dead in a new novel, but…but what if we’re just not ready yet?
“Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world,” she explained, without divulging either the subject or the title of her new work. Having last published Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows in 2007, switching from YA and the world of magic could potentially alienate readers who were only in it for the adolescent wizards. So are you ready to pre-order a new J.K. Rowling book? Or does the lack of quiddich mean you’ll probably just wait for the movie? Because you know there will be a movie.
[Photo: Getty Images]
What’s scarier than that decrepit clown jack-in-the-box from The Woman In Black trailer? Well, nothing, but Daniel Radcliffe’s former drinking problem runs a close second. In an interview with British magazine Heat (the same one in which Radcliffe discusses his body hair preferences at, um, length), the Harry Potter star claims he can pinpoint the exact scenes in his famous films during which he was under the influence. “I went into work still drunk,” he confesses. “I can point to many scenes where I’m just gone. Dead behind the eyes. I have a very addictive personality. It was a problem.” Dead behind the eyes! Oh, he means inebriated. Wait, that’s still pretty bad!
Daniel doesn’t specify exactly which scenes he’s referring to, but has discussed in the past how his drinking ramped up during the filming of 2009′s Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. “I became so reliant on [alcohol] to enjoy stuff. There were a few years there when I was just so enamoured with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me,” Radcliffe told The Telegraph this past summer. Radcliffe says he stopped drinking in 2010, maintaining, “I can honestly say I never drank at work on Harry Potter. I went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work.” Man, can you imagine filming Dumbledore’s death scene three sheets to the wind? We could barely stop crying as it is, and we were stone cold sober. And in a crowded movie theater!
[Photo: Getty Images]
That face Daniel Radcliffe is making above mirrors exactly the one we had when we read his latest interview with U.K. magazine Heat, via The Sun. Not that it’s all that gross, mind you, just … well, it’s a little hard to think about coming from Harry Potter, even if he is 22. Talking about nudity in his upcoming movie Kill Your Darlings, he told the magazine, “It might have a bit of nudity and [the director] said: ‘Just to let you know, if you’re getting naked, no landscaping of any kind. This is the 1940s and you’re playing a Jew.’ I was like, ‘Pretty much there anyway, mate! Not a huge amount of maintenance going on.’ I mean, there’s a little bit, obviously, for courtesy.”
Um. And now that you’ve processed what amount of “courtesy” he gives to girlfriend Rosie Coker, we can move on to even more TMI, by DanRad’s own admission. Read more…
By Rae Votta
Glee might have been Darren Criss’ national introduction as a song-and-dance man, but his legions of Internet fans already knew him as a singing Harry Potter for Team StarKid, the musical-theater social-media phenomenon. Between shooting Glee and debuting on Broadway in How to Succeed, Criss joined the rest of Team StarKid for part of their first national tour last fall, and he stopped by VH1 earlier this month with some of his co-founders to share some exclusive footage from the tour. They also told us about a possible West Coast and U.K. leg of their jaunt, as they hope bring StarKid beyond the confines of the Net.
“StarKid is an Internet musical theater production group we started in college together and have been doing our best to run since we’ve been out of college,” co-founder Brian Holden explained for the uninformed.
The group initially put videos of their University of Michigan-produced Harry Potter musical, A Very Potter Musical, on YouTube to send to friends and family, but once the extensive Potter fandom caught a whiff of their existence, view counts multiplied, and they transitioned from in-joke to mainstream viral success. To date the group has surpassed 100 million views on their videos.
If Harry Potter erotic fan fiction is your thing, then this post is for you. If listening to Ralph Fiennes dramatically read Voldemort/Harry slash fiction out loud while wearing adorable pajamas is your thing, then maybe the Secret really does work. What other explanation could there possibly be for something so delightfully specific? And filthy?
Stopping by Andy Cohen‘s Watch What’s Happening Live on Bravo last night, the Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows: Part 2 villain was cajoled into reading some erotic fiction starring none other than He Who Cannot Be Named himself. Not having a nose or a sense of morality has never been so hot! “How is it possible that the touch of this evil man could feel so wickedly good?” Fiennes reads. We’ll let you listen to rest of the NSFW video yourself since it’s sort of scandalous. Though extremely fictional! And about fictional characters! Man, we thought our crush on Ralph Fiennes could never get any bigger. Or…um…our crush on Voldemort. We are so ashamed.
The folks at Forbes certainly know what they’re doing. Usually, we turn to them for the big lists, like the Celebrity 100, the World’s Most Powerful Women or the Hip-Hop Cash Kings. But those take a lot of work, and sometimes, they just need something fast and easy (we’re just assuming here, ’cause you know, we’d never be so gratuitous about our lists). So, they do things like this week’s Hollywood’s Top-Earning On-Screen Couples, which is topped by Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, followed by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.
We’re very happy to see the Harry Potter and Twilight stars at the top of the list, natch. But it does feel a bit like the editors sat down and said, “What kind of list can we do that will feature the stars of Harry Potter and Twilight, and maybe also Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers?” They admit themselves that the whole thing is based on numbers from Box Office Mojo (the total earnings from movies with the stars as a couple from the last five years).
Still, here we are, looking at the list. So they’ve hooked us again! We’ll give you the full list below, but also we want to come up with some kind of challenge for the Forbes editors, just to make sure they stay on top of their game. Maybe the next feature should be something like America’s Highest-Grossing Puppet Shows or Top-Earning Subway Mariachi Groups. That‘ll take a little shoe leather.
Vincent Crabbe, noooooo! E! is reporting on Harry Potter actor Jamie Waylett’s arrest and while we don’t want to immediately blame Voldemort, this crime has his scaly fingerprints all over it. Known to most as Draco Malfoy’s dopey henchman, Waylett was arrested for possessing a petrol bomb on August 8, 2011 during the London riots, in addition to, um, well, growing 15 marijuana plants in his bedroom. But clearly some malicious wizard must have put them there! If only we were still able to practice law, we could represent him in court!
Unfortunately this isn’t Waylett’s first arrest. After facing pot charges in 2009, his character was written out of Harry Potter And The Dealthy Hallows: Part 2. Just goes to show that some can’t resist the dark side. At least Waylett won’t have to destroy The Boy Who Lived in order to assume control of the wizarding world. Because that seems like it would definitely be a felony.
Earlier today we wrote about Dudley O’Shaughnessy being too busy to date Rihanna, the Sexiest Woman Alive. And right now we’d like to expand on the theme of D-list dudes dumping their lovely A-list ladies. Emma Watson’s former flame Francis Boulle has recently opened up about why their relationship never blossomed, and as you might have expected, it’s not her- it’s him. The two met at the Cartier polo party in 2008, but the thought of being outshone by the Harry Potter star didn’t sit well with Francis, who at that time was an aspiring actor.
“We had a bit of a thing a while back,” he explained to Heat Magazine, “but I have always been an ambitious person and I want to achieve my own notoriety for what I’ve done.” Well congrats Francis, because we think you just did. “I chose not to pursue it any longer because I didn’t want to be the boyfriend of some child actress.” And that’s why he decided to split with the beautiful, talented, rich and famous Ivy league student. At least you can never accuse him of being a star f–ker, right? Luckily good things have come to both since the split. Emma’s moved on to dating her Perks of Being A Wallflower costar Johnny Simmons, and Francis has moved on to doing reality TV, where everyone’s a star. Kinda like porn.
For your viewing pleasure, we’ve assembled some of Emma’s least child-actressy (read: HOT) looks in the gallery below. Enjoy!
[Photo: Getty Images]