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It's 22 years since Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint became the most famous children of all time

Emily Brown

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It's 22 years since Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint became the most famous children of all time

Featured Image Credit: Everett Collection Inc/SOPA Images Limited/Alamy

Deny how old you are all you want, but it's officially been 22 years since Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were announced as the cast of Harry Potter and became the most famous children in the world.

For fans of the magical franchise, the three main characters are perpetually stuck in their school years, cycling between fresh-faced first-years at Hogwarts and hardened teenagers ready for a final face-off against He Who Shall Not Be Named.

In reality, however, the actors who brought those characters to life have grown up and are now well and truly into their 30s, with more than two decades having past since they were first introduced to the world.

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The news came on 22 August, 2000, after Warner Bros. secured the film rights to the first four books following the arrival of Harry in 1997.

With Chris Columbus on board to direct, he and author JK Rowling set about trying to find their stars - a process which, at least for the role of Harry, involved more than 40,000 interested parties and 300 screen tests.

Columbus has previously described the process as being 'very intense', saying: "There were times when we felt we would never find an individual who embodied the complex spirit and depth of Harry Potter."

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The cast reunited earlier this year for a HBO special
The cast reunited earlier this year for a HBO special

However, after almost a year of auditions, 11-year-old Daniel Radcliffe walked into the room and gave the producers the performance they were looking for.

Rowling commented: "Having seen Dan Radcliffe's screen test I don't think Chris Columbus could have found a better Harry."

News of Radcliffe's casting came at the same time as Watson and Grint's, with producer David Heyman describing the trio as 'tremendously talented kids who will bring so much to the film'.

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"We have always been and continue to be devoted to remaining true and faithful to the book," he added.

More than 20 years on it's clear to see the creators made the right choices with their casting, and the Harry Potter franchise remains one of the most beloved and recognisable even 11 years after the final credits rolled.

Radcliffe, Watson and Grint reunited earlier this year to mark 20 years since the release of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, when they recalled how they ended up working together.

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Radcliffe was chosen after almost a year of auditions. Credit: Warner Bros.
Radcliffe was chosen after almost a year of auditions. Credit: Warner Bros.

“They were testing us with various different configurations of Ron, Harry and Hermione,” Radcliffe said. “I remember there was one where they put all the three of us together.”

Watson added: "When it was the three of us, something felt different and right and easy. I do remember the click."

It's hard to believe so much time has passed since they first met, but at least their performances will live on through the films even as we continue to get older.

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Topics: Film & TV, Harry Potter, Film and TV, JK Rowling, Celebrity

Emily Brown
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