Harry Potter turns 20: Where are the lead actors now?

The main stars of the Harry Potter films holding their magic wands during a hand and foot print ceremony in the forecourt of Graumans Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. PHOTO: AP

It has been two decades since the first book in the Harry Potter saga, The Philosopher's Stone, was published by Bloomsbury.

Now, after a bestselling seven-book series, the films that accompanied the books have garnered just as much fanfare. Faces such as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, after their start as child actors in the first movie, have gone on to pursue illustrious acting careers as adults.

Here is a look at where some of the main actors in the fantasy series are now.

1. Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe (then) on the left and Daniel Radcliffe (now) on the right. PHOTOS: EMPIRE MAGAZINE, AFP

At 11 years old, the same age as his character, Daniel Radcliffe landed the role of Harry Potter.

After the film's success, Radcliffe made his theatre debut in Equus (2007), which garnered controversy as Radcliffe, 17 at the time, had to appear nude in the play.

Once the series wrapped up in 2011, Radcliffe took on several diverse films, from horror movie The Woman in Black (2012) to biographical drama Kill Your Darlings (2013).

More recently, Radcliffe can be seen in blockbuster sequel Now You See Me 2 (2016), and is slated to star in Escape From Pretoria, the true story of a white anti-apartheid activist who escaped from prison, and Guns Akimbo, an action comedy.

2. Emma Watson

Emma Watson (then) on the left and Emma Watson (now) on the right. PHOTOS: WARNER BROS, AFP

After taking on the role of the sharp-witted Hermione Granger in 2001, Emma Watson, 27, has made a mark in both cinema and activism.

Her most notable film credits include the film adaptation of coming of age novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), acclaimed director Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring (2013), and box office hit Beauty and the Beast (2017).

Watson's involvement in women's rights has also garnered attention. She has travelled to various countries to promote education for girls, and launched the UN campaign HeForShe in 2014, calling for men to raise awareness on gender inequality.

3. Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint (then) on the left and Rupert Grint (now) on the right. PHOTOS: WARNER BROS, AFP

Cast as the red-headed best friend of Harry Potter in 2001, Rupert Grint has been less active outside of the franchise than his costars.

In 2010, he starred in the drama Cherrybomb and black comedy Wild Target. After the Potter franchise ended, he landed roles in several films, including Charlie Countryman, a psychological drama starring Shia Laboeuf.

As for upcoming roles, Grint, 28, has filmed the first season of British comedy series Sick Note, coming out later this year. The second season is currently in production, with Lindsay Lohan taking on a role alongside him.

4. Tom Felton

Tom Felton (then) on the left and Tom Felton (now) on the right. PHOTOS: WARNER BROS, AFP

Following his role as bully and foe Draco Malfoy, Tom Felton has ventured into film, television, and even music.

In 2011, he landed a role in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a reboot of the Planet of the Apes series. He also went on to star in the critically acclaimed British period drama film Belle (2013).

Alongside acting, Felton, 29, has also pursued music, releasing several singles and an album under the name Feltbeats. He also runs an independent record label, Six String Productions, with several others.

5. Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fienne (then) on the left and Ralph Fienne (now) on the right. PHOTOS: WARNER BROS, AFP

An esteemed actor both before and after the Harry Potter series, Ralph Fiennes' memorable role as the villain Lord Voldemort is one of his many successes.

Following the end of the series, Fiennes, 54, made his directorial debut with Coriolanus (2011), an adaption of the William Shakespeare tragedy; he also produced and starred in the film. He also secured a role in an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (2012), and showed his comedic side in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).

Fiennes has an upcoming role in 2018: Professor Moriarty in Holmes and Watson, a light-hearted take on the story of Sherlock Holmes.

6. Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman (then) on the left and Alan Rickman (now) on the right. PHOTOS: WARNER BROS, AFP

In a year marred by a number of celebrity deaths, Alan Rickman's passing at the age of 69 in January 2016 was felt by many who had seen him in his memorable role as the snide professor Severus Snape in the Potter films.

Beyond the series, Rickman continued to star in a range of notable films, from playing former US president Ronald Reagan in the historical dramaThe Butler (2013), to voicing Absolem the Caterpillar in Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016).

Sources: IMDb, BBC News, Variety, The Guardian

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