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Weasley Behavior

''Potter'' stars predict grim end for saga. Daniel Radcliffe thinks that, in the final book, Harry will die, while Rupert Grint says he'd like to see Ron turn evil

J.K. Rowling won't tell anyone what happens to Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger in the last two books of the Potter series, but the actors who play the three wizards-in-training have their own ideas of their character's ultimate fates, and they're not pretty. Speaking at a London press conference promoting the theatrical release next week of ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,'' Daniel Radcliffe said that Harry and archenemy Voldemort would probably kill each other. ''People are going to hate me for saying this but I've always had the suspicion that Harry might die,'' Radcliffe said. ''Harry and Voldemort have got the same core in them, which you see in the fourth book. The only way Voldemort could die is if Harry dies as well.''

Rupert Grint said he looked forward to the prospect of Ron turning bad. ''I'd like him to turn a bit evil,'' Grint said. ''I've always wanted to play an evil person.'' Only Emma Watson expressed optimism about her character. ''I hope she ends up doing something she loves,'' Watson said of Hermione, ''maybe with Ron if that makes her happy.''

There's been much talk this week about whether the three teenage stars, who are currently filming the fourth movie (''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'') but are not yet contracted beyond that, will see their characters all the way through to the projected seventh film. Potter producer David Heyman said this week that it was inevitable that the stars would have to be replaced with younger actors, while ''Azkaban'' director Alfonso Cuarón said that he was sure the growing teens could complete the series and hoped they would do so. At Thursday's press conference, Radcliffe echoed Cuarón's dismissal of the idea that he and his costars were maturing too quickly to play their parts. ''People do play younger characters than themselves,'' Radcliffe said. ''I'm going to be 15 in a couple of months but Harry's 14. It doesn't matter.''

Even still, the stars may choose not to continue in the series. ''Every film takes a year to do and these are big projects,'' Watson said. ''I think it's hard for all three of us to look anywhere beyond that. Whatever happens in the future, I'm not sure yet.'' Said Radcliffe: ''I really love acting but I've got lots of other things I'm really interested in, like music.'' Grint, however, said he ''would like to keep on playing Ron'' and described making the movies as ''a great experience.''

Originally posted May 28, 2004