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    Which Harry Potter Stars Will Be Big After It's Over?

    Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

    You predicted the acting careers of the Twilight cast (i.e., that Kristen Stewart would be the next Jodie Foster). What are your predictions for the young Harry Potter cast?
    —Kellie M., via Facebook

    Actually, I said that Kristen Stewart is likely the next Anna Paquin (get outraged all over again, if you want.) As for the Potter kids, I've weighed in there, too.

    But these days, it seems that some of the supporting players may be the ones who rocket to the top:

    LOOK! Neville Longbottom = super hot on the Harry Potter red carpet

    Because, come on. Have you seen the newly hot Neville Longbottom? No? You're missing out. It's like somebody went to see Madame Pomfrey on the down low to get a little work done—know what I'm saying?—but without the magic! Really!

    The supporting actor Matt Lewis already has become an overnight sensation on Twitter. As of this second, he has no upcoming film projects. Methinks that might change sooner rather than later.

    Now let's take a look at the leads. Right now we've got quite a horse race going between Emma "Hermione" Watson, Rupert "Ron" Grint and Daniel "Harry" Radcliffe. All three actors have eagerly embarked on reinvention tours chock full of Vogue covers, stage work and alt roles. And those efforts have not been lost on the industry.

    "All three of these kids have a really bright future," Bonnie Gillespie of Cricket Feet casting tells me.

    Emma Watson currently has the biggest online buzz, enjoying a No. 4 rating on the iMDb Starmeter and trouncing Radcliffe and Grint in Yahoo! searches over the past month. (Both Radcliffe and Watson are currently beating Robert Pattinson, by the way; let the feud rumors begin in three...two...)

    "I think it is neck and neck between Daniel and Emma," casting director Toni Cusumano tells me. "They are both coming out with films with roles very different from their Potter characters.

    "Daniel has been know to take risks (such as appearing nude on stage with Equus.) The same is true with Emma, she is gravitating towards edgier roles. She is playing the role of Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is currently in post production."

    But out of the three of them, casting directors tell me the boys have a slight advantage, if, for no other reason, that they're boys.

    "Females at her age are rarely given opportunities to lead films in the ways the boys will be given," Gillespie explains. "The boys will be given vehicles. But there are so few of those for females at the studio level. She's doing everything right, but there just aren't going to be as many opportunities. She may have to take a stupid teen movie thing here and there; I just hope she is getting good advice on that."

    As do I; would hate to think she cut off her hair for nothing.

    NEXT! See what Life Beyond Harry Potter holds

    (Originally published Jul 13, 2011, at 7 p.m. PT)

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