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    Harry Potter Drops Trou

    The boy wizard is about to bare all.

    Daniel Radcliffe is attempting to shed his Harry Potter image--and, subsequently, his clothes--signing on to star in London's West End production of Peter Shaffer's Equus, a role that will require the 17-year-old star to appear naked onstage.

    Gives new meaning to West End, eh?

    The actor is set to star as psychologically disturbed stable boy Alan Strang in the play about the erotic relationship between the said boy and his horses. The drama chronicles Strang's interviews with a psychiatrist after it's revealed he has inexplicably blinded six of the animals with a metal spike.

    Nudity isn't the only potentially embarrassing onstage hurdle for Radcliffe. The actor's stage debut also requires him to simulate sexual pleasure while riding naked on a horse.

    "It is an extraordinary play, and he's very much looking forward to the role," Vanessa Davies, the actor's rep, told the Associated Press. "He is maturing as an actor and beginning to take on new and challenging roles."

    But even by accepting the X-rated part, Radcliffe won't completely sever his Potter ties.

    Richard Griffiths, who plays the Hogwarts wizard's nasty uncle Vernon in the J.K. Rowling movie adaptations, is in talks to star as the play's psychiatrist, Martin Dysart. Griffiths and Radcliffe are currently at work filming the fifth installment of the blockbuster franchise, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, due out next summer.

    Equus first premiered in London in 1973 and immediately caused a stir. It quickly moved to Broadway and starred Anthony Hopkins as the psychiatrist. It eventually ran for 1,200 performances, making it one of the Great White Way's most successful plays to date. In 1977, it was also made into a three-time Academy Award-nominated movie starring Richard Burton as the psychiatrist and Peter Firth as the troubled youth.

    As for Radcliffe, he'll next be seen in December Boys, a drama about four orphans vying for adoption from the same family. Appropriately enough, the film is due out around Christmas. He'll also star in My Boy Jack as author Rudyard Kipling's son in a World War I drama for Britain's ITV. That project is slated for 2007.

    Equus, meanwhile, is due to open in London next March.

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