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Small Wonders

Daniel Radcliffe’s new Harry Potter opened this week. Vinayak Chakravorty writes a report card on contemporary Hollywood’s child stars.

india Updated: Jul 14, 2007 00:14 IST
Vinayak Chakravorty

Daniel Radcliffe’s new Harry Potter opened this week. Here’s a report card on contemporary Hollywood’s child stars

Daniel Radcliffe: It started as a sweet dream in 2001 for Radcliffe, with Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone, and burgeoned into a fairytale. Six years and four Harry Potter blockbusters later, Hollywood’s boy wizard featured in the Sunday Times Rich List of 2006, with an estimated personal fortune worth £14 million. Radcliffe will complete the Harry Potter series — after The Order of Phoenix, there is The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows coming. Be sure, he will be richer by a few more millions by the end of it, when he finally gets time to chill out with his favourite punk rock CDs.

Dakota Fanning: She’s 13, already a millionaire, has been a child rape victim on screen (in this year’s controversial Hounddog) and then primly dismissed it all before the media saying: “It’s called acting.” Intense roles in I Am Sam, Sweet Home Alabama and Man On Fire have won her accolades and Hollywood predicts a true star rising.

Abigail Breslin: Narrowly missed the Best Supporting Actress Oscar this year, for the wonderful Little Miss Sunshine. At 11, though, the world is still her stage. Breslin sure has picked up a trick or two from buddy Dakota Fanning, and the roles are pouring in.

Haley Joel Osment: Child artists haven’t been the same since Osment wowed in The Sixth Sense. He proved on-screen kids were more than smart brats on goofy trails. At 19, Osment is in a stage of transition, but has enough teenager roles to see him through, till he takes his official shot at the bigtime.

Macaulay Culkin: The guy who started it all — one who showed the world that kid stars could be millionaire celebs too. The cute boy of the Home Alone series has since grown into a 27-year-old actor, and has dabbled with serious roles in Saved! and Jerusalemski Syndrome. He’ll be back in 2008 with the dark comedy, Sex And Breakfast.