'Harry Potter and I have grown up'

FIVE years on, it appears Daniel Radcliffe and Harry Potter have grown up together. When the child actor was unveiled as the world's most famous boy wizard, he was an 11-year-old whose conversation scarcely stretched beyond the intricacies of the World Wrestling Federation.

Now, four films later, Radcliffe has grown in the real world and developed a taste for the weighty novels of Emile Zola and the music of Pete Doherty's former band, the Libertines.

And as Harry has his first screen love interest in fellow Hogwarts pupil Cho Chang, played by Scottish actress Katie Leung, 18, it appears Radcliffe's tastes run to the more mature Hollywood stars, Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman.

As in the pages of JK Rowling's global best-sellers, where Harry Potter has grown from enchanted child to a recalcitrant teenager, so Radcliffe revealed to the world's press yesterday that he, too, has undergone his own transformation. At a press conference to promote Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth film in the franchise, he said his new-found maturity mirrored his characters.

The latest instalment sees the characters mature into adolescence, with Harry falling for Cho Chang. "It makes it easier to play Harry because I've been going through all the hormone stuff like Harry has relatively recently, so it's fresh in my mind. In fact, it continues," he said.

While insisting there was no young lady in his life, he did admit to preferences for future co-stars. "I watched Garden State ... and fell in love with Natalie Portman. So it would either be her or Scarlett Johansson."

It was the film's producer, however, who revealed that his young star's literary tastes had matured in recent years. David Heyman said: "When I first met Daniel we spent an awful lot of time talking about the Worldwide Wrestling Federation, and now Dan is reading Zola."

He also has broader musical tastes. "I like Hard-Fi and the Libertines, and I went to the Reading Festival this year for the first time. It's so cool," he said.

He went on: "For me, I only feel famous for two days a year and that's at the premiere. Having said that, there's a possibility that might change when I'm 18. Maybe the paparazzi have been going easy on us."

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