Director says he hopes ''Potter'' kids stay. Alfonso Cuaron doesn't think stars will outgrow their roles

The ”Harry Potter” stars may be aging faster than the filmmakers can make the movies — or than J.K. Rowling can write the books — but ”Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” director Alfonso Cuarón says he believes that Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson can and should star in all seven projected Potter pictures. Talking to Reuters, he countered talk from ”Potter” producer David Heyman, who told the New York Post earlier this week that he believed it was inevitable that the stars would have to be replaced by younger actors.

Cuarón noted that Watson (who just turned 14), Radcliffe (who turns 15 this summer), and Grint (who’s about to turn 16) have just started filming ”Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” in which the fourth-year Hogwarts students are supposed to be 14. After that film, ”there’s only three more to go. I just hope they keep the same cast for the whole thing,” Cuarón said. ”So far, they’re holding up very good, the way that they are aging. I don’t think Dan is going to get way much taller or suddenly grow another eye. Same with Emma, and Rupert is OK. Let’s hope. In the last one they’re supposed to be 17. Say they’re 19, I think they’re going to be very good,” he said. ”That would be very special.”

He added that he would like to return to the franchise (Mike Newell is directing ”Goblet”) and was skipping the next installment only because he was tired. ”I need a long siesta,” said the Mexican director. ”It’s two years of your life, working pretty much seven days a week from 7:30 in the morning to midnight. It’s a long journey.”

For his part, Radcliffe apparently can’t wait to get taller. Over the weekend, at the New York premiere of ”Azkaban” (which opens June 4), he told the New York Observer: ”I?ve been short for so long and now I?m growing, which is great! I?m still really short for my year. I don?t care, I?m growing, dammit!”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
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