Move over Scorcese, Tarentino, Spielberg and Howard! There's a new kid in town!
Ben Affleck Actor, Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt born August 15, 1972, better known as Ben Affleck was born in Berkley, California. At a young age his family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where at the age of 8 he met lifelong friend and fellow actor Matt Damon. Ben is also the older brother of actor Casey Affleck. His acting career began as a child appearing in commercials and the PBS miniseries “The Voyage of Mimi”. During his teen years Ben appeared in various made for television movies. He started to receive recognition as a young man appearing in the films School Ties (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993), Mallrats (1995), and Chasing Amy (1997).
However, he was still unable to land a leading role. At the time he was sharing an apartment with his friend Matt Damon and brother Casey. Matt was having similar career issues as always being the supporting actor. Ben and Matt decided to come up with their own script to give themselves the roles they coveted. As a result of their collaboration came the screenplay for Good Will Hunting (1997) which gave both Ben and Matt the “star” status they desired. The film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards. They won the award for Best Screenplay. Affleck has also starred in other box office hits such as Armageddon (1998), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001), and Daredevil (2003).
In 2007 he made his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, starring his brother Casey. In 2010 Affleck directed The Town. Both films were box office successes and received critical acclaim. In 2012 he directed Argo for which he won the Golden Globe and the Directors Guild of America awards for best directing, in 2013. Argo also won Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.
Affleck has been married since 2005 to actress Jennifer Garner with whom he has three daughters. They split their time between homes in Los Angeles and Boston.
References: Wikipedia IMDB
It should not be much of a surprise that we include Harry Potter in the heading for our 21st Century MOVIES page. The films that were released of J. K. Rowling's immensely popular series of science fiction fantasy novels---7 of them that became 8 movies --- were not only the highest grossing series of films of all time, but the three major stars and the series author are among the most well known names in the entire field of entertainment today.
J.K. ROWLING, An Author Who Said "No More", despite the mega millions collected for each book and movie.
Joanne Rowling was born in Yate, near Bristol, a few miles south of a town called Dursley ("Harry Potter"'s Muggle-family). Her father Peter Rowling was an engineer for Rolls Royce in Bristol at this time. Her mother, Anne, was half-French and half-Scottish. They met on a train as it left King's Cross Station in London. Her sister Diana is about 2 years younger than Joanne.
In 1971, Peter Rowling moved his family to the nearby village of Winterbourne (still in the Bristol vicinity). During the family's residence in Winterbourne, Jo and Di Rowling were friends with neighborhood children, Ian and Vikki Potter. In 1974, the Rowling family moved yet again, this time to Tutshill, near the Welsh border-town of Chepstow in the Forest of Dean and across the Severn River from the greater Bristol area.
Rowling admits to having been a bit of a daydreamer as a child and began writing stories at the age of six. After leaving Exeter University, where she read French and Classics, she started work as a teacher but she daydreamed about becoming a writer. One day, stuck on a delayed train for four hours between Manchester and London, she dreamed up a boy called "Harry Potter". That was in 1990. It took her six years to write the book. In the meantime, she went to teach in Portugal, married a Portuguese television journalist, had her daughter, Jessica, divorced her husband and returned to Britain when Jessica was just three months old. She went to live in Edinburgh to be near her sister, Di. Her sudden penury made her realize that it was "back-against-the-wall time" and she decided to finish her "Harry Potter" book.
She sent the manuscript to two agents and one publisher, looking up likely prospects in the library. One of these agents that she picked at random based on the fact that she liked his name, Christopher Little, was immediately captivated by the manuscript and signed her on as his client within three days. During the 1995-1996 time-frame, while hoping to get the manuscript for "Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone" published, Rowling worked as a French teacher in Edinburgh. Several publishers turned down the manuscript before Bloomsbury agreed to purchase it in 1996.
The 2009 Sunday Times List estimated her net worth at $817 million. Her Harry Potter books have appealed to both children and adults. To help attract both audiences, her British hardcover publisher actually releases each of the books with two different dust jackets. One features a realistic picture or photograph of an element of the story, designed to appeal to adults. The other features a comic-book like illustration of a scene from the story, designed to appeal to children. Rowling says there will be no more new books in the Harry Potter series. Critics say: "wait and see".
DANIEL RADCLIFFE as "Harry Potter": The beginning of Monster Stardom
Daniel Radcliffe is the actor who starred as boy wizard Harry Potter in the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and its sequels: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). The films were based on the popular series of novels by British author J.K. Rowling. Radcliffe's first big film appearance was in the title role of the BBC TV adaptation of David Copperfield (1999). He has also appeared in the films The Tailor of Panama (2001, starring Pierce Brosnan), December Boys (2006) and My Boy Jack (2007). He also began to branch out to stage acting in 2007, starring in the London and New York productions of the play Equus and in the 2011 Broadway revival of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In addition, he has starred in 2007's December Boys and the 2012 sleeper hit horror film The Woman in Black. He will play beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the 2013 indie filmKill Your Darlings.
EMMA WATSON AS HERMIONE
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born in Paris, France to parents, Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson. When Emma was five her parents divorced, and she then moved to Oxfordshire, England with her mother and her younger brother, Alexander. Since the divorce, Emma's extended family has grown as her parents both have new partners. Her father has a son named Toby, and identical twin daughters, Nina and Lucy, and her mother's partner has two sons. Emma spent much of her childhood residing in England with her mother and stepfather, younger brother, and two stepbrothers.
From the age of six, Emma knew that she wanted to be an actress and, for a number of years, she trained near home at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school where she studied singing, dancing and acting. By the age of ten, she had performed and taken the lead in various Stagecoach productions and school plays, including "Arthur: The Young Years" and "The Happy Prince". In 1999, casting began for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), the film adaptation of British author J.K. Rowling's bestselling novel. Casting agents found Emma through her Oxford theatre teacher. After eight consistent auditions, producer David Heyman told Emma and fellow applicants, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, that they had been cast for the roles of the three leads, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.
The release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) was Emma's cinematic screen debut. The film broke records for opening-day sales and opening-weekend takings and was the highest-grossing film of 2001. Critics praised the film and the performances of the three leading young actors. The highly distributed British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, called her performance "admirable". Later, Emma was nominated for five awards for her performance in the film, winning the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film.
Since the release of the first film of the highly successful franchise, Emma has quickly become one of the most well-known actresses in the world. She continued to play the role of Hermione Granger for nearly ten years, in all of the following Harry Potter films:
RUPERT GRINT ("RON WEASLEY")..........YESTERDAY AND TODAY
Rupert Alexander Lloyd Grint was born the elder son of Nigel and Jo Grint. The first of 5 children, Rupert has one brother and 3 sisters. His brother James was born when Rupert was a year old, Georgina and Samantha were born in 1993 and 1996 respectively, and last, but not least, Charlotte, who was born in 1999.
Born in Harlow, Essex, England, Rupert grew up in Hertfordshire,the English county directly to the north of London, conveniently placed for commuting to Leavesden Film Studios. Before successfully auditioning for the Harry Potter films, Rupert attended Richard Hale Secondary School in Hertford: here he took an active interest in school plays, being cast as Rumplestilskin in the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. He was also a regular attendee at weekend drama classes at Top Hat Stage School, also in Hertford.
Time at school was limited, as Rupert was needed on set for the Harry Potter films, where all of the child actors were tutored for four hours a day on set, to keep up with legal requirements. During the summer of 2004, he took his GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams and completed his formal education.In December 2007, Grint was ranked #16 in the list of Forbes Top twenty earners under 25 with an annual earning of $4 million US. (At the same time, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe exceeded those figures and were ranked in the Top 5).
Beginning in 2002, Grint began to work outside of the Harry Potter franchise, taking on a co-leading role in Thunderpants. He has had starring roles in Driving Lessons, a dramedy released in 2006, and Cherrybomb, a small budgeted drama released in 2010. Grint co-starred with Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in Wild Target, a comedy. His first project following the end of the Harry Potter series was the 2012 anti-war film, Into the White, in which he stars as the main role.
When not working, he enjoys riding the unicycle, drawing/sketching, watching Leeds United and playing golf. Like Ron Weasley, he has stated that he has arachnophobia. With his earnings from the "Harry Potter" series, Grint purchased an ice cream van, and stated jokingly that if his career falls out after the end of the Potter series, then he'll still have the van. According to Emma Watson from her interview with Conan O'Brien, it has all the ice cream and chocolate toppings in it.
On July 9, 2007, Grint and fellow cast-mates Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson left imprints of their hands, feet and wands in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. In October 2012 Grint narrated We Are Aliens, a 25min 3D Planetarium Fulldome film about the possibility of other intelligent life in our Universe.