Friday, August 03, 2007

When Harry Met Halle


Hi, my name is Belinda and I’m a Potter-head.

I’ve read all the books, I own the first four movies and I know the difference between a bludger and a snitch. Call me a geek and I’ll give you a swift kick in the Hufflepuff.

Certainly, there are more devout fans than I – you won’t catch me queued up for hours waiting for the newest book to go on sale. Nay, I have the fortitude to wait a few days until my friend finishes the copy I suggested his boyfriend buy for his birthday. (Ulterior motive? Who, me?)

I’ve never dressed up as a character and I don’t refer to non-magic folk as "Muggles," but there’s no denying I’m just wild about Harry – and Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Dumbledore and Dobby. Heck, I even have a begrudging affinity for that slithery Slytherin, Severus Snape.

Now that the final tome, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has hit the shelves, the curtain has closed on a decade of magical, fantastical storytelling by J.K. Rowling. Sure, there are two more movies on deck, but we already know how they’ll end. So, like other members of the cult of Pottermania that transcends age, gender, race, religion and nationality, I’m left to wonder: What now?

Personally, I think Harry should explore other avenues, as Daniel Radcliffe, who portrays the teen wizard, recently did when he went the full Monty in the play, Equus. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting Harry drop trou and become a Chippendale dancer … at least not without his invisibility cloak.

No, I’d like to see Harry venture outside the cloistered confines of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Imagine young Potter appearing out of thin air as Harry Poppins, the "manny" (male nanny) to a pair of neglected children played by Sean Preston and Jayden James Federline!

Here are some other casting possibilities for the stalwart sorcerer:

* How Harry Got His Groove Back – Disillusioned with his dreary job at the Ministry of Magic and brokenhearted after Jenny Weasley runs off with Draco Malfoy, Harry goes on holiday to Jamaica. He meets a beautiful older woman (Halle Berry) and sparks fly!

* Dirty Harry Potter – Just as he did during his days at Hogwarts, London cop Harry Potter has little regard for the rules. "You gotta ask yourself a question: ‘Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

* Harry Gump – Life is like a box of magic wands. You never know if you’re gonna draw the short stick.

* Harry, Queen of Scots – Potter trades the flowing, silken robes of a magician for the flowing, silken frocks of the drag world! Co-star John Travolta reprises his gender-bending character from Hairspray.

For fans who find these roles too much of a stretch for their hero, Harry returns to his roots as The Wizard of Azkaban. Toto, I don’t think we’re in the Dark Forest anymore!

Alas, if Harry fails to make it on the big screen, there’s still TV-land. As a Hogwarts alum who returns to his alma mater to teach a class of chronic underachievers, he’d be a natural in Welcome Back, Potter.