Young actors who've made their reputations playing squeaky-clean characters often try to avoid typecasting by taking an edgy role. So James van der Beek [Dawson's Creek] played an amoral college druggie in Rules of Attraction, Joseph Gordon-Levitt [Third Rock from the Sun] took the role of a troubled prostitute in Mysterious Skin, Jonathan Taylor-Thomas [Home Improvement, Wild America] played gay in Speedway Junky and Common Ground, Heath Ledger [teen comedies and Knight's Tale] played a coward in Four Feathers and a womanizer in Casanova, and so on.
Now Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame is ditching his good-wizard image to play a troubled youth in a London production of the play Equus. The lead role is always played by a skinny, attractive, well-hung kid who appears completely nude for large parts of the play. "Part of me wants to shake up people's perception of me, just shove me in a blender," Radcliffe told Newsweek. "It's a really challenging play, and if I can pull it off. . .I hope people will stop and think, 'Maybe he can do something other than Harry.'"
The promo pics of him just released show he has now become a sexy young man. Not only has his new-found physical development earned him the nickname Hairy Hotter, but the photos themselves [click to enlarge] are masterly in their composition and subtle colors. The sensation they're causing is rapidly changing public perception of Radcliffe and seem likely to provide a big boost to his career and to the play's success in London.