German 'Harry Potter' Star

Views on BG | June 4, 2004, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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German 'Harry Potter' Star Scabbers greets reporters at a press junket for his first film "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Photo by DW.

Deutsche Welle

A new German movie star is attempting to do what compatriots Til Schweiger and others failed to do - crack Hollywood. His first film is a huge hit which will keep him in cheese for the rest of his life.

The latest German actor to try and break Hollywood has got off to an extremely successful start. The film he makes his debut in, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third instalment in the series that follows the magical adventures of the boy wizard, has already grossed a hugely impressive EUR 9.8 M (USD 12 M, GBP 5 M) on the first day of its release in Britain alone.

The global appeal of the characters made famous by the novels by J.K. Rowling will almost certainly give the latest German star a box office smash when the figures start to role in from the film's worldwide release on June 4.

So who is Germany's newest favorite son of the cinema? Well, his name remains shrouded in mystery but he will be known from now on by that of the character he plays - Scabbers the Rat.

Germany's latest movie star is a West African rodent who was plucked from the relative obscurity of the Berlin Zoo to play the somewhat disheveled and perpetually somnolent pet of Hogwarts student Ron Weasley, the best friend of Harry Potter.

Rat not fazed by famous co-stars

After finding his way into movies through an animal-casting agency, "Scabbers" was shipped over to England with an understudy to join actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint on the set of the new Potter movie.

It is the German rat's big break after beginning his acting career at the tender age of six weeks. "Scabbers" plays the mangy 12-year-old comedy sidekick alongside the more intense snowy owl "Hedwig" and impressive "Crookshanks" the cat.

But it seems that appearing with such esteemed colleagues, as well as CGI-created phantoms and fantastic beasts like Buckbeak the hippogriff, has not fazed the nine-year-old rodent. Reports suggest that "Scabbers" is very settled in England where he has remained since the end of shooting.
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