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Radcliffe kicks ‘The Hobbit’

Radcliffe (The Spokesman-Review)
Radcliffe (The Spokesman-Review)
Geoff Boucher Los Angeles Times

Who will star as Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit”?

You can cross one name off the list: Daniel Radcliffe, of “Harry Potter” fame, says he has no interest in the project.

“I’d have to say, ‘Thanks but no thanks,’ not that anyone has asked me,” says Radcliffe, 20.

“Honestly, I don’t think they would want me anyway, it’s just too close. Whatever I do next, I don’t think there will be any wizards in it!”

Radcliffe is at work on the seventh and eighth films in the “Potter” franchise. By the 2011 release of the last film in the series, he will have spent more than a decade inhabiting the role of the orphaned boy wizard.

His is one of several names that has popped up again and again for the role of Bilbo in “The Hobbit,” the two-film companion piece to the “Lord of the Rings” franchise.

Oscar-winning “Rings” director Peter Jackson is back as a producer, and Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Hellboy”) is in as director.

In a Los Angeles Times reader poll, Radcliffe came in third behind James McAvoy (“Atonement”) and David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) as the best choice to play Bilbo.

Radcliffe casts his own ballot for Scottish actor McAvoy.

“I’ve done the fantasy-film thing,” he says. “Actually, so has he, with the ‘Chronicles of Narnia,’ of course. But I’ve done it for longer.

“He can take over. I’m done. I don’t think anybody involved in that would want me to, either.”

The birthday bunch

Game show host Monty Hall is 88. Actor Sean Connery is 79. Talk show host Regis Philbin is 78. Actor Tom Skerritt is 76. Actor Anthony Heald is 65. Bassist Gene Simmons (Kiss) is 60. Musician Elvis Costello is 55. Director Tim Burton is 51. Singer-actor Billy Ray Cyrus is 48. Actor Blair Underwood is 45. Singer Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) is 42. TV host Rachael Ray is 41. Country singer Jo Dee Messina is 39. Model Claudia Schiffer is 39. Actress Rachel Bilson (“The O.C.”) is 28. Actress Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl”) is 22.

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