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Harry Potter Meets the Press

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Daniel Radcliffe, 11, who was announced to play Harry Potter a week ago, is already facing the envy factor. The young actor, who will take the lead in Warner Bros.’s purported $126 million version of author J.K. Rowling’s megaseller “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” told reporters at a London news conference yesterday, “A lot of other boys in the class know that I’ve only read the first one or two (of the four ‘Potter’ books) . . . They’re angry because I have read the least Harry Potter in my class.” The movie, scheduled for a November 2001 premiere, is set to begin shooting in and around London in September. Accompanied on Wednesday by the movie’s director, Chris Columbus, as well as Emma Watson, 10, and Rupert Grint, 11 — who will play Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, Harry’s best friends — Daniel confessed to reporters that he “cried and was really excited” when he learned that he had won the coveted role. “I think I’m a bit like Harry,” he added, “because I’d like to have an owl.” As for what he’d like to do with his new-found celebrity, Radcliffe says he wants to meet the cast of “X-Men.”