The past two years have seen a rise in the popularity of the “Harry Potter” film franchise, with each installment becoming an international success.
The franchise dominated the box office in 2016, earning $11.85 billion worldwide, compared to the previous year’s total of $7.7 billion. More impressively, it earned over $13 billion in China alone, proving that Pottermania is as prevalent there as it is abroad.
The series has also become a cultural phenomenon, with fans regularly gathering to celebrate Potter-related events such as Harry Potter’s birthday, and exhibitions of Harry Potter art running throughout the year in galleries worldwide.
In light of this, it is no surprise that Hollywood has begun to pay attention to the “Potter” franchise, with several upcoming films slated to appear in theaters near you.
What is surprising, however, is that two of these films feature two of the biggest stars of our time. The first is “The King’s Speech,” in which Colin Firth (who played King George in the critically-acclaimed film “The King’s Speech”) stars as the father of Harry Potter himself, Frederick. The film is based on the best-selling book “The King’s Speech” by Peter Mayle, and tells the story of how George VI (Firth) reigns as King of Great Britain during the Second World War.
The film also stars Judi Dench as the Queen Mother, Michael Caine as Winston Churchill, and Penelope Cruz as Lady Cecilia Chamberlain, among others. The second is “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” in which Alden Ehrenreich stars as Han Solo. The film expands upon the adventures of the Star Wars saga’s most famous scoundrel, as he battles to prove his worth as a smuggler in the galaxy far, far away.
Solo was a commercial and critical success, earning over $100 million and winning the acclaim of critics worldwide. It also became the most watched Star Wars film in history, with over a billion people tuning in to see Ehrenreich’s daring gambit during the final weekend of its theatrical run.
Both Stars Were Born In England
It’s no secret that both Garfield and Pattinson were born in England, though they’ve spent most of their career living abroad. Pattinson was born in London in 1981, though grew up in the Highlands of Scotland. After leaving school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, while Garfield began working in films in 1991, appearing in supporting roles in “Bullworth” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” before landing a lead role in “Batman Forever,” the 1995 sequel to the 1990 film classic “Batman.”
Both Garfield and Pattinson were raised in Christian households, with the Christian values instilled in them by their parents. In an interview with GQ magazine, both men revealed that one of the things that inspired them to become actors was a desire to play roles that challenged their moral principles. For example, Garfield told GQ that as a child he loved being able to play the devil, while Pattinson discussed how he wanted to play a character who didn’t “fit the stereotype.”
They’re Both British-Irish
One of the things that make both stars stand out is their British-Irish heritage. Though neither man is particularly familiar with their Irish ancestry, they are proud of their connection to the country. It all started with Pattinson’s great-grandfather, who was born in Northern Ireland. He then moved to England and later settled in Australia, where his son (Pattinson’s granddad) was born. After becoming an adult, Pattinson’s granddad returned to England and married an Irish-born woman. The result is Pattinson.
Though he was born in London, Garfield is a direct descendant of the famous Irish playwright and wit William Rowley. On his mother’s side, he is related to the actor Sir John Garfield, and William Shakespeare. The English-born Garfield is also distantly related to both King George VI and the Virginian Robert E. Lee through his mother’s side.
They’re Representing Britain And Ireland On The Big Screen
Another thing that makes both men stand out is their ability to speak multiple languages (English, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish). Being able to speak multiple languages is an indication of how well-traveled their characters must be. They are respectively fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Dutch, with Pattinson also proficient in German. With roles in several upcoming films that require them to travel abroad, particularly to Ireland and Scotland for “The King’s Speech” and to Italy for “Solo,” they’ll have the chance to show off their multilingualism.
What Do These Two Hollywood Stars Have In Common?
There are quite a few things that these two incredibly talented stars have in common. For starters, they both love classic literature and have cited Jane Austen and the works of William Shakespeare as some of their favorite authors. They are both also partial to wearing tartan, with Pattinson revealing that he owns several kilts and regularly wears them. He is also a big fan of the music of Sir Charles Hall. The list of things that these two Hollywood stars have in common is quite long, but it’s definitely worth checking out.