When kids watch a movie, especially young kids, they tend to think they are watching reality.
Even when a movie is as fantastic as “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” kids might still tend to think an actor like Daniel Radcliffe is actually Harry Potter. And why shouldn’t they? It’s impossible not to picture the young, British actor while reading the books after you’ve seen one of the films. That’s why, for the actors, it’s important to branch out and do other things. Why else would Daniel Radcliffe go on stage in London and New York and get completely naked for the play “Equus?”
Today though, there’s a rare case where the actor almost embodies his fictional character. Jamie Waylett, who plays Slytherin’s Vincent Crabbe, one of Draco Malfoy’s cronies, admitted Thursday to growing marijuana in his room at his parents house. He faces a maximum sentence of 14 years if convicted according to People Magazine.
Obviously, Waylett isn’t actual an evil person like his character. The 19-year-old kid is just a regular 19-year-old kid who was experimenting with drugs. Virtually every single 19-year-old out there has had to deal with drugs in their lives and Waylett just went totally the wrong way. Doing the drugs is bad enough, but growing them is worse and he deserves to be disciplined (though 14 year would be way too harsh)
The difference here is that Waylett should know better. He is in a hugely successful series of movies and when kids are scouring the Internet or watching TV and see something about “Harry Potter,” they’ll stop and see that one of the stars is in trouble with the law.
What happens next is up to you, the parents.
You can choose to ignore it, which isn’t a good thing, because then your kids can draw their own conclusions. You can use it to explain the pitfalls of drug use. Or you can use it to explain that the actors in these movies are just like them. Just normal kids who want to live their lives. Everything isn’t “Harry Potter” to them.
However, it probably should be. Kids like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and, yes, even Jamie Waylett have a larger responsibility to the world because they were blessed to be part of the “Harry Potter” world. Waylett will surely become a prime negative example of that while someone like Watson, who is going to go to college at Brown (or possibly Columbia) University in the fall, is a positive one.
Focus on that. Kids will figure it out what’s good and bad in the world. They just need a little parental magic to help.