Interview: Daniel Radcliffe

As the Harry Potter saga comes to an end on Friday 15, the young actor leaves wizardry behind for Brooklyn Bridge date nights and a summer of show tunes.


  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

  • Photograph: Matt Hoyle

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe

Photograph: Matt Hoyle

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe

How to Succeed has been playing for a few months now. Are there any songs in which you feel like you can relax performing?
"Brotherhood [of Man]," at the end... Well, sometimes I can relax, and sometimes I can't. "Rosemary" in act one, which used to be one of the hardest songs for me, has gotten a lot easier. Generally speaking, most of the numbers I'm relaxing into a bit more. Ease is a quality that I aspire to because when I watch myself or see clips of myself doing the show, I always think it looks very effortful, so I think of that as kind of a long-term project.

Is getting to that point just a matter of repetition?
Yeah. The thing that I never worry about now is the dancing. [Before the show opened,] I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking, I'm never going to be able to dance like they want me to. But you know, now, I don't even think about it. And in fact, if I think about it, I screw it up.

So it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It really is! If you think about one moment, going, God, actually, how did we get from there to there?, then you will screw it up. So I just have to actively now think, Nope, don't even think about it; just do it. I thought to myself the other day, I will probably never in my career get a number so well choreographed and, frankly, in which I get to show off as much as I do, as "Brotherhood" at the end. So I have to enjoy that every single time because come January 1, I'll never get to do it again. I love it, and I take a huge amount of pride in doing it every single night.

That number and especially "Grand Old Ivy," with John Larroquette, look like a real workout.
Well, to be fair, John is not doing handsprings. [Laughs] At the end of that song, we take, like, 30 seconds to catch our breath, which [when we first opened] was kind of [necessary]. Now, our bodies have adjusted so much that unless it's a particularly hot day, I won't even sweat during that number. I reached a point very early when I realized that the show was no longer giving me a workout. I've now gotten to the point where I'm going to have to start doing exercise outside of the show, which is very upsetting because I hate exercise.

Just walk. That's what New Yorkers do; we walk everywhere.
Yeah. [Laughs] It is a workout, in reality, and it does keep you fit. I've never been fitter than this in my life.

Did the cast treat you differently as a celebrity coming to perform on Broadway?
I don't think so. We did the reading at the end of 2009, and so they knew me, and they knew I wasn't an asshole. Having expectations be so low is kind of fantastic because it means you're always going to exceed them—although I think now I've got a reputation for being okay and decent as a person, so I don't think everyone thinks I'm going to be a dick. In terms of our company, nobody treated me any differently. I think people wanted to find out what I was like, and if I was gonna work as hard I was going to need to. But I think I rose to all that. As the leading actor in a company, be it onscreen or whatever it is, [you] have to lead by example. John's and [my] ambition for this year is for neither of us to miss a show. We'll be very pleased if we can achieve that. If you're working as hard as you possibly can, then everyone else works that hard, too.

NEXT

Daniel Radcliffe on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 

Users say

11 comments
DJ
DJ

Well, it's a Big Whoop to me, Mr. Potter. Yes, millions of people swear all over the world daily. I am tired of listening to it and, yes, I can expect Daniel to be better. I don't lower my expectations for anyone because "millions of people do it". However, I do agree with you on the movie. Excellent and a fitting ending.And though the movies are no match for the books,I don't think they ever set out to be.

Mr. Potter
Mr. Potter

So Dan dropped the F-bomb and a few other "sentence enhancers." Big whoop. Mllions of people swear all ove the world, daily. You can't expect him to be any better. As for Harry Potter, Dan - and everybody in the movie, for that matter -, were amazing on Deathly Hallows. Still, the movies are no match for the books. J.K. Rowling is an amazing writer and we owe her for all she's done for us; she conceived the amazing world of Harry Potter all by herself.

DJ
DJ

I agree with Angela. Daniel doesn't need to swear. Nobody needs to swear. It's just rude and tacky. I've heard Daniel in tons of interviews and listening to him is a pleasure. He is bright, funny and interesting and he didn't swear in them (unless it was deleted out). I don't know why he felt it was acceptable in this particular interview.

Sally
Sally

When I read that Daniel likes 'The Book of Mormon' and could happily see it once a week, I thought, aaaah, yet another thing to add to my list of 'reasons why I like Daniel Radcliffe'. BOM is hysterical.

Adelle
Adelle

@ Angela Dan is English. The "F" word is like mother's milk. I don't think he can help it.

Nina
Nina

Good interview, and yeah maybe a potty mouth gee's to go as far as saying you will be common for doing so is a tad bit overboard with the dramatics don't you think Angela? Sounds as if you know Dan personally enough to tell him how to behave! May as well tell him to live in a bubble house and read a bible everyday so he won't swear and not drink and...ahh who am I kidding people like that don't exist!haha...oh and Dan you must've been so un-intelligent to swear once, you moron...NAHT!!!way to go Dan Radcliffe...

Deborah
Deborah

I saw Daniel with my teenage children in NY a few weeks ago. He was fantastic and we had a great night out - we even waited at the stage door after the show. I was impressed with his ability, great comic timing. My daughter grew up with Harry so the theatre trip was very special for her.

Angela
Angela

Great article, only bummer part is that we have another famous person with a potty mouth. Seriously I would have figured he had more intelligent words coming out of his mouth. Using the F word is for morons. You are smarter than this- don't become common and use such common language. Other than that- like I stated before great article, been a fan of HP for years and I love seeing the other "works" Dan and other HP cast members perform. Luckily, it seems, no one is being typecast.

Ra
Ra

I have loved watching Dan grown up and become a very talented, funny and charming man. I am a true fan and hope to be entertained by him for many more years to come.

Deb
Deb

This was a very interesting article. Thank you to J.K. Rowling and the cast of HP for a great run and entertaining wonderful movies (and books) I also say How to Succeed, it was awesome Dan is very talented indeed!!!!

Mark Hunneyman
Mark Hunneyman

This was an interesting interview. It's sad to know that no more Potter films will be produced.