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.

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  • 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

What's your perfect NYC weekend?
I'm a very bad person to ask because I don't do much. My one ambition in New York that I haven't been able to fulfill yet is to see a fight at Madison Square Garden. If my girlfriend was here, we'd probably both go lie down on the grass at the piers on the West Side Highway in the West Village, and sort of sunbathe together and chill out there, although I never take any clothes off; I'm not one of those people. Part of the perfect weekend would also include seeing The Book of Mormon. I would quite happily see it again once a week for the rest of my life if I could. It's one of the funniest, cleverest, most heartfelt things I've ever watched.

It doesn't sound like you get much downtime.
Not at the moment. After the next three weeks, I'm kind of in the clear, which is going to be awesome. Just getting the show going was hard work enough. There was a little dip when I didn't have to do quite as much, but then we started doing all the press for the show, and then the award season on Broadway is a very, very busy time. But it's a nice test of stamina. And now I've got the Potter publicity and all of that stuff starting up again, but after that is over, I can just relax and enjoy the summer.

And you can go hang out on the piers.
And my girlfriend gets here, so that will be awesome.

Mind if I give you some date advice? Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, if you can swing that, is really fun. And there are less people at night, which is probably good for you.
That'll be me going at night, then, yes. We want to do that, and we want to do the High Line as well, but that is another one that gets very busy with people.

You've been done with filming on Potter for about a year; is it weird revisiting that world now that you're doing press for the final movie?
I thought it was going to be weird, but actually I'm so delighted with the film. I did not think I would be as proud and as happy as I am, which is lovely. So actually it's a real pleasure to be able to come back to it. I think [Deathly Hallows: Part 2] is just light years ahead of any of the others, in terms of filmmaking, in terms of acting. I find it really amazing that it was made more or less at the same time as part one because I think we're different actors in it, and I don't know how that happened.

The subject matter in this film is a lot heavier than in previous ones.
I said to someone the other day, 'It's like the emotional range of Shakespeare with the action and blood of Tarantino.' The body count in this film is massive.

Did you get to keep any souvenirs?
I've got two pairs of glasses, one without lenses and one with. [One is] a pair from the first film, which is kind of cool because my head was tiny then. I didn't want anything else.

The character of Harry is pretty different from the character of J. Pierrepont Finch; one is good and brave, and the other is unscrupulous and amoral. Has one been more fun to play?
Finch has certainly got balls, which Harry does. There's a certain amount of fearlessness in Finch because he has nothing to lose; that inspires a certain level of bravery in him. I can't really compare them because they're in different mediums, but if I had to choose, I'd probably say [Finch]. He doesn't have necessarily the big emotional arc that Harry had, but in terms of fun and getting laughs and doing comedy, Finch is probably more fun.

What will you miss most about playing Harry Potter?
It's very rare in your career that you get to play an action hero. I'm not the natural frame and stature of an action hero, so I may not get to play one again. Things like bursting out of the water in film six, surrounded by a ring of fire....I won't get to do that again. I miss that stuff. I miss the crew, but I will be seeing them quite a lot and hopefully working with them again. I will miss playing Harry, but I've played him for ten years. That's more time than any actor gets with a character normally.

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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.