Daniel Radcliffe Grateful for Lucky Life, Latest Film Role
It goes without saying that it’s difficult for the world to see Daniel Radcliffe and not simultaneously see the boy behind the Boy Who Lived. After all, the child we met in 2001 with the start of the Harry Potter film series would take us on a decade-long journey as we watched him grow up before our eyes.
But while Radcliffe hasn’t followed a mainstream career path since bidding farewell to Potter, he’s certainly challenged himself, unafraid to take on out-of-the-ordinary film roles or stand naked on a stage, and he’s undoubtedly worked hard. One thing in particular fans love about him, however, is that he’s remained very down to earth and humble. That trait shone through yet again in a recent interview with the Huffington Post in which Radcliffe chalked his life to this point up to the “luck” and “privilege” he says began the moment he was chosen as the Chosen One.
I got incredibly lucky when I was 10 or 11, and then that afforded me opportunities that I would unquestionably not have been afforded had I not had that stroke of luck. When I was 17, I was in the West End. There'[re] very few people [who] go from having never done a play to doing a play in the West End. […] My entire life and career is built on luck and privilege. It’s just sort of allowed to be the case. I definitely don’t want people to think I got anywhere because I just worked really hard. Anyone who’s successful in anything, for the most part – even if you did work really hard, which I’m sure people did – there’s still a massive amount of luck involved. I mean, my life is an insane example of a place of luck.
Privilege is something Radcliffe says he’s been reflecting on more than usual since taking the role of Tim Jenkin in Escape from Pretoria. The film is based on Jenkin’s book of the same name, written about his and friend Stephen Lee’s – played by Daniel Webber (The Punisher) – 1979 escape from Pretoria Central Prison after being jailed as anti-apartheid activists. Radcliffe says he found Jenkin’s recognition of his own privilege inspiring and is also happy the film focuses on the root of what Jenkin and Lee were trying to accomplish rather than the politics that sent them behind bars.
I think that’s a really remarkable thing. I think we all like to think that in that kind of society we would be able to see it as the amoral thing that it is. But actually very few do. […] There is no getting around the fact that this is a film about a bunch of white people where the main issue is apartheid. There is a real danger of a sort of white savior thing, which it’s not. That’s why the main message of this film is not about what they did politically.
Radcliffe also spoke with the BBC about the film, stating that once he knew the story of the “genius” and “brilliant” escape, he couldn’t believe it hadn’t yet been told.
Escape from Pretoria also features Ian Hart (Quirinus Quirrell) as fellow activist Denis Goldberg and premieres in select theaters March 6.
Radcliffe also has the second season of Miracle Workers airing now on TBS and is awaiting the debut this Friday of Guns Akimbo. A full clip from the movie, which expands on a scene featured in the final trailer, was released Thursday, and you can check that out below.