Daniel Radcliffe on the Responsibility of Being in “Harry Potter”

Daniel Radcliffe has had a busy few weeks of press and publicity for his upcoming projects (not to mention discounting rumors that he has coronavirus).

Besides talking about his current West End play, Endgame, and upcoming movies Guns Akimbo and Escape from Pretoria, Radcliffe has also spoken about his time on Potter over the past few weeks.

In an interview on James O’Brien’s Full Disclosure, Radcliffe spoke at length about the responsibility he feels having played a character that is as important to people as Harry Potter.

I have actor friends who will be out and when someone comes up to them for an autograph, they say no, and I think that is completely within their rights to do that. People would argue and have argued that it is within my rights to do that too. I don’t feel like I can in the same way. I do feel like you have to do a bit more when you’re famous for something like ‘Potter’.

Radcliffe also spoke about his interactions with fans and his awareness of how important they can be to an individual.

I have not got every interaction with every fan I’ve ever met perfect, I’m sure, but there is an awareness that if you’re meeting a seven-year-old, you may not remember meeting that seven-year-old in a few years but he will remember meeting you, [and a ] 20-year-old, who has watched the films already, the interaction they have with you can cast their watching of the films in an entirely new light, and you never want to damage something that is that important to people.

In an interview with SyFy Wire, Radcliffe revealed that he is glad that social media wasn’t as prevalent during his years on the Potter sets. He drew a comparison to a current young group of actors, the cast of Netflix’s Stranger Things, and speculated on their experience of social media:

I look at the Stranger Things kids, and I think how crazy that must be. But then I also think that they have always had social media accounts as part of the world that they’ve lived in, so it would probably be super-weird for them to not have it. I don’t know.

In the same interview, he answered a question that has been on everyone’s minds since the trailer for Guns Akimbo dropped: How do you go about life on set with guns strapped to your hands? Thankfully, Radcliffe revealed that he was able to maneuver through life well thanks to the way the guns were attached:

They were sort of strapped to my forearms and wrists, but I could get my hands and fingers out of the actual guns, so I could still use them if I needed them. I could still take out my phone and send a text in between takes if I was quick enough.

And it appears that there is at least one positive side to having guns strapped to your hands.

At that point, because you’re wearing guns on your hands, you sort of more or less forget that you’re also in just a bathrobe and slippers and boxers.

Surprisingly, this wasn’t the strangest topic Radcliffe has encountered on his media rounds.

In an interview with HuffPost, Radcliffe was asked a very important Potter question: “How do you think Quirrell slept at night with Voldemort on the back of his head?”

In response, Radcliffe concluded that Voldemort could probably survive using Quirrell’s air supply, but not before he considered the possibility of the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor having to sleep on his side:

I would say that the only practical thing to do there would be to sleep on your side, unless Voldemort doesn’t need air, which I’m not sure. As long as there’s breath coming into the body, he’s probably asleep on his front because it would still circulate around the whole thing. I’m guessing back-of-the-head Voldemort could survive off front-of-the-head [Quirrell actor] Ian Hart’s air supply.

Well, that answers that question. Although we’re not sure that the cast of StarKid’s A Verry Potter Musical would agree…

Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!