He’ll always be known as The Boy Who Lived, but there’s more to Daniel Radcliffe than Harry Potter, as he exclusively tells Sky Movies Magazine…
He may be better known for his skills on the Quidditch pitch and the lightning-shaped scar across his forehead, but 20-year-old Daniel Radcliffe’s been busy with extra-curricular activities outside of Hogwarts.
From Ricky Gervais’ hit comedy series Extras to controversial play Equus, the boy wizard’s worked his magic to ensure there’s life beyond Potter. Despite his punishing schedule, Radcliffe is buoyant and friendly – the first to say hello to you when you arrive on set and then going out of his way to bid you goodbye at the end of a long, cold day’s filming.
SKY MOVIES MAGAZINE: What are your memories of shooting Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince?
DANIEL RADCLIFFE: It was good, really good. It looks beautiful. There are parts of it where it’s got a heightened, slightly more surreal look visually than the other films. I got to work a lot more closely with Michael Gambon [Dumbledore] than I have done before and he’s a laugh.
SMM: Half-Blood Prince sees more prominent British actors joining the Potter steam train. How was the great Jim Broadbent to work with?
DR: Jim is fantastic. Horace Slughorn is somebody who has lived with the burden of guilt for 40 years and so he’s always on edge and obsessed with fame and, because he was never particularly outstanding himself, he basks in the glory of his students. So it’s incredibly sad and a brilliant part and Jim plays it rather beautifully.
SMM: Is playing Harry something that comes easily to you now?
DR: It’s interesting, Half-Blood Prince was a very hard film in terms of getting into the character because of the amount of exposition and things like that, but equally, those are the challenges that as an actor you are paid to meet and hopefully I did that.
SMM: The films keep getting darker. How does Half-Blood Prince compare with the upcoming Deathly Hallows?
DR: I think the level of darkness in Half-Blood Prince was the same as Order Of The Phoenix, but the scale is bigger. Phoenix is a more intimate story about loss and sadness, whereas Half-Blood Prince is more of a thriller. It’s about putting the pieces together – and that’s what Deathly Hallows takes even further.
SMM: What’s it like working with Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows director David Yates?
DR: I find him great as a director… He’s the most amiable man in the world. The thing I always think about David – and I mean this entirely as a compliment! – is that if you brought somebody who’d never been onto a film set before onto our set and said, “point to the director,” he would be among the last they’d point to. He’s a quiet, really, really nice guy who happens to be great at making films!
SMM: What was your favourite scene to film in Half-Blood Prince?
DR: I did like doing the fight in the bathroom with Tom Felton [Malfoy], because it was a great action scene. And all the stuff with Michael Gambon, because he’s such a laugh. He’d be sitting in position and he’d just take a bit of the set and throw it behind his back and see if he could hit me!
SMM: Has doing things like the stage play Equus made you more confident?
DR: I think confidence as an actor comes and goes according to what you’re doing. If someone comes up to you and goes, “That was great, let’s move on,” I feel pretty good. Later on, we’ll do a shot in 18 takes and I’ll feel like an idiot. Doing stuff like Equus was tough and a new discipline so you come away with a new sense of confidence.
SMM: Have you got any plans now the series has finished?
DR: There are a few things that I’m keen on, but there are no dates or anything for any of them yet, so I’m not going to jinx them! Hopefully they’ll come off.
Words: Matthew Leyland
This article first appeared in Sky Movies Magazine, Sep/Oct 2010.