Harry Potter fans have gone crazy for the latest blockbuster movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, citing it as the most sinister in the series so far. But with JK Rowling having announced she is to conclude the adventure, time is running out for devoted fans.
And the question on the lips of many, is what is to become of their favourite star of Hogwarts when “that's a wrap” is called on set for the final time? Actor Daniel Radcliffe lifted the character of Harry Potter off the pages and has grown up with the role for the last eight years. For many child stars, making that transition to an adult acting career, is not always easy. The restrictions on their childhood, the pressures of expectation and the stigma of type-casting often play a negative role in the changeover. Some turn to drink, some experiment with drugs, rebelling against the strict regime that has been put on them.
Famous for playing a boy wizard taken from the most successful children's books ever, was it really possible for a young actor to convince us he had real emotional depth?
So what is to become of Radcliffe? Does he want to continue acting? He certainly made headlines in 2007 when he took to the West End stage in Equus (pictured above right), which tells the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious and sexual fascination with horses. “Harry Potter? Really?” seemed to be the general cynical view of the time. Furthermore, it was a role that required Radcliffe to be naked on stage, which caused quite a stir in the media. Famous for playing a boy wizard taken from the most successful children's books ever, was it really possible for a young actor to convince us he had real emotional depth?
Yet Radcliffe, against the odds, managed to defy his critics and received rave reviews. The Guardian's Michael Billington wrote in February 2007: “The revelation of this revival is that Daniel Radcliffe really can act, proving that his screen appearances as JK Rowling’s boy-hero are no flash in the magic pan”. The play has since transferred to Broadway with Radcliffe reprising his role, much to the same success. “Like many beloved film actors Mr. Radcliffe has an air of heightened ordinariness, of the everyday lad who snags your attention with an extra, possibly dangerous gleam of intensity,” assured The New York Times.
Radcliffe gave us some insight to his future plans this week in an interview with TimeOut, revealing that he does want to continue in the profession as a performer. “I want to keep acting. I want to test myself. And I'm sure I'll cock up a few times, but that's to be expected. I don't have any certain plans. For now I just want to try things and see,” he says following a special cover shoot for the magazine.
Radcliffe always seems to come across very balanced in interviews. He evidently owes a lot to his parents for the structure and guidance they have provided him over the years
It's welcome news for his millions of adoring fans. But what of the pressure of making the transition to ‘grown up actor'? Radcliffe tells interviewer Dave Calhoun that he doesn't worry about being typecast. “A lot of people will be generous and open-minded enough to see me as other people. But I think that to a lot of people I will always be Harry… But I would never want to dismiss it because it has given me every opportunity,” says the actor who turns 20 next week.
Radcliffe always seems to come across very balanced in interviews. He evidently owes a lot to his parents for the structure and guidance they have provided him over the years, and it's something he too acknowledges. “I've got good parents, I've got friends, I've had a great childhood, I've had a great time on “Harry Potter”. But people do worry and write cautionary tales to warn me”.
It's rather nice to read about how well-adjusted and rational he is. Armed with bags of charm, wisdom and obvious talent, I imagine life after his Hogwarts graduation is going to be very exciting indeed for Daniel Radcliffe – the actor.
– Phil Matthews
Read the full interview with images from the shoot at TimeOut.