When Daniel Radcliffe said Harry Potter turned him into an alcoholic, revealed details about sex life
Actor Daniel Radcliffe struggled with alcohol while filming the Harry Potter movies. Radcliffe spoke candidly about his alcoholism years after appearing in his final Harry Potter film.
In an interview to Off Camera in 2019, the actor said that he struggled with the feeling of always being watched as a young actor. He said, “In my case, the quickest way to forget about the fact that you’re being watched is to get very drunk. And then as you get very drunk, you become aware that ‘Oh, people are watching more now because now I’m getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more.’”
The actor, who has been sober since 2010, said that he gave up drinking with the help of his friends. “Ultimately, it was my own decision,” he said. “Like I woke up one morning after a night going like, ‘This is probably not good.’”
He continued, “Even at the lowest point, I still loved my job so much. I loved going to set, and there was never a day where my own [feelings] would affect how I was on set, there was never a point where I was like, ‘Oh, I wish this hadn’t happened to me, I wish I wasn’t Harry Potter.’”
In a separate interview to the BBC, he said, “I didn’t really know in terms of behaviour, and behaviour in public, that was one of the first times that I felt being famous brushing up against my life. If I went out and if I got drunk I’d suddenly be aware of there being an interest in that because it was not just a drunk guy, it’s like ‘Harry Potter’s getting drunk in the bar’ and that carries its own kind of interest for people. Also a slightly mocking interest because it is inherently funny for people.”
“I suppose those were the moments when I first started being ‘Oh, that doesn’t feel good. I don’t like how I’m being looked at in this particular context,’” he continued. “Then the way of dealing with that is to just to drink more, or get more drunk. So I did a lot of that for a few years.”
Radcliffe added, “There are many questions in my life where you can say ‘Is this thing, thing X, the way it is because it’s in you to be that way or is it because you got famous and were in this slightly crazy situation?’ That’s not just the sense with my drinking, it’s a few things where you go ‘I wonder if that’s because of Potter or I would have been that way anyway?’ I’ll never know, so it’s sort of pointless to ask. But I definitely think a lot of the drinking that happened towards the end of Potter and sort of for a little bit after it finished, it was panic and not knowing what to do next and not being comfortable enough in who I was to remain sober.”
The actor had also spoken candidly about his sex life. In an interview to the now defunct Details magazine, it was revealed that Radcliffe “celebrated reaching Britain’s age of consent, 16, almost three years ago, in the customary manner, with an older girlfriend”. The age difference between them “wasn’t ridiculous but it would freak some people out”, he said.
In an interview to Elle, he provided more details. He said, “It was with somebody I’d gotten to know well. I’m happy to say I’ve had a lot better sex since then, but it wasn’t as horrendously embarrassing as a lot of other people’s were—like my friend who got drunk and did it with a stranger under a bridge.”
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