He was only 11 years old when he was first cast as the juvenile wizard ‘Harry Potter.’ That was 2001. No one really ever heard of Daniel Radcliffe until he entered our lives in The Sorcerer’s Stone. And for 10 long years, there he was–film after film after film.
Today, Harry Potter (aka ‘Wizarding World’) is the third most profitable film franchise in history at $8.5 billion behind Star Wars ($9.1 billion) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe ($14.6 billion). Evidently, when a guy gets a golden parachute like that, it can wear on one’s nerves.
For Daniel, it stressed the poor guy out as he has now admitted with BBC’s Sam Jones on his show Off Camera. Let’s just say back in the day, “Get Lit” referenced the thunderbolt on his forehead. Nowadays, it’s more 150 proof.
“The quickest way to forget about the fact that you were being watched was to get very drunk,” Radcliffe said. “Then as you get very drunk, you become aware, ‘Oh, people are watching more now because now I’m getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more.’”
Fame does funny things to people. To Radcliffe, it was no laughing matter.
He shared that he couldn’t deal with the fame, the pomp, the circumstance, and all those people gawking at him constantly. Radcliffe believed many fans felt entitled–as they can do when they reveal their true trollish nature–to a “sense of ownership” they thought when it came to his personal life.
“It could’ve largely been in my head, but [I] would feel watched when [I] went into a bar or into a pub.”
In short, dude had no privacy. Yes, he has no worries like the rest of us–paying for gas, worrying when the car breaks down, rent is coming, and all those dang bills. However, in some fans’ minds, Radcliffe should have no expectations for privacy either, but those are the same people who forget behind Harry Potter was a young boy.
It’s almost impossible to feel sorry for movie stars. The world is their oyster and we are just the sand running in between their toes.
So when you read a story like this about arguably the most recognizable kid on the planet having a tough time being famous, many of us want to cast a spell to shut him up. But, there he was, shriveling up his liver and scared to go outside. Why? Fame.
Before some of the sensitive ones go off about how we should have a little empathy for Radcliffe, let us not forget that he still remembered who he was in the grand scheme of things.
“Even at the lowest point, I still loved my job so much and I still loved going to set,” Radcliffe continued. “There was never a day where my own s— would affect how I was on the 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.’ That just didn’t happen.”
Since his halcyon days as the boy wizard and no longer using alcohol to hush the public, Radcliffe has been able to enjoy some peace and quiet, largely because people aren’t really beating down his agent’s door. There’s been some voice acting in The Simpsons, Bojack Horseman, and Robot Chicken. And that baphomet-like movie Horns. (Oy!)
He’s stopped drinking, but he seems he’s stopped many things. Whether we like it or not, it seems the boy who would be warlock got his wish–anonymity at last.
Maybe now, he can enjoy the childhood he never got and the rest of us could use this as an example of not finding isolation at the bottom of a bottle.