Daniel Jacob Radcliffe (born 23 July 1989) is an English actor who rose to prominence playing the title character in the Harry Potter film series. Radcliffe made his acting debut at age ten in BBC One's 1999 television movie David Copperfield, followed by his film debut in 2001's The Tailor of Panama. At age eleven he was cast as the title character in the first Harry Potter film, and he starred in the series for ten years until the release of the eighth and final film in July 2011. He also began to branch out to stage acting in 2007, starring in the London and New York productions of the play Equus and in the 2011 Broadway revival of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In addition, he starred in 2007's December Boys and the 2012 hit horror film The Woman in Black. He will play beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 2013 indie film Kill Your Darlings. Radcliffe has contributed to many charities, including Demelza House Children's Hospice and The Trevor Project. He has also made public service announcements for the latter. In 2011, he was awarded the Trevor Project's "Hero Award".
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Hello, Daniel Radcliffe here.
My latest film is called "Horns" and it's in theaters October 31st.
Victoria's assisting me with today's AMA. Hopefully I'll say something interesting.
Update: Thank you very very much to everybody. Your questions have been awesome. But I really have to pee now. So we'll have to do this again sometime.
And that is all true.
But thank you very much, this has been great!
Can you and Elijah Wood make a movie where you're twins and one of you is evil but we don't know which until the bloodbath ending?
Just write that movie! And absolutely!
Let's do this!
Or could there be a film where one of us, is like, an impersonator of the other? We've got to eke out some mileage out of this mistaken identity!
If you had a Horcrux, what would it be?
Um... that's a really good question. First of all, congratulations to you for asking me a Harry Potter question I have NEVER been asked before, that is not easily achieved!
I would say... I was gonna say my iPod, prolly put it in that, but I would put it inside an album on the iPod, so you'd have to open that album. So I somehow want it to be connected to a particular album that means something, like Ziggy Stardust. So that's how I'd want to do that.
How do you feel about being compared to Daniel Boringcliffe?
I've been shown that meme by a few friends, and obviously there are quite a few Harry Potter related memes and jokes and things, you see these things, and I have to say that one really made me laugh! It made me enjoy my name way more than I ever have before. So obviously Daniel Radcliffe beats Daniel Boringcliffe 100% of the time.
And I suppose I should use this an opportunity to thank whomever made that particular meme, because it really is very good.
What was it like to work on the Lord of the Ring movies?
Just like... it was exhausting, but New Zealand's lovely all year 'round.
Your American accent has been recieving a lot of praise lately. It's uncanny. So my question is, you makin' fun of us, Radcliffe?
But seriously, how did you perfect your American dialect? Are there any particular words or sounds you still find tricky? As a yank, it's fascinating to imagine affecting a dialect that sounds so neutral to my ears. Keep up the great work!
First of all, thank you to that person!
And, yeah, you know, in England now when we grow up, there we are, so suffused by American culture, from you know, shows like FRIENDS and FRASIER to the Toy Story movies which I saw when I was obviously very young - I think I've been practicing my American accent - I used to be really into WWF and I would play with wrestling action figures and give them American accents, so I think I've been practicing since I was about 9.
The only thing I would add to that is that I've been told by quite a few people that i sound like Chris Columbus, who directed the first 2 Harry Potter films, so I think subconsciously I may be doing an impression of him.
Something I've been really impressed with lately is that it seems like all of the kids that grew up acting in Harry Potter ended up very grounded and intelligent (this came to mind in particular when I saw an excerpt of an interview where you questioned how quickly people sexualized Emma Watson as soon as she turned 18). Was there an environment that helped with that, or would you attribute that more to your parents, or something else?
I would attribute it to my parents and also to the crew of the Potter films, who were very good at treating us like kids rather than as actors, as they should have done. But yeah, it's hard to say what it comes down to. I think also when you grow up in the media, you get a very clear sense of how crazy the media is, and you know - basically the countdown that Emma's birthday was to when she turned 18, or 17, or whatnot, it was insane. It was insane. And I think when you see that perspective that we all saw at very young ages, you do get an extra level of awareness maybe. But also, thank you for the compliment of saying we are all grounded and intelligent, that is very nice.
Over the course of the Harry Potter films, you got to work with some amazing actors like Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman. Can you share any interesting stories about working with them?
Well, one of the moments in my life that will forever be... you know, immortal in my memory, would be - because Gary Oldman is a bass player, a very good bass player, yeah, and, um, I started learning bass on the 3rd film when he joined the cast. And so one day, I think actually maybe on my 14th birthday, that day started with Gary teaching me the bass line to "Come Together" by the Beatles, yeah! And you know, that was just an amazing, amazing moment. What else... Michael Gambon was always also hilarious to be around. Something not every knows about Michael is that he collects and restores antique dueling pistols. Yeah! And they're really his passion, much more than acting is, and, uh, I remember he one morning gave me a demonstration of how you would shoot a man in a duel with a 17th century pistol in one hand and his morning coffee in the other!
Yeah, so my life has been blessed with many surreal, cool moments like that.
Daniel, did you put your name into the goblet of fire?!?!?!
You know what, I don't think we did I'm pretty sure. Because I think that by that point, they had figured out my handwriting was so bad that they would never let it be seen in the film. So I'm pretty sure one of the props guys wrote "Harry Potter" neatly on a piece of paper for me to put in.
Howdy Daniel! Does Rupert really own an ice cream van?
He really does! Um, and, er, he also owned at one point, at one point he owned llamas and a hovercraft, you heard correctly, hahaha, and a 1950's chevy pickup, he had a collection of weird and wonderful things at his house.
Not including Harry Potter, who is your favorite character in the Harry Potter franchise?
Probably Sirius. Like I always loved the character, and then Gary's portrayal of him I thought was perfect. Or Lupin, really. Any of the characters my dad used to hang out with, other than Wormtail. There was always something bout those two guys I loved a lot.
What was the best prank you pulled on the HP set?
God... I should probably about the one that was pulled on ME, rather than any I pulled. Because it came from a very unexpected place.
There's - in the 3rd film - there's a shot in the great hall of all the kids sleeping in the great hall, and the camera starts very very wide, and comes in so that it's an inch from my face, a very long developing set, yeah, and Alan Rickman decided he would plant one of those fart machines in my, uh, sleeping bag, and they waited until like -the camera had come in for this huge DRAMATIC developing shot, and then unleashed this tremendous noise in the great hall.
I immediately thought: "This is one of the other kids fucking around, and we were going to get in trouble."
But as it turns out, it was one of the members of Britain's acting royalty.
I think I laughed a lot, was probably a bit embarrassed, but it was really really funny.
Which actors do you want to work with in the future?
George Clooney... Jennifer Lawrence... I just think they'd be really cool, Paul Rudd, I met him and was like "You're awesome!" I just want to work with people you can get on with, and you have a good rapport with, and those are definitely some of them. Also directors more than actors, whom I think "I want to work with them." So you know, people like the Coen Brothers, or Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, again, it's directors i suppose I get more excited about than actors.
Do you prefer Dan, Daniel, Danny... what?
Just "Dan" is best. "Daniel" is fine, but I always sort of think I'm in trouble. And "Danny," I think, if you call yourself "Danny" you give everyone around you the right to sing "Danny Boy" to you ALL THE TIME, and it's a nice song, but once you've heard it 1,000 times, you don't want to hear it every time you introduce yourself to somebody.
Hey Daniel! What are you going to be for Halloween?
That's a GOOD question. I don't know yet, I haven't narrowed it down, but because I've very recently - like within the last 6 months - watched the original Star Wars movies, I'm like a brand new Star Wars fan, so I might go with something Star Wars related! And I got to go out to the Star Wars set recently, because a lot of my friends are working on it crew-wise.. so something Star Wars related, but not sure yet.
I'm leaning towards Boba Fett, but I haven't found a good enough costume yet.
Hello Daniel! If you could be any book or comic character beside Harry Potter, who would you be?
Um.... Well, growing up, my favourite comic book character was Daredevil, so Daredevil was great, but there was also, like, if I could be one character from all of literature it would be... Woland from my favourite book, wait no, I change my answer, I would be Behemoth the cat from my favourite book which is called The Master and Margarita, and he is like, a 5 foot tall black cat who shoots a revolver.
Harry Potter is obviously a Gryffindor, but what is Daniel Radcliffe?
I mean, I... to me, it's not a... to me I absolutely think I would be in Gryffindor! But there's never any doubt of that for me. Yeah. I like, maybe I'm just biased because I played one for so long, but I could never picture myself in any other colours.
What is the weirdest thing someone has asked you to sign?
Um... well, recently a couple of people have asked me to sign a piece of paper so they can then get it tattooed. And, you know, that's pretty weird. Just because I have pretty horrible handwriting - that AMA sign was me printing, but you should see my cursive, it's not pretty! So yeah, I would advise people against doing that. I have signed a picture of Elijah Wood - and I think we've also both said in interviews that we would like each other to play each other in films of our lives - but I was on a red carpet in Japan, and this Japanese man gave me a picture of Elijah, and I knew i wasn't going to get past the language barrier to explain, so I wrote "I am not Elijah Wood, signed Daniel Radcliffe."
And then also people seem obsessed with getting me to sign baseballs, which I don't understand... Quidditch balls would be relevant, at least, but just baseballs, for no reason at all.
Assuming you read all the Potter books before their respective films were made, did you ever get upset about changes or omissions friom the stories when you were reading your script?
Ehm - not particularly.
I think we had very quickly become aware that stuff was not going to be in all the films that we couldn't fit everything in, I think I remember the thing early on that me, Emma and Rupert were all slightly surprised by, that we had all ABSOLUTELY LOVED the chapter in the Chamber of Secrets book about the - I think was it Nearly Headless Nick's Birthday Party? But I think it was some sort of a ghost birthday party that was not in the films, and I remember at the time we were all quite surprised by that. I know some people would have been quite happy to see a 4 hour long Harry Potter movie with every detail in there, but some people also would not have...
How terrifying was it to have a black magic version of Hans Gruber yelling at you for years?
Um, yeah! I mean, pretty terrifying! The first few years I was genuinely quite intimidated by Alan, just because of the voice and the way he sort of carries himself. But as I grew up, I realized he was one of the kindest and most supportive members of that cast to me. I mean, Alan has cut short holidays that he's been having to come and see me in plays, and take me out for dinner afterwards to talk to me about stuff, I think when he realized how serious I was about wanting to be an actor, and he knew what a particular world the Potter set was to grow up in, he just sort of made it his - he just really wanted to help us all and has been very helpful to me, certainly.
When you auditioned for your role in harry potter did you have any idea that it would turn out to be this major of a movie series?
Even as a kid, I hadn't the full scope of the Harry Potter phenomenon, hadn't really, ever, made an impression on me I guess? Obviously I'd read the first couple of books, but I wasn't as into it as a lot of my class was, so no, I could never have imagined it was as big as it was. I think maybe it's only now that I'm really starting to get a fuller sense of how wide-reaching it was, and how many people's lives it affected, which is very cool.
Hi Daniel, if the opportunity presents itself some day one day what would you prefer, play James Bond or play the villain?
The villain. 100%. I think it's generally more interesting, and honestly, more what I'm suited for, to be honest. I don't see myself necessarily - I mean, I know there was a lot of action in Potter and I liked those sequences, but I don't think of myself as a natural action star.
If you were to change one thing about the world what would it be and do you think your fame would help?
I suppose I would... I would remove the bullshit hierarchy from the film industry, because there are certain people who do my job, and also directors and producers, who seem to think the job they do gives them license to treat people who work for them badly, and there is no good reason for that, and it should not be tolerated.
I know that if I ever get to direct, it will not be present anywhere on my set.
Hi Dan!! Where is the most obscure place you have ever gotten recognized?
Oh! I mean... anywhere you'd care to name. I've been recognized in Antigua, I got recognized a lot there.
There isn't anywhere in the world Potter hasn't reached.
I was on a roller coaster, I think it was in Paris, actually, and it was in the middle of winter, and I was wearing basically like a thing in England, don't know if you have them here, we called them "Snoods" - they're like a warm thing that covers you whole head, basically only shows your eyes, and I was like 12 years old, I was wearing one on a roller coaster, and I guess my eyes do give me away because the people BEHIND us somehow recognized me and asked an autograph when we got off the coaster !And we were like "How did you SEE me?!" it was impressive.
What does Hedwig do now that the movies are all over?
well, which Hedwig? There were 3 or 4. I imagine they are all still living with Gary Gero, who was the head of the animals department on Potter. I imagine he is looking after them all somewhere. I imagine they are all at the home where actor owls retire to.
Who's at your dream dinner party?
Can they be dead?
Well, uh, I would say, um: this is hard. Probably John Lennon, cuz that'd be awesome, and, uh, Tom Lehrer, who's a comic songwriter whom I'm obsessed with, yeah, and what's an all-time dinner fantasy party without Einstein? So Einstein, yeah! and probably Keith Richards, yeah, to liven everything up.
Hey Dan, welcome to Reddit! Super excited that you’re here with us today.
I heard you love to read so my questions for you today are literature-related. Are there any good books that you’re currently reading, and (if offered to you) would you be in a film or stage play of “The Master and Margarita”? That would be pretty cool since you’ve already been in A Young Doctor’s Notebook!
That’s all. Thanks again for doing this AMA, and thanks also for being an integral part of my childhood and adolescence. You are super awesome! :)
Well, that's incredibly kind, and, you know, you're welcome, I have, I think, just as much fun making those films as you did watching them, so it's always lovely when people say it as if I've done them a favour and I was having the best time of my life making those films, so it was a win-win for everybody I think.
In terms of - I just finished reading SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5, which is a fantastic book, and I would hopefully be in any adaptation of Master and Margarita, I would do literally absolutely anything on that set if they would let me, but in terms of like other books I would recommend, I also read a book not long ago called "Foe" and it's kind of a reimagining of the Robinson Crusoe story, I'll leave it at that but it's a brilliant book.
Do you like toast?
I do. Yes, I definitely do.
Of all the Harry Potter spoofs and parodies online such as Potter Puppet Pals and Dear Reader Wizard People which are your favorites?
Em - the Potter Puppet Pals were always, I thought, very very funny. It is hard to make really good Harry Potter jokes, though, because a lot of them have been done, but I thought Puppet Pals were very funny. The best "Alan Rickman as Snape" impression was, 100%, Bill Hader when I did Saturday Night Live, yeah, but maybe my favourite joke at Harry Potter's expense was in South Park, the episode, The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring. It's not a very PC joke, but it really made me laugh.
What is one thing in your life that you are striving to improve, and what are you doing to improve it?
I suppose I'm trying to... I'm trying to care less what people think of me, and the way I have done that, very successfully the past few months now, is not look at stuff on the internet. That is the key.
What was it like working with Richard Harris?
Wonderful. I mean, he was just such a sweet man. You know... kind of relentlessly charming with women, I think I'm pretty sure I saw him flirting with female journalists at press conferences, I remember being a young child in awe of it... but yeah, he was a legend, and so to have been able to work with somebody of that generation, which was an incredibly important generation of actors for Britain, is amazing.
Do you go on YouTube often, and if so, what do you look at? Who are you subscribed to on there?
Well, I watch a lot of sports videos and stuff like that. I think the NFL Bad Lip Reading might be one of my favourite YouTube things. I watch a lot of Ted Talks, in terms of things on the internet.
What else do i watch? That's the thing... I like all sorts of, it's great for research, YouTube, and watching Alan Ginsberg debate William Buckley, things like that. I lost a lot of time like that, because since then I've watched all of Buckley's interviews like that with Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky... Because it's kind of intellectual heavyweight debate that is gone from television now, but is still cool to watch. And because I met him quite recently, in the last few days I've been watching a lot of Russell Brand's videos on there. I met him because he was promoting his new book in the UK. Normally I immediately distrust actors as soon as they are talking about politics, because i think it's quite self-serving, but he's very sincere, and I really got on with him when I met him.
If you could transform into a flying, land, and sea animal which 3 animals would you choose?
Ok, that's a good question. I would go with WOLF for the land animal, definitely, because I've always loved wolves. I think... for the air animal, it would have to be maybe like an albatross, one of those long distance journey birds, that would cool. And then for a sea animal... I guess I'd want to be a shark, because not much could fuck with you! Because the sea strikes me as a horrible place, anything could kill you all the time, so the sea is where you would want to be a shark. Like a great white or a Hammerhead, maybe Hammerheads because they are more social.
So maybe a hammerhead shark, to be specific. Because i like the power of being a shark, but i don't like the isolation of a great white's life.
What was the makeup process like for Horns? What would you do whilst having it applied?
Um, we listened to heavy metal, basically. That was it. Yeah! And because the two guys that were doing the makeup, Mike McCarthy and Mike Fields, they were both big metal heads, and I mean, the actual process -they made it so easy - the horns themselves only took about 20 minutes to put on, and even some of the more extreme makeup that we had near the end only took a couple of hours, so you know, I had it easier than a lot of actors do. And yeah, so Metallica, Megadeth, and what was the other band we listened to loads of... shit... can't remember it'll come back to me.
Daniel, did you keep anything from the set of Harry Potter?
Oh yeah, of course. I wasn't going to leave there without grabbing a set of glasses!
Hi Daniel! Welcome!
What was your favorite scene to do from the Harry Potter movies?
Yeah... favourite scene to film... god... that is a really hard question, to pick just one... the first thing that comes to mind, and it's a silly one, but doing all the Gringott's stuff in the last movie with Rupert and Helena and Warwick and Emma, that was like a really fun time. We were all enjoying ourselves in that, it's an action sequence so it was quite, it was more of a technical challenge than an emotional one, so it was a lot of fun to get right.
How well do you feel Horns, the movie, stays true to the book?
I think it stays very true to the book. Of course some things have to change, but to me, what makes the book remarkable is the mixing of the romantic elements, the comic elements, and the, sort of, horror and fantasy stuff, and what we have absolutely done in the film is captured all those tones and they compliment each other beautifully as they do in the book. So that would be the biggest success of the movie's adaptation.
How important was it to you that Joe Hill react favorably to your portrayal of Ig?
VERY important. To be honest, if Alex Aja and Joe Hill are happy with my performance, then I'm happy with it! Those are the two people I'm thinking about most, and talking to most, about my thoughts on the character and my approach to it.
So yeah, the fact that they are happy is awesome!
Given that almost all actors in Britain have got roles in game of thrones. Have you been approached for a role and if so what character were you offered/like to play?
I haven't been approached! And I don't know - haha- I don't know what I would do. My lack of Game of Thrones knowledge was revealed in an interview a while ago. I totally would side with the Starks, though, because their symbol is a wolf.
What movies/tv shows/podcasts/anything make you laugh the hardest?
Um, the Colbert Report. Mystery Science Theater 3000. Yeah, like I JUST discovered them, and I am obsessed at the moment! They're amazing yeah! And there's also an English show, called The Thick of It, which is kind of a show - Armando Ianucci who does VEEP, it was the political show that spring boarded him to start working here, and it's some of the best, funniest television that's ever been made.
Hi Dan! So you've done a lot of great dramatic work, but what I'm wondering is what else we can expect to see from you as far as comedy? I've thoroughly enjoyed the few times I've seen you take on comedic roles and bits and am hoping to see more!
Cool! Thank you very much! Well, I did a romantic comedy that came out this summer called "What if" that is pretty funny, and I hope I get to do a lot of comedy for the rest of my career. It's what i grew up watching, mostly, so I am definitely drawn to it, and I like to think I bring a bit of it to anything I do - even a dramatic film like "Kill Your Darlings" can have some very light moments to it as well.
Hi Daniel, thanks for doing this AMA.
How does it feel to be the main character of a Story that almost defines a generation. I'm 22 and remember the final ending to the whole saga and people were crying. After watching it, it felt like my childhood had finally ended, a very strange feeling.
Did you ever feel pressured or worried that you wouldn't live up to the name?
No, it wasn't something we thought about at the time. I have thought about it much more lately than I probably ever did at the time... but yeah, it feels wonderful, honestly, to have people still come up to you and say you were such a huge part of my childhood. It's genuinely lovely. I am very lucky to be famous for something so many people loved. And there's... yeah, I always like to say that I think some people think that because I'm making an effort to have a career for myself after Potter, that they somehow think I want to escape Potter? And I don't, I"m very proud of what those films were, and what we did with them. And so I always like to say I am happy to hear from people who still love the movies.
I remember when I met, once, a guy who'd been in a punk band in the 70's, and then he wouldn't talk about this punk days at all to me when I was asking, he sort of didn't want anything to do with it? And I remember being really disappointed by that, and thinking of how uncool it was for him to disown the thing that made him, and I just would never do that.
Have you ever played any Shakespeare?
Only, uh, for myself. I think Shakespeare is a wonderful thing to work on for me when I want to prepare for a part but I don't want to over-work on the script. So I will find a character in Shakespeare that i feel explores the same themes as whatever i'm playing, and sort of work on it like that, because the way Shakespeare writes, he writes so viscerally about so many universal things, that it's an amazing resource for actors preparing.
But I would LOVE to do some for real.
Super excited for Horns! What challenges came with portraying Ig?
Well, because of the nature of the Horns mean that people confess their deepest, darkest stuff to him, and do crazy things around him all the time, it sort of means that the challenge as an actor is doing justice to the insanity of the situation that you're in, and reacting appropriately to the craziness, but also keeping it grounded and real and truthful, because you can't just have, you know, 2 hours of people freaking out, that's not interesting to watch.
So yeah, the challenge was finding the balance between the craziness of the story, and the very real tone that we wanted to get for the film.
Hey Dan! Are you a video gamer, and if so, what's your favorite game?
Um, I am much more of like a sports gamer. So I love the Madden games, all the NFL stuff, boxing games, Fifa a bit, but I also love Call of Duty. I can get lost on that for a few hours. But yeah, I'm not very good at video games. I tend to play them to the point where - I think the reason I like sports games is because there are no levels to get through, because i always reach a point on other games where I can't get any further, and it's not fun anymore, so that's when I ditch them and go back to playing Madden.