Daniel Radcliffe opened up about his dependence on alcohol during the height of his Harry Potter fame in a new interview.
“There is an awareness that I really struggled with particularly in my late teens when I was going out to places for the first time where you would feel — again it could have largely been in my head but — you would feel watched when you went into a bar, when you went into a pub,” the 29-year-old actor told Off Camera With Sam Jones Opens a New Window. . “Then, in my case, the quickest way of forgetting about the fact that you were being watched was to get very drunk.”
Radcliffe explained the high stakes of being the lead in an insanely successful franchise. “Part of the thing is the expectation that you should just be delighted all the time,” he noted. “You have a great job, you’re wealthy, you don’t have a right to not be excited about the thing all the time. I think that’s a pressure as well. You suddenly start to feel, ‘Man, if I am just feeling some human emotion of sadness, does that mean I’m doing this wrong? Am I not good at being famous?’”
The Miracle Workers star eventually decided that his tendency to turn to alcohol had to stop. “I have been unbelievably lucky with the people I had around me at certain times in my life. I met some really key people — some actors, some of them not — who just gave me great advice and really cared for me,” he recalled. “Ultimately it was just my own decision. I woke up one morning after a night, going, ‘This is probably not good.’”
Radcliffe starred as the titular character in the Harry Potter films from 2001 to 2011. The eight movies, which also featured Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton and Alan Rickman, raked in over $7 billion at the box office, launched a spinoff series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and inspired a theme park at Universal Studios.
The Now You See Me 2 actor, who has been sober since 2013, previously told Heat magazine in 2012 that he “went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work,” adding: “I can point to many scenes where I’m just gone. Dead behind the eyes.”
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