Ten years ago, a young boy named Daniel Radcliffe had his life changed dramatically when director Chris Columbus cast him as one of the most iconic young male roles of our time – Harry Potter.
Now, 21 and a multi-millionaire, Daniel remains refreshingly down-to-earth, enthusiastic and full of infectious wonder. Arriving from set to the interview with an array of cuts and bruises, the boy who grew into a man in front of the world is eager to talk about the last instalments of the movies that influenced a generation.
You’re looking pretty bashed up at the moment – do you ever go to the pub with your war-wounds on?
Daniel Radcliffe: Actually I have done that before! Absolutely, it makes me look tough. But sometimes it’s just a matter of laziness.
This is the longest shoot you’ve ever done – 256 days so far – so how are you keeping track?
To be honest, someone will mention a scene to me from an early part of the first part of the film and I’ll have completely forgotten about it. It’s bizarre, you’ve no sense of what you’ve done in the past.
You spend a lot of time camping in the first movie, especially with Hermione – how was it sharing so much on-screen time with Emma?
It was great! There’s a couple of really interesting scenes within that section of the first movie. There’s one great scene, after Ron has left, where there’s almost the start of a relationship between them and then they realise that it would be a terrible idea.
In the last book, there’s a real sense of paranoia among Harry and his friends, but does that come across in the movie?
Well I hope so, I’ve certainly been trying. Harry is like a Roman emperor in his last days, when his court seems to be turning on him. He’s completely paranoid about what Ron and Hermione are saying about him behind his back. He thinks they doubt his leadership but the funny thing is that he himself has no clue of what he’s doing.
Apart from the fact that it’s the end of the whole saga, what do you think is going to set the Deathly Hallows movies apart from the others?
Well the setting is the main thing – right up until the end we’re not in Hogwarts at all and that makes a huge difference. People are used to these stories happening within the geography of a certain place and that may take a bit of adjustment for the viewers.
After eight instalments, you still seem so enthusiastic about the films, but perhaps you shouldn’t be?
I have as much fun making these movies as people do watching them, probably more! I love my job so much and I’m very lucky to have it. I love being on set and learning from all the cast and crew. But if you asked me about Quidditch I wouldn’t be quite so enthusiastic!
Do you think it was a good decision to split the books into two movies?
I think it’s going to be frustrating for the fans but I urge them to realise that not everyone possesses the same passion they do and not everyone would be willing to sit through a six-hour film. I would rather that there’s the gap between them and we can accommodate all the various storylines rather than cutting them.
How hard is it going to be for you to walk away from Harry Potter when it all comes to an end?
There’s two things that will be hard, one of them is that this has become a day job for me and I’ve got to know the crew really, really well. The likelihood is that I’ll get to work with them again on other projects but I’ll miss being able to walk onto a film set and know exactly who everyone is. I’ll miss those relationships very much. I’ll also miss playing the role of Harry. There are very few characters like this, and I may not get to play the hero again.
Would you ever revisit the character of Harry again if they were doing more movies in the future?
If they ever did a prequel to the story or a movie about his kids it would have to be brilliant for me to get involved, and it would have to be with a director that knew the territory. But I’m not looking to do any more Potter stuff, I’m done now.