Daniel Radcliffe Confessed Being Booed Was 1 of the Hardest Parts of Childhood Fame

When you think of child actors, you might imagine they’re living the dream. With the adoration and riches they accrue, it’s safe to say they could have it easier than most. But it’s not always sunshine and rainbows for child stars. Living under constant scrutiny does come with drawbacks.

Naturally, as one of the most famous child actors on the planet, Daniel Radcliffe, was no exception to the rule. While the Harry Potter star doesn’t speak out against fame like many other celebrities, he recalls one particularly hurtful time in his childhood.

Autograph hunters came for Daniel Radcliffe

In an interview with The Off Camera Show, Radcliffe talked about an incident where autograph hunters booed at him. The now-32-year-old explained, “I don’t think I ever felt like in danger; that’s not the feeling you get from Potter fans. As a kid, the thing that sucked, and the thing that did … burrow its way in there and was really unpleasant was getting booed.”

Explaining further, he said, “There are professional hunters in the world, and they make money off that, and I don’t hate that. There are some people who can do it and will go about it in a way that is OK, and … and it’s fine, but there are also some people who will boo and shout at a child.”

The sad bit is that poor Radcliffe insists he wasn’t intentionally snubbing them. The moments he wouldn’t give autographs came when he genuinely didn’t have time after doing a day of press at a premier.

The English actor vented on, “But at that moment, if you just hear people booing and shouting stuff at you and about you, that, as a kid, sucked. I do remember that being very disheartening.” Apparently, it sucked so much so that Radcliffe developed a pathological need to sign autographs.

Radcliffe’s instant rise to fame

Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson laugh during an appearance on MTV'S TRL TV show in 2004
Daniel Radcliffe on MTV’S TRL in 2004 | Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic

For the uninformed, Radcliffe starred in a not-so-little film called Harry Potter — well, that and the other seven films in the series. The instant the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, hit theaters in 2001, the then-11-year-old garnered the global following of J.K Rowling’s creation. It only went uphill from there.

So, as you may expect, after more than 10 years playing a wizard in Harry Potter, Radcliffe wanted to play something totally different once the series came to an end. One of his first attempts involved the play Equus where he famously got naked on set.

When questioned about his more unconventional role in the drama, Radcliffe responded, “For my first thing on stage, I couldn’t do something that was half-plate. It wasn’t so much to get as far away from Potter as possible as to show that I was in it for the right reasons, I guess, and wanted to really test myself.”

The Lost City star continued, “I have had directors say to me ever since that even if they didn’t see it at the time, knowing that that had happened put me on their radar as someone who was obviously willing to try stuff.”

What has Daniel Radcliffe been up to since?


How Daniel Radcliffe’s Parents Helped Him Deal With Childhood Fame

Besides Equus, Radcliffe has a few other theater credits playing roles in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Endgame, and The Cripple of Inishmaan.

He’s starred in several indie movies and blockbuster hits including Horns, The Woman in Black, Kill Your Darlings, What If, Trainwreck, Victor Frankenstein, Swiss Army Man, and, more recently, The Lost City. Radcliffe also dabbled in the TV series genre, starring in A Young Doctor’s Notebook and Miracle Workers, which is now in its third season.

The former child star is one of those actors you feel like you’ve known your whole life. He’ll always be Harry to some. Whether he’ll reprise the role, or return for the adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, only time will tell. In his words, “I never say never, because that’s a dumb thing to say.”