Daniel Radcliffe Denies Breaking 60 Wands on ‘Harry Potter’ Set: ‘It’s Not That Many’

To many people, Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter—and perhaps one day, he’ll take on the role again. But being the face of such a massive and beloved franchise comes with nonstop public speculation about your life. The actor recently reassured the internet that he did not, in fact, have coronavirus (COVID-19), and that’s far from the first time he had to shut down gossip.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter with an owl perched on his arm in a promotion for 'Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone'
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter | Peter Mountain/Getty Images

Predictably, many of the most persistent rumors relate to his time as Harry Potter, including the idea that the actor broke wand after wand in the role. But is it true?

Did Daniel Radcliffe break 60+ wands on the set of Harry Potter?

Although Radcliffe does not frequent social media, where the rumor likely originated, even he had seen Tweets claiming that he broke 60 or 100 wands on set. The claim is so pervasive that it’s one of the top suggestions when you search “Daniel Radcliffe” on Google—which is how the actor came to address it during a WIRED Autocomplete interview.

“This is a rumor I would like to disperse,” he said immediately. “It’s not that many, guys,” he reiterated, adding that everyone on the cast “went through a few” and that he was no exception;

“I used to use them and drum on my leg with it the whole time […] and eventually you sort of wear them down and they will break … but yeah it wasn’t as many as that!” 

So just how many wands did Radcliffe break? According to his own estimates, it was somewhere in the range of 12, and no more than an absolute maximum of 20. Until the series’ propmaster weighs in, we’ll just have to take his word for it.

How Daniel Radcliffe became Harry Potter

Radcliffe took on his most iconic role at the ripe age of 11 when he was cast as the titular boy wizard in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. According to Radcliffe, it was just a lucky break.

He reprised the role in all eight of the Harry Potter films, spending over a decade of his life in the role and netting a whopping $95.6 million from the blockbuster films. 

Although the 32-year-old’s acting career has since spanned film, television, West End, and Broadway, fans still know him as Harry Potter and remain desperate for tidbits about his time as the boy wizard.

Some still clamor for him to return to the role, perhaps in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films, or in the rumored film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

While he currently feels the franchise is doing fine without him, the actor seems to understand people’s enthusiasm—he’s previously told Daily Mail that he does “genuinely love meeting fans” since he knows that he’s “had a huge effect on their childhood.”

What was Daniel Radcliffe really like on set of ‘Harry Potter’?

This isn’t the first time Radcliffe has been forced to defend a rumor about his on-screen conduct via a YouTube interview. In fact, it’s not even the first time he defended a rumor about breaking props.

In a Hot Ones interview with popular channel First We Feast, Radcliffe insisted that, contrary to popular belief, he did not break hundreds of pairs of glasses while filming:

“The reports are exaggerated, the glasses one massively so. I definitely didn’t break the glasses that often at all, I don’t think.”

Far from the troublemaker Twitter rumors would make him out to be, Radcliffe was, reportedly, a pleasure to work with. Asked by Vogue about working with her young co-star, Emma Watson said that he:

” … understood what his role was, not just as an actor but as the leading man in this enormous franchise. […] He held it all together.”

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