Daniel Radcliffe Has Been Trying to Shake His ‘Harry Potter’ Image for Years

Daniel Radcliffe is most widely known for portraying the wizard destined to defeat Voldemort in Harry Potter. After playing the chosen one with a goofy friend and a wise (incomparably skilled at spellcasting) friend for about a decade, Radcliffe and Potter fused in perception — becoming a single entity in viewers’ minds. People saw Radcliffe out in the street and shouted, “That’s Harry Potter!” No one shouts, “That’s Tyler Durden!” or “it’s Troy!” when they spot Brad Pitt in the street. Pitt is not one with Fight Club as Radcliffe is with Potter.

Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter
Actor Daniel Radcliffe attends the premiere of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1’ | Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

And though it was the role that catalyzed Radcliffe’s career — the role responsible for kickstarting his ascension to A-list status — he has been doing everything in his power to shake that good boy, Harry Potter image he cemented as a child. When you look back on Daniel Radcliffe’s career, he hasn’t necessarily flocked to family-friendly productions ever since.  

Let us not forget Broadway’s ‘Equus’ revival (during the Harry Potter years)

Remember when Harry Potter, sorry, Daniel Radcliffe, got naked on the Broadway stage, proving to the world he was no longer the wizarding boy they knew him to be? In a story about a psychiatrist who aims to treat a young man with a pathological and religious fascination with horses, Radcliffe played the young man. 

Audiences and critics were impressed with Radcliffe’s performance; he shook that childhood shtick and became this bizarre man with a psychological abnormality. Unfortunately, with two more Harry Potter films left to go — Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Deathly Hallows: Part 2 — he would only return to Potter yet again, becoming part of the fantasy world seemingly designed for his presence. Yet, Radcliffe didn’t give up; he went on to star in movies that children would not be permitted to see without adult supervision. 

‘The Woman in Black, ‘Kill Your Darlings,’ and ‘Swiss Army Man’

Following the last Harry Potter movie, Radcliffe soon accepted a PG-13 drama fantasy horror flick — The Woman in Black (2012)about a recently widowed lawyer sent to a remote village where he discovers the house he is occupying is haunted. The following year, he portrayed Allen Ginsberg, who is arrested for murder, in Kill Your Darlings. With romance, passion, deceit, confusion, and more lurking in every corner, it’s no surprise this one was rated R too. 

And, last but not least, he starred in Swiss Army Man across from Paul Dano in 2016. Radcliffe plays the dead man who farts the entire movie. It was utterly bizarre and appropriately rated R. 

Is Radcliffe still looking to break the mold with ‘Guns Akimbo?’ 

A trailer recently dropped for Guns Akimbo. To make a long story short, Radcliffe plays a guy who winds up with guns bolted to both of his hands, and he must enter some weird underground real-life deathmatch to survive. 


Radcliffe has a way of finding interesting roles that defy typical movie standards. He’s likely interested in stretching his acting muscles; however, he may also be simply trying to run very, very, very far away from Potter. So, has the actor been on a mission to become Radcliffe over Potter, or has he simply been attracted to more mature-themed roles ever since?