Skip to main content

Daniel Radcliffe has quite the resume. The actor has been working professionally for over two decades and has done his fair share of movies, TV shows, and plays. However, Radcliffe’s most famous part to date remains his titular role in the Harry Potter franchise. For a full decade, the actor traveled around the world filming and promoting the wildly popular films. Portraying the boy who lived made Radcliffe a household name and one of the most famous faces on the globe.

Harry Potter alum Daniel Radcliffe at 'The Lost City' UK Screening
‘Harry Potter’ alum Daniel Radcliffe | Mike Marsland/WireImage

Daniel Radcliffe found immense fame after he joined the ‘Harry Potter’ cast

In Hollywood, being an overnight celebrity is typically regarded as an exaggeration or even a myth. Many actors work for years before they’re able to nab bigger roles and public recognition. But that wasn’t the case for Radcliffe. The English actor had worked on just one film before he was cast in the Harry Potter movies. And as soon as it was announced that Radcliffe nabbed the role, he was dealing with swarms of paparazzi. In fact, Radcliffe and his parents had to move into a hotel immediately following the announcement.

The ‘Horns’ actor talks about his issues with alcohol

Immense fame is difficult for even adults to handle, so it makes sense that Radcliffe had his issues with it. This came to a head in the actor’s late teens and early 20s. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Radcliffe explained that he used alcohol to deal with the intensity of his celebrity. He also used it because he felt panicked about the Harry Potter franchise ending, and not knowing what to do next. Of course, being publicly intoxicated had its own share of issues for someone as famous as Radcliffe.

“I didn’t really know in terms of behavior, and behavior in public, that was one of the first times that I felt being famous brushing up against my life,” Radcliffe shared. “If I went out and if I got drunk I’d suddenly be aware of there being an interest in that because it was not just a drunk guy, it’s like ‘Harry Potter’s getting drunk in the bar,’ and that carries its own kind of interest for people. Also, a slightly mocking interest because it is inherently funny for people.”

Radcliffe admits to still being drunk in some of his ‘Harry Potter’ scenes

The drinking became so intense that it began to affect his work. While Radcliffe maintains that he never indulged in alcohol on set, sometimes his drunkenness from the night before hadn’t worn off before he had to film. In an interview with Heat Magazine as printed by Reuters, the Harry Potter star reveals that he can spot scenes where he was still drunk.

“I can honestly say I never drank at work on Harry Potter,” Radcliffe shared. “I went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work.” Continuing on, Radcliffe admitted that his drunkenness had a negative effect on his performance. “I can point to many scenes where I’m just gone,” he added. “Dead behind the eyes.”

Radcliffe has been sober since 2010

Ultimately, Radcliffe’s constant drinking started affecting him emotionally. He didn’t like how fuzzy his memory was getting. “After a while, you’re living under such a cloud of shame about what you’ve done and the dread of who you might see, what you might have said to them, what you might have done with them.”


Emma Watson on if She Keeps in Touch With Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint

Eventually, Radcliffe made the decision to give up alcohol. He’s abstained from drinking since 2010 and is very happy with his decision. Dealing with the enormity of the Harry Potter franchise couldn’t have been easy. We’re sure Radcliffe’s fans are happy that he’s in a healthier place today.