The Unfortunate Way Daniel Radcliffe Is Just Like His Dad

Daniel Radcliffe told his parents that he wanted to act at a young age. They initially discouraged his acting dream, but when his career took off and his Harry Potter stardom threatened to overwhelm him, they helped him deal with his fame. They kept him grounded and reassured him that his identity wasn’t tied to any character, even if it was one of the most beloved characters ever. Replicating their attitude and levelheadedness wouldn’t be a terrible idea for Radcliffe, but he once predicted an unfortunate way he’d be just like his dad.

Daniel Radcliffe at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Kill Your Darlings' in 2013, which was eight years after he predicted one way he'd be like his dad.
Daniel Radcliffe | Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

Radcliffe’s parents let him audition for major roles

Radcliffe knew he wanted to be an actor as soon as he attended a play with his mother as a child. His parents downplayed that dream initially, but they let him attend auditions when he mentioned his desire a few years later. 

One audition led to Radcliffe playing young David in a BBC production of David Copperfield, which led directly to him becoming Harry Potter thanks to one of his co-stars

The Harry Potter franchise, of course, led to worldwide fame (plus an adverse side effect) and a slew of appearances on late-night talk shows around the world. During one appearance, Radcliffe revealed an unfortunate way he would grow up to be like his dad.

Radcliffe predicted he’d be like his dad in one specific way

Radcliffe stopped by Friday Night With Jonathan Ross in 2005 while promoting Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

As one of his lead-in questions, Ross asked the 16-year-old Radcliffe about his driving skills (via YouTube). Older Potter co-star Rupert Grint had started his driving tests, but Radcliffe had yet to do so. Ross asked if Radcliffe were jealous of Grint, to which he said no because he was almost sure he’d be as poor of a driver as his dad.

“I’m going to be the worst driver in the world because my dad’s a really bad driver, and I think I’ve got his genes rather than my mom’s, who’s an amazing driver. But my dad’s terrible, and I’ll be going down that road.”

Daniel Radcliffe

Just as Radcliffe accurately predicted his post-Potter career path, he was also prescient about his future driving skills. 

Driving proves to be a challenge for Radcliffe

It turns out the 16-year-old Radcliffe talking to Ross was spot-on about his driving skills. 

During a conversation with MTV News in 2019, Radcliffe revealed he has a driver’s license, but only so he can drive on set. He admitted he’s “really bad” at driving, but his dad’s driving skills aren’t entirely to blame.

Radcliffe lives with a brain disorder called dyspraxia that affects motor function and makes some everyday tasks more complicated. He’s managed to carve out a fine acting career despite the diagnosis, but when it comes to driving skills, Radcliffe is like his dad, just as he predicted he would.

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