Biography of Daniel RadcliffeWho hasn't heard the name of Daniel Radcliffe, the young British actor who portrayed Harry Potter in the legendary series of films about the wizarding world? And although the last part of the franchise was released long ago, his popularity has grown every year thanks to his innate talent and truly English intelligence and self-deprecation, which make each of Radcliffe's characters unique.
Childhood. First rolesDaniel Jacob Radcliffe was born in London in 1989, to the family of Alan Radcliffe and Marcia Gresham. The boy's parents were closely involved in the world of art: his father was a literary agent at a major London publishing house, and his mother worked as a casting director in television; in their youth, both had tried themselves in acting.
Little Daniel dreamed of becoming an actor from the age of five, and when he was enrolled in a private school, he brilliantly debuted at the age of six in an amateur production as a monkey. He began persistently asking to be taken to a television casting. However, his parents were against it, as Daniel had suffered from dyspraxia (a coordination disorder) in his childhood, which made him very clumsy and a poor student. Nevertheless, when he was nine, Marcia gave in and took him to the casting for "David Copperfield", based on the novel by Charles Dickens.
The film was sponsored by BBC, but in 1999, soon after its premiere in British cinemas, American viewers also saw it and highly praised the performance of young Daniel: "An actor who looks so natural on screen is rare, especially at such a young age! He looked like a real orphan from the 19th century."
"Harry Potter" and other projectsIn 2000, Radcliffe received a minor role in the film "The Tailor of Panama": he played the son of the characters played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Geoffrey Rush. At the same time, in Great Britain, the search for actors for the adaptation of the first novel about Harry Potter, which was released in 1997 and had already become a cult work for children around the world, began.
The author of the novel, J.K. Rowling, insisted that all the actors involved in the film must be British. The director of the ambitious project, Chris Columbus, had a hard time finding a young actor who would, firstly, be a native of Great Britain, and secondly, be liked by the demanding writer. By that time, the casting had already been going on for 9 months, and more than 16,000 candidates had auditioned for the role of Harry Potter, all of whom had been rejected. "We'll have to make the film without Harry Potter," joked members of the filming crew.
By chance, Chris stumbled upon a videotape of "Copperfield", and after watching it, he immediately summoned his assistant and demanded that they find the young actor. Radcliffe was invited to audition, but his parents were against it - they wanted their son to be a normal child: studying, attending clubs, playing with friends, not spending his entire childhood on a film set. But fate intervened: it turned out that the producer of the film, David Heyman, was closely acquainted with Radcliffe's father, who, after long persuasion, finally gave his son over to the mercy of the directors. And most importantly, J.K. Rowling was thrilled with Daniel, and the boy was approved for the role of Harry Potter.
"I had two reactions when I found out about the role," Daniel recalled. "At first, I cried because I was very happy! And then, a few hours later, I woke up in the middle of the night and ran to my parents' bedroom to ask if it was just a dream."
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" began filming in September 2000. Daniel was set to play alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, who were also approved by Rowling. During filming, everyone was amazed by Daniel's physical fitness: he did all the stunts himself, and only in the most dangerous scenes were stunt doubles used. For example, in the scene where they played Quidditch, the actor was suspended in the air on a broomstick several meters high, and he was not at all scared.
To say that "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was a huge success would be an understatement - the worldwide box office grossed nearly a billion dollars. The emotional adventure of an orphan boy who learns about his magical origins on his 11th birthday filled theaters for months after its premiere.
Audiences were impressed with the performances of the young actors, especially noting "the deep intelligence with a touch of sadness in Harry Potter's eyes." They also loved the icy gaze of Draco Malfoy played by Tom Felton, the cunning Potions Master Severus Snape expertly portrayed by Alan Rickman, and the wise Headmaster of Hogwarts played by Richard Harris.
A year later, in November 2002, the second part - "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" - premiered. Audiences were stunned: the kind fairytale about a wizard boy took on dramatic shades, the characters matured, and the plot twists sometimes made one wonder about the advisability of a "12+" rating. This trend continued with each new Harry Potter film: for example, the fourth part was not recommended for viewing by persons under the age of 13.
In 2004, the third part, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," premiered. The film crew underwent significant changes: firstly, the director changed - the little-known at the time Alfonso Cuaron replaced Columbus, secondly, the late Richard Harris was replaced by Michael Gambon, and finally, the legendary Gary Oldman appeared among the cast, taking on the role of Uncle Sirius.
After filming the fifth part, "Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix," which was released in 2007, the cast and crew returned to the UK for the filming of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." The sixth movie was released in 2009 and directed by David Yates. It was followed by the first part of the final film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," which was released in 2010, and the second part, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which was released in 2011. Both parts of the final film were directed by David Yates and marked the end of the Harry Potter movie franchise.
Throughout the series, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint were praised for their performances and the way they brought the characters to life on the big screen. The movies were critically acclaimed and became a cultural phenomenon, with fans eagerly anticipating each new installment. The Harry Potter franchise has had a lasting impact on popular culture and continues to be loved by fans all over the world.
In 2007, Mr. Radcliffe graced the stages of West End theaters, and later Broadway, appearing in Peter Shaffer's play "Equus". The plot revolves around a stable boy who loses his mind due to his love for horses. In one of the scenes, Mr. Radcliffe was required to perform fully naked, and when photos from the play were leaked to the press, many parents called for a ban on his participation, citing that "He plays in the most popular children's film, and such indecent behavior corrupts his audience!" However, the majority of his fee was donated to a foundation aiding LGBTQ+ youth prone to suicide. Theater critics hailed the play as a successful attempt by Mr. Radcliffe to break free from the label of a one-role actor.
Unfortunately, with the start of filming for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", Mr. Radcliffe had no more time for theater, although prior to the start of filming, he was seen in a film by British director Brian Kirk titled "My Boy Jack", which told the tragic story of Rudyard Kipling. Here, Mr. Radcliffe, having turned 18 at the time, appeared before audiences in the guise of a youthful mustached military man. His character was as different from Harry Potter as possible, and this film proved that Mr. Radcliffe was not merely a one-role actor.
The somber "Half-Blood Prince" was presented to the public in July 2009, and a year and a half later, the first part of the finale of the saga, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was released. Redcliffe was extremely impressed with his collaboration with Helena Bonham Carter, who played Voldemort's assistant Bellatrix Lestrange: "Helena is one of those actors who, as soon as they hear the command 'Action!,' simply transform, not only in terms of character, but also physically."
In that same year, Daniel Radcliffe was declared the highest-paid actor of the last decade. His fees for "Harry Potter" films really grew in a geometric progression. If he received "only" one million dollars for his participation in the first part, his salary for the first "Deathly Hallows" film increased by 20 times, and for the next episode, he was rewarded with 33 million.
The scale of filming the final part was astonishing. For example, 400 actors played Death Eaters and their followers on one side, and 400 actors played the roles of Hogwarts students and teachers on the other, in the scene of the last battle between the forces of good and evil. The worldwide box office for the final part of "Harry Potter" reached almost one and a half billion dollars. Many viewers cried as they left the movie theaters, bidding farewell with sadness to the beloved characters of the saga.
Further careerWith "Harry Potter" concluded, Daniel Radcliffe initially found himself at a loss, ultimately succumbing to alcohol. "I felt utterly inconsolable," he shared during an interview.
His salvation from the alcoholic melancholy came in late 2011, with an invitation from director James Watkins, who envisioned Radcliffe in the lead role of his new project, the supernatural thriller "The Woman in Black." This time, Radcliffe transformed into a young Victorian-era lawyer and single father.
In 2012, Radcliffe starred in the adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's novella, titled "A Young Doctor's Notebook." Daniel portrayed the young rural physician, Vladimir, who encounters numerous unforeseen challenges during his practice. This experience left the actor with fond memories, especially since his favorite literary work is the novel "The Master and Margarita".
A year later, Daniel Radcliffe appeared in a new film, the mystical drama with elements of absurdity titled "Horns." The actor portrayed an ordinary American man who discovers horns growing from his head one morning, granting him the ability to read the innermost thoughts of others.
Another project Radcliffe worked on during this time was the drama "Kill Your Darlings," in which he portrayed beatnik Allen Ginsberg.
Over the next couple of years, Daniel Radcliffe refocused on his theatrical endeavors, participating in productions of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "The Cripple of Inishmaan." Additionally, he starred in the melodrama "Trainwreck" with Amy Schumer and Brie Larson, and the biopic "The Gamechangers," depicting the confrontation between lawyer Mike Thompson and the creators of "Grand Theft Auto."
In 2016, Radcliffe starred in the dark comedy "Swiss Army Man," playing the role of a corpse. His co-stars included Paul Dano and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
In April of the same year, Daniel Radcliffe announced that fans would soon see him in the Broadway production "Privacy," inspired by the life of Edward Snowden. The actor kept the details secret but mentioned that the audience would be allowed to record the performance and freely share the footage with other internet users during the show.
That same year, Radcliffe appeared in the sequel to the action-packed film "Now You See Me 2," alongside Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, and Woody Harrelson. Radcliffe portrayed the main antagonist, techno-magician Walter Mabry.
Subsequently, the film "Imperium" was released, in which Radcliffe's character, an FBI agent, infiltrated a gang of neo-Nazis. Many critics hailed this role as the most serious project in the British actor's mature career.
The year 2017 was memorable for the actor with the release of the survival thriller "Jungle," and his role as Rosencrantz in the play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" by Tom Stoppard, which was successfully staged at the Old Vic Theatre.
In 2018, Radcliffe played the lead role in the action film "Beast of Burden." Despite his prominent name on the marquee, audiences met the film with skepticism. Critics wrote, "Though Radcliffe did everything possible to make his character empathetic, the scriptwriters left his efforts in vain."
Around the same time, the actor was working on the TV series "Miracle Workers." Daniel played a low-ranking angel given a last chance to save Earth from divine wrath and destruction, while Steve Buscemi took on the role of God.
In 2020, audiences saw the action comedy "Guns Akimbo," which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2019. Daniel portrayed a video game developer who experiences little success in his work and personal life. His life changes after he registers for "street fights" as entertainment for internet users.
Shortly after, the world premiere of the thriller "Escape from Pretoria" took place, in which Radcliffe's character escapes from a South African prison located on an island.
The year 2020 delighted viewers with a continuation of "Miracle Workers" titled "Dark Ages." It is worth noting that the series is an anthology and not connected by a plot. In this season, Radcliffe and Buscemi switched roles: the former played a capricious yet kind-hearted prince with a peculiar affection for a pet bird, while the latter portrayed a typical medieval peasant.
Daniel Radcliffe's Personal LifeIn November 2010, Daniel Radcliffe began dating director's assistant Rosie Coker. At the time, the actor admitted to being a one-woman man. However, their relationship ended in October 2012.
The reason for their breakup was his interest in another woman. While filming "Kill Your Darlings," he met actress Erin Darke. For a while, Radcliffe's fan community debated the reality of their romance, but soon, their suspicions were confirmed: Daniel and Erin appeared together at the Sundance Independent Film Festival, after which they stopped hiding their relationship.
Interestingly, their characters shared a bed scene in the film, and Radcliffe later joked that they became inseparable after it.
The relationship with Erin Darke stood the test of time, and in 2018, they celebrated their five-year anniversary.
In April 2023, Daniel and Erin became parents. The couple has not disclosed the baby's gender or name.
Daniel Radcliffe NowIn 2021, the third season of "Miracle Workers" was released, in which the action takes the audience to the Wild West era. Radcliffe transformed into a God-fearing pastor leading his tribesmen to winter in Oregon. Buscemi, on the other hand, plays the bandit Benny the Kid, accompanying them on this dangerous journey.
In the same year, HBO announced the filming of a "Harry Potter" special episode, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the first film about young wizards. Interestingly, the creator of the Harry Potter books was not invited to the shooting due to a scandal involving her criticism of trans people – the writer didn't like the fact that representatives of the LGBT community proposed to call women "people with menstruation."
Radcliffe was among those who criticized Rowling. The actor noted that he didn't expect such behavior and harsh statements from Rowling, who had practically given him a career in cinema:
Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and contradicts all the advice given by health associations that have much more extensive knowledge on this issue than Joan or meIn 2022, the biographical comedy parody "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story" was released, featuring Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role as accordionist and parody song author, Al Yankovic. The musician himself endorsed Radcliffe for the role. The actor explained his selection in this way: "When I first spoke with Al, I thought, "I'm truly flattered that you would choose me to portray you, but why? Me?" he admitted. According to the actor, the primary reason for his selection was his performance of satirist Tom Lehrer's song "The Elements" in one of his shows: "...I think Al saw that and thought, 'Perhaps this guy understands.' And that's why he chose me."
Press Ctrl+Enter If you find a mistake