hen I first met
The next time I met him in a dressing room was some months on in his own in
How has he done it? In the SBS I wanted to look at that remarkable leap. Without Rada, without rep, without university or the new drama schools such as Eton. With just a couple of stage ventures behind him: his bold, even reckless, performance in Equus and his admired accomplishment as a song-and-dance man on
But this is completely different. In
When he got that role at the age of 11, "I cried", he said. And also at the first big press conference he said: "I have read the least Harry Potter of anybody in my class." That kind of self-deprecation and honesty has never left him. He worked with
On Harry Potter, he had singing lessons and action lessons but not one drama lesson. He told me: "I could have done with one, especially when I look at those first films." His honesty has no barriers; briefly we referred to his late teenage drinking jag that stopped four years ago when he was 20. Compared with the self-destruction of many of his contemporary celebrities, it was fairly normal wild oats stuff for a while. But a price he pays is that in several newspapers every small reference to it is inflated as if it was last week, to remind us all of that brief time.
He has an extreme politeness that is almost Biggin Hill in its Englishness. "Can I say shitty on your programme?" And after a deep breath he said: "My favourite
He soaks up information almost rabidly. When he goes into a bookshop, he always buys the books he thinks he might never come across again. We did some filming next to
On our set, this was replicated in a small way when he came to do the interview in Sardi's (the
I was interested that when he talked about filming Harry Potter the first people he referred to were the crew. That, he said, was the best thing, getting to know the crew. Each person in our small crew was greeted and questions were asked about equipment. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't head for film direction sooner or later.
One way that he warms up for a part is by listening to music. "I know the song I want to play if I want to get angry. . . I create a playlist for every part." The main song he plays for Cripple Billy is Wasting My Young Years by London Grammar.
Like many stars, he works harder than anyone around him. With
He has a gift -
He's a bold young man. The 17-year-old Cripple Billy is about as far away from the 17-year-old Harry Potter as could be and yet Radcliffe blazes across the stalls in the theatre every bit as much as he does in the cinema.
He has released himself from that profoundly cosseted cage of rare celebrity. When we came out of his dressing room and out of the theatre in
He is totally open about the fact that he was nervous as hell after the Harry Potters came to an end. Many doubtless well-meaning friends told him that his career was finished and the best was behind him. "What did you say?" "No, it's not!" He reached back to the age of 10 when he played
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