While many young people have their big experimentation with alcohol in their 20s, Daniel Radcliffe was sober for most of his — because he got it all out of the way in his teen years!
Over the weekend, the Guns Akimbo star opened up about his past problem with drinking once again, this time on BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs podcast.
He explained the fairly exclusive phenomenon of getting way too drunk — while being internationally famous for playing a virtuous hero:
“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. 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.”
Unfortunately that spotlight on his less proud moments led to something of a vicious cycle:
“I suppose those were the moments when I first started being ‘Oh, that doesn’t feel good. I don’t like how I’m being looked at in this particular context.’ Then the way of dealing with that is to just to drink more, or get more drunk. So I did a lot of that for a few years.”
So would he have had a drinking problem if he hadn’t been famous? Would he have gotten it sorted out so young?
While he knows going full Sliding Doors and asking what if what if what if would drive him crazy, but he does think the transition out of his most famous role exacerbated the drinking at least somewhat. He muses:
“There are many questions in my life where you can say ‘Is this thing, thing X, the way it is because it’s in you to be that way or is it because you got famous and were in this slightly crazy situation?’ That’s not just the sense with my drinking, it’s a few things where you go ‘I wonder if that’s because of Potter or I would have been that way anyway?’ I’ll never know, so it’s sort of pointless to ask. But I definitely think a lot of the drinking that happened towards the end of Potter and sort of for a little bit after it finished, it was panic and not knowing what to do next and not being comfortable enough in who I was to remain sober.”
Thankfully around 2010 DanRad had his moment of clarity long before hitting rock bottom, as he previously revealed in a 2019 interview on Off Camera with Sam Jones:
“Ultimately it was just my own decision. I woke up one morning after a night, going, ‘This is probably not good.’”
He said at the time:
“I don’t miss it generally now at all. I know that varies for some people. When I think of the sort of chaos I used to invite into my life, I’m really much happier now. I think there was some part of me that was like, ‘Actors have to be crazy cool drunks. I have to live up to this weird image that I had in my head of what it means to be a famous actor.’”
Luckily he’s so much more mature and level-headed these days. At the wise old age of… 30?? Dang, way to go, DanRad!
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