Sunday 4 December 2016

Daniel Radcliffe

Published 09/07/2011 | 05:00

Character: Harry Potter

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Born: 23 July, 1989

First appeared in Harry Potter: aged: 11

Estimated fortune: €53m

•Life could have been very different for Daniel Radcliffe if Steven Spielberg had had his way. The director wanted Haley Joel Osment, the star of The Sixth Sense, to play the lead role in the first Harry Potter movie.

However, a creative clash with Rowling saw Spielberg sidelined and replaced by Christopher Columbus. Upon seeing Radcliffe perform in the BBC's David Copperfield, he suddenly declared, "This is Harry Potter".

But Radcliffe's protective parents refused the original offer, as it meant him signing up to film all seven movies in Los Angeles.

His mother, a casting director, and father, a literary agent, would not give in until Warner Brothers agreed to film in the UK.

The 11-year-old quickly became one of the hottest properties in Hollywood history, forcing his father to give up his job to ensure young Radcliffe remained grounded.

His parent's steadying hand quickly became apparent when Radcliffe was asked how he coped with the hordes of girls screaming his name. "You have to dismiss it as being ridiculous," he said. "And realise they're not there for you, they're there because you play this character. It's Harry more than me."

However, after almost a decade playing the bespectacled boy wizard his private life hit a speed bump when whiskey became his potion of choice when filming Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.

"I became so reliant on (alcohol) to enjoy stuff," the now teetotal Radcliffe confessed in a recent GQ interview. "There were a few years there when I was just so enamoured with the idea of living some sort of famous person's lifestyle that really isn't suited to me."

Thankfully, he soon reverted to what he likes best -- sitting in his flat in south-west London "watching the Discovery Channel with a bowl of Sugar Puffs".

"A friend often says I'm an old man in a young man's husk," he says. "I like that. I am old-fashioned in some ways."

In 2007, Radcliffe began to prepare for life after Harry Potter with a starring role in the stage play Equus, which garnered him worldwide attention due to a nude scene and lavished him with critical acclaim. He is now starring on Broadway in the farce How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

Even though his poetry has been published, under the pen name Jacob Gershon, and he has aspirations to direct in the future, his focus remains on acting.

"I want to keep acting. I want to test myself," he said. "And I'm sure I'll cock up a few times, but that's to be expected."

But with over €50m in the bank he can afford to make a few mistakes.

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