LONDON (Reuters) - Daniel Radcliffe, 21, has spent nearly half his life as a movie star since he was first cast as Harry Potter a decade ago.
The Briton is now a multi-millionaire and famous the world over after the eight-movie series turned into one of the biggest film franchises in cinema history.
The Warner Bros. studio decided to make two films out of author J.K. Rowling’s seventh and final Harry Potter Book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Part 1 comes out on Friday and Part 2, in 3-D, will hit theatres in July, 2011.
Now shooting has ended on the series, Radcliffe is looking ahead to life beyond the wizarding world. He sat down with Reuters recently to talk about Deathly Hallows Part 1 and what is in store for him next.
Q: So, to get this one out of the way, you were quoted as saying recently that (co-star) Emma Watson was “a bit of an animal” in your kissing scene together. What did she have to say about that?
A: “When you’re in this period of time when you do an interview and it’s aired the next day, your quotes come back at you so quickly. On (TV show) Daybreak the other day ... Kate Garraway was interviewing me ... and she said ‘Oh the kiss with Emma in this film, she’s a bit of an animal, isn’t she?’ and I said ‘yes’, and then it was like I’d said it. Emma hit me on the arm as soon as we came off the red carpet (at the film premiere) and said ‘What have you been saying to people about me?’.”
Q: Some people found the sixth Harry Potter film (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) a little confusing, and Harry Potter 7 (Deathly Hallows Part 1) more straightforward. Would you agree?
A: “I loved five, but six is a hard film to make. Even though I think it’s the most beautiful of all the films so far, it’s also a really hard film to make because it is basically just a colossal amount of exposition that sets up number seven.
“It is a tougher one to make accessible to everybody who hasn’t read the books, because you are just cramming in a huge amount of information.”
Q: Deathly Hallows Part 1 also seems slower-paced than some other Potter movies.
“In (Harry Potter) seven ... people keep talking about ‘Oh it’s an action movie’ (but) ... this is so sedate compared to what the next one is going to be like. The next film, because you’ve had all the plot set up already, you can just kind of enjoy the insanity of all the action.”
Q: Rupert Grint (who plays Harry’s friend Ron in the films) just described the final Potter film (to be released in July, 2011) as a war movie. Would you go that far?
A: “They’ve all stolen my line! My pitch (for Deathly Hallows 1 and 2) was that it’s a road movie that turns into a heist movie that turns into a war film. I was saying it to Rupert and Emma (Watson) the other day. Damn it!
“The last movie is going to be really, really fast-paced and a load of action in it and it is like a war film. If we had done this book in one film, the stuff that would have got cut is most of this film.
“For me that is the most interesting part of the story, because it’s where the characters develop and change.
“This film, despite the silence and slower pacing ... was the most chaotic to work on by quite a long way. It was mad. We all felt the pressure on this film to make it the best, because it’s the last.
“Suddenly somebody might wake up one morning and go ‘Oh I’m not sure about how my character is in this scene’ or the writer would have an idea so we’d be getting re-writes for some scenes the day before they were shot. It was constantly moving and had a less settled feel than the other ones had had.”
Q: After 10 years living with the Potter phenomenon, how did it feel at the end of the final scene of shooting?
A: “There was just some very primal reaction. When you’ve spent 10 years in a certain place with a group of people, suddenly that goes ... you do sort of go ‘What am I going to do now?’ It was bizarre, because I knew I was doing a musical next year but that was all done, I knew that was going to happen, and I knew there was a definite option of one of about three films ... but at that moment I was really thinking ... ‘What am I going to without all of you?’ because it was those people I had learned so much from.
“That was, I think, the main feeling of slight bereavement, but then four hours later I was on a plane going to New York where I was doing the Tony Awards the next day, presenting, and I was reading the script for ‘The Woman in Black’ and five months down the line I’m half way through shooting it, so we move on.”
Q: Do you ever envisage a day when you may not have writers and directors falling over themselves to cast you?
A: “As my dad always says, whenever I’m looking at other scripts and not knowing which one’s going to work out, ‘Oh happy problem!’. At the moment ... it’s an embarrassment of riches and it comes back to a quote that you often hear people in sports talk about which is: ‘form is temporary, class is permanent.’
“That’s what I want to use the next few years to develop myself as — into somebody who everybody knows wants to be around for a long time and I’m going to do that hopefully through choosing very classy projects like The Woman in Black.”
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato