Daniel Radcliffe became an overnight sensation after the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2001. Over 10 years in the Harry Potter In movies, we saw him mature from a skinny 12-year-old to a dashing 22-year-old.
While it’s no secret, many famous people have substance abuse problems. We’ve all seen the long list of actors and singers who have battled addiction, from Amy Winehouse to Robert Downey, Jr.
Most fans were surprised to discover that young and handsome Radcliffe was an alcoholic. To make matters worse, the actor said he sometimes showed up drunk on set.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Radcliffe detailed his stint as the lead in HHarry Potter Franchise led him to alcohol abuse. Eventually, his loved ones helped him sober up. The actor detailed how he now understands why so many child actors turn to drugs and alcohol.
Radcliffe said many have been committed to a single role for years. After a while, they “stop enjoying it.” But they feel pressured to keep working because they are the ones providing for their families.
Radcliffe also spoke about his own personal struggle with alcohol. He explains how he would go out and get drunk before realizing that since he wasn’t just your typical drunk, people were interested in seeing him drunk. It would be, “Oh, Harry Potter is getting drunk in the bar.”
Radcliffe revealed that much of the drinking happened near the end Harry Potter and for a while after it ended, it was due to worry, insecurity, and a lack of confidence in his identity.
The actor said people’s interest in his drinking felt like a mockery. Radcliffe couldn’t help but feel contempt for it, which drove him further into his thoughts and to the bottom of the bottle.
In a 2012 interview with Heat Magazine, Radcliffe revealed that he came up with the frequently Harry Potter hungover and sometimes even drunk from the night before. “I still went to work drunk, but I never drank at work.”
Despite his claims, he was able to keep his drinking a secret from the public throughout his time in public Harry Potter films, Radcliffe’s drinking was evident in his performance.
While he declined to name specific moments, the actor made it clear that by watching the films, he can always tell whether or not he was drunk during filming. He said: “I can point to a lot of scenes where I was just gone. Dead behind the eyes.”
Radcliffe first sobered up in 2010 when he was 22. The actor hasn’t said much about how he quit drinking. But he has never hidden his sobriety. Radcliffe’s first attempt at staying sober lasted just two years, as he was reportedly kicked out of a New York bar in 2012 for his binge drinking and fights.
In a 2021 interview, Radcliffe — who gave sobriety a second chance in 2013 — said it took a few years and a few tries, but he’s sober now and always grateful. The actor has been sober for almost a decade. He has acted in a variety of films, television shows, and plays, often speaking about them with great enthusiasm.
Radcliffe’s sobriety has significantly improved his outlook on life, demeanor and acting. In his own words, sobriety has allowed him to live a life “without anxiety and fear, and it’s beautiful.”