Radcliffe leaves Harry Potter behind

The 22-year-old talks about his move to ‘grown-up’ film roles

Afp February 03, 2012

LOS ANGELES: For more than a decade, Daniel Radcliffe was known the world over as the spectacle-wearing wizard in the massively successful Harry Potter films — based on the equally popular book series by JK Rowling.

Now, the young actor is moving on. A child prodigy no more, the 22-year-old is now stepping out in grown-up film roles. His first post-Potter film, which opens this week, is the neo-Gothic horror movie The Woman in Black.

Radcliffe says that he fell in love with the script, which he read for the first time just a few hours after shooting the last frames of his final Harry Potter film. “It was such a brilliantly written script”, he said. “Normally, if you get a script which has a lot of stage directions, it can be quite hard to read, but I just flew through it — it was so frightening. You could tell it was going to be scary”, he said. “That was, for me, the principal reason to do it,” added Radcliffe. “It was a really compelling story.”

The Woman in Black — a co-production between Canada, Britain and Sweden, directed by British film-maker James Watkins — made its debut on Friday throughout North America and opens in Europe beginning next week.

A supernatural thriller set in the 1920s, the film is about a young widowed lawyer sent to an eerie estate to settle the affairs of a recently deceased dowager. Radcliffe said he was drawn to the project not just by the script, but also by the message that underlies the grim storyline. “It’s about how death and grief affect people in different ways,” he said. “It’s a horror film, but driven by characters.”

The role is a huge departure from his persona as boy wizard in the eight-film, billion-dollar Potter franchise, but it allows him to make a clean break and avoid the peril that faces all successful actors — becoming typecast as their last character. “I think I have to accept that for some people I’m always going to be Harry Potter, some people will never want to see me in other ways,” he said. “But some people already see me as just an actor, and so I just have to keep trying to make people see me as a true actor and not as a character.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2012.


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