It’s no secret that fame takes a toll, especially on young stars who rocket to global fame when they’re just children. Many like Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, and Demi Lovato spiral out of control in a very public manner. And tragically a few, like Corey Haim, River Phoenix, and Brad Renfro never recover and the self-medication they turn to winds up claiming their lives. But not every young stars descent is as public as others. And one very unexpected example is Daniel Radcliffe. At the age of 11, Radcliffe became one of the most famous faces in the world when he landed the highly sought-after role of Harry Potter in the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s children’s novels, which were already a phenomenon before the films.
In an episode of ‘Off Camera with Sam Jones’, Radcliffe admitted that he used to get “very drunk” to numb himself in the face of such intense scrutiny.
“There is an awareness that I really struggled with particularly in my late teens when I was going out to places for the first time where you would feel…again it could have largely been in my head but…you would feel watched when you went into a bar, when you went into a pub. Then, in my case, the quickest way of forgetting about the fact that you were being watched was to get very drunk and then as you get very drunk, you become aware that, oh people are watching more now because now I’m getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more.”
Radcliffe recovery “took a few years and it took a couple of attempts.” As he stated, “Ultimately it was just my own decision. I woke up one morning after a night, going, ‘This is probably not good.’ “
The reason that many didn’t know about Radcliffe’s struggle is that he still managed to show up to work and perform.
“Even at the lowest point, I still loved my job so much and I still loved going to set. There was never a day where my own s— would affect how I was on the set. There was never a point where I was like, ‘Oh, I wish this hadn’t happened to me. I wish I wasn’t Harry Potter.’ That just didn’t happen.”
You can watch Radcliffe’s interview with Sam Jones below:
Radcliffe has worked steadily since the ‘Potter’ franchise, but has mainly stuck to smaller, lower-budget prestige films like ‘December Boys’ and ‘Kill Your Darlings’. His one stab at launching a new big-budget franchise, ‘Victor Frankenstein‘ co-starring James McAvoy, was a dismal failure. He can currently be seen in TBS’ new miniseries ‘Miracle Workers’ with Steve Buscemi, which has gotten mostly positive reviews.
If you’d like, the full episode is available to watch below:
Best wishes to Daniel Radcliffe! How do you feel about Radcliffe and his struggle?