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Daniel Radcliffe Opens Up About Panic Over ‘Harry Potter’ Leading to Alcoholism

The actor says the "panic and not knowing what to do next" after his time as Harry Potter wrapped up played a dangerous role in fueling his alcohol addiction.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”

Warner Bros.

Daniel Radcliffe has been outspoken about his battle against alcohol addiction throughout much of his adult career, but the actor opened up more honestly in a recent BBC Radio 4 interview (via The Independent) about the connection between his addiction and his role in the “Harry Potter” film franchise. Radcliffe played the boy wizard in eight feature films between 2001 and 2011. The now 30-year-old actor has been sober since 2010, a year before the “Harry Potter” franchise came to an end with the release of “Deathly Hallows Part 2.” Radcliffe says the uncertainty that came with the “Harry Potter” franchise ending dangerously contributed to his alcoholism.

“If I went out and if I got drunk, I’d suddenly be aware of there being interest in that because it’s not just a drunk guy, it’s ‘Oh, Harry Potter’s getting drunk in the bar,'” Radcliffe said, adding that his role as Harry Potter “carried some kind of interest for people and also a slightly mocking interest. It’s inherently funny for people.”

Radcliffe said he dealt with that fan mocking by “drinking more” or just “getting more drunk,” which he did for a few years. As the actor continued, “A lot of drinking that happened towards the end of Potter and for a little bit after it finished, it was panic, a little bit not knowing what to do next — not being comfortable enough in who I was to remain sober.”

Despite the panic over his career after “Harry Potter,” Radcliffe also acknowledges that alcoholism runs in his family and therefore, “I will always be fascinated and frustrated by the question of: is this something that would have happened anyway or was this to do with ‘Potter’? I will never know. It runs in my family, generations back. Definitely not my mum and dad, I hasten to add.”

Radcliffe most recently starred in the action comedy “Guns Akimbo” and has been performing on stage at The Old Vic in London in a production of Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame.” The play, co-starring Alan Cumming, is wrapping up production two weeks early because of the escalating coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

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