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Interviewed by GQ, Daniel Radcliffe talked about his breakthrough as an actor with the first part of the Harry Potter saga, and the fame that came with that first role. 

Does Daniel Radcliffe ring a bell? It certainly does. The actor, child star revealed in 2001 by the first part of the Harry Potter saga, is moving away from the little bespectacled wizard to take on a crazy role: he will play the parodic singer Weird Al Yankovic in a film dedicated to his tumultuous life and career. In a lengthy interview with GQ, the 33-year-old actor reflects on his early fame and the ten years he spent in the magical world. 

Daniel Radcliffe spent his entire childhood dealing with his young star status: "You grow up with a sense of 'okay, people know me, and I have to keep that in mind. […] It took a long time. But in my late teens or early twenties, I was like 'you have to accept that life is going to be different for you'." By the age of 11, the budding actor was already playing his biggest role. So, of course, his background caused some jokes on the set of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. Eric Appel, the director, tells GQ that Daniel Radcliffe "played a great joke on him": "Namely that [he] was going to play the most iconic character of his career." It goes without saying. 

"It was still ten years of my life"

Daniel Radcliffe was aware of the pressure on his shoulders for his post-Potter projects. "I had this awareness that people expected us to do nothing after Potter – that we would disappear. I really wanted that not to be the case, because I knew I loved it, and I wanted to do everything I could to have a long career." However, he does not deny the success of the saga and takes offence at comments that denigrate it. For example, "I loved you in Extras, even though Harry Potter was rubbish." "It's like saying 'We're going to be more intimate now I've told you what I think'. Well you can think that, but I would never say "Yes man! It was still ten years of my life."

Daniel Radcliffe reconnected with this chapter of his life earlier this year, during the filming of the HBO special devoted to the reunion of the Harry Potter cast to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the saga. Clearly, he was dreading this return to childhood: "I didn't fully realise how emotional it could be until we got there, nor did I realise we were having the most visible school reunion in the world. There was something strange about it, but it was also really much sweeter than I thought."


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