Daniel Radcliffe talks overdrinking as a teen to deal with his 'Harry Potter' fame

Daniel Radcliffe can relate to other child stars who have struggled with addiction. 

The 29-year-old Harry Potter star opened up about using alcohol to cope as a teenager during a recent interview with Off Camera With Sam Jones

"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 — where you would feel watched when you went into a bar, when you went into a pub,” the British actor explains. "In my case, the quickest way to forget you were being watched was to get very drunk. Then as you get very drunk, you become aware, ‘Oh, people are watching more now because now I’m getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more.’ It can affect your psyche.”

He notes that getting out of that headspace, “took a few years and it took a couple of attempts."

"Ultimately it was just my own decision,” he says of cutting back on his drinking. "I woke up one morning after a night, going, ‘This is probably not good.’” 

As for his wilder past lifestyle, he adds, "I don’t miss it generally now at all. I know that varies for some people. When I think of the sort of chaos I used to invite into my life, I’m really much happier now. I think there was some part of me that was like, ‘Actors have to be crazy cool drunks. I have to live up to this weird image that I had in my head of what it means to be a famous actor.’"

Harry Potter holds strong 20 years later
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Harry Potter holds strong 20 years later
Harry Potter fan Victoria Maclean poses amongst her collection of merchandise at her home in Neath, Britain, February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
The ashes of Harry Potter fan Victoria Maclean's mother are stored amongst a collection of merchandise at her home in Neath, Britain, February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
A supporter in a werewolf costume watches teams take part in the Harry Potter inspired, Quidditch British Cup in Rugeley, Britain, March 12, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Cosplay fans (L-R) George Massingham, Abbey Forbes and Karolina Goralik travel by tube dressed in Harry Potter themed costumes, after a visit to one the literary franchise's movie filming locations at Leadenhall Market in London, Britain, March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Harry Potter fan Maria York poses in her Professor McGonagall costume at her home in Grays, Britain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Tour Guide Greta Clarke walks with Harry Potter fans in London, Britain, April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
A Harry Potter fan poses for a photograph during a visit to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters at Kings Cross station in London, Britain, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Harry Potter fans Tracey Nicole-Lewis and her son Brenden, shop dressed as characters from the literary franchise in Cardiff, Britain, April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Professional Harry Potter impersonator Luke Williams (C) enjoys a drink at a pub in London, Britain, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Harry Potter tour guide Greta Clarke poses for a portrait at her home in London, Britain, May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 

Radcliffe sympathizes with stars who grew up in the business and have had their struggles publicized. 

"There is no blueprint for starting young and working stuff out,” he says. "That’s why whenever people are having a go at Justin Bieber drag racing cars or whatever, I’m always like, ‘Yeah, but you never know. Stuff could be super crazy for him right now.’"

He says there was also an “expectation” and a “pressure” to always appear like he was in a good mood. But adds that one thing that helped was his genuine love for his work. 

"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**t would affect how I was on the set,” he says. "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.”

Radcliffe has opened up about his drinking issues in the past. In a 2012 interview with Heat magazine, he admitted to showing up to the Potter set drunk from the night before. 

“It was bad. I don’t want to go into details but I drank a lot and it was daily — I mean nightly,” he said at the time. "I can honestly say I never drank at work on Harry Potter. I went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work.” 


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