Update: 6th January 2012. A little update: HQ version of the cover (scroll down)
Update: 9th January 2012. Digital edition, via danradcliffe.com cover | page 1 | page 2 | page 4 | page 4 | page 5 | Page 6 |
Are you a romantic?
"Yes. I don’t know where my romanticism comes from. My mom and dad would read to me a lot. Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, tales of chivalry and knights, things like that. Those are the stories I loved growing up. I still see something very romantic in the world that perhaps isn’t there. I suppose I want it to be the place of knights and that kind of stuff.”
Knights marry princesses. Do you want to get married?
"Yes, absolutely. When growing up, I thought of marriage as being very official, drawing up a contract. It seemed slightly clinical to me. But then you meet somebody that you really love and you think, 'Actually, I wouldn’t mind standing up in front of my friends and family and telling them how much I love you and that I want to be with you forever.'
Are you in love with girlfriend Rosie Coker? [Radcliffe met Coker, a production assistant, on the set of the last Potter film.]
"Yes, absolutely. When Rosie’s here, every day seems better….I’m not an easy person to love. There are lots of times when I’m a very good boyfriend, but there are times when I’m useless. I mean, I’m a mess around the house. I talk nonstop. I become obsessed with things. This year it’s fantasy football, which means Rosie has to listen to me talking 24 hours a day about this team. 'Should I take this player out, do you think, darling?' And she listens to it, and she loves me for my oddness, my awkwardness, all of those things that I hate about myself. She finds them cute. I guess that’s love."
Why was that?
"I hated dating because I’m crap at it! [laughs] With Rosie, I didn’t know what was appropriate, like on which date you’re supposed to try and kiss her. At the end of the second date I pulled a move out of the Bela Lugosi Book of Woo—I went to kiss Rosie and at the last minute lost my nerve and ended up kissing her neck, which is such a weirdly intimate place to kiss somebody on a second date. Afterward, I texted her, saying, 'I’m sorry, what I just did probably seems very odd to you.' Fortunately, she just found it really funny, so she kept coming back."
Last year you gave up alcohol. Why?
"My inner life was being drowned. I’ve worked with Richard Harris, Gary Oldman, all those actors who went crazy when they were young, and I always wanted that. The idea of that kind of life and chaos was always so appealing to me. Unfortunately, the way I do it, there is no romance to it! [laughs] There is nothing glorious or triumphant about it—it was pathetic, boring, and unhappy."
Your dad is a Protestant from Ulster and your mom is English and Jewish. Were you raised in a particular religion?
"There was never [religious] faith in the house. I think of myself as being Jewish and Irish, despite the fact that I’m English. My dad believes in God, I think. I’m not sure if my mom does. I don’t. I have a problem with religion or anything that says, 'We have all the answers,' because there’s no such thing as 'the answers.' We’re complex. We change our minds on issues all the time. Religion leaves no room for human complexity."
You’ve had enormous success for someone so young. Do you fear that it won’t last?
"Yes. But it’s reality, not fear. It will happen, and I have accepted that. In a way it’s a great relief that I will never, ever do a film as successful as the Harry Potter series. But neither will anybody else. [laughs] Or it will take them a long time.”
On giving back.
“I got involved in The Trevor Project [a charity which works to prevent young gay people from committing suicide] in late 2008 when I was in New York doing Equus. A few of my friends had made me aware of it. It sounded like such a fantastic thing. People need it. The suicide rate for gay teens is four times that of straight kids. I couldn't believe that nothing like this had existed before. I think that any free-thinking person who becomes very wealthy and has strong opinions on things would get involved with something like The Trevor Project or scholarships for schools or whatever. Fame is very useful in directing attention toward those things.
“I got paid so well for doing the Harry Potter films, it's ridiculous. If somebody asked me, 'Did you think you deserve that money?' No, of course I didn't. 'But would you have taken it anyway?' Of course. I happened to have found this industry where people get paid stupid amounts of money. That's the reality. I feel almost guilty for having done so well out of Potter. But there’s a moral imperative to help others. You know, the fact that I wake up in my lovely apartment in New York and get to stroll down here and do a couple of shows, and there is somebody in some country waking up wondering where he's going to live that week—it's a horrendous feeling. There is a sense that you have to do something. I feel Brad Pitt would agree that the way to help is to really get behind things that you're passionate about, like The Trevor Project. You have to give back.”
“Realizing that other people have a problem with [homosexuality] was the weirdest thing for me. As a kid it wasn't even something that was mentioned. It was never something that was even explained to me. It was just, “That's Mark and he's gay.” Mark was just another friend of my dad's who would talk about his boyfriend instead of his girlfriend. I was 5. I didn't care. It seemed perfectly normal, and still does....It just drives me crazy...that people can make such sweeping, ignorant statements and bring religion into it....Why would you want a god that’s up there picking and choosing who he lets in?...That doesn't make any sense."
“I've got a great example to look at in my parents, because they've been married for at least 25 years and, I think, they were together for about five more before that. So they've been together a long time. I wouldn't recommend anybody marrying an actor, really. [laughs] Of course, there are cases where it works, but I’m an actor and I know what I’m like. Actors and actresses are generally pretty neurotic.”
On work — worrying about it, achieving the most.
“I do worry about things like I'm not going to be good enough or my next film is not going to do well enough and that eventually people will go, ‘Oh well, why don't you move on and do something else?’ … Of course I worry about all of those things, but it comes out of a place of pride, in my knowing that I'm smart enough, good enough, hard-working enough to achieve. I now want to make as big a mix of everything as I can, from stage acting to film, and just keep working. What's lovely is that [my fame] will really help get a small independent film made, because my name carries bankability at the moment, and it will do for a few more years. If you look at somebody like Brad Pitt or George Clooney, those are guys who have immense fame and do some very successful commercial films, but they balance it by doing stuff they love, that interests them. Both could have gone down just playing romantic leads for the rest of their careers and made a very nice living. But they wanted to do different stuff. The majority of Clooney's career, acting and directing, is what I look at. If I can achieve half of what he has achieved, I'll be happy.”
On his love of poetry.
“I think true poetry is a color—it's as fundamental as that. It can provoke a profound, basic human reaction. Understanding what the poet is saying comes from something fundamental in us that is moved by the musicality of language. I love T. S. Eliot’s 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.' I was so obsessed by it. That poem is how I see myself. It’s how people feel who have an inner life they struggle to express. That’s what's so powerful about that poem. To me it's about somebody who wants the world to be the world in his imagination and is constantly disappointed that it is not. Poetry once was not an elitist thing. Somewhere along the line, writing poetry became viewed as a kind of girlish thing to do, not something that real men should be concerning themselves with. English writer Tony Harrison is a modern poet and my hero. It's tough, muscular, brutish, angry language, and it's exciting to read.”
On his new film, The Woman in Black.
“On the surface it's about a young lawyer, a widower, who is given a task to collect the paperwork of a recently deceased woman in her house in rural England. He goes and is terrorized by the ghost of a different dead woman. Every character that you meet in the film has been touched by bereavement at some point. It’s character-driven. Stanley Kubrick said that any film about the supernatural is inherently consoling because it implies an afterlife. That's what our film is about, really. On the surface it's about being terrified, but actually it's about love.”
Be sure to check out this weekend's issue of PARADE magazine in your local newspaper for the full interview with Daniel Radcliffe.
picture source: Jake Chessum