Daniel Radcliffe Defends Emma Watson, Talks Sex Symbol Status

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson
Daniel Radcliffe defended his Harry Potter costar Emma Watson during a recent interview, talking about how she was immediately sexualized at an early age. Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Daniel Radcliffe didn’t need a wand to shut down a reporter recently, but his response was pretty magical. While speaking to the Associated Press, the Harry Potter star, 25, reflected on a recent interview question that has been irritating him lately. 

“Around the time of What If, the rom-com, a lot of people were saying ‘You’re a really unconventional romantic lead,’” he recalled. “Eventually I got bored of hearing that, so I kind of picked someone up on that, so I was like, ‘What about me is unconventional? Tell me.’ She said, ‘Well, I think it’s probably the fact that we associated you with playing Harry as a young boy for so long.’” 

Instead of taking that reaction lightly, Radcliffe replied, “’The male population has had no problem sexualizing Emma Watson immediately.’” 

Radcliffe’s comments come a month after his Potter costar, 24, gave a powerful and touching speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in favor of gender equality. During the discussion, the U.N. Goodwill Ambassador noted that she started being sexualized at age 14.

Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone premiered in 2001 when Emma Watson was 11 and Daniel Radcliffe was 12. Warner Bros./Newsmakers/Getty Images

The first Harry Potter film was released in 2001, when Watson was 11 and Radcliffe was 12. And though the series’ male lead has moved on to different projects since the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was released in 2011, he remains very proud of his work on the beloved franchise. 

“People seem to think that everything I’m doing is a comment on Harry Potter, which it’s not,” he told the AP. “The thing I do find frustrating sometimes is that some people seem to think that by wanting to do other things, it somehow means that I’m not proud of Harry Potter, which is ludicrous.” 

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