Mischief managed. Daniel Radcliffe brought one of the most iconic fictional characters to life during his tenure as Harry Potter — and found himself sticking in the spotlight for over a decade.
The first of eight Harry Potter films was released in 2001 and fans around the world quickly fell in love with Radcliffe’s portrayal of the Boy Who Lived. Looking back on his first audition for the role more than 10 years later, the British actor admitted he was embarrassed to watch his younger self struggle through the scenes.
“[I was] at a stage when you hate your face anyway, and anything it does is repellent to you,” he teased in a November 2015 interview with the U.K.’s Sunday Times.
Radcliffe and his longtime costars, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, cast a spell on audiences for a decade — and still look back fondly at the time they shared on the Hogwarts grounds. After the final installment of the series hit theaters in July 2011, the Miracle Workers star gushed about his experience working with his closest friends on the beloved films.
“I loved being on set. I was good at being on set,” he told HuffPost in 2017. “I loved learning how to be helpful. The greatest thing about being on set is you get to be part of a team. That’s the most special thing about it, and you get to feel like with everyone else you are making this thing together, and I loved that feeling straight away. I think that was definitely what made me a great fit for those films.”
When he was finally ready to leave Hogwarts behind, Radcliffe tried his hand at some more mature roles, performing in Equus on Broadway and later starring in a handful of experimental indie movies including Horns (2013) and Swiss Army Man (2016). Since the blockbuster franchise came to an end, the former child star explained why he’s decided to take his career in a new direction.
“[I wanted] to show people that [I’m] not just Harry Potter,” he told Esquire in March 2020. “It fit in nicely with the ambition of wanting to do a great variety of roles, which has always been something I’ve admired in other people’s careers who’ve hopped from genre to genre and done what they like. … In the last few years, I’ve gotten really strict with myself, of just being like, just do things that make you happy and that you want to do and that you are excited to be a part of.”
Scroll down to look back at Radcliffe’s career through the years, from Harry Potter to Broadway, and beyond!